HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE
A free public service from the
ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION in Detroit, The Haunted House Birthplace of the USA.*
WELCOME TO THE ZIOPTIS FOUNDATION HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE, your insider fast track to the HOTTEST HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in Michigan and the whole nation! We attend as many haunts as possible each year, and post reviews that are archived for future reference.
Our mission is to give you an authentic feel of what each haunt is like, but without giving away too much. It's a challenge we're up to, because we don't want to spoil the experience for you!
Don't think of us as judges, but as storytellers. Every haunt has a story, and we'll bring it to life right here. It's almost like going to a haunted house without going to a haunted house!
You'll also find info on off-season haunt events as well as alternative entertainment, so stay tuned. Stuff like fireworks displays in the winter, free concerts, and where to see amazing automated Christmas light displays.
WE ARE INDEPENDENT AND NON-PROFIT. The website has large type and is dial-up friendly for maximum accessibility to all. Localities appear in red for easy identification. And the original, one and only Free ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP that started the ball rolling in 1986 is still available 24/7 at (313) 274-1111.
History - in the mid-90's, we started adding stories at the end of the Dial-A-Trip episodes in October about the coolest haunted houses we went to. So much interest was generated that in 1998 the decision was made to start a separate service, and the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE was born!
* = To our knowledge, the very first haunted attraction in the USA was MUTILATION MANSION in Detroit suburb MADISON HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN which began in 1966. Disney’s Haunted Mansion debuted in 1969, and Knott’s Berry Farm haunt started in 1973. If anyone can provide evidence of an earlier haunt, please email us at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com
ZIOPTIS PHOTOSTREAM: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
NO ADVERTISING! NO COOKIES! JUST THE GOODS._____________________________________________________________________
NOVEMBER 30, 2023 THURSDAY 1 PM - AUTOPSY GAGS & POST-MORTEM DECORUM
Haunted attractions are know for over-the-top stunts, often pushing the envelope as related to community standards. To some extent, this is what haunters expect.
GRANNY’S FEISTY RAZOR WANG
But what happens when a haunt goes too far?
THE EXTREME SCREAM (now long gone & defunct) was a haunt with a reputation for being...well, extreme just like the name said. They had lots of pitch black passageways, but just as your eyes adapted they deluged you with high power XENON FLASH TUBE STROBES.
Their sound system was extreme too and more at home in a rock concert setting, producing sound pressure levels far in excess of a jet airplane.
They had a crazy mixed-up spinning passageway of sorts. They got you to crawl into a large plush carpeted tube, whose ends then slammed shut. It suddenly started moving forward quickly on a metal track.
But, true to their name, it got even wilder when the entire tube structure began spinning in circles while still on its’ relentless path across the large room this contraption was in. This combination of both forward and spinning sensations was fantastic!
A crew of haunt workers made this work. The middle of the tube was mounted on a swiveling mechanism. Part of the crew started with pushing it across the room, then the others started spinning the tube.
All was well. But then one year, anxious to push the envelope, the ill-fated decision was made to expand the entertainment to the queue line outside the strip mall they were in.
The original idea was to have jugglers and such performing acrobatic silliness. But soon enough, it devolved into a revolving door of questionable “extras” who were anxious to perform FREAK SHOW style stunts that made even the most hardcore haunt fans cringe.
Some of the “performers” were not affiliated with the haunt. With no fear of being “fired” things quickly went from bad to worse.
This all took place in the parking lot outside the haunt, drawing the attention of many curiosity seekers who happened to be driving by. With a growing audience that had no interest in the haunt, the sideshow took on a sordid life of its’ own.
Not surprisingly, the out-of-control freak show drew the ire of local residents and authorities. The outdoor madness was hastily canceled, but the damage was already done.
With its’ local reputation forever tarnished, they moved several counties away where they sang their FINAL SWAN SONG in a failed attempt to regain past glories.
FOUR BEARS WATER PARK (also now defunct) was another haunt that went way too far, but in another way. Somebody there obtained a collection of “stripper balls,” designed for use at so-called “Gentlemen’s Clubs” where guys act more like pigs than gentlemen.
A knuckle head decision was made to fill the “stripper balls” with scantily clad nubile youngster gals. This ill-fated decision quickly went bad and soon enough, rightfully outraged neighbors complained. The authorities warned them to cease and desist. They did, but only for a short time after which they were ejected and banned from ever having another haunt.
YIDDISH YODELING WITH BARBED WIRE LOX
Our last example took place at ST. LUCIFER’S long ago...about 15 years or so...
My partner and I were meeting a close friend of mine not familiar with haunts at ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM. My friend brought her young daughters, also strangers to the haunt scene.
When we arrived, a big crowd was hooting and howling. We investigated and wouldn’t you know it -- they picked that season to try putting on a freak show. A fully tattooed dude was hanging upside down, supported only by two large metal hooks embedded into his flesh.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and what a doozie this was! The following year the sideshow was gone, never to return.
This isn’t to say haunts should never have side shows, only that they don’t violate generally accepted community standards. For example, we’ve seen excellent side show presentations from haunts like HUSH, ROTTEN MANOR and THE HAUNT that were tastefully produced.
Lewd and crude is just setting yourself up for problems, and totally uncalled for even in an industry known for being wild and crazy.
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 11:50 PM - NBC TV IN LATE SEASON HAUNT PUSH
Just flipping between late night funny guys Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel..
Hmmm...here’s THE TONIGHT SHOW starring JIMMY FALLON with a whimsical poll of various public opinions. One of the questions is, “What’s the best thing about Halloween?” Of course, one of the answers was “HAUNTED HOUSES.”
How about that? Here we are in late November, the last of the SNICKERS bars are gone and NBC chose to air a rerun from October that mentions HAUNTED HOUSES!
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 7 PM - KA-BOOM! FIREWORKS AS SANTA CLAUS COMES TO TOWN
That’s right, SANTA AND MRS. CLAUS are coming to Woodhaven this coming Friday December 1st at 6 PM as part of the tree lighting ceremony at the WOODHAVEN COMMUNITY CENTER.
There will be FIREWORKS, CAROLING, A PARADE, BAKE SALE and much more! https://www.facebook.com/WoodhavenMI/
We are so lucky to have SANTA CLAUS joining us during this busy time of year for him!
Be sure to bring a camera for SANTA pictures after the parade and fireworks.
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - LETTERS TO SANTA CLAUS ALERT
We all know that Santa Claus is busy, keeping up with letters and schedules to deliver presents to the children of the world.
Local authorities are doing everything they can to help Santa. For example, the Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan officially gave Santa the key-to-the-city at the recent America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit.
But the deadline to receive WISH LIST LETTERS is coming soon, and good news has just come from the City of Woodhaven: A special PERSONAL DROP BOX TO SANTA has been set up, with a deadline of December 14th. Click here for more: https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2023/11/29/how-woodhaven-is-helping-get-letters-to-santa/
Get busy writing your letters, then get an adult to drive you to Hall Road in Woodhaven.
And tune in later at 7 PM for more important news about SANTA CLAUS!
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - DETROIT SCORES YET ANOTHER WORLD’S FIRST
You probably already know that the first paved road was on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
We also know that the first haunted attraction in the USA was 1966 in the Detroit suburb Madison Heights with the JAYCEE’S MUTILATION MANSION.
And so it is that we now have another DETROIT USA FIRST, a road that automatically charges electric vehicles that drive on it!
So you can see -- when it comes to haunted attractions & revolutionary automotive matters DETROIT IS NUMBER ONE.
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - DISNEY DECLARES DETROIT ENTERTAINMENT CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, SORTA
We’ve been talking about DISNEY recently, and how they represent excellence in entertainment.
LET THE STORM RAGE ON
One of the giant successes with DISNEY was “FROZEN” with its’ iconic ballad featuring a female empowerment theme. With over 3.3 BILLION views, you can probably guess which song we’re referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU
And now FROZEN is coming to the Fisher Theater in Detroit for a WHOPPING THREE WEEKS. https://www.broadwayindetroit.com/events/frozen/?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIw7rp0PbpggMVkDrUAR36lQQ6EAAYASA AEgIB9fD_BwE
If Disney wasn’t confident of a strong showing in Detroit, they wouldn’t have booked this show for THREE weeks.
So you can see -- as far as Disney is concerned, Detroit is number one in the vast entertainment universe!
NOVEMBER 29, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - FIREWORKS & FREE CONCERT
The weather has turned cold and the ski resorts in Michigan are teaming up with Mother Nature, cranking the snow machines to eleven. Happy skiers will be schussing down the mountains with reckless abandon, with the same fervor as happy haunted attraction patrons.
Perfect time for an outdoor concert with fireworks, right?
No? How about we throw in a massive parade, even longer than America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit?
Welcome to CHRISTMAS IN IDA. Ida is a sleepy little town near Monroe that awakes with a roar every first weekend in December. https://christmasinida.com/
We’ve been to this unlikely festival many times, and it’s a blast! Over 40,000 people attend every year.
Don’t let the cold temperature stop you -- you can warm up while enjoying some ridiculously cheap eats like homemade delicious chili and much more in the building next to the concert stage. Or check out one of the many fabulous food trucks; you can’t go wrong either way.
Do you have a dog? Register to join the whimsical HOLIDAY HOUNDS ON PARADE, where pooches are decked out in their over-the-top holiday garb.
Hey, meet us there -- we’ll be the ones right in the middle of thousands of screaming fans! haha Just kidding, we can’t go this time as my partner is working.
NOVEMBER 28, 2023 TUESDAY 1 PM - NO GUTS NO GLORY
Somebody sign this kid up to be a future haunt performer and/or worker!
A 12 year old kid stumbled upon a fun looking forklift in ANN ARBOR, with keys in the ignition. “That was nice of them,” the boy apparently reasoned before hopping in for a character defining JOY RIDE that landed him an instant international audience.
https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/11/12-year-old-arrested-after-leading-police-on-chase-in-forklift.html https://www.today.com/video/12-year-old-steals-forklift-leads-police-on-hour-long-chase-198880325788 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjK8glZ6sRI
How’s that for spunk? The kid is a shoe-in to be a haunted attraction star! If not performing, maybe behind the scenes operating heavy industrial equipment used in EXTREME HAUNT GAGS.
When we think of EXTREME HAUNT GAGS, SLAUGHTERHOUSE in FOWLERVILLE takes the cake. In the haunted forest maze, they have a caged “room” that you’re lead into for no apparent reason. The entire structure then rises and begins shaking every which way!
The machinery that makes this happen is a special crane of sorts...think it’s called a SKY TRACKER. This bad boy is usually used in construction of apartment buildings. It can safely lift a pre-formed apartment over 20 feet in the air, and then position it exactly as needed.
Of course they don’t leave the thing where stray mischievous 12 year olds can commandeer this mechanical monstrosity, so you won’t be seeing it in the news.
We’d like to interview this precocious spunky youngster, and encourage him to join forces with his friendly local neighborhood haunted attraction “when you grow up.” To which he might reply, “But I don’t wanna grow up!”
God bless him, and all the haunt workers who if given the same opportunity would not hesitate to take the wheel of life for a spin!
NOVEMBER 27, 2023 MONDAY 11:11 PM - STAR WARS MEETS KISS & MAKES OUT
Earlier we talked about STAR WARS from here in DETROIT ROCK CITY.
Which begs the question: What happens when you mix SPACE AGE SCIENCE FICTION with teenage fury ignited by THE DEVIL’S MUSIC?
DETROIT ROCK CITY CONQUERS DISNEY EMPIRE
Are any of you still members of the KISS ARMY?
Remember the KISS ALIVE double LP? The cover shows two kids at a rock concert, holding a KISS ARMY banner in the front row of COBO HALL in DETROIT.
It’s no secret that haunters love heavy metal music, and Detroit played a early pivotal role in its’ creation starting with MOTOWN leading into MC5, MITCH RYDER, MUTZIE, BOB SEGER, SRC, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, ALICE COOPER, and so many more...
What was the first rock concert you ever went to? And what if you saw it at a place you’d never expect to see a rock concert, like a family friendly amusement park?
DAZZLING DISNEY SHOWDOWN
Every American kid I’ve ever met wants to go to DISNEYLAND, or the newer DISNEY WORLD. The Disney brand is FAMOUS FOR FUN!
WAXING SENTIMENTAL RIGHT IN THE CHOPS
Disney is known for many things, from early cartoons like “STEAMBOAT WILLIE” to CINDERELLA’S CASTLE. But most people would never think of HARD ROCK MUSIC with SCIENCE FICTION as being Disney fare, pointing instead to bands like GWAR and SLIPKNOT.
Regardless of the nature, Disney is known for delivering a top-quality product.
It was the the mid-80s, and someone at Disney decided they should create a new rock band that would build on the science fiction wave created by STAR WARS.
And so it was, that for one glorious summer an experimental, sci-fi band rocked Disneyland's Space Stage. With a bass-playing Wookie and an acrobatic frog, the band's existence is nearly unbelievable, and the story behind its’ creation is just as incredible.
HALYX - THE SCI-FI ROCK BAND THAT ALMOST ROCKED THE WORLD
If you’ve ever been in a band, this true story will grab you on several levels including a poignant ending nobody could’ve seen coming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0rDLvg-Lfs
NOVEMBER 27, 2023 MONDAY 11:11 AM - TONGUE IN GROOVE MIXERS
Candy and Fin-Tin can’t stop jumping for joy, because there’s just so much good news over THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!
First of all, the littlest and most vulnerable war hostage ABAGAIL EDAN (only 4 years old) has been released and soon will be BACK IN THE USA where she belongs. As an American citizen, we recognize her God Given Right to someday attend a haunted attraction!
HOORAY for the commander-in-chief who didn’t even take Thanksgiving Day off in his relentless pursuit of justice, declaring that we “won’t stop until every hostage is returned.”
This truly is a time for all Americans to come together and celebrate the many blessing that come from living in the greatest country in the world!
WHETHER KING OR CLOWN, THE WORLD IS YOUR HOMETOWN
We’ve previously talked about which state in the USA is The Capital of Haunted Attractions. But perhaps we need to expand our vision to a global basis, and realize that THE USA IS THE WORLD CAPITAL OF HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS.
GOMER’S ORWELLIAN OPERA
The price of turkeys and gas is down from last year, and unemployment is at a record low. Real wages are rising again as wage growth outpaces inflation. Inflation has slowed in the USA compared to other countries, and unions have helped get workers a better share of the profits they create.
A sharp drop in airfares was likely a contributor to record numbers of air travelers. Even better, delays and difficulties were minimal.
Despite easily verified improvements, some politicians are complaining that our country is “GOING TO HELL.”
As CANDY FISHALOT sez: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, and be nice to everybody instead.”
UNILATERAL FOCAL SHINE
Back on the ground, BLACK FRIDAY set new records and CYBER MONDAY is on track to also be the biggest success ever. This suggests that people have what some call “disposable income.”
This is money people eagerly spend on fun activities like going to haunted attractions which will be an option soon enough. Off-season events are coming from such haunt giants as AZRA, HUSH, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, and ROTTEN MANOR!
NOVEMBER 26, 2023 SUNDAY 8 PM - DISNEY CHRISTMAS MAGIC
Many of us have fond family memories of various presentations from Walt Disney, and there’s another one in the making right now on WXYZ TV 7 DETROIT ABC:
The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration€¯ returns for its eighth year, 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, on ABC with hosts Derek Hough and Julianne Hough. https://www.pennlive.com/entertainment/2023/11/how-to-watch-the-wonderful-world-of-disney-magical-holiday-celebration-tonight-112623.html
NOVEMBER 24, 2023 FRIDAY 7:11 PM - ALL HAIL THE QUEENS
TAYLOR SWIFT and now BEYONCE, when will it ever end?
Not anytime soon, as BEYONCE joins TAYLOR SWIFT in releasing a concert movie. Speaking of which...
Imagine for a moment: the plucky adorable waif CANDY FISHALOT has stumbled upon a glitzy star-studded HOLLYWOOD PARTY with BEYONCE, TAYLOR SWIFT, and SHAKIRA in attendance.
Approaching the entrance, she is stopped by a gruff BOUNCER DUDE who wants to see her invitation. “Yes sir, I am in full compliance but let me ask you -- do you feel more like you do now than when you got here?”
In a moment of confusion, the bouncer lets down his guard.
Candy takes advantage, and removes her DEAD FISH PET HERMAN from her back pocket. She shakes hands with the bouncer whilst placing the dead fish into his hand. Stunned into silence, Candy completes the ruse saying “Great job as usual, Geezer...say Hi! to the wife and kids” as she strolls into the party.
This is one of the scenes from a movie I’m writing, and plants the seed for a later scene where Candy is joined at a haunted attraction in Detroit by her personal posse of BEYONCE, TAYLOR SWIFT, and SHAKIRA for a light painting session by ZIOPTIS promoting female empowerment.
Every movie writer dreams of having their movie made, but often that only happens if you know somebody big in the industry.
In that regard, I have a “lucky ace” up my sleeve.
A close personal friend of mine grew up in the same house as his cousin, who happens to be one of the three singers mentioned above. He was also in the band of UP WITH PEOPLE! for the two years I traveled with them. I won’t say which singer he’s related to, only that it was destiny that this child ended up in such a revered place in the entertainment industry.
Haunted attractions are indeed part of the entertainment industry. But so far I’ve never seen a movie including haunted attractions that crosses over from a hapless skinny waif who life has crapped on relentlessly, to a sensational spectacular success.
Screenwriters call this THE HERO’S JOURNEY, a common theme of such movie giants as STAR WARS. The protagonist, in this case LUKE SKYWALKER, has a mission to accomplish against all odds.
He relentlessly pursues justice, but at the worst possible moment things go awry. This is known as the ALL IS LOST moment, destroying all hope of accomplishing the mission. Of course, after barely surviving the ordeal, the hero accomplishes the big goal for the HAPPY ENDING audiences crave.
The SAG-AFTRA strike is over, time to get back to work! Maybe even tomorrow or Monday, if I feel like it... :)
NOVEMBER 24, 2023 FRIDAY 1 AM - SAVE 100% ON BLACK FRIDAY
BLACK FRIDAY is a shopping tradition for many, and the stores feed into the frenzy with promises of big savings. We saw one offering 65% off, suggesting there’s at least 100% markup. Another had $60 boots for $20, sure to please moms looking to keep the kiddies feet warm when the snow hits.
Beyond the price reductions, for some BLACK FRIDAY actually has something important in common with haunted attractions -- a bonding shared experience with friends and/or family. It’s an adventure, it’s fun...two things also true of haunted attractions, right? For these people, BLACK FRIDAY is great and we applaud their efforts.
On the other hand, many people already have way too much stuff and Christmas presents are relegated only to that which goes away. Gourmet treats are allowed, but If it consumes space in an ongoing basis it’s out.
Even if that’s you, perhaps you’ve been infected with the madness and have decided to snag some great deals.
But how badly do you really need a three dollar toaster?
We have a much better plan for you, and you’ll save even more: 1) Set your alarm clock for 4 AM. 2) Get up at 4 AM and hide your car keys. 3) Go back to sleep and I’ll see you in slumber land.
There -- you just saved 100%! You’re welcome.
FOMO - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SCARCITY
In sales, there’s a tactic known as the “eminent time close.” The salesman warns you should buy now, because the price goes back up tomorrow and/or it will be sold out. Psychology calls it “fear of missing out,” but in most cases it’s unfounded. There are 20 more pallets in the back.
DON’T BE FOOLED - “AVOID FUTURE REGRET & DISAPPOINTMENT” IS A PLOY FOR SUCKERS
No hurry, and no need to wait in abnormally long lines. If you really need that new 70 INCH TV it’ll be there whenever you get around to going.
NOVEMBER 23, 2023 THURSDAY 11:50 AM - MAYOR DUGGAN GIVES SANTA CLAUS KEY TO THE CITY
DETROIT PARADE ON WDIV TV 4 NOW!
The float from DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL is a standout fave to us, and flipping over to the MACY’S PARADE in NEW YORK on CBS the float from EN VOGUE is exquisite with a beautiful GANESH ELEPHANT of sorts.
This is really smart for Mayor Mike Duggan -- giving Santa total access so he can deliver all the presents with ease.
NOVEMBER 23, 2023 THURSDAY 3 AM - GOBBLE GOBBLE GO-GO
HAPPY THANKSGIVING everybody! May your turkey be moist, and your loved ones near.
We have many fine things to be thankful for, including the smartest most discerning members of the haunt community...you!
Safe travels if you’re going out-of-town by planes, trains, or automobiles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planes,_Trains_and_Automobiles And if there’s a JOHN CANDY in your circle, please have mercy upon their sorry butt.
Take pity upon the BOZOS OF LIFE that existence has rudely thrust into your pathway to the bliss of Babylon. Thank you. Very mush.
PRAISE THE LORD & PASS THE AMMUNITION
Always remember that KARMA WILL PUNISH YOU if you get out of line and end up on SANTA’S NAUGHTY LIST.
And please, oh Lord, let us always have the wisdom to know revenge is a dish best served cold. We beseech thee, keep us safe from the authorities who would frown upon our relentless pursuit of schadenfreunde. Amen.
NOVEMBER 22, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - TURKEY TIME AGAIN!
Yum, who doesn’t love some moist and delicious turkey on Thanksgiving? Gotta have it -- meat’s meat and a man’s gotta eat, right? Say “yes.”
But they just take so long to cook, unless you drop the whole thing in a barrel of super heated oil. Every year, would-be super chefs burn their garages down doing this.
You could always go on YOUTUBE and learn how to cook a gourmet turkey in an hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhYIlntrxDs
But even that’s too much work on a day when you’re supposed to have your cake and eat it too.
Submitted for your approval, the following menu:
Live dosa station, Live pain puri station, Live Jalebi station in ghee, Tandoori turkey, Veg Hakka noodles, Fruits, Salad, Papad and chutneys, Tandoori whole chicken, Chicken wings, Goat roganjosh, Goan fish curry, Veg biryani, Pay-Bhaji, Tawa chicken, Mirchi pakoda, Gobhi manchurian, Hot & sour soup, Tea, Coffee, Mango lassi, and a lot more ..!!
Welcome to PUNJAB SWEETS & INDIAN CUISINE in LIVONIA AT 36701 Plymouth Road, with their fabulous Thanksgiving Day Buffet from 11 AM - 9 PM at $24.99 per person.
TURKEY FOR ME, TURKEY FOR YOU
We went to this last year, and the TANDOORI TURKEY was to die for...and CANDY went absolutely insane over the GOAN FISH CURRY! https://www.facebook.com/punjabcater/ https://punjabcuisinemi.com/
NOVEMBER 22, 2023 WEDNESDAY 11:11 AM - ART CLASS DUMMY
I’m horrible when it comes to drawing.
I can play a mean triple paradiddle, backwards and then forwards...and of course the double and single paradiddle. Not only that, I can play these on the snare drum or between the snare drum and bass drum.
I can play quarter notes on the bell of the ride cymbal and then come in with triplets on the snare drum, one of many poly rhythms that rely on independence of limbs.
But my illustrations stink.
AI TO THE RESCUE
And so it was that I found myself logging onto www.leonardo.ai to let a computer draw some silly stuff to commemorate World Television Day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
NOVEMBER 21, 2023 TUESDAY 8 PM - A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT
Once upon a time that was the promise...from somebody, somewhere...
And everything starts as an idea as we’ve said before.
As it happened this guy named Philo Taylor Farnsworth had an idea to create the first electric television in 1927, cementing his status as an innovative American inventor.
So forget the chickens, we’d say the updated slogan could be A TV IN EVERY HOME.
HAPPY WORLD TELEVISION DAY
Certainly, TV helps the haunted attraction genre on various platforms ranging from media giants to YOUTUBE postings from your neighbor’s over-the-top yard haunt. In this respect, TV IS TOPS!
On the other hand some people call the TV set THE IDIOT BOX, and warn this insidious device will suck your brains out and spit them out making an embarrassing mess on the floor.
So today we recognize World Television Day...hmmm, what kind of silly AI ART can Leonardo.AI generate? Let’s see.....need prompts how about: a dancing planet earth with an old TV set for a head, flying demonic monkeys with TV sets for heads, flames emanating from monkey butts, wormhole in background
NOVEMBER 21, 2023 TUESDAY 7 PM - ANYTHING YOU WANT & MUCH, MUCH MORE!
You can learn almost anything on YOUTUBE. Whether it’s how many BLAST BEATS per second a crazy fast drummer can hit or how to replace the broken thingamajig on your car, it’s all there. https://www.facebook.com/reel/179390068582898 https://www.facebook.com/reel/296991869838732
17,000 YEARS & COUNTING
I saw an article about how much stuff is on YOUTUBE.
NOVEMBER 21, 2023 TUESDAY 11:11 AM - MOTHER GOOSE ON THE LOOSE
AMERICA’S THANKSGIVING PARADE will be rolling down Woodward Avenue in Detroit this coming Thursday morning, and the whole world will be watching live in person and on millions of TV sets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America%27s_Thanksgiving_Parade
MOTHER GOOSE is the longest running float in the parade to our knowledge, and this is their 97th year! Rumor has it that MOTHER GOOSE has sprouted new wings, and will feature a SCIENCE FICTION SPACE AGE twist for the first time.
This is an event so prestigious that even SANTA CLAUS will be part of the festivities, as well as floats and inflatable creatures of all kinds. MOTOWN MUSIC is always well represented, as it should be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fin0HWYz990
But try as we might, we can’t remember ever seeing a float dedicated to HAUNTED HOUSES / ATTRACTIONS.
If MOTHER GOOSE can make the scene in such a big way, why not HAUNTED HOUSES too?
Certainly the enthusiasm and passion for haunts is there, just not a float dedicated to them to our knowledge. We’ve already seen a SPOOKY GHOST SHIP FLOAT in another Michigan parade, in Romulus or Belleville as I recall...think it was in conjunction with DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS.
So who will step up to the plate for next year and get in touch with the Selection Committee for AMERICA’S THANKSGIVING PARADE? https://theparade.org/
NEW FLOAT REVEAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fadn_OWR2DM PARADE COUNTDOWN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZviQe5QkEA
NOVEMBER 18, 2023 SATURDAY 1 PM - AN APPLE A DAY
Everybody loves apples! Who doesn’t love some FRESH MICHIGAN CIDER & DONUTS? How about, like right now?
It’s the BLAKE’S HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA: https://blakefarms.com/event/holiday-extravaganza/ https://www.fox2detroit.com/video/1313927 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrhAedHJcUE
Oh boy, it’s still Halloween...sorta. BLAKE’S is a big winner any time of year!
And when you go, remember our “serving suggestion.” Dipping your donuts in apple cider is okay, but better yet get a jar of APPLE BUTTER and use that for donut dipping.
Slather it on. Gulp it down. You’re welcome.
NOVEMBER 17, 2023 FRIDAY 11:11 AM - QUICK PHOTO ACCESS
A link to our photostream on FLICKR now appears at the bottom of the Mission Statement above. You’ll see the most current pics first. Or click on “Albums” where the over 9,000 pics are grouped into various categories.
NOVEMBER 16, 2023 THURSDAY 11:11 PM - LOCAL TREASURE IN BATTLE AGAINST BULLDOZER
Some of you may remember when JOHNNY APPLESEED’S was bulldozed to make room for a new strip mall, the kind where you typically find FAMILY DOLLAR and SUBWAY.
It seemed like a travesty to us, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
And so it is that now we find MARVELOUS MARVIN’S MECHANICAL MUSEUM in FARMINGTON HILLS is in danger of being bulldozed to make room for a new MEIJER store. http://www.marvin3m.com/ https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2023/11/15/marvelous-marvins-beloved-farmington-hills-arcade-could-face-demolition/71594498007/ https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2023/11/16/marvins-mechanical-museum-farmington-hills-close-meijer/71602617007/
You can help by signing a petition: https://www.change.org/p/save-marvin-s-marvelous-mechanical-museum
NOVEMBER 16, 2023 THURSDAY 4 PM - FIREWORKS TONIGHT!
It’s opening night for the WAYNE COUNTY LIGHTFEST: https://www.waynecounty.com/departments/publicservices/parks/wayne-county-lightfest.aspx
NOVEMBER 15, 2023 WEDNESDAY 10 AM - HOW ELLEN MISSED THE BOAT
Anyone remember THE ELLEN SHOW? Comic Ellen DeGeneres hosted this feel good afternoon talk show on nationwide TV until its’ SWAN SONG a few years ago.
It was wildly popular, and my partner was a big fan. I didn’t personally watch it, but became interested when she sent a show employee through a haunted house at Halloween time. The employee was a scaredy cat who was easily frightened, and watching him freak out was amusing.
Ellen never went herself, remaining in the comfort of luxurious furniture on the set of her TV show while poking fun at the hapless victim.
While we appreciated how Ellen helped raise awareness of haunts, we also lamented that she used the same haunt every year -- think it was from UNIVERSAL STUDIOS.
So we embarked on a MISSION FROM GOD, and called in our big guns to prepare a special plea to Ellen to instead come to Detroit for her next annual haunted house show.
With custom wildly creative artwork from BRIAN BROSNAHAN decorating the handwritten letter and envelope to attract attention, we sent a package to Ellen. We thanked her for doing the haunt segment, then suggested she take it to a new level and come to Detroit where haunted attractions started in 1966 -- three years before Disney debuted their HAUNTED MANSION.
We told her she could see two awesome haunts in the same city of Pontiac, which at the time was home to both THE REALM OF DARKNESS and EREBUS.
Unfortunately, Ellen foolishly ignored our instructions and failed to acknowledge our correspondence. She again used the HOLLYWOOD HAUNT for her prank instead, and soon enough she had her SWAN SONG.
This goes to prove that indeed every show eventually ends, and she blew it big time ignoring the wonderful experience waiting for her. We also suggested that she personally accompany the hapless employee, which also was ignored by Ellen.
Too bad, so sad! You missed out Ellen, and you’ll never know how good you could have had it thanks to the Trusty Zioptis Foundation. History doesn’t reveal its’ alternatives, but we think THE REALM OF DARKNESS would’ve blown away the Hollywood haunt they used over and over.
THE REALM OF DARKNESS was critically acclaimed as being the most imaginative and exquisite haunted attraction in Michigan by many observers, ratings services and such...including us. All of their archived ZIOPTIS REVIEWS are still available in Reviews. I just looked at the REALM REVIEW 2006 and found this:
WELL, I MADE IT TO THE REALM OF DARKNESS, THANKS AGAIN FOR THE INFO. I CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT WHAT A GREAT TIME I HAD. I SPENT A GREAT MANY YEARS IN THE HAUNT BUSINESS AND THIS IS TOP NOTCH. LITTLE DID I KNOW IT WAS DENISE FROM THE OLD HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES DAYS, IT WAS COOL TO SPEND A FEW MINUTES TALKING WITH HER. HOPE THESE GUYS KEEP IT GOING. THIS IS WHAT TRUE COMMITMENT CAN DO FOR THE HAUNT INDUSTRY. I AGREE WITH YOU IN GIVING THEM #1 HOUSE IN MICHIGAN.
Indeed, THE REALM OF DARKNESS was a legendary haunt for the ages. To this day, a sister in law of mine raves about the amazing experiences she had there and says THE REALM OF DARKNESS is the best haunt ever in Michigan!
As we’ve said, everyone is entitled to their opinion...and as much as I respect and love my sister in law she never made it to THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN which also was a truly iconic legendary haunt for the ages. She may have said something similar about THE HAUNTING if she had gone...educated guess here.
THE HAUNTING was the brainchild of famed Master Magician STUART MAC DONALD, who was given free rein to convert the Lenawee County Fairgrounds into a haunted attraction and outdoor theater for magic shows. Later he did mind blowing close-up magic indoors in an intimate setting.
THE HAUNTING featured the first ever LIQUID SKY ROOM in the haunt industry to our knowledge, as well as the MOST MIND BLOWING GAG we’ve ever seen at any haunt.
We described it last year, but didn’t give away the brilliant secret as to how it’s accomplished. Basically, it was a room that you could not escape from...despite multiple free-choices made you always end up where you started...a big time head scratcher. It took a top-level pro magician to conceive and achieve this miracle.
STUART MAC DONALD is still performing magic but not in Michigan. He was swept away from The Mitten when he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from an EAST COAST TELEVISION SYNDICATE, where to our knowledge he still works.
STUART also appeared on the TV show PENN & TELLER: FOOL US where pro magicians try their best to fool the famed magic duo PENN & TELLER. And YES, STUART did fool them. This is among the highest possible accomplishments for pro magicians!
As much as we miss THE HAUNTING & THE REALM OF DARKNESS, we realize that eventually all shows end. There are at least 138 haunts that closed in Michigan: http://www.zioptis.com/html/closed.shtml
NOVEMBER 14, 2023 TUESDAY 7 PM - CONCLUSION OF OLYMPIC VILLAGE BECOMES REAL LIFE HAUNTED HOUSE from NOVEMBER 9, 2023 THURSDAY 4 PM - LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION!
This true story is from my travels with the international music troupe UP WITH PEOPLE! at the MUNICH OLYMPICS.
When we left off the terrorist group called BLACK SEPTEMBER abducted as many athletes from Israel as they could, during the first of our two shows scheduled.
This was happening only about 200 yards away from the auditorium we were performing in.
It was the first time in history to my knowledge that a SHOCKING INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM incident like this had occurred.
Oblivious to the mayhem too close for comfort, we finished our show and were then told of the predicament.
The terrorists were still on the loose, and were upset that they couldn’t abduct all the Israeli athletes as planned as they attacked the OLYMPIC VILLAGE. Where were the remaining athletes? They were in the auditorium for the UP WITH PEOPLE shows!
An emergency cast meeting was held to decide what we should do. The Olympic officials left it to us -- should we go on with the 2nd show as planned or cancel it? We might be setting ourselves up as sitting ducks if we went on stage again. Security would try to protect everybody, but there were no guarantees.
The cast director said all 150 of us would have to unanimously agree to go on with the 2nd show. If even one person didn’t want to take the chance, we would cancel it.
We had a secret vote, with each member placing a piece of paper into a hat with YES or NO written on it. This was the only way someone could object and not be singled out, so as to ensure a free choice.
The votes came out of the hat, and all of them were YES.
And so it was that we played a show with terrorists still on the loose, with the possibility of us setting ourselves up for disaster.
Pics from our Munich adventure are in this album of pics from my photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72157651813987571
NOVEMBER 14, 2023 TUESDAY 5 PM - SANTA CLAUS COMES EARLY & THROWS FREE BASH AT HINES DRIVE
The WAYNE COUNTY LIGHTFEST kicks off this coming Thursday Nov. 16th in WESTLAND, which is also home of ELOISE ASYLUM and HUSH. https://www.waynecounty.com/departments/publicservices/parks/wayne-county-lightfest.aspx
Festivities start at 6 PM and include music, appearances by SANTA & MRS. CLAUS, and FIREWORKS. Opening night Thursday is free, and after that admission is $5 per vehicle.
This wildly successful event grows bigger and better every year, with 2023 marking their 30th Anniversary!
NOVEMBER 14, 2023 TUESDAY 12 NOON - MULTI-LEVEL ENTERTAINING AT HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS (below from Nov. 11, 6 AM) NOW FINISHED
NOVEMBER 14, 2023 TUESDAY 11:11 AM - SEXIEST MAN ALIVE IN BID TO REPLACE THANKSGIVING WITH HALLOWEEN
THANKSGIVING is coming soon, but Hollywood has something else in mind.
HOLLYWOOD DECLARES HAUNT SEASON NOW IN FULL SWING
Just when the public at large may be forgetting what fun the Halloween season is, along comes a new HORROR / SLASHER MOVIE to remind them. It’s the recently crowned SEXIEST MAN ALIVE, PATRICK DEMPSEY in his new movie sensation “THANKSGIVING.”
HOLLYWOOD DECLARES HALLOWEEN CONTINUES THRU THANKSGIVING
The movie title cleverly attracts the public with its’ timely release. But make no mistake -- the movie strongly embodies the ghastly goodness of the haunted attraction season. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(2023_film)#:~:text=6%20External%20links-,Premise,out%20of%20the%20town's%20inhabitants
TOSS THE TURKEY & POUR THE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE
So you can see -- as far as Hollywood is concerned the haunted attraction season continues past Halloween.
NOVEMBER 12, 2023 SUNDAY 11:11 AM - NEW HIT LIST ADDED
The latest HIT LIST detailing 48,658 hits over the last period now appears in Archive 33: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml
NOVEMBER 12, 2023 SUNDAY 10 AM - SECRET VOICE REVEALED AFTER 25 YEARS
Who is VERONICA TAYLOR? You may not recognize this name, but she’s a TOP VOICE OVER TALENT and often these people go unnoticed and unrecognized.
But you probably have heard of ASH KETCHUM from POKEMON, right? Well, here’s your chance to meet the voice actor who plays this iconic character as VERONICA TAYLOR appears at MOTOR CITY COMIC CON in NOVI. Today is the last day: https://motorcitycomiccon.com/
NOVEMBER 12, 2023 SUNDAY 9 AM - FIREWORKS TONIGHT!
You are invited to DIWALI CELEBRATIONS in CANTON tonight at 3176 S. Canton Center Road. CHOPDA PUJAN is at 5 PM, FIREWORKS at 8 PM.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 11:11 PM - PARTY ALL AROUND THE WORLD
OH BOY! There’s dancing in the streets of Detroit, and everywhere where time exists. And of course, the most special of special times is ELEVEN ELEVEN on ELEVEN ELEVEN.
The munchkins are so cute in their ELEVEN ELEVEN holiday outfits, marching down MAIN STREET in the ELEVEN ELEVEN parade. WHOOPEE!
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 9 PM - TAYLOR SWIFT JOINS THE DETROIT LIONS & PROPOSES MARRIAGE TO MATTHEW SANFORD
CANDY FISHALOT is confused, again. She means well, but is misguided by her obsession with fish, cute guys that play football, and of course TAYLOR SWIFT.
We tried to correct her about who the current QB for The Lions is, to no avail. But that’s okay...she’s so cute, even when she’s throwing up.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 8 PM - SWIFTIES SEND POLITICAL BULLIES PACKING & CRYING FOR MERCY
TAYLOR SWIFT is again striking a blow for democracy, even though she was born in Canada.
With just six words, she destroyed “the guy with the hair” as FIN-TIN calls him: SWIFTIES...YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AtEthVQSjE
Fin-Tin is confused, but happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 12 NOON - 75 MEGABYTES FOR ONE PICTURE - OVERKILL OR PIXEL PARADISE?
Are we insane? The original image from HUSH last year is only like 10 megabytes. Why in the world would we release a picture with such insanely high resolution?
The image has been optimized with Photoshop, and then upscaled by 600% with AI processing before undergoing HDR conversion.
Try zooming in...a lot. Only then can you appreciate the difference extreme high-resolution can make:
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 11:11 AM - DETROIT ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET FOR ROCK ROYALTY
Quick, who are the KINGS OF METAL?
Many would say it’s METALLICA, who are in town this weekend at FORD FIELD: https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/brian-mccollum/2023/11/10/metallica-detroit-ford-field-review-photos-set-list/71477248007/
The set list is different each night!
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 10 AM - SUPER HERO YOU!
MOTOR CITY COMIC CON is in full swing thru tomorrow: https://motorcitycomiccon.com/
This event is near and dear to the haunt community, and is another chance to enter a fantasy land of things and deeds fantastic.
COSPLAY is giant at this event with amazing costumes, many of them homemade. Let’s take a look in the world’s largest photo sharing service FLICKR: https://www.flickriver.com/groups/cosplayuniverse/pool/interesting/ https://www.flickriver.com/groups/cosplayfever/pool/interesting/ https://www.flickriver.com/groups/cosplayworld/pool/interesting/
BTW, FLICKRIVER is the same thing as FLICKR. It’s just an easier way to access the site for some.
So head on over to the convention and have some fun! And please support local musicians playing in bands at venues like UFO FACTORY - DETROIT, SMALL’S BAR - DETROIT, DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE - GROSSE POINTE FARMS and 342 BAR & GRILL - DEARBORN HEIGHTS.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 6 AM - MULTI-LEVEL ENTERTAINING AT HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS
Haunters come to haunts to have an experience unlike any other, to be entertained in that most special of ways the genre is famous for.
But when does the entertainment start?
We’d say it starts before the haunters arrive, during the car ride or even earlier. Excited conversations on the phone can build the anticipation, especially for those who are going to their first ever haunted house. They’ve heard stories, some of them true and others fabricated for effect.
Either way, they know that exciting fun awaits. At some haunts, the show starts before entering the actual haunt. Strolling actors and side shows can up the ante big time.
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE has a variation on this theme, turning the heated & covered queue area into a DANCE CLUB with PRO AUDIO & LIGHTING.
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION wowed us in 2023 with three side shows featuring acrobatic superhuman performances by three talented young ladies. One of them reminded us of the mermaid we saw in performances with CIRQUE ITALIA shows. CIRQUE pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/albums/72177720300900927
Before HUSH, the last time we recall seeing this top quality level of queue area shows was at THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS at the original WALDORF BUILDING location. They had a stage show featuring cleverly choreographed routines with skilled dancers, special lighting and a custom music track.
In case you didn’t know, THE HAUNT is often held as a gold standard to which other haunts should aspire to achieve.
NOVEMBER 11, 2023 SATURDAY 4 AM - LET THE PARTY BEGIN
HAPPY ELEVEN ELEVEN! The big day is finally here, and the children are donning their holiday garb for the parades, festivals and such.
ELEVEN ELEVEN comes only once a year, and of course we also remember Veterans on this date.
Many celebrate ELEVEN ELEVEN as a GALACTIC GALA and consider it to be a magic portal to other dimensions hiding in plain sight. There are societies based on the concept of ELEVEN ELEVEN being a gateway number to other realms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11:11_(numerology)
There are many special mathematical miracles about ELEVEN ELEVEN that can not be denied. Backwards or forwards, it remains the same. Upside down or right side up, it remains the same. A clock that is stuck at 11:11 is always correct twice a day.
This nifty number comes in handy in a multitude of life situations, and is preferred 3 to 1 by discerning butterflies on all continents except of course Antarctica where butterflies do not exist. Also, butterflies are unique in that we have never seen a haunted attraction that features them.
Pay no attention to any of this nonsense. Honor the Veterans in your life today. Thank you. Very mush.
NOVEMBER 9, 2023 THURSDAY 4 PM - LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION!
WHOOPEE! The record-breaking 4 month plus long strike by my union SAG-AFTRA is finally over.
But don’t look for me on the silver screen or TV -- you’ll never see me there as I’m exclusively a VO guy (voice-over).
I’ve already had more than enough “screen time” many moons ago, drumming with various bands as well as UP WITH PEOPLE! in nine different countries and about half of the USA states.
***SIDEBAR: We’ve been indulging in fictitious stories recently, but this one is absolutely true.***
OLYMPIC VILLAGE BECOMES REAL LIFE HAUNTED HOUSE
I had a real life scare that freaked out my parents, as it appeared on worldwide TV. We were performing our SMILE UNTIL IT HURTS happy-go-lucky UP WITH PEOPLE! show for athletes at the MUNICH, GERMANY OLYMPICS.
Everything was peaches & cream until a terrorist group called BLACK SEPTEMBER abducted as many athletes from Israel as they could, during the first of our two shows scheduled.
This was happening only about 200 yards away from the auditorium we were performing in.
It was the first time in history to my knowledge that a SHOCKING INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM incident like this had occurred.
As horrible as all this was, it was about to get worse...a lot worse...
CONCLUSION COMING LATER!
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - LICENSE PLATE FUN
When my family used to go on vacation in our station wagon (mini vans were still far off) we had a game we played, seeing who could spot the license plate from farthest away or an unusual vanity plate.
My partner just called, and today she saw a vanity plate that caught her attention. It said SYNISTR.
Hmmm...there used to be a haunt called SINISTER in UTICA.
We’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth revisiting.
SINISTER was a killer haunt by all measures, and it wasn’t just us singing their praises. Multiple other haunt review / rating services critically acclaimed SINISTER as a 5 STAR HAUNT.
SINISTER had lots of unique “tricks up their sleeve.” One of our faves was the CHICKEN MAN who roamed the queue line area.
His outfit was outstanding, a custom made costume with striking realism. He walked like a chicken, talked like a chicken, thought like a chicken, and even smelled like a chicken!
So how did he even smell like chicken?
With chicken! He carried a fully cooked rotisserie chicken, like they sell at Kroger or Meijer. CHICKEN MAN then sliced off sections of chicken and offered them as snacks for the haunters.
We were happy to accept the delicious and wholesome meat. After all, meat’s meat and a man’s gotta eat!
It gets better: CHICKEN MAN then ate some himself, creating a psychological dilemma. The frenzied turmoil of a CANNIBAL ON THE LOOSE exploded, as he was torn between the need to eat and DEVOURING HIS OWN CHILD.
He interrogates you, asking when you last ATE HUMAN FLESH? Only then could you feel his shame of “committing the sin of cannibalism.” GREAT STUFF, TOTALLY HILARIOUS.
Inside the haunt, things got even stranger and as usual they saved the BIGGEST WOW for the last room which we called the ZEBRA STROBE ROOM.
The room was painted in black & white stripes front to back and top to bottom, and lit with only a slowly flashing XENON FLASH TUBE STROBE. A highly acrobatic mad man dressed in black & white zebra stripes appeared to be flying across the room, with herky jerky motions that seemed impossible.
So if this haunt was so cool, why did it fold? They did everything right. They advertised in the haunt rags, and cranked it to ELEVEN every night. Despite all that, the crowds never came for unknown reasons. To us this was a travesty, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
The lesson here is that no haunt should be written off for low attendance, and also that every haunt eventually sings its’ SWAN SONG.
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - HOUDINI RETURNS FROM THE DEAD
Did you know that famed magician HARRY HOUDINI died in Detroit?
Here’s your chance to travel back in time to the ROARING TWENTIES:
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - GRANDMA DROPS DEAD ON PENN & TELLER
This dropped just yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwnaezj134Q
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 12 NOON - ROB ZOMBIE: HAUNT HERO OR ZERO?
ROB ZOMBIE: HAUNT HERO OR HAUNT DESTROYER?
Haunted attractions and rock music go together like cheese & crackers.
If you had to name one single rock song that embodies the spirit of haunting, that you’ve heard blasting on PA systems at many haunts, it’s probably ROB ZOMBIE’S “DRAGULA.”
ROB ZOMBIE has a wild stage presence, and also has become well known for horror movies and even haunted attractions.
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 11:11 AM - NATIONWIDE DEBATE SNUBBED BY PROMINENT POLITICAL DUMMY
Confirmed: Fin-Tin The Dirt Faced Clown will not participate in tonight’s Presidential Candidate Debate.
FIN-TIN doesn’t even know what politics is, because as a child his mommy dropped him on his head. He is blissfully ignorant of the shenanigans of such proceedings.
Fin-Tin is happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 8, 2023 WEDNESDAY 5 AM - MEDIA FEEDING FRENZY IN HOME OF HUSH & ELOISE ASYLUM
The media can’t stop gushing about Westland, hometown of TWO MAJOR HAUNTS -- HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION and ELOISE ASYLUM.
This time it’s WDIV TV-4 DETROIT with “WHAT MAKES WESTLAND GREAT” during the local news.
Without even watching, we can tell you what makes Westland so fabulous -- it’s having TWO premiere Michigan Haunted Attractions.
In what is widely considered to be the MOST COMPETITIVE HAUNT MARKET IN THE WORLD, Westland shines like a “city on a hill” beaming its’ INTENSE SPOOKY SPIRIT upon the planet Earth.
So you can see -- as far as the media is concerned WESTLAND IS #1 when it comes to Michigan cities that have two primo haunted attractions.
We are happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 11 PM - A THOUSAND WORDS ISN’T ENOUGH
Wow, the pictures from THE SCREAM MACHINE, HUSH & THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT are looking good...
Also STAR WARS MEETS KISS is in the works, sure to interest you if you like STAR WARS and/or KISS.
Stand by, my little monkeys...
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 10:30 PM - RED
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 10 PM - BEYONCE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF USA, TAYLOR SWIFT IN SURPRISE VIP BID
CANDY & FIN-TIN are again in the other room watching late night comics on YOUTUBE, yucking it up...CANDY jumped for joy when they showed a picture of 2 gals together who CANDY positively idolizes -- TAYLOR SWIFT & BEYONCE. It’s during the segment called “AMBER SAYS WHAT?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na8tL0Sq-rU
MEANWHILE, the Westland election results are in and the results are staggering:
BEYONCE RENAISSANCE TOUR - $579 MILLION SMACKEROOS
TAYLOR SWIFT ERAS TOUR - $780 MILLION GROSS / $305 MILLION PERSONAL SMACKEROOS
CANDY SEZ: It doesn’t matter how much money they made, because music is love and love is priceless.
CANDY is wise, and stinks of garlic almost constantly. CANDY & her best friend LADY J often snack on “cheese & crackers.” But there’s no cheese -- it’s fresh & wholesome GARLIC PASTE from SUPER GREENLAND MARKET.
Slather it on, gulp it down. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 7 PM - HOME OF HUSH & ELOISE IS KEY RACE TO WATCH ON ELECTION NIGHT
It’s WESTLAND in the news, again! Today is Election Day in WESTLAND.
CANDY & FIN-TIN are again in the other room watching the news and eating Halal bologna (with olives) sandwiches from SUPER GREENLAND.* https://www.facebook.com/supergreenland/
FIN-TIN is jumping up and down gleefully, asking: “Which haunted house will win the election in Westland, HUSH or ELOISE?”
CANDY tried to explain it’s not that kind of election, but the clueless clown didn’t get it so she commanded, “Alexa: Show me REN & STIMPY.”
Once again, Fin-Tin is happy and life is good.
* = This store makes their own GARLIC PASTE, BABA GHANOUSH, HOMMUS**, stuffed grape leaves, Halal beef bologna (sells out quickly) and spicy Halal hot dogs that will knock your socks off. SERVING SUGGESTION: Heat stuffed grape leaves briefly in microwave oven, then dip in garlic paste for a blissful gourmet treat guaranteed to make your mouth and tummy happy.
** = Available in original, spicy, or spinach flavors.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F1TmBygqp8 DO NOT VIEW - PERMANENT PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE MAY RESULT - WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU FOOLISHLY IGNORE THIS NON-BINDING WARNING & END UP IN ELOISE ASYLUM. THANK YOU. VERY MUSH.
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 6 PM - HOW THE INTERNET KILLED A HAUNTED HOUSE URBAN LEGEND PART TWO
Earlier we discussed a MYSTERY HAUNT rumor that used to go around many moons ago. (see below)
So what happened to it? In an age of misinformation and so-called ALTERNATE FACTS, a dramatic fake story about a renegade haunted house seems plausible if not likely.
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 4 PM - HOME OF HUSH & ELOISE ASYLUM IN RELENTLESS MEDIA BLITZ
WESTLAND is in the TV NEWS again, this time on WDIV TV-4 DETROIT.
Live segments from BRAY’S HAMBURGERS* will be featured this afternoon in a community forum of sorts, the subjects of which have not yet been revealed.
Will they talk about the WILDLY SUCCESSFUL HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in WESTLAND?
Inquiring minds want to know! Tune in at 5 PM to WDIV TV 4 and find out for yourself.
* = The place with the donkey out front.
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 3 PM - DAZZLING HOLOGRAPHIC FAN
https://oteveninetl.com/products/human-series https://oteveninetl.com/products/human-series?mima=fb569874a5t8b6a5s5&fbclid=IwAR2JfCEVFcijxL3XU58QfW_6V_iIaz3r4 ThKNaKC5bRJ7t6TE8Ku8J27mnA
CREEPY LATEX MASKS: https://www.mostlydead.com/
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 TUESDAY 3 AM - HELP YOUR NIGHTMARES COME TRUE!
Just found this, of possible interest: https://hauntpages.com/
NOVEMBER 6, 2023 MONDAY 7 PM - HOW THE INTERNET KILLED A HAUNTED HOUSE URBAN LEGEND PART ONE
Remember “The Telephone Game”? A story is made up and written down, then repeated around a circle of people one-by-one. The end result is a far cry from the original, and it’s hilarious.
This same concept used to find its’ way into haunted house legends, with a more sinister angle.
We’ve talked about this before, but it’s been some time and we don’t want the legend to die.
It has to do with a planted rumor about a haunted house so horribly disgusting that nobody ever makes it all the way through. As the story goes, admission is $100! But there are ten rooms, and you get $10 back for each room you make it through. Of course, “nobody has ever made it all the way through.”
Often this mystery haunt is put on by a renegade frat house at MSU or U of M, or by students that got kicked out of med school for stealing body parts used in the haunt.
This was a story whispered among haunters in queue lines, “Did you hear about the most disgusting haunt that’s turning people into basket cases? Freddie and Susie went, and Freddie ended up going insane!”
But if you asked where this mystery haunt is, they could never tell you...because it never existed. Of course that didn’t stop people from saying something like “I didn’t actually go to it, but Susie’s brother did and he’s afraid to tell her where it is.”
The descriptions of the rooms grew more insidious with each repetition.
For example, one version describes the first room as having a foot of water that you must wade through after taking off your shoes and socks of course. The “room” has been stocked with LIVE SNAKES and other creepy crawly aquatic creatures.
Your shoes and socks stay off in the second room, which is infested with hundreds of rats. The teeth have been removed from the rats, “so they won’t get sued and thrown in jail.”
Next is a room that’s pitch black with narrow passageways, forcing you to navigate with your hands. In some haunts you’d get a mild ELECTRIC SHOCK at this point, but that’s just for starters here.
At the MYSTERY HAUNT you get the shock first, and then are overcome with the overwhelming stench of death as you feel ROTTING TURKEY GUTS that are affixed to the walls. You continue in total blackness, until the WOWSER ending.
You’re forced into a small, confining room that stinks even worse. A fog machine fills the room quickly, then a powerful strobe light blinds you. As the fog dissipates you finally see what stinks so bad. It’s REAL PIG HEADS, decapitated several days ago.
PART TWO COMING LATER
NOVEMBER 6, 2023 MONDAY 12 NOON - MAKING HALLOWEEN MAGICALLY REAPPEAR
It’s so easy! Just show this video on the JUMBO TRON in your front yard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sON_MIgf-Sk
NOVEMBER 6, 2023 MONDAY 11:11 AM - DATELINE: NEW YORK - CANDY FISHALOT IN CRITICAL TESTIMONY FLAP
CANDY & FIN-TIN have arrived in New York, after an ill-advised needless junket to FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA.
Deliberate misinformation has been blamed for the mixup, proving that truth matters.
Neither CANDY or FIN-TIN have been indicted or charged with any crime, but they insist on having their day in court to “stop the stupid stuff.”
The judge took pity on the hapless pair, holding handmade signs saying “JUSTICE FOR DUMDUMS” and “LIFE IS A BOX OF CHOCOLATE.”
CANDY spoke on behalf of FIN-TIN, who stood silently sucking his thumb.
Cameras are not permitted in court, but our field reporter has obtained a verbatim transcript of Candy’s carefully prepared passionate testimony:
“I, CANDY FISHALOT, am here to testify against bastardized notions and the men who facilitate them. They need to stop saying stupid stuff, because my friend FIN-TIN listens to them and he doesn’t need any help to be dumb. His mommy dropped him on his head. Thank you, and God bless TAYLOR SWIFT who should be President.”
Reaction from the opposition came fast and furious, but decorum prevents us from posting it here on a family friendly forum. Decency matters too.
Satisfied they’d done all they could to save democracy, CANDY & FIN-TIN saluted the judge and set out in search of a fish dinner.
Fin-Tin is happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 6, 2023 MONDAY 4 AM - OUT OF MY MIND ON MONDAY MOANIN’
DID HIS MOMMY DROP HIM ON HIS HEAD? (below) NOW FINISHED
BROKEN PEACH HALLOWEEN SPECIALS - REMAINS OF THE DAY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjiXrpB7D-k PERSONAL JESUS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzAXITkCxG4
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 9 PM - THE BEST HAUNT YOU MISSED IN 2023
I’m not a big betting guy, my limit is one dollar.
But I’d confidently bet my bottom dollar I know which haunt you’ve never been to that will surely blow your mind!
And we haven’t even been to it.
So what is this MYSTERY HAUNT, and how could we possibly know this?
It’s HINTERLAND in LESLIE. It’s not close enough to Wayne County to be considered a DETROIT HAUNT, and probably out-of-range for many of you.
But if we’ve never been to HINTERLAND how do we know it’s a SURE WINNER?
Let’s consider some basic facts here...no speculation, no FAKE NEWS...stuff that can be easily verified:
DATA POINT 1 - LESLIE already had the highly successful haunt TERROR ON 27 before HINTERLAND.
DATA POINT 2 - MICHIGAN is a highly competitive haunt market.
DATA POINT 3 - Together, both haunts bring more total haunt traffic to the area in the same way as two nearby burger joints do. Double the availability leads to more than double the total demand.
We’ve been to TERROR ON 27 several times before HINTERLAND existed, and it was always excellent. So it follows that for HINTERLAND to survive and thrive alongside TERROR ON 27 they too must be excellent.
We have a similar situation in WESTLAND, where we find both HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION and ELOISE ASYLUM.
So you can see -- competition between high quality haunts, or burger joints, leads to increased profits for both businesses. “It’s totally logical”, as Mr. Spock would say.
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 7:30 PM - MORE FROM THE “EXPERTS”
Here we go again!
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 7 PM - REVEALED AT LAST: CANDY’S LONG LOST COUSIN “KOK”
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 12 NOON - REDEMPTION IN A HOOPTIE - JANE & TRACY’S AMAZING TRYST WITH DESTINY
JANE PARKER & TRACY BEACH are the most unlikely of best friends, like a spider and a jellyfish...but even that’s a stretch. World’s apart, they would never have met except for the fact they live next door to each other at an apartment complex.
JANE is a voluptuous 6 foot 2 blonde bombshell who wears a different custom-tailored designer outfit every day. She drives a fancy car, and has a fancy designer dog named COCONUT who is a MALTIPOO. JANE appears to have the world by the tail, and her infectious smile wins over everyone she encounters.
TRACY is a skinny twig standing at a full 4 feet 11 inches of PUNK ASS FIRE, whose preferred attire is cutoffs and a REN & STIMPY T-shirt. She drives a POWDER BLUE PINTO STATION WAGON, and her mutt dog BO WEEVIL was abducted by her evil ex-boyfriend.
TRACY has a supernatural psychic connection with dogs, who speak to her in a language only she understands. The lovable waif also has an infectious smile, but is highly selective in choosing her friends. Deeply spiritual, she talks to God almost constantly and swears like a sailor.
FIN-TIN THE DIRT FACED CLOWN is a doofus of a broken man, with life always giving him the short end of the stick. His only friends are his SHINY YELLOW TRICYCLE and TRACY, who he calls CANDY FISHALOT.
This is part of the back story of a movie I’m writing. Screenplay writing was the farthest thing from my mind, until I ended up rewriting a movie for a film director from Oakland County a few years ago.
Pay no attention, this has nothing to do with haunted attractions.
Except that CANDY had a traumatic experience at a haunted attraction, after her evil ex-boyfriend insisted she wear high-heeled shoes during their date there so as not to be “such a pathetic pip-squeak.” The TOOTSIE KILLERS caused her to fall and be mocked by evil witches, who laughed at her before unceremoniously throwing poor Candy out the “Chicken Exit.”
It took years of therapy for Candy to muster the courage to again attend haunted attractions. She asked FIN-TIN to go with her for moral support, and he promptly wet his pants and cried like a toddler.
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 11 AM - THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMELS BACK
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, we used to “rate” haunted houses on a 5 star scale.
We were young and foolish, we didn’t know any better.
We had been followers of JOHN POE, who put out a haunt rag called THE GORE GUIDE. I know most of you never heard of him, so why bother mentioning him?
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 10 AM - DID HIS MOMMY DROP HIM ON HIS HEAD?
CANDY & FIN-TIN are eating bologna sandwiches and watching TV in the other room. FIN-TIN can’t remember the TV show host’s name, much less pronounce it, so he calls him THE GUY WITH THE GLASSES.
FIN-TIN doesn’t understand politics, and is confused as to why the illusive politician keeps avoiding a simple YES OR NO QUESTION.
FIN-TIN asks, “Why can’t the man answer the question? Did his mommy drop him on his head too?”
CANDY says, “Never mind him, FIN-TIN. Let’s watch some REN & STIMPY CARTOONS!
Fin-Tin is happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 3 AM - DATELINE: FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA - CANDY FISHALOT INDICTED & ORDERED TO TESTIFY
SHOCKING DETAILS WITHHELD FROM “MEET THE PRESS” - COMING NEXT!
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 2 AM - MICHELANGELO TAKES UP RESIDENCE AT DETROIT HAUNTS
For a haunt to be successful they need some basics to start with -- actors and props / displays.
Many haunts have some kind of prop / display that is unique to only them.
For example, part of THE SCREAM MACHINE is essentially a museum of FLUORESCENT SPOOKY ART by the legendary STU SMITH.
STU SMITH was also featured at THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN, which sadly is now gone.
If you went to THE SCREAM MACHINE you saw firsthand why many consider STU SMITH to be the best artist in this genre. They were kind enough to let us photograph this astonishing collection of GORY GOODNESS -- pics to be released later.
At HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION there are so many authentic props / scenes your head will spin! One of them made us feel like we just stepped into DOWNTON ABBEY, and features an elegant hostess on a spiral staircase. The attention to detail throughout the scene is very convincing, as if jumping into a magic time machine. Very few haunts achieve this level of sophistication!
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 1:30 AM - JUST LIKE YESTERDAY A DECADE AGO
Ten years ago we went to HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO where CRAZY BOB TURNER spun some tall tales among some even taller books in a library straight out of ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
I had some weird dreams that night, and then wrote the following short story:
NOVEMBER 2, 2013 SATURDAY 2 PM - PULL UP A CHAIR / THE GIFT
PIGTAILS & PUMPKINS €- BLESSED BY A GOURD by Zioptis
Inspired by Crazy Bob (Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio) & adapted from a story by Bennet Cerf in “Chicken Soup For The Soul”
Melissa counted out the last pennies of her fare, on a small bus in rural Wisconsin in 1967.
She was 14, and it was the day after Halloween. The kids in front of the bus were still celebrating, bragging about how much candy their pillow cases held and such.
Near the back of the bus was mean Mr. Turner.
Nobody knew much about him, except that he used to give each Trick-or-Treater a small packet of candy on Halloween.
That stopped a few years ago, but a bright Jack-o-Lantern still appeared on his front porch every Halloween.
He sat on the bus with no expression on his face, and in his feeble hands was said Jack-o-Lantern.
The crudely carved crooked teeth in the pumpkin resembled his own, and his clothes were ragged with the shirt buttoned wrong.
Strangely, Melissa walked right past her friends, and sat down across from mean Mr. Turner who continued to look forward with an empty stare.
Then suddenly he spun the pumpkin to face her, with its' silly face as he yelled "BOO!" and went back to his empty stare.
Melissa shrieked just as she had the weekend before at the local Jaycee's Haunted House, but then grinned a grin like the Great Pumpkin Himself.
At the next stop, the not-so-mean-after all Mr. Turner got up to leave.
But he hesitated for a moment, and then thrust the jolly Jack-o-Lantern into the girl's hands. He said, "The pumpkin made you smile, I think my wife would like you to have it. I'll tell her I gave it to you."
The old man hobbled out of the bus...and just before he disappeared from sight, Melissa saw him walk through the gates into a small cemetery.
NOVEMBER 5, 2023 SUNDAY 1 AM - NOT FADE AWAY
No, not the ROLLING STONES song. We prefer the version by space rock pioneer STEVE HILLAGE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grXJbBjYKdI LIVE VERSION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsHTtQ7v4XU
My partner was sick again, and even called off work. God, I hope it’s not that damn COVID which has already turned our world upside down.
Rats! The plan was to make an encore visit to HUSH, then scoot over to ELOISE ASYLUM.
But in crusin’ around town I was pleasantly surprised to see some HALLOWEEN DISPLAYS still lit up! Please pass the Reese’s...
NOVEMBER 4, 2023 SATURDAY 4 PM - BUCKEYE ALERT!
Open tonight: NIGHTMARE AT THE CANFIELD SCAREGROUNDS in CANFIELD, OHIO https://www.canfieldscaregrounds.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIk-zp0qCsggMVBs3ICh3IDgfREAAYASAAEgJXc_D_BwE
Open tonight: FEAR COLUMBUS in COLUMBUS, OHIO https://fearcolumbus.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1r-A95irggMVPCvUAR2kRgOfEAAYAiAAEgL6vPD_BwE
Open tonight: DISTRACTED HAUNT in BOWLING GREEN, OHIO http://www.feardistracted.com/
NOVEMBER 4, 2023 SATURDAY 2 PM - AFTERGLOW (see below) NOW FINISHED
Thinking back, a chance encounter I had on Halloween could be the single most important moment of this haunt season...
NOVEMBER 4, 2023 SATURDAY 12 NOON - THE LAST HURRAH
BOO HOO! This is it, the final night of haunting for the Halloween season. We hope it’s been as fabulous for you as it’s been for us.
Despite a vastly reduced itinerary, we still had big fun and that’s what haunting is all about. The anticipation, the exhilaration, the big wows, the exquisite settings, props and decorations...the sum total far exceeds the parts going into a haunt!
Indeed, once again the haunt operators have gone all out, putting together truly amazing shows.
THE SCREAM MACHINE freaked us out with a JAW DROPPING GAG in the “hospital” where the insane Dr. Strach practices medicine without a license. How does he get away with this stuff?
HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION totally wowed us, from start to finish! Several super human acrobatic performers entertained us before entering the haunt. One of them reminded us of the level of expertise we’ve seen at recent shows by CIRQUE ITALIA. We’ve never made this level of comparison with a haunt before.
THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is in a category all its’ own -- low tech and old school to the max. This haunt, more than any other we know, is like stepping into a time machine.
KUDOS TO ALL HAUNT OPERATORS EVERYWHERE!
NOVEMBER 4, 2023 SATURDAY 6 AM - GOBBLE GOBBLE
I stopped by at THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT last night, and was surprised to see a lot of the displays still in place.
And one of them has been modified for THANKSGIVING -- what’s up with that? One of the way tall skeletons is lit internally, and a large turkey emblazoned with “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” is positioned in front of it.
Is more coming soon? Is there going to be Thanksgiving Edition of THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT? Stay tuned, and be sure to come back at year’s end and New Year’s for EXCLUSIVE ZIOPTIS HAUNT INDUSTRY REPORTS!
NOVEMBER 4, 2023 SATURDAY 2 AM - AFTERGLOW
It’s been a really weird season for us, no way around it.
Nonetheless, we still had a great time all in all. And it ended with an unexpected “chance encounter” with some kids who come from a place where TRICK-OR-TREATING doesn’t exist.
Do you believe in “fate”? That everything that happens does so for a reason?
When you met your eventual spouse for example, or you applied for a job that became your career. Was it just a coincidence? Or did it happen because “it was meant to be”?
THE WORLD IS YOUR HOMETOWN
It was Halloween Night, a little after 8 PM.
With no more TRICK-OR-TREATERS in sight, it was time to shut down the TOD DOCKSTADER and light show.
The light show was just one CHAUVET DUO MOON projector on a drum practice pad stand. This bad boy sports two powerful moonflower projectors and a strobe.
From my front porch this little gem brightly lit up the tallest tree tops in the area with spinning colored patterns and true strobe lighting!
Also, when the strobe hit the STOP SIGN down the block it started reflecting back dramatically. WOW, a flashing STOP SIGN!
At only two pounds, the CHAUVET DUO MOON is easily hand-held to pan its’ projections across the sky, and also point directly at two planes that flew overhead towards METRO AIRPORT.
Did they see it? I like to think they did...but the best was yet to come and totally caught me by surprise...
Once upon a time it took two large MOONFLOWERS and bulky strobes to do what this miniature marvel does. https://www.chauvetdj.com/products/duo-moon/ https://www.chauvetdj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Duo-Moon_QRG_Rev2_ML6.pdf
But something told me to hang on...perhaps it was even THE GREAT PUMPKIN himself.
Sure enough, down the block...here comes a group of TRICK-OR-TREATERS. The final stragglers are usually teenagers looking to cash in on the last of the candy, and that’s cool. It reminds me of going with my older brothers, pillow cases in hand...they hold a lot more candy than those little pumpkin buckets.
But this troupe was special, and I knew instantly they traveled thousands of miles to get here.
It was a group of three TRICK-OR-TREATERS, two girls and what looked to be their older brother. The girls were both wearing hijabs, so I put on my very best SAG-AFTRA V.O. voice and said “Marhabaan! Happy Halloween...oh I love your costumes!” They were surprised that a white boy knew how to say “Hello” in Arabic.
AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP
I was thrilled to see Arabic teenagers enjoying one of the joys of living in America.
But beyond that, I helped plant a seed...on one of the happiest days of the year for millions of kids of all ages nationwide. Whoops, make that international...CANADA is on board big time too.
It’s the seed of silliness, the seed of celebrating childhood, the seed of make-believe, the seed of magic coming alive...and then lingering in the background until again comes the day when the leaves fall and fresh apple cider & donuts again beckon the kid in all of us!
NOVEMBER 3, 2023 FRIDAY 1 PM - IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Here we go again. More contests to supposedly determine the 2023 HAUNT OF THE YEAR, this time from the people at https://www.michiganhauntedhouses.com/
They want you to submit a haunt review and rating as “This will help the attraction be in the running to win the 2023 Haunt of the Year!”
Hmmm...how do we know this is a fair representation of the actual relative merits and shortcomings of any given haunt?
The “winner” can pat themselves on the back and gloat. But based on what we know about haunt operators, most of them will pay little attention to this largely insignificant popularity contest.
We like to say the best haunt in the world is the one you’re at, having the time of your life!
NOVEMBER 3, 2023 FRIDAY 7 AM - ZIOPTIS VIOLATES GAG ORDER, EARNS DETENTION PENDING TRIAL
Just kidding of course...again. :)
But in retrospect, there is something it seems we got all wrong about HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION.
Ideally any haunt review should be able to be condensed into just a few words, like with a movie or TV show synopsis in TV GUIDE.
In past years our CLIFF NOTES version of HUSH was HOLLYWOOD SLICK, DETROIT RAW.
But after reviewing the photos we just got at HUSH, we’ve decided the new CATCH PHRASE for HUSH will be VEGAS SLICK, DETROIT RAW.
The kinds of shows we saw in the HUSH queue areas more closely resemble what you’ll see in Vegas than Hollywood, to set the record straight.
BASTARDIZED NOTIONS & THE MEN WHO FACILITATE THEM
As we’ve said many times: THE TRUTH MATTERS and we refuse to engage in FAKE NEWS from fake people, unless we make it up just for fun in which case all bets are off.
CANDY FISHALOT* is again jumping out of her skin, looking at the pictures from HUSH of the HIGH FLYING ACROBATIC DAREDEVIL LADY in a silver striped outfit.
CANDY is begging me to take her to HUSH because she wants to meet the “HIGH-FLYING SILVER VIXEN CHICK.”
But first she needs to earn more Gold Star Brownie Points, sorting pocket lint. CANDY is a world-class pocket lint sorter.
*= Not her real name. **
** = Tracy Beach is the real fictitious screenplay name for this 5 foot tall blonde bimbo.
NOVEMBER 3, 2023 FRIDAY 6 AM - BLAKE’S HARD CIDER IN BID FOR WORLDWIDE DOMINANCE
More good news from haunt industry giant BLAKE’S, who do so much to improve life in The Mitten...and other states including TEXAS, NEW YORK & OREGON.
BLAKE’S SCORES MAJOR TEXAS TAKEDOWN
BLAKE’S has quietly acquired AVID CIDER COMPANY from TEXAS, setting the stage for eventual nationwide dominance before conquering the world.
GO BLAKE’S! https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/blakes-hard-cider-introduces-new-company-expanded-operations-through-partnership-with-austin-eastciders
This is not a hostile takeover.
CEO ANDREW BLAKE SEZ: "We don’t want to change what makes these brands great, we are coming together to become the largest independent cider company in the U.S. While our passions and mission align, each brand offers consumers unique flavors, personalities, and complementary perspectives filtered through the lenses of their regions."
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 10 PM - DATELINE DETROIT: USA TODAY IN SURPRISE UNPROVOKED MITTEN CREDIBILITY CRISIS
I wasn’t gonna say anything. Just let it go...there’s plenty of drama and confusion already...should I spill the beans? Actually, we did already spill the beans...just not on the main page.
So earlier we covered the USA TODAY TOP 10 HAUNTS IN THE USA poll, noting with glee that AZRA came in at #3. Last year in this same poll EREBUS came in at #2. We joked that, metaphorically, EREBUS WAS PASSING THE TORCH TO JUNIOR AZRA.
Cool, that’s that.
WAIT A SECOND - ALTERNATE FACTS ALERT
The big bad nationwide poll essentially says EREBUS & AZRA kick butt, and we agree.
So the “contest” is over, right?
There’s no more hidden votes, no hanging chads, no dead people voting, no space lasers from Venezuela, no jimmied software, no stolen election.
While we appreciate that Michigan was again represented in this major poll, it only counts if it’s truly legitimate. So what would make a poll like this illegitimate?
How about if they then promoted a second contest for best haunts in the USA?
That’s exactly what they did. Here’s what’s been “hiding” in the News section:
OCTOBER 29, 2023 SUNDAY 3 PM - ANOTHER POLL FEATURING A MAJOR DETROIT HAUNT
Hmmm...I thought the Official USA TODAY haunt poll was a done deal, with AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS taking 3rd place out of the Top Ten Haunts in the USA.
But wait a sec...here’s another USA TODAY haunt poll: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sponsor-story/queen-of-haunts/2023/10/26/top-10-terror-ific-haunted-attractions-nationwide-picked-by-the-queen-of-haunts/71317423007/?fbclid=IwAR1ZRe17mYTIPDGRApp6TrQKxkMGdj2k--c1I_AIAcISJqag5m5Ui0zqW_k
Wait a sec again...here’s some fine print I didn’t see at first: “This story is paid for by an advertiser. Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA Today Network were not involved in the creation of this content.”
Who the hell is the QUEEN OF HAUNTS? What makes her the big boss? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 9:30 PM - TRAVEL TUNES
Part of the shared haunt experience is what music you listen to on the journey. Here’s two of our faves:
ATOMIC ROOSTER - IN HEARING OF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwcXjToAXU0&t=905s
STEVE HILLAGE - GREEN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gPDGS1h0ZY&list=PLfGibfZATlGq_fC2N908nsGIuDvvD1mBR
This year on Halloween we listened to ATOMIC ROOSTER - IN HEARING OF. Check out the PSYCHEDELIC STEREO GUITAR intro on “HEAD IN THE SKY” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRYVDF9l0KA
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 9 PM - CANDY FISHALOT’S AMAZING TRYST WITH DESTINY
CANDY is obsessed with the guitar player for MOLYBARON, and insists he couldn’t have a girlfriend as their video only has 50 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-dXvwV26O8
But thank goodness, she finally found another band besides MOLYBARON to obsess over, and it’s not even a band anymore.
Earlier, we discussed how EREBUS became the FIRST DETROIT HAUNT TO USE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Well, now AI has been used to bring the dead back to life much like ZOMBIES AT DETROIT HAUNTS.
being written - some of you can guess where this is going
THE FAB FOUR ARE BACK
That’s right, THE BEATLES have just released what’s being billed as THE LAST BEATLES SONG. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opxhh9Oh3rg
All they had was a cassette demo, with John Lennon singing and playing the piano...and they couldn’t isolate his voice. Until AI came to the rescue, that is. And the rest is history!
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 8 PM - HIGH FLYING VIDEO OF DETROIT HAUNT GOES VIRAL
Ok, maybe not exactly viral with 177 views as of today. But it’s way cool, and led them to make this dramatic claim:
The Greatest Haunted House Video of all Time!
And yet another random garage haunt that rocks:
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 6:30 PM - GOOD TO THE LAST DROP / THE FAT LADY SINGS
It’s your last chance. Select haunts will be open this weekend, starting Friday Nov. 3, 2023: AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS, MADISON HEIGHTS, ELOISE ASYLUM, WESTLAND (Saturday Nov. 4 only), EREBUS, PONTIAC, FACTORY OF THE DEAD, SAGINAW, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, WESTLAND, NILES SCREAM PARK, NILES (BLACK OUT), THE HAUNT, GRAND RAPIDS (BLACK OUT), THE SCREAM MACHINE, TAYLOR.
Also of interest but not a haunted attraction per se: MOTOR CITY GHOSTS - from their website: WELCOME TO DETROIT'S #1 RATED GHOST TOUR
The automobile capital of the world bred the smooth sounds of Motown and the deafening screams of violence and death that still haunt Detroit, Michigan’s Murder City.
Boosted by Eminem and his stories of 8 Mile, the truth about this Metro city harbors a darker, more grim truth that’s created the terrifying hauntings of Motor City. Join Motor City Ghosts to hear the disturbing details of the tragedy and sinister acts that spawned a curse not even Houdini could escape.
ALSO - GRAND RAPIDS GHOSTS: https://usghostadventures.com/grand-rapids/?utm_source=MichiganHauntedHouses.com&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=HauntedHouseMedia
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 6 PM - CANDY FISHALOT & FIN-TIN THE DIRT FACED CLOWN IN CLASSIFIED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS FLAP
SHOCKING EXPOSE (loosely adapted from an old Dial-a-Trip episode written by Dale Bombast) being written in between bites of SUNNY SEA BRAND sardines in mustard sauce...
A bit of back-story first:
Poor FIN-TIN. He grew up in a broken family on the “wrong side of town.” His family and friends are long gone with two exceptions, his SHINY YELLOW TRICYCLE and the compassionate spunky CANDY FISHALOT who takes pity on the dejected clown.
He means well, but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. Whenever he’s confused and doesn’t know what to say, he blurts out: “I’m FIN-TIN and my mommy dropped me on my head.”
Even the smallest of kind gestures brings overwhelming appreciation from FIN-TIN THE DIRT FACED CLOWN.
CANDY visits FIN-TIN every Wednesday, which was yesterday...
FEATHER ON HIS CAP
So FIN-TIN had just returned from a shopping trip to the grocery store, and he lit up with great pride exclaiming:
“I showed my ID to buy a loaf of bread!”
“Yer being’ stupid again, stop it Fin-Tin! You don’t need to show your ID to buy a loaf of bread.”
“But that’s what the guy on TV said...the guy with the hair...”
“Don’t listen to him, Fin-Tin. He’s even dumber than you.”
“Really? You’re not just sayin’ that to make me feel better?”
“PINKY PROMISE! Now let’s make some sandwiches...I’ve got the bomb Halal beef bologna with olives from the SUPER GREENLAND MARKET in DEARBORN on FORD ROAD.”
Fin Tin is happy. Life is good.
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 5 PM - HAUNT CAPITAL OF WORLD CONQUERS DISNEY IN STUNNING HOSTILE TAKEOVER, SORTA...MAYBE
ZIOPTIS EXCLUSIVE REPORT TO BE REVEALED SOON!
NOVEMBER 2, 2023 THURSDAY 1 PM - THE FAT LADY HAS NOT YET SUNG
There’s still more haunting to do! List of haunts open this weekend coming soon...
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 6:30 PM - DEVILS’ NIGHT DELIGHT
We’re still totally stoked about HUSH, who blew us away big time with their power-packed combo of ultra tasty drinks, super human show gals and ultra creepy goodness.
Time for the news. More later...stand by, my little monkeys...
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 6 PM - STAR WARS MEETS KISS
Are any of you still members of the KISS ARMY?
Remember the KISS ALIVE double LP? The cover shows two kids at a rock concert, holding a KISS ARMY banner in the front row of COBO HALL in DETROIT.
DETROIT ROCK CITY CONQUERS DISNEY EMPIRE
DISNEY’S AMAZING FLASH-IN-THE-PAN SCI-FI ROCK BAND
CHEWBAKKA WOOKIE ROCK STAR BASSIST MASSIVE HIT WITH THE BABES
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 5 PM - A PEACH OF A HALLOWEEN CONCERT
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 4:30 PM - BUCKEYE BABE SAYS “YES” AT HAUNTED HOUSE!
DATELINE: BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, OHIO - HAUNTED HOUSE SURPRISE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL IS OVER-THE-TOP SUCCESS
How about this for an inspired whacky way to propose to your girlfriend who also loves haunted attractions?
He convinced the haunt to let him take the place of a POP OUT SURPRISE ACTOR who then POPS THE QUESTION! Of course she said yes, or I wouldn’t have just seen this on WDIV TV-4 NEWS. Let’s ask MR. GOOGLE for more:
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - TERROR ON TILLSON DECLARED A TOP SCARY USA DESTINATION
SPOOKY & SPECTACULAR - ROMEO, MICHIGAN SCORES MAJOR NATION WIDE AWARD
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 3 PM - CITY DECLARES STREET HAUNT PROTECTED OASIS
Confirmed: THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT in DEARBORN had streets blocked off on Halloween night by city officials, signifying the event to be fully sanctioned.
With no cars to hinder them, the monsters took advantage of the easy access to HAPPY TRICK-OR-TREATERS. It’s a SURE WINNER, the double whammy with the candy treat followed by the trick from the evil wolf wielding a chain saw.
This is not just a bunch of giant props and such...there are specific actors with prearranged gags / routines. I saw a small girl challenging the evil fox, who is disgraced in defeat in the ensuing tussle. This was obviously rehearsed, just like at commercial haunted attractions.
THOUSANDS SWARM TO NEW HAUNT SPECTACLE
An estimated 3,000 happy haunters were in attendance, with a steady flow of arrivals and departures.
They had a clever way to estimate the crowd. They bought 2,200 HI-C JUICE BOXES to pass out free, but were careful to give only one to each person.
I was at the event for a little over an hour, from 8:30 - 9:30 PM. As I got my juice box I asked if they knew how many people were in attendance. “Yes” they said, adding that it’s their biggest year yet.
They said out of 2,200 boxes, less than 200 remained. Large groups of people were still arriving consistently, balanced out by others who were leaving. I’m estimating that at least 1,000 more people arrived by the BEWITCHING HOUR OF MIDNIGHT, bringing total attendance to at least 3,000!
So you can see -- DETROIT HOLDS ITS’ OWN, in terms of commercial and domestic WORLD CLASS HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS of all sizes and shapes!
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - PSYCHIC HANGOVER
The displays are coming down. The inflated monsters are like puddles on the lawn.
Halloween came, and now it’s gone. Or is it?
Some haunts will be open next weekend, and off-season events are being planned by industry giants like FACTORY OF THE DEAD, HUSH, ROTTEN MANOR and possibly more.
And hopefully all your candy isn’t gone yet!
Late night funny guy JIMMY KIMMEL used to encourage parents to wickedly prank their kids by “confessing” to their kids that they ate all their candy. Of course he wanted them to make videos of the sordid affair and send them in for them to cherry pick.
The KIMMEL crew is still in the silly spirit or Halloween, but this time played a crazy prank on unsuspecting staff including JIMMY KIMMEL himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRqvDoJj_Y
NOVEMBER 1, 2023 WEDNESDAY 3 AM - DAVID & GOLIATH REVISITED
Big news in the “battle” between THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT in DEARBORN and TERROR ON TILLSON STREET in ROMEO
TRAVELMAG has just given an award to ROMEO: https://visitdetroit.com/media/press-releases/travelmag-names-romeo-michigan-on-list-of-best-small-cities-for-halloween/
Congratulations to ROMEO!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 5 PM - THE RIGHT THING TO DO
After much soul searching, we’ve decided to give out candy to TRICK-OR-TREATERS tonight instead of haunting.
Yes, we’re anxious to see the new WAX MUSEUM at ROTTEN MANOR. And we haven’t seen what’s new at AZRA or NIGHT TERRORS at WIARD’S this year either.
But the kids are our top priority tonight, and we have tons of REESE’S, KIT-KATS, PAYDAYS and more ready to go. CARPE DIEM!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 1 PM - GOOD TO THE LAST DROP
There are haunts open tonight! If you’re not passing out candy, why not get your haunt on tonight?
OPEN ON HALLOWEEN TONIGHT: ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION in GRAND RAPIDS (LIGHTS OUT), AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS, DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS, EREBUS in PONTIAC, HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S in YPSILANTI, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY, THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER and THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 12:30 PM - MOTHER NATURE SMILES ON HALLOWEEN
Tonight will be cold for the TRICK-OR-TREATERS here in Detroit, with even the possibility of snow.
We say THAT’S PERFECT. Braving the cold to make the journey makes it more of an adventure.
Don’t be a grinch and stiff the kiddies -- pass out candy, and lots of it tonight as the yearly pilgrimage takes place.
Every year brings out brand new TRICK-OR-TREATERS, and we don’t want to let them down! These are also the future haunted attraction enthusiasts who will perpetuate the thriving haunt industry.
THE HALLOWEEN EXPERIENCE depends on all of us, contributing in many ways as opportunities present themselves.
Whether you run a small Mexican restaurant like MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK or a major Detroit haunt like HUSH in WESTLAND, the combined effort pays off big time when we see the smiling faces of the kiddies on that most magical of days we all look forward to, HALLOWEEN!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 12 NOON - DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL
Be sure to stay tuned to Zioptis, as much more interesting Halloween related content is coming soon.
And, as usual, at the end of the year we’ll have EXCLUSIVE ZIOPTIS REPORTS you won’t want to miss!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 11:30 AM - SKELETONS COME ALIVE!
CANDY FISHALOT just called me...again...and now she’s raving about an amazing display of skeletons in Northville:
https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/northvilles-life-sized-skeletons-are-back-see-them-during-this-weekends-launch-party https://www.downtownnorthville.com/whats-happening/the-skeletons-are-alive/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMKjjAFxAAw
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 11 AM - LIVE IN THE D
WDIV TV4 DETROIT has been great, covering all things Halloween recently and that includes the special Halloween edition of LIVE IN THE D airing right now.
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 9 AM - TAYLOR SWIFT ELECTED PRESIDENT OF USA
CANDY FISHALOT is jumping out of her skin, watching SAVANNAH GUTHRIE play TAYLOR SWIFT on THE TODAY SHOW HALLOWEEN SPECIAL on NBC-TV.
CANDY won’t stop dancing like she’s at an ERAS TAYLOR SWIFT concert, playing “SHAKE IT OFF” on a continuous loop.
SWIFTIES TAKE OVER CONGRESS & HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN SURPRISE HALLOWEEN MANEUVER
And then she saw TAYLOR SWIFT again depicted by KELLY from ABC-TV’s LIVE WITH KELLY & MARK. CANDY SEZ: This is all the proof needed that TAYLOR SWIFT should be declared PRESIDENT OF THE USA!
TAYLOR SWIFT already famously declared that ALL SWIFTIES should register to vote if they didn’t already do so. This part is absolutely true, and we applaud her for this responsible use of the amazing power she wields over the legions of Swifties who would do anything their queen suggests!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 8 AM - HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
THE TODAY SHOW on NBC-TV and GOOD MORNING AMERICA on ABC-TV are featuring Halloween segments, and they look fabulous!
OCTOBER 31, 2023 TUESDAY 4 AM - THE DEVIL MADE US DO IT
DEVIL’S NIGHT IN DETROIT will never be the same.
HUSH KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE BALL PARK last night, blowing away The Detroit Lions game which some people foolishly watched instead of GOING TO HUSH for the time of your life!
Right from the get-go...are we at a CIRQUE ITALIA SHOW or a haunted house?
We’ve been to several CIRQUE ITALIA shows in DEARBORN and ANN ARBOR in the last few years, and what we saw while waiting at HUSH reminded us of some of the amazing super human stunts that CIRQUE ITALIA features. *
Better yet, we got some pristine pictures of the amazing high-flying antics at HUSH to be released later. In the meantime, check out some HUSH pics from last year: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
* = made friends with MERMAID MORGAINE ROSENTHAL
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 5 PM - INTO THE HOME STRETCH
This is the last hurrah for many haunts, but HURRAY there will be some haunts open next weekend and also off-season events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patty’s Day.
The local news is quick to praise the haunt community and help spread the good news. But they have to cover all aspects, because as we’ve stressed before THE TRUTH MATTERS.
Anyway, I saw a news article on one of the local TV newscasts and the question was “IS TRICK-OR-TREATING DYING...OR EVEN DEAD?”
All shows eventually have their SWAN SONG. But is TRICK-OR-TREATING a show?
We say “NO,” TRICK-OR-TREATING is a way of life in the land of liberty where we have the freedom to get dressed up as a CASSETTE TAPE...or a BUTTERFLY about to take flight to fantasy land...whatever your little heart desires!
Trends are bound to change from area to area over time, demographics and such.
TRICK-OR-TREATING is going out no matter how cold it is, and filling your pillow case at least twice...REESE’S NUTRAGEOUS BARS & SNICKERS & KIT-KATS OF COURSE NEVER CAN FORGET THE KITTY CATS...BILLY G LOVED CATS...WE HAD 5 SIAMESE CATS HERE ONCE UPON A TIME...CHOWDER, BISMUTH, BENTLEY, SHERMAN, and whoops can’t remember the last one ..HOW MANY OF YOU ARE DRESSING AS A KITTY CAT FOR THE HOLIDAY?
caps locked rant ends, sorry kids got carried away
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 4 PM - THE GAUNTLET IS THROWN
In this corner we have the TINY GIANT that is THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT in DEARBORN the surprise contender that is also fighting for the rights of animals. Submitted for your approval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ4-mH5aC9E
In the other corner it’s the HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, TERROR ON TILLSON STREET in ROMEO (BUT NO JULIET): http://www.terrorontillson.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sq8NI0jcNc https://www.facebook.com/halloweenontillson/ https://detroitmom.com/terror-on-tillson-everything-you-need-to-know-3/ https://littleguidedetroit.com/cant-miss-halloween-event-terror-on-tillson-street/ https://www.mlive.com/news/2016/10/scenes_from_romeos_tillson_str.html https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/terror-on-tillson-streets-halloween-tradition-raises-money-for-students-veterans https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/445711452/halloween-on-tillson-street-romeo/
We could go on and on, posting links to thousands of raving reviews they have earned...but you get the idea. This is the Grand Daddy of all “yard haunts.” HANDS DOWN. If you’ve never been to TILLSON STREET you need to make the pilgrimage as we did a couple years ago.
So how does the dinky GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT think they can compete with the Reigning Champion TILLSON STREET???
They don’t of course.
We’re just being silly...again...it’s not a contest at all.
THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT in DEARBORN at PENN & GRINDLEY PARK is awesome but it’s only on one side of the street. TILLSON STREET by comparison blows it away with both sides of the entire block decked out to the nines and beyond.
But if you’ve already seen TILLSON STREET, we think you’d have a blast at THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT. Tell ‘em Zioptis sent you, they know who we are. We actually visited them twice already this season.
They’ve been expanding every year, and are on the prowl to achieve greatness...and then THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT can indeed generate untold shared experience stories the likes of which only come from haunting in Michigan.
Never forget that DETROIT IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS IN THE USA!
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 3 PM - HOLIDAY MAGIC
It was so real. He walked right in...”Hey hey...wazzup?”
I had another supernatural dream last night about BILLY G, our beloved Webmaster and best buddy for many years who died of Covid-19 in 2021.
He used to help me set up a giant yard haunt Halloween Show, and we’d always start on Devil’s Night Day. Three large wooden supports were hammered into the ground, forming the frame for a giant movie screen of sorts.
The screen was made of two rolls of FELT fabric from JO ANN FABRICS. It’s white and thick enough to survive the outdoors, but thin enough for rear projections. Each roll is 3 feet tall and 30 feet long.
ending coming later
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 4 AM - DEVIL’S NIGHT SERENADE PART 2
KEY OF AWESOME - MODERN MONSTER MASH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx1mboWYn0c BEHIND THE SCENES: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx1mboWYn0c
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 3 AM - TV EXPOSE REVEALS SECRET SERVING SUGGESTION ELUDES FAMOUS INDUSTRY LEADER
Yet another haunt related two part local news special ran recently on WDIV TV-4 DETROIT about BLAKE’S, and it was cool. Can’t find it on YOUTUBE.
As expected they pandered to the hungry masses, showing their fabulous donuts and cider. Then came the question: Do you dip your donut in cider before eating? Of course they tried it and loved it, also as expected.
But in their foolish blind ignorance, they failed to reveal the Ultimate Serving Suggestion for donuts & apple products:
Instead of cider, use a jar of apple butter for donut dipping.
Optional: add a sprinkle of cinnamon.
The thick, luxurious gourmet goodness will excite & delight your discerning palette. Slather it on. Gulp it down. You’re welcome.
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 2:30 AM - DEVIL’S NIGHT SERENADE
CANDY FISHALOT loves haunted houses & rock music. ROB ZOMBIE has been a staple for many moons, but there’s always new stuff coming out, And as CANDY SEZ: All music was once new!
Anyway, she just found an obscure band called MOLYBARON and she wants to know why haunted attractions aren’t playing their music.
I told her that AZRA is like a dance party / club in the queue area, and she could ask the friendly DJ to play MOLYBARON. This video has only 319 views since August: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mbCGwQGhtA&list=RD8mbCGwQGhtA&start_radio=1 LIVE VERSION - FEAR IS BETTER BUSINESS THAN LOVE - ONLY 41 VIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-dXvwV26O8
OCTOBER 30, 2023 MONDAY 2 AM - AZRA MEDIA FRENZY
I saw a live two part segment about AZRA early yesterday morning on WDIV TV-4 DETROIT, and it was excellent! Unfortunately, the 2nd segment had a glitch and cut off early but it was still cool. All the monsters they showed were World Class!
IS AZRA THE NEW MEDIA DARLING? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!
Holy moly YOUTUBE already has the recent WDIV TV-4 AZRA stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmzDuGjvDzI USA TODAY POLL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqte1TN8SRI OPEN UNTIL NOV 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mWer398e0I
OCTOBER 29, 2023 SUNDAY 2 PM - A SWAN SONG FOR THE AGES
We’re heading into the final stretch to experience the unique craziness that is EXIT 13 in MOUNT MORRIS near FLINT. Today Oct. 29 is KID’S DAY. After this season, they’ll be a goner. https://www.facebook.com/Exit13HauntedHouse/ https://app.hauntpay.com/events/exit-13-final-season-2023/event_times
OCTOBER 29, 2023 SUNDAY 11:11 AM - THE GLASS IS MORE THAN HALF FULL
After licking our fingers clean of the last drops of BBQ sauce from ZUKIN’S RIBS* last night after haunting I told my partner, “It’s disappointing not making 3 haunts when they’re so close together...I’m sorry that happened, babe.”
“Actually, we did make 3 haunts... sorta. That little Mexican diner... it’s like a mini haunted experience... can you believe the attention to detail? What was the name of the place?”
MANUEL’S TACO HUT...and I can’t believe one of the staff was dressed as THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT. ***SIDEBAR: I personally know the dude who does the voice of THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT on the hit cartoon CURIOUS GEORGE. Not only that, PL also does the voice of title character CURIOUS GEORGE.***
But I only saw THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT for the briefest of moments...and suddenly he was gone...vanished...disappeared right behind those swinging doors into the kitchen at MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK, home of The Detroit Lions** who may or may not be haunted attraction aficionados.
I was anxious to get a picture of THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT. I spotted an employee from the kitchen staff (the only ones not in costume) and told him “I can’t believe it! You’ve got a guy dressed as THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT...I happen to know the guy who really is THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT...the voice actor that plays him...and he’s also CURIOUS GEORGE. Could you please have him come back out for a quick picture before we go?”
We waited politely as the staff scurried about, but alas THE MAN IN THE YELLOW did not reappear. Hey it’s a busy restaurant they gotta do their thing first...my partner became restless, anxious to get to THE SCREAM MACHINE...we quietly slipped out the door without even thanking TINKER BELLA who is the genius behind the amazing Halloween transformation at MANUEL’S...shame on us, a thousand lashes with a wet noodle. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s awfully annoying.
So what happened to THE MAN IN THE YELLOW HAT? He looked real, but what if he was actually a ghost...or even an angel?
How do we know this place isn’t a real haunted house cleverly disguised as a Mexican restaurant?
Inquiring minds want to know. But sometimes reality is stranger than fiction, and final truth eludes even the most diligent among mere mortals.
Somebody needs to call the local TV NEWS at channels 2, 4, 7, and 62 and tell them to get their butt over to MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK for a human interest special report! wink wink
LIVE IN THE D recently did a segment about WISHBONE CHICKEN right down the block from MANUEL’S on ECORSE ROAD which was cool, but they missed the boat not also covering this gem of a local independent diner.
In many ways MANUEL’S is styled like a haunt...black lights, the morphing portrait, cobwebs, animatronics, liquid sky laser show, strobes...colored mood lighting.
* = The secret behind the fall-off-the-bones fabulous ribs at ZUKIN’S RIB SHACK has been reported earlier, probably in Archive 40 or 39. BTW, Archive 41 was recently added,
** = Despite both being in the same city of ALLEN PARK, THE DETROIT LIONS have not yet visited MANUEL’S TACO HUT even though they should, according to CANDY FISHALOT. (not her real name)
OCTOBER 29, 2023 SUNDAY 2 AM - BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
YAY! My awesome partner finally was able to go haunting, as all good ghouls should be this time of year.
THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR has upped their game big time with impressive results. The well-oiled machine is equipped to deal with the masses that word-of-mouth advertising has brought to THE SCREAM MACHINE.
Brief pauses between the three sections of the haunt prevent bottlenecking, so nobody misses a gag. Good pacing is a hallmark of World Class Haunts, and THE SCREAM MACHINE NAILS IT HARD.
THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER was our next stop. The outdoor sound system and silhouette strobe light scenes in the upstairs windows set the stage for the high-intensity old school madness this haunt is known for.
We had proof they’re on their game the moment we saw the first group exiting the haunt. Any proper funeral home has a Funeral Director and an organ, and THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is no exception.
The Funeral Director will greet you at the entrance, and is appropriately attired in formal wear befitting his title. The new organist will steal your heart away in a flash!
But beware the basement, where untold hideous acts are rumored to have occurred. A strange scent permeated the air, adding to the suspense before...WHAMMO!
Between a late start due to traffic jams and an engaging conversation with THE SCREAM MACHINE, we didn’t have time to also hit HUSH as originally planned. My partner has to work Sunday morning, and needs her beauty-sleep...and to attend to ODIN & POPPY of course.
Our apologies to HUSH for missing them, rats! On the other hand, this means the extra anticipation and delayed gratification will only serve to increase the overall impact when we finally make it to HUSH. We can’t wait...but we have to!
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 7 PM - LIFE IN THE
FAST SLOW LANE
My awesome partner just called from her handsfree car phone. What a deal, she’s stuck in stop-and-go traffic...sigh.
On a more cheerful note, the pictures from MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK are primo and we’ll be sharing them soon.
They went all out, decorating the restaurant to closely resemble a haunted attraction.
On my last visit there, I met the real life kid sister of TINKER BELLA. She looks innocent, but I have my doubts as her name is LIZZIE BORDEN who is famous for being an ax murderer. Having already used all her axes, she used a meat cleaver on poor TINKER BELLA’S head and it’s a bloody mess! Shocking photographic proof will be posted later.
My partner and I will be making a short stop at MANUEL’S first on our journey tonight. If you’re anywhere near ALLEN PARK, you owe it to yourself to have a gourmet restaurant experience you won’t find anywhere else to our knowledge! http://www.manuelstacohut.com/ https://www.facebook.com/ManuelsTacoHut/
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 6 PM - THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN
No, not the store.
It’s the real thing, and the very future of the holiday that we love so much.
Check out this video of a little boy in Detroit, which of course is the BIRTHPLACE OF HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS IN THE USA: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/3UPlPAd-L3U
So you can see -- the future of Halloween is bright, thanks to youngsters like KINGSTON. And here’s yet more evidence that the SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN is alive and well in Michigan: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/LpfFaz8mFKA https://www.youtube.com/shorts/59dODFtCV_U
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 3 PM - WILD WEEKEND
HALLOWEEN WEEKEND is here! So many incredible shared experiences are happening at every haunt in every state and in CANADA, our neighbors to the north.
We encourage you to support your local, neighborhood haunted attraction!
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 11 AM - WORD ON THE STREETS
We’ve been looking at Facebook reviews for various haunts, let’s check out HUSH:
From Katherine Carte:
Rats! For an unknown reason, when I try to copy & paste anything the program crashes...thank God it comes back but I’m afraid to keep trying...oh BILLY G I miss you so much...damn that COVID-19 that stole him from us.
You don’t need to read all the glowing reviews of HUSH, just GO and you’ll thank us later! :)
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 10 AM - THE POWER OF PROPS
You need great props / animatronics for a well-rounded haunt.
You can’t just throw up a bunch of plastic sheets in a big room, fill it with fog, strobes, and screaming kids and think you’ve got a haunted house.
So where do you get the best props? The good stuff. DISTORTIONS UNLIMITED comes to mind, and of course the SCARE FACTORY in OHIO. Or better yet, go to the TRANSWORLD convention DARK ZONE.
NO WAY - SERIOUSLY?
But hold on. You’re not going to believe who we’re about to suggest you consider for some KILLER LOOKING PROPS. Never mind the name, just watch this and try to ignore the familiar logo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFB7LCzu5C0
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 8 AM - ZOMBIE WOOF
BOW WOW! Time to get your dog decked out in his or her Halloween Best, and join the big fun today from 2 - 4 PM at the free HOWL-O-WEEN COSTUME CONTEST in Downtown Detroit: https://downtowndetroit.org/event/howl-o-ween-costume-contest-presented-by-strategic-staffing-solutions/
OCTOBER 28, 2023 SATURDAY 1 AM - SON OF TILLSON STREET REVEALED IN DEARBORN
My partner and I were so stoked -- finally going to HUSH on Friday night! YAY!
BOO HOO. She can’t make it, dad needs her bad...family first.
I was sooo tempted to go without her...but gotta get my haunt on somehow...I’ll just run up to MANUEL’S TACO HUT for a sec...it’s sorta like a haunted attraction.
Ya’ got your LIQUID SKY display with lasers & fog no problem ...strobes...blacklights ...extensive cob webs...cool animatronics...fabulous costumes on employees...oh yeah also DELUXE GOURMET MEXICAN CUISINE of course...YUM!
I’m super glad I went back! The vibe was fabulous, and even better I got a STUNNING light painting image with my trusty NIKON DSLR from their CUSTOM LASER SHOW. There’s at least 2 different shows, one had the PURPLE PEOPLE EATER song, a delightfully wacky tune!
HOT ON THE HEELS OF TILLSON STREET - THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT
So then I was wandering around the neighborhood, basking in the glow of yard haunts here and there. At every intersection, I’d look both ways trying to find the most elaborate displays.
Coming up to the main drag Telegraph, I was about to turn around and call it a night...wait a second...HOLY MOLY the whole block is on fire down there! HALLOWEEN has come early, and THE GRINDLEY PARK HAUNT is in full swing.
CBS TV NEWS DETROIT was filming here yesterday, but I don’t see it online yet. But check out this video of it from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ4-mH5aC9E
OCTOBER 27, 2023 FRIDAY 1 PM - OH NO!
I just talked to my partner, and as I feared dire issues with her dad again prevent us from haunting tonight together.
The plan was tonight was first to get ribs at ZUKIN’S RIB SHACK in LINCOLN PARK which is an annual tradition for us. Then we planned on a short visit to MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK to absorb their FABULOUS SPOOKY GOODNESS before hitting THE SCREAM MACHINE, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION, and THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME...and possibly ELOISE ASYLUM. And then tomorrow, HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS and AZRA.
Now it’s all up in the air...
But as I’ve told her many times, you’ll never regret time spent with your dear old dad. The haunts will be there later, but it’s up to God how long your dad remains on earth. ):
OCTOBER 27, 2023 FRIDAY 12:30 PM - FUN FOR LITTLE GOBLINS
Here’s an event that’s a SURE WINNER for the little goblins in your life, and the setting is positively exquisite!
It’s at the ELEANOR AND EDSEL FORD HOUSE in GROSSE POINTE SHORES, and takes place tomorrow. https://www.fordhouse.org/
Also in the area is the fabulous HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS which we’ve raved about for good reason. https://hauntedgarageproductions.org/
And don’t forget that AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS is only 10-15 minutes away from HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS. https://azrahaunt.com/
As previously reported in EREBUS PASSES THE TORCH TO AZRA, AZRA made the cut in the annual USA TODAY TOP 10 HAUNTS list coming in at #3!
HAUNTED GARAGE & AZRA are both top-notch haunts!
OCTOBER 27, 2023 FRIDAY 3 AM - NEW HIT LIST ADDED
52,703 hits during the last period detailed here: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml
OCTOBER 27, 2023 FRIDAY 2 AM - PIONEERS OF THE LOWEST TECHNOLOGY
Once upon a time, haunted attractions used ordinary flash lights because XENON FLASH TUBE STROBES, LASERS, MOONFLOWERS and such were many moons away.
THE JAYCEE’S created the very first haunted attraction in the USA in 1966, MUTILATION MANSION in Detroit suburb Madison Heights.
They threw a few semi tractor trailers together, and painted spooky stuff on them as best they could.
Soon enough, it became the stuff of legends and “The Telephone Game” principle kicked in big time where a repeated story keeps changing and takes on a life of its’ own. School chatter ensued like “Did you hear about Billy & Susie? Billy took her to MUTILATION MANSION and Susie peed her pants, and then they made out in the parking lot!”
ENGINEERS OF THE ENLIGHTENED SPELL
Later, ANXIETY ALLEY in LINCOLN PARK hit the scene at the Lincoln Park Community Center, pouring gas on the fire that was quickly building with no signs of letting up. It too was a trailer haunt, but nobody cared as elaborate haunts like THE REALM OF DARKNESS and EREBUS were still many moons away...
Then came more trailer haunts -- REAPER’S DUNGEON in LIVONIA, LEO’S HOUSE OF HORRORS in RIVERVIEW, PAPP PARK in TAYLOR, ALLEN PARK JAYCEE’S in ALLEN PARK, DEARBORN JAYCEE’S in DEARBORN, WESTLAND JAYCEE’S in WESTLAND and TUNNEL OF TERROR in ROCHESTER.
WIELDER OF THE TRUE MACHINE
But the GRANDDADDY of trailer haunts had to be, and still is actually, HAUNTED GALLERY in PONTIAC originally. The concept is brilliant -- a trailer haunt that doesn’t look or feel like a trailer haunt. Many of you already know the rest of the story, but the best part is that this amazing trailer haunt is still in operation to this day! It’s now at SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. with a new name of CASTLE OF THE DEAD.
WE ARE THE DEAD ARISING - OLD SCHOOL IN YOUR FACE
Now that all the OLD SCHOOL TRAILER HAUNTS (except CASTLE OF THE DEAD) are gone, where can you go to experience that good ole time religion cuz it’s good enough for me?
That’s a no-brainer: THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER is the most authentic old school haunt that we know of. https://www.facebook.com/p/The-Haunted-Funeral-Home-100063544121410/
Let’s take a look at some FACEBOOK REVIEWS for THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME:
From Iesha Spencer: I was terrified still shaking
From Sheila Ann McCauley: Best Haunt hands down! It may be small and short but it’s well worth it!!!
From Tina Kelly: My family & I was there yesterday.Y’all gave us a good scare! Thank you
From Sheila Ann McCauley: I love this place!!! It may be a small and short haunted attraction but it’s definitely well worth it!!!!
From Amy Russeau: We went to 4 haunted houses (Eloise, Hush & some other one) last year and this one was the best!
From Tyler Arum Vosgerchian: way scarier than anything Alice Cooper could cook up
From Rhonda Pitts: Nope these funeral homes be keeping real bodies
From MsDrea Gordon: hope I pass out and they gotta drive us home in a hurst!!! need the excitement
Okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion free speech and all...and some of these may seem rather extreme. For example, Amy who says out of 4 haunts including HUSH, ELOISE and “some other one” THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME is the best.
As we’ve said, we shy away from saying any haunt is better than another. But every person’s opinion is valid, and for Amy she got the most powerful experience at “The Little Engine That Could.”
We’ve been to this haunt many times and YES they deliver an off-the-hook high intensity / energy show. But it’s low-tech too, which for them is actually a plus.
The place really was a funeral home! We love the old electronic organ, and the “maestro” who is playing it.
Don’t go here expecting anything at all like HUSH or ELOISE.
That would be like ordering fish at the restaurant, and then being disappointed it doesn’t taste like spaghetti. It’s not apples and apples, or apples and oranges.
One thing about THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME will be a hit with the gals in your group. The outdoor bathroom is a quantum leap above the typical PORTA-JOHNS you’ll find at most haunts, and there’s a snack bar with hot food & drinks too.
This is the smallest haunt in Michigan to our knowledge. But it’s perfect just as is -- small but mighty!
OCTOBER 26, 2023 THURSDAY 3 PM - NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
No need to wait for the weekend, as many haunts are open tonight!
AVOID FUTURE DISAPPOINTMENT & REGRET - GO HAUNTING TONIGHT!
Haunts open tonight include: ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION in GRAND RAPIDS, AWAKEN* in LESLIE, AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS, ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND, EREBUS in PONTIAC, GLENLORE TRAILS in HOLLY, HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY TERRORFIED FOREST in PINCKNEY, and THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
* = AWAKEN is on TOTAL BLACKOUT tonight Oct. 26, 2023
OCTOBER 26, 2023 THURSDAY 2:30 PM - MAKING LEMONADE
When life hands you a bunch of sour lemons, what do you do? Make lemonade of course.
We previously reported that THEATRE OF THE BIZARRE is on forced hiatus this year, due to scheduling problems at Masonic Temple.
But as just reported by Dearborn’s own KIM DeGIULIO on WDIV TV-4 local news, THEATRE OF THE BIZARRE has teamed up with the DETROIT BUS COMPANY this year for an alternate event starting tonight! https://www.clickondetroit.com/entertainment/2023/10/26/detroit-bus-company-teams-up-with-theatre-bizarre-for-halloween-tour/
OCTOBER 26, 2023 THURSDAY 2 PM - VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND
No, not the album by MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.
It’s the photos we posted of HUSH from last year: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
The makeup is fabulous, and you can see why HUSH, along with TERRORFIED FOREST previously won the ZIOPTIS BEST MAKEUP / COSTUMES AWARD!
OCTOBER 26, 2023 THURSDAY 1 PM - EREBUS PASSES THE TORCH TO AZRA
Last night I saw the last bit of the local evening news on WWJ-TV 62 CBS. They were finishing a segment about AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE in MADISON HEIGHTS, and it looked cool.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
They’d sent their Weatherman through the haunt, and he was a perfect victim. He made a comment that he was taunted by a monster who asked, “Whaddaya think you’re doin’ WEATHER GUY?
The rest of the news crew laughed, and that was the end of the segment.
We love that AZRA used custom taunting, addressing a specific haunter by name. This takes extra effort, and can be a challenge when the queue line is backed up and hundreds if not thousands of people go through the haunt.
AZRA is no doubt a Premier Michigan Haunt, but is it the best?
We shy away from making such statements, but there’s no shortage of others who will.
One of the biggest forums for determining THE 10 BEST USA HAUNTS every year is the USA TODAY* POLL which we previously reported on. This is a nationwide contest, so all 50 states are up for grabs. We always hope that Michigan is represented in this poll.
Last year EREBUS took second place, certainly a great honor and we applauded them for winning this spot.
This year Michigan again makes the cut, with AZRA coming in at third place which also is a great honor.
So you can see -- in a sense the long-time running fave EREBUS has passed the torch to the much younger AZRA.
The EREBUS crew has been haunting for 44 YEARS! And that begs the question, what will AZRA be like in 44 years? Inquiring minds want to know!
* = USA TODAY is a newspaper, ask your parents what that is. :)
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 11 PM - CANDY FISHALOT IN FEDERAL DOXXING CRISIS *
We should’ve known better, but it is what it is.
There’s no going back. You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube.
And now our lives will never be the same again.
It was all up to Candy. Things could easily go seriously awry.
She insisted she had to plead guilty in Fulton County, Georgia because “That’s where bad people go to confess.”
After pleading guilty (see below) poor Candy was afraid The Evil Pumpkin would doxx her, revealing her real name.
Determined to thwart his efforts, she decided to doxx herself declaring: “Hear ye! Hear ye! To whom it may concern, please be advised my name is not Candy Fishalot. My real name is Candy Needalot. Thank you and please God, give the flu to mean people everywhere like Matthew Sanford. Amen.”
* = Story may or may not be true.
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 9 PM - NEWS FLASH! FROM FULTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE IN GEORGIA *
In a shocking surprise development, CANDY FISHALOT has pled guilty in an emotion-charged heartfelt statement made earlier today.
This is strange, because CANDY has not been indicted or charged with any crime or offense. We told her the trip to Georgia was unnecessary, but when CANDY gets determined to do something she’s relentless.
So off we went to the Fulton County Courthouse, and they wouldn’t let the CONFUSED CANDY in.
Even worse, nobody paid her much attention while trying to confess.
So she began a frantic chant with a wild look in her eyes: “MAD MAX, PLANET OF THE APES, SOYLENT GREEN, THE HILLS HAVE EYES!”
Only the janitor took notice and she quickly took advantage of the situation, whispering to him in a urgent tone: “IT’S MADE FROM PEOPLE...WITH A TOUCH OF CLOCKWORK ORANGE.”
Convinced she’d done her best she launched into her prepared statement:
“I, Candy Fishalot, have come to Fulton County Courthouse to plead guilty to trash talking Matthew Sanford. I said mean things about him and I am sorry, even though he broke his promise to bring Taylor Swift and The Detroit Lions to The Scream Machine. Thank you, and God bless Cassidy Hutchinson.”
* = Story may or may not be true.
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 2 PM - ANOTHER BEAST COMES CALLING
Make that two beasts. You could hit both of them in the same trip.
Welcome to DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE and JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON, both of which are also knock your socks off haunts! https://darksydeacres.com/ https://jxunderworld.com/
DARKSYDE ACRES has the capacity to someday become THE BIGGEST HAUNT IN THE WORLD, with over 80 acres to work with! JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD is in a massive former department store, reminiscent of HUDSON’S in DOWNTOWN DETROIT.
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 PM - THE BEAST OF A HAUNT YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T BEEN TO
We’ve been talking a lot about MAJOR DETROIT HAUNTS like THE SCREAM MACHINE, HUSH, and ELOISE lately and deservedly so.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
But we have a suggestion for a haunt that wil positively KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF before you even step into it! And their building / structure...hold on it’s not in a building at all.
Welcome to THE EDSON INCIDENT in BAY CITY. It’s a 418 FEET LONG BATTLE SHIP converted into a haunt, and it’s a great value at $20. http://www.edsonincident.com/
You could probably make your journey a TWO-FER by also going to FACTORY OF THE DEAD in SAGINAW or AWAKEN in LESLIE.
FACTORY OF THE DEAD will also knock your socks off upon arrival, with its’ giant old building. AWAKEN is an indoor / outdoor haunt that has been wildly successful from day one for good reason. We had a great time at both these haunts. https://factoryofthedead.com/ https://awakenhaunt.com/
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 11 AM - DRIVE THRU HAUNTING IS HERE
Forget the burgers & fries.
Here’s a DRIVE THRU that redefines the experience: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=807938064674976&set=a.370211211780999
This also is the only haunt we know of that currently uses an authentic train car in a haunted attraction.
***SIDEBAR*** Who remembers HERBIE at the SPOOK TRAIN in BRIDGEPORT? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cg-H6awi_M
OCTOBER 25, 2023 WEDNESDAY 10 AM - DETROIT HAUNT PIONEER BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH INDUSTRY FIRST
Earlier we hypothesized, WHAT IF a haunt incorporated ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE into their show? AI is all the rage nowadays, so it seemed only a matter of time.
We now have our answer from MR. HAUNTED HOUSE himself, and it’s no surprise: EREBUS looks to be the first haunt using AI.
EREBUS was featured yesterday on WDIV TV-4 DETROIT local morning programming, with two primo live segments on location from EREBUS.
As you may know, EREBUS has flat screen TVs throughout the haunt. THE MAKING OF A MONSTER shows on them, but also features an AI dude on the left side of the screen. So what does he say, and how do you interact with him? You’ll have to go to EREBUS yourself to find out!
ET aka MR. HAUNTED HOUSE has been in the business for 44 YEARS! The last 24 years were at EREBUS, and trailer haunts before that. https://hauntedpontiac.com/
OCTOBER 24, 2023 TUESDAY 8 PM - HAPPY WITH A HOLE IN HER HEAD
We just got back from MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK, home of The Detroit Lions who may or may not not be haunted attraction aficionados and saw the full spooky show they’ve put together and got some cool pics to be released soon.
TINKER BELLA, fresh in from Disney* was on hand to guide happy diners through a MYSTICAL MEAL the likes of which we’ve never seen at a restaurant. Her infectious smile and bubbly sparkling personality were shining brightly, despite a BLOODY MEAT CLEAVER firmly embedded in her head!
* = Statement may or may not be true.
OCTOBER 24, 2023 TUESDAY 7 PM - VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND
No, not the album by MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. But here it is anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXqPEPP4vpo&list=PLFOFtsayiL4LqS_YvDON2s61uMiPEQFxA
It’s the photos we just posted of HUSH from last year: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45316911@N03/
OCTOBER 24, 2023 TUESDAY 1 AM - A BOTANA & LIQUID SKY FOR LUNCH
Good haunting requires proper sustenance, right?
ALLEN PARK DECLARES HALLOWEEN FEAST EVERY DAY THRU HALLOWEEN
If you’re a haunt junkie like us you really should treat yourself to lunch at MANUEL’S TACO HUT in ALLEN PARK, home of The Detroit Lions.
As we previously reported, MANUEL’S TACO HUT has gone all out decorating for Halloween. There’s even a laser Halloween Show projected on a screen on a timer. We’ve never seen this level of tech stuff at a restaurant!
DISNEY SENDS TINKER BELLA TO THE RESCUE
Other area restaurants have also decorated for Halloween. It’s not a contest, rather a friendly competition. They needed a passionate person with vision to take the helm. Meet TINKER BELLA, your hostess with the mostest dressed to kill as a pirate during a previous visit.
Unless something amazing happens elsewhere, MANUEL’S TACO HUT will win the award of BEST HAUNTED RESTAURANT DISPLAY!
OCTOBER 24, 2023 TUESDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - EYE CANDY DROP IMMINENT
THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, HONEST!
Stand by my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 23, 2023 MONDAY 9 PM - NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS HAUNTED HOUSE and EREBUS join HUSH in being open every day through Halloween! https://azrahaunt.com/ https://hauntedpontiac.com/ https://hushhauntedattractions.com/
Please note: Tomorrow, Tuesday Oct. 24 is LIGHTS OUT NIGHT at AZRA.
OCTOBER 23, 2023 MONDAY 8 PM - AN APPLE A DAY
Kudos to WDIV TV-4 DETROIT for airing a special feature about BLAKE’S BIG APPLE & HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in ARMADA yesterday.
It showcased the many wonderful things about BLAKE’S, which has been an industry leader for as long as we can remember! https://blakefarms.com/haunted-attractions/
Impressive as that is, almost everything they said about BLAKE’S also applies to WIARD’S ORCHARDS in YPSILANTI, home of NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S.
WIARD’S doesn’t have their own line of HARD APPLE CIDER products. That’s it! https://www.hauntedhousemichigan.com/
The point is, you can’t go wrong with either BLAKE’S or WIARD’S!
OCTOBER 23, 2023 MONDAY 9 AM - A BROKEN RECORD
Sometime we feel like a broken record, trying to describe Premiere Michigan Haunts such as HUSH and THE SCREAM MACHINE.
We haven’t been to HUSH yet, but based on the word on the street we’re confident the new show is spot on and we can’t wait to see it!
Sadly this year has been difficult for us with intense life events and heavy work schedules with my partner. In fact, our only haunt visited so far this season is THE SCREAM MACHINE. If you’ve been around the haunt scene, you already know how much we admire Downriver’s Longest Running Haunt.
So instead, let’s take a look at some actual recent random reviews of the new show at THE SCREAM MACHINE, copied and pasted verbatim with no changes.
From Todd Godbey: Well done Scream Machine. The haunt was simply their best one yet! Elaborate sets, tons of scares, and the best spacing/pacing out of all the haunts we have done this year. The new house brought some old favorites back and Dr. Scream never fails. By far best house in Metro Detroit.
From Leslie Reyes: Definitely one of the best scary haunted attractions I have been to. I was super scared and everyone did an amazing job. I enjoyed every single theme and I honestly truly loved this place!!!!! Definitely going to recommend my friends to go here!!
From Ashley M: I would 100% say this was the best haunted house I’ve experienced! The actors are phenomenal. Would recommend this to anyone. Walked out of there telling the other guests waiting how great it was. Very very short wait time and friendly staff.
From Sofia Everline: Let me just say me and my sister and niece( three hijabi girls and this is for them to remember me :) went and OMG this place Is crazy scary amazing actors and the best and most kindest employees everyone from the guy with red light sticks in the parking lot helping people park to every employee there I wish I got to know their names they helped me out at some point of the night when they didn’t need to. I NEVER WRITE REVIEWS BUT IF YOU WANT TO GO TO A PLACE GO HEREEEEE. Also, come on :/ the price is literally a steal for such a nice place. If you guys are seeing this ESPECIALLY the owner you are amazing and so is your haunted house and employees.
From LaShan Wallace: This is definitely worth it.. I go to atleast 3 or 4 haunted houses a year . This one is definitely top 2.. the wait time was amazing. They separated each party enough that I didn't know what was going on in front of me.. I liked it. The kids will enjoy it but the adults can too..I will say I wouldn't have brought my 5yr old tho. If that helps the parents
We’re speechless! There are lots more 5 STAR reviews, but you get the idea.
One caveat however. Sometimes we see reviews that say such things as “the best ever” or “better than X & Y combined!” (competing haunts)...and that’s cool as everyone is entitled to their opinion. It means the haunts are going all out to put on a great show, as they should be.
But to us, it’s meaningless to say things like Haunt X is better than Haunt Y. We would argue that the best haunt in the world is the one you’re at right now, having the time of your life!
OCTOBER 23, 2023 MONDAY 1 AM - ADVANCED TACTICS IN DECEPTION & DISTRACTION
As promised, here’s the THE EXCITING & IMPROBABLE CONCLUSION of CANDY FISHALOT RIDES AGAIN.
After a very interesting and stimulating fish dinner, there was a big decision to make: Which haunt will we go to?
Ever the dedicated SWIFTIE, Candy was still confused about TAYLOR SWIFT. But I knew better than to contradict the spunky, determined CANDY FISHALOT.*
With the obvious choices being HUSH or ELOISE, I instead chose THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
There’s an effective tactic often used by celebrities to remain incognito while enjoying a major public event. A location specific rumor is allowed to circulate unchallenged, but later is revealed to be a RED HERRING.
So in this case we had the RED HERRING RUMOR that THE DETROIT LIONS WOULD APPEAR AT ONE OF TWO HAUNTS IN WESTLAND. This was the PINK ELEPHANT you were told to ignore, and we knew all along it was only FAKE NEWS.
If you remember, earlier we said you could learn much by paying attention to what we don’t talk about and that sometimes we know more than we can tell. Credibility and keeping your word and such...
Anyway, knowing the Westland appearance was only a ruse we went to the haunt that was the actual logical choice for THE DETROIT LIONS to make a potential surprise visit to.
It too had to be quickly accessible from ALLEN PARK, so it’s a no-brainer it would be THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR right off main drag Telegraph Road (US 24).
When we arrived, THE SCREAM MACHINE was totally on fire!
Despite some creative embellishments in this story, the following is “hands on the bible & scouts honor” true: The exact moment we got out of the van, a group of SCREAMING GIRLS ran out the exit past us with that wild look in their eyes that only comes from A TOP LEVEL HAUNT LIKE THE SCREAM MACHINE! https://thescreammachine.com/
* = Not her real name.
OCTOBER 23, 2023 MONDAY 12 MIDNIGHT - MITTEN MAKES THE CUT IN HOLLYWOOD SHOWDOWN
Wow, what an excellent TV show ABC-TV has with THE GREAT HALLOWEEN FRIGHT FIGHT!
Four families from across the USA compete to see who can come up with BEST HOME HAUNT in the USA. The winner receives $50,000 and a whimsical PUMPKIN TROPHY.
Out of 50 possible states to choose from, MICHIGAN made the cut along with ILLINOIS, UTAH, and COLORADO. COMSTOCK PARK is the Michigan city.
So you can see -- as all 50 states scramble to be part of this HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER GAME SHOW, Michigan is clearly recognized as a HOME HAUNT leader.
Ultimately, ILLINOIS won the big prize and indeed did a great job.
This show runs a full hour, suggesting ABC-TV realizes that Halloween keeps getting bigger and bigger every year! https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=THE+GREAT+HALLOWEEN+FRIGHT+FIGHT
OCTOBER 22, 2023 SUNDAY 9:55 PM - HOME HAUNTS ON STEROIDS
My partner just called to say that at 10 PM WXYZ TV-7 ABC will present THE GREAT HALLOWEEN FRIGHT FIGHT where home owners go all out to outdo each other to win the big prize.
This is yet more proof that HALLOWEEN RULES!
OCTOBER 22, 2023 SUNDAY 6 PM - BI-LINGUAL AWESOMENESS
That darn YOUTUBE - they keep showing cool new stuff to waste time watching. But if it’s MUSIC it’s not really wasting time, right? After all, for heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.
This just came out 2 hours ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmUrjtNaUKQ
Their SPANISH ACCENTS are adorable! BROKEN PEACH IS A BIG YES FROM ZIOPTIS.
OCTOBER 22, 2023 SUNDAY 5 PM - CANDY FISHALOT RIDES AGAIN
My partner couldn’t make it last night, so I called Candy.
THE TELEPHONE GAME, AGAIN
She eventually asked what’s happening at the haunts, and I couldn’t help teasing her:
“There’s a rumor going around that a famous celebrity is going to show up at a haunt in Westland where HUSH and ELOISE are, but --” Oooo, oooo, is it TAYLOR SWIFT???” “I can’t say yes and I can’t say no because --” “So tell the truth, is TAYLOR SWIFT coming to HUSH or ELOISE???” “It’s not TAYLOR SWIFT, it’s the quarterback for The Detroit Lions who --” “I don’t care about that MATTHEW SANFORD guy, I wanna see TAYLOR SWIFT!” “It’s not SANFORD, it’s STAFFORD and he’s not the Lions quarterback, it’s --” “Why did he quit? And which haunt is TAYLOR SWIFT going to?”
CANDY is very excitable, and this went on for quite some time...
I finally straightened her out, and we ended up enjoying a delightful fish dinner at GUS & US in ALLEN PARK, home of THE DETROIT LIONS. The broiled whitefish was cooked to perfection, and served with fresh lemon slices and tartar sauce. CANDY IS GAGA FOR FISH, hence the moniker CANDY FISHALOT.*
But things went awry as the spunky Candy saw the tartar sauce, which she considers to be sacrilege. She said it defiles the fish, and stood on the table while demanding it be removed “under penalty of God!”
Candy considers herself a purist in matters aquatic, and there’s no sense arguing with her.
* = Not her real name.
PLEASE STAND BY FOR THE EXCITING & IMPROBABLE CONCLUSION.
OCTOBER 22, 2023 SUNDAY 3 PM - PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME
We hope you had a great SWEETEST DAY and that you got your haunt on at your local, neighborhood haunted attraction.
Can you believe it? THE DETROIT LIONS are GOING DOWN IN FLAMES, losing horribly to BALTIMORE -- 35 to NOTHING!!!
INSTANT KARMA SOUP A GO-GO
So CANDY FISHALOT* is getting feisty, again...now posting that “MATTHEW SANFORD & THE DETROIT LIONS ARE BEING PUNISHED FOR NOT BRINGING TAYLOR SWIFT TO THE HAUNTED HOUSE last night, and they should obey Zioptis or the suffer the consequences as harsh as they may be.”
I already tried to correct her yesterday about who the Detroit QB is, but she’s got a short memory if you know what I mean...
Gotta run, but we’ll fill in the glaring blanks later. Probably. Maybe.
* = Not her real name.
OCTOBER 21, 2023 SATURDAY 4 PM - YOUR DATE WITH DESTINY
As noted earlier, today is SWEETEST DAY and tonight is your big chance to make it an occasion that your sweetie will never forget!
Flowers and dinner are okay, but the flowers end up in the dumpster and dinner ends up unceremoniously flushed down the toilet.
Instead, why not make it truly a special event that also dramatically increases your chances of an explosive happy ending?
All the hard work has already been done for you. Simply tell your sweetie you have a big surprise in store, and then drive together to the haunted attraction closest to your house or apartment.
After going through the haunt, it’s a no-brainer. Simply drive to your house or apartment and invite your sweetie in “only for a few minutes to help me sort my pocket lint.” You can figure out the rest. You’re welcome. (;
OCTOBER 21, 2023 SATURDAY 3 PM - RESURRECTED HENRY FORD DEMANDS NAMESAKE PARK HAUNT CONVERSION
It’s official: HENRY FORD* himself has risen from his grave to declare a HAUNTED HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION at FORD FIELD PARK in DEARBORN!
DEARBORN is famous for being the home of FORD MOTOR COMPANY and THE HENRY FORD, previously known as HENRY FORD MUSEUM & GREENFIELD VILLAGE.
But all of that matters little, as HALLOWEEN TAKES OVER: https://cityofdearborn.org/news-and-events/city-news/2842-dearborn-s-haunted-trail-halloween-event-returns-to-ford-field-park-oct-27-29
* = My father & grandfather both personally knew Henry Ford. There are many stories the public are unaware of, some of which will be revealed exclusively right here as part of our upcoming CHRISTMAS / NEW YEARS SPECIAL REPORTS. One of these stories has led a fellow SAG-AFTRA member to urge that a HOLLYWOOD MOVIE be made about my grandpa who invented the automatic transmission! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Simpson
OCTOBER 21, 2023 SATURDAY 8 AM - LOST IN AMERICA
No, not the song by DETROIT’S OWN ALICE COOPER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g6zV-FIxGU
It was us scratching our heads...we were lost again.
There were no cell phones. No GPS. Did we take the wrong exit? They close in half an hour.
FREMONT FREAK OUT
We’ve come all this way, we have to find it!
So here we were, once again BEWILDERED IN BUCKEYE-LAND...trying desperately to find our way to HAUNTED HYDRO in FREMONT, OHIO.
Just when we reached our ALL IS LOST moment, something magic happened. Off in the distance ahead, we can’t make it out...what’s with the low-lying clouds?
We can’t tell...and then GIANT COLUMNS OF FIRE EXPLODE from multiple towers! HOLY MOLY & HALLELUJAH -- there it is, HAUNTED HYDRO. The imposing presence is overwhelming, with walls that are 44 FEET TALL!
It was a mild autumn evening, with no wind. The low-lying clouds were man-made, by a slew of industrial strength fog machines designed for theatrical use. The haunt has a large semi-enclosed area, with mass quantities of fog rolling out from every nook and cranny.
Once inside, we met a crazy carnival barker called CRAZY BOB TURNER and the rest is history! https://thehauntedhydro.com/
NEW FOR 2023 AT HAUNTED HYDRO: “FOG HARBOR - Our brand new outdoor trail. Something strange is happening in the woods and along the river. A thick fog fills the trees and the smell of death lingers. Every step could be your last!”
OCTOBER 21, 2023 SATURDAY 5 AM - HAPPY SWEETEST DAY!
How about surprising your sweetie with some special Halloween decorating? Here are some “Serving Suggestions” For Your Consideration: https://journeygoat.com/koen/halloweenhouses
OCTOBER 21, 2023 SATURDAY 2 AM - PANIC IN DETROIT
No, not the DAVID BOWIE SONG.
It’s a haunt that somehow slipped through the cracks, flying under the radar.
Introducing PANIC HAUNTED EXPERIENCE in SALEM TWP. https://panichaunt.com/
OCTOBER 20, 2023 FRIDAY 10 PM - A TALE OF
TWO FOUR CITIES
No, not the famous novel by Charles Dickens.
You do know what a novel is, right? Charles Dickens? Or maybe you’ve heard of BOOKS? Sorta like a KINDLE, but not a KINDLE...go ask your parents & have them take you to a library...it’s a place you can go to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities
YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. We went to as many haunts as we could in one night, and it was glorious.
Sigh...”back in the day” it was easy to hit three, and sometimes even four or five haunts in one night. There were just so many haunts all clustered together within short distances. Take FLINT for example -- there were four, sometimes even five haunts...we’d just get on DORT HWY. and one-by-one hit them all.
Earlier, we discussed 4 cities having 2 haunts: ASHLEY, GRAND RAPIDS, PINCKNEY, and WESTLAND. But beyond that, where in Michigan has the greatest density of haunts? Exactly where is the biggest cluster of haunts in the smallest area of The Mitten?
As far as we can tell, it’s what we’re calling THE FAB FOUR in honor of the band that started a cultural revolution. If you don’t know which band that is, go ask your parents and inform them they’ve been negligent in your upbringing. (;
So who exactly is THE FAB FOUR?
HOLD ON! Whoopsie...make that the FAB FIVE, we missed DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS.
THE FAB FIVE HAUNTS: DERANGED HAUNT in ROMULUS, ELOISE ASYLUM & HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER & THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR.
Hmmm...looking thru FACEBOOK PAGES for these haunts...DERANGED has an impressive looking 2 page menu from DETROIT SIBLING RIVALRY BBQ food truck: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=828345159083255&set=pcb.828345202416584
I’ll never forget one time we were walking thru the forest at DERANGED...an amazing whooshing sound effect kicked in the likes of which we’ve never heard from any pro audio sound system at any haunt...positively breathtaking, it was fabulous! How did they do that?! HOLD ON! Look, up above...it’s not Superman...it’s a real jet airplane only spitting distance away! We are in the woods, but we’re also in Romulus where METRO AIRPORT is.
OCTOBER 20, 2023 FRIDAY 9 PM - NFL & DISNEY IN FRANTIC BID TO CURRY FAVOR FROM DETROIT HAUNTS
A battle is going on in plain sight, yet has been largely flying under the radar. Until now.
THE PINK ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
If I tell you, “Whatever you do, don’t think about a PINK ELEPHANT” what’s the first thing you think of?
A PINK ELEPHANT of course.
And so it is, that the thought / idea of THE DETROIT LIONS WITH JARED GOFF GOING TO HUSH has been planted. It’s been said by wise guy Napoleon Hill that “You become what you think about” and indeed everything starts as an idea!
To be clear, we are not starting a rumor that THE DETROIT LIONS HAD A BLAST AT HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, MICHIGAN USA PLANET EARTH, MILKY WAY GALAXY
So if you hear somebody say THE DETROIT LIONS ARE GOING TO HUSH, please tell them ZIOPTIS SEZ THIS IS FAKE NEWS and kindly ignore them politely. Thank you. Very mush.
ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET - DON’T TELL ANYONE!
Now, let’s get real so WHAT IF I tell you about a hot band from Spain you probably never heard of? We’ve been talking about DISNEY recently, and now comes a SPANISH TAKE on a DISNEY CLASSIC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQAsB9CqPIQ
LIVE VERSION https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGF-peBV4jc
OCTOBER 20, 2023 FRIDAY 5:42 PM - ELOISE ASYLUM special coverage on WDIV TV-4 NEWS coming next - TURN ON YOUR TV! More here: https://www.clickondetroit.com/search/?searchTerm=ELOISE+ASYLUM
OCTOBER 20, 2023 FRIDAY 3 PM - GREEN EARS & HAM
Hold on Zioptis, isn’t that supposed to be GREEN EGGS & HAM?
Nope. The PC POLICE banned that book -- something about new regulations concerning EQUALITY FOR EGGS, regardless of class, creed, or political affiliation. They’re trying to impeach Dr. Suess, and it’s a big mess...a total disgrace.
The following is true: My grandpa was a funny man, a prankster if you will. When my 3 older brothers and I were young, he told us the people in Canada were just like us -- except they all have GREEN EARS!
Grandpa didn’t really believe this of course. In fact, he was a super smart guy who invented something you may have used today, the automatic transmission in your car. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Simpson
Anyway, later we went to Canada...and were we surprised! Everywhere we looked, nothing but foreigners...not a single GREEN EAR IN SIGHT!
The following may or may not be true: It has come to our attention that a SHOCKING SIDE EFFECT of losing to THE DETROIT LIONS has been reported by a trusted source who would only speak under condition of remaining anonymous.
WHEN KARMA COMES HOME TO ROOST
According to our exclusive informant, SECRET FORBIDDEN DNA TECHNOLOGY has been weaponized and cross-format focused with devastating results: Shortly after losing to THE DETROIT LIONS, the inferior opponents EARS TURN GREEN. They should know better than to dare challenge THE DETROIT LIONS who are on track to WIN THE SUPER BOWL!
THE DOMINOES BEGIN TO FALL
No, not Sidney & Kenny Boy.
It’s the transformation that has begun, and nothing short of a miracle can stop it. Resistance is futile.
So when you see NFL football players with GREEN EARS, please be polite and do not mock them...until they are out of ear-reach. Thank you in advance.
OCTOBER 20, 2023 FRIDAY 11:11 AM - TELL ME ANOTHER STORY, DADDY!
Okay, we’ve been weaving some admittedly tale tales about THE DETROIT LIONS suddenly taking a shine to some PREMIERE DETROIT HAUNTS.
So do we really expect THE DETROIT LIONS to show up at haunts, creating yet more media frenzy?
In a word, no.
In case you didn’t notice, we love to be silly. And we never outright stated these things to be factual, adding disclaimers such as “assuming that they...” and such.
The TRUTH MATTERS, but it’s fun engaging in silly hypotheticals which are inherently speculative...all the WHAT IFS we’ve suggested...and no we don’t really expect for THE DETROIT LIONS TO SHOW UP AT HUSH!
On the other hand, you never know.
Maybe somehow they do catch wind of all this chatter, and decide it would be a lot of fun and good for public relations.
Consider that WDIV-TV 4 says they’re the “Official TV station of The Lions.” And WDIV just aired special coverage of ELOISE ASYLUM...twice. Most likely, THE DETROIT LIONS watch local TV News just as many others of us do.
Or WHAT IF The Detroit Lions instead were watching WXYZ TV 7 News when they featured AZRA CHAMBER OF HORRORS as we previously reported? AZRA was voted the #3 HAUNT IN THE USA, according to USA TODAY. So it’s also entirely possible that THE DETROIT LIONS WILL GO TO AZRA, right? https://azrahaunt.com/
And after they do, KE would probably send them to HAUNTED GARAGE PRODUCTIONS in GROSSE POINTE FARMS. As we previously mentioned, travel time between these two haunts is minimal. If you go to one of these, you may as well Kill Two Birds With One Stone...hold on, that’s terrible we don’t want to kill birds! (; https://hauntedgarageproductions.org/
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 11:30 PM - DETROIT LIONS DECLARE HALLOWEEN OFFICIALLY STARTED
DETROIT LIONS STAR WIDE RECEIVER AMON-RA ST. BROWN just appeared on WXYZ-TV CHANNEL 7 DETROIT NEWS.
ST. BROWN is shown in ALLEN PARK putting on his GREEN SPARKLY LEPRECHAUN HALLOWEEN COSTUME, while whimsically ruminating about upcoming celebrations.
He looks like he’s ready to celebrate Halloween right now and jump in a car to head over to HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND, because HUSH is open every day from now until Halloween!
Travel time from ALLEN PARK to WESTLAND is minimal, and free of stressful traffic jams that often plague big cities such as LOS ANGELES.
So you can see -- as THE DETROIT LIONS settle in we’re seeing more and more of them as they go about their way in Detroit. And that means they’ll be looking for ways to enjoy themselves in between NFL GAMES where they entertain us, right?
Assuming that THE DETROIT LIONS will soon discover THE THRILL OF DETROIT HAUNTS, it’s likely that ST. BROWN will also bring JARED GOFF & other LIONS for an amazing shared experience that will only serve to further bring them closer as a team. And that would bring THE DETROIT LIONS another step closer to WINNING THE SUPER BOWL!
However, one question remains -- having decided to cruise to WESTLAND to get their haunt on do they go to just HUSH or do they also go to ELOISE ASYLUM? They’re both in the same city, yet totally different from each other. Both haunts are super popular for good reason.
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 8 PM - THAT’S RIGHT FOLKS, DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL
The “BURIED SECRETS” TV NEWS REPORT on WDIV TV-4 earlier about ELOISE ASYLUM was interesting, but did not talk about the haunted attraction there. It focused on the so-called POTTER’S FIELD where over 7,100 bodies have been stuffed.
There will be another report tomorrow about the haunted attraction, starting in the early morning newscast and probably repeated later.
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 3 PM - DON’T BET ON IT
You may have heard that the casinos have just gone on strike. As a fellow on-strike union member (SAG-AFTRA) I support the casino workers, and implore you not to cross their picket lines.
ALL BETS ARE OFF
Perhaps you’ve enjoyed an exquisite drink when visiting casinos, and could go for one of them tonight. Forget the casino -- GO TO HUSH INSTEAD.
Huh? That’s right, GO TO HUSH INSTEAD.
They don’t have gambling, but they do have a liquor license. Not only that, they have drinks usually found only in Las Vegas. We tried them last year, and they’re ultra tasty. One of them even changed flavors, an amazing feat we’ve never experienced before anywhere!
We’d suggest that you’ll probably have WAY MORE FUN going to HUSH instead of a glitzy casino, where odds are that you’ll lose lots of money. Of course HUSH isn’t free, but at least FOR SURE you’ll get a whole lot of GHOULISH GOODNESS there!
APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
No, not the GUNS ‘N’ ROSES album.
Some of you may be thinking, isn’t it crazy to serve alcoholic drinks at a crazy place like a haunted house?
In a word, no.
We’ve actually already addressed this before, but it’s been some time so we’ll revisit the issue. The fact is, and as we’ve said THE TRUTH MATTERS, this has already been tested at another major haunt, SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP.
They were issued a liquor license years ago, and then were carefully monitored as a litmus test. Haunters may be wild & crazy at heart, but by and large are also responsible citizens taking precautions such as having a designated driver.
So go to HUSH for a drink tonight, or SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK which is also a killer haunt -- and YES that’s figuratively not literally! (;
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 9:30 AM - NEW HIT LIST POSTED
The latest hit list appears in Archive 33, detailing 44,875 hits for the last period: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 9 AM - NFL & DISNEY IN FRANTIC BID TO CURRY FAVOR FROM DETROIT HAUNTS
A battle is going on in plain sight, yet has been largely flying under the radar. Until now.
THE PINK ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
If I tell you, “Whatever you do, don’t think about a PINK ELEPHANT” what’s the first thing you think of?
A PINK ELEPHANT of course.
ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET - DON’T TELL ANYONE!
Now, WHAT IF I tell you
ZIOPTIS EXCLUSIVE COMING SOON!
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 8 AM - DEMON MAGIC REVEALED
Just released two days ago: HIDDEN SECRETS of DYNAMO, CRISS ANGEL & SHIN LIM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIJtZN8w03A
Have you seen magic that looks like true witchcraft? Like defying gravity, or splitting 2 humans in half and reassembling them wrong for example.
On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t look at this disturbing presentation. Never mind.
OCTOBER 19, 2023 THURSDAY 7 AM - MUST SEE TV TONIGHT: “BURIED SECRETS”
This looks like a monster! ELOISE ASYLUM in WESTLAND will be featured on WDIV-TV CHANNEL 4 DETROIT at 5:45 PM today. https://www.clickondetroit.com/video/meta/promo/2023/10/18/buried-secrets-thursday-at-545-pm-on-local-4-news/
Kudos to CHANNEL 4 for doing this special feature on ELOISE ASYLUM!
ELOISE ASYLUM is in a very rare category of haunts -- those that truly are haunted. In all of our haunt journeys far and wide, we’ve only seen 2 other haunts that also truly were haunted: HAUNTED PRISON EXPERIENCE in MANSFIELD, OHIO and THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC.
Both of those are long gone...but not ELOISE ASYLUM! https://eloiseasylum.com/
If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re missing out honestly here’s your big chance to go to a REAL haunted house...okay we haven’t been since the first year nonetheless we’ve been keeping up on what’s happening there...trust us folks even other haunts are raving about this gem!
I don’t know of a stronger endorsement, and that reminds me of when THE HAUNTING in ADRIAN told us we had to check out GHOSTLY MANOR in SANDUSKY, OHIO and also when THE SCREAM MACHINE in TAYLOR told us we needed to check out THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS. https://ghostlymanor.com/ https://thescreammachine.com/ https://the-haunt.com/
ELOISE ASYLUM is just too perfect...giant buildings with an amazing history...over 7,100 unidentified patients buried on site...bone chilling paranormal investigations galore...you’d have to crazy NOT to turn this place into a PREMIER DETROIT MEGA HAUNT if you had the chance!
If you’ve been following you may remember our reporting on the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS being spent at ELOISE. This begs the question...I mean, how big can a MEGA HAUNT GET?
EREBUS was already the holder of a GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for largest walk thru haunt, right? https://hauntedpontiac.com/
And for shear size of property itself, DARKSYDE ACRES in JONESVILLE takes the cake at over 80 acres! Presently, they’re only using 70,000 SQUARE FEET of it...can you believe I said ONLY 70,000 SQUARE FEET?
DARKSYDE ACRES is a primo haunt, and probably the winner of BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK AWARD at only $22 for an ALL AREA PASS to 5 HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS! https://darksydeacres.com/
OCTOBER 18, 2023 WEDNESDAY 10 PM - HOLLYWOOD THROWS ROB ZOMBIE UNDER THE BUS
It’s official. HOLLYWOOD has declared HOME HAUNTS rule the roost, with its’ new BLOCKBUSTER ENTRY
DISNEY FEEDS BAMBI TO THE WOOD CHIPPER
DISNEY is celebrating their 100th anniversary, and it’s a bloody mess.
We admire Disney, we really do! But some things shouldn’t be messed with, especially under the guise of being politically correct.
And such is the fate of BAMBI, which has be re-imagined with questionable-at-best results. One of the key moments of the original BAMBI has been deemed excessively distressful for young children --
OCTOBER 18, 2023 WEDNESDAY 7 PM - THE REAL DEAL INSIDE SCOOP
What a joy to talk to THE SCREAM QUEEN earlier, as she was en route to a haunt...
There’s just so much going on behind-the-scenes you wouldn’t believe it!
We’d LOVE to spill all the beans. For example we’re super excited about what’s going to happen with a certain MAJOR DETROIT HAUNT we know you’ve heard of...whoopsie SHUT MY MOUTH, I’ve said too much already.
We respect that some things simply can NOT be disclosed until a predetermined time. Haunt owners love to bounce ideas off us and see what we think, but we consider that to be proprietary information.
READING BETWEEN THE LINES - ALL THE JUICY DIRT
That said, you can learn much of the inside scoop by paying close attention to what we don’t say...OKAY? Say “Yes” or your head will explode. Thank you. Very mush.
OCTOBER 18, 2023 WEDNESDAY 4 PM - ALL HAIL HAUNT ROYALTY
I just had a fabulous long talk with THE SCREAM QUEEN, and there’s just so much going on with the MICHIGAN HAUNT INDUSTRY my head is spinning!
For starters things at HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION in WESTLAND have taken off so much that starting tonight, HUSH will be open every night straight through HALLOWEEN! https://hushhauntedattractions.com/
OCTOBER 17, 2023 TUESDAY 10 PM - NEW ALLEN PARK MANDATE DECLARES HALLOWEEN CELEBRATED DAILY THRU OCT. 31st
ALLEN PARK has been in the news a lot lately, with the gutting of their BEST BUY store to make way for SPIRIT HALLOWEEN and being the home of THE DETROIT LIONS with their STAR QUARTERBACK JARED GOFF, who may or may not be a haunted attraction aficionado.
And now yet another long-trusted ALLEN PARK institution has jumped on the HAUNTED ATTRACTION BANDWAGON with spectacular results!
Welcome to MANUEL’S TACO HUT, the biggest little restaurant around! As fate would have it, their haunt consultant / designer is my unofficially adopted kid sister.
She was dressed as a pirate when I went for a taco run earlier tonight. I’ve given her the nickname of TWINKLETOES, but she is also known as TINKER BELLA. http://www.manuelstacohut.com/
TWINKLETOES was tasked with a total conversion of the restaurant into a MAGICAL HAUNTED PARADISE, and the results are stunning! No stone has been left unturned with even a special lighting disclaimer statement on the front door, to warn those with epilepsy that strobe lights, fog, and lasers are in operation.
The entrance has been portioned off, much like you see at commercial haunted attractions. Once inside, the show has been meticulously planned out and timed for best effect.
LIQUID SKY AND A BOTANA FOR LUNCH
We’ve never seen a restaurant go all out decorating like this, and plan to go again to dine-in and fully take in the experience of fine dining whilst getting our haunt on!
BIG APPLE SENT PACKING BY LITTLE GIANT FROM ALLEN PARK
This is a true story.
It goes back many moons, to when the band STEELY DAN was in town to play THE PALACE OF AUBURN HILLS. ***SIDEBAR - Youngsters, ask your parents about STEELY DAN - “REELIN’ IN THE YEARS”*** Their photographer & Fan Club President Pete Fogel happens to be a friend of ours, and was staying at my house during their DETROIT TOUR STOP.
The show was on a Saturday, so Friday was an off-day. A group of STEELY DAN fans had gathered at my house, and we partied as well as recorded an interview to be presented later on ZIOPTIS DIAL-A-TRIP.
It got to be dinner time, and we decided to order out for food. But we had been drinking, so driving was out of the question. Then I remembered that MANUEL’S TACO HUT delivers on weekends, highly unusual for Mexican restaurants.
STILL BEING WRITTEN
OCTOBER 17, 2023 TUESDAY 5 PM - THE MOST AMAZING HAUNT THAT NEVER EXISTED & YOU CAN MAKE
“Tell me a story, daddy!”
Stories / themes make haunted attractions more interesting and involving. It takes more than just a bunch of crazy scenes strung together to make a CREATIVE MASTERPIECE that gets people talking, right?
MOTHER GOOSE SKYROCKETS LOCAL HAUNT TO WORLD FAME
Let’s take a look at a local haunt that certainly ranks as one of Michigan’s Premier Haunts, ROTTEN MANOR in HOLLY. https://rottenmanor.com/
They started with a BANG, and have been upping the ante every year since. When ROTTEN MANOR makes an addition, it’s MAJOR. For example, in 2019 they reached into a classic childhood story when they added a giant life-scale GINGERBREAD HOUSE to the forest.
Then in 2021 they added their ROTTEN HAYRIDE, bringing yet another new dimension to the haunt. It takes you on a tour through a small city from long ago, with amazing attention to detail throughout. One clever touch in ROTTEN HAYRIDE was a MOTHER GOOSE reference we couldn’t help but notice -- a whimsical nod to the classic story of THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.
Throwing MOTHER GOOSE into the mix subliminally takes haunters back in time to their childhood, adding FUN & HAPPY to the crazy stack of emotions haunters so crave.
And now ROTTEN MANOR has added a WAX MUSEUM. This brilliant move is a natural for a haunt, but to our knowledge nobody else has done it before. Think of it...each and every character in the museum has its’ own story. What nefarious evil world figures did they choose? We can’t wait to find out!
“Yeah, yeah...but what’s that got to do with THE MOST AMAZING HAUNT THAT NEVER EXISTED THAT I CAN MAKE?”
We’ll get to that in a bit, but first let’s step into the WAYBACK MACHINE when a most unusual artist lived. Some of you probably know of him -- M.C. ESCHER, a Dutch graphic artist who broke new ground with his extraordinary vision & creativity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._C._Escher DOCUMENTARY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNjUR1Nn710 JOURNEY TO INFINITY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDCHeYCn368
So if M.C. ESCHER had decided to make a haunt, what amazing artistic concepts would he use? Study up on him starting with the videos linked above, then put on your thinking cap and get to work already!
OCTOBER 16, 2023 MONDAY 10 PM - DETROIT MAYOR DECLARES ELEVEN MASSIVE HALLOWEEN BASHES ON THE HOUSE
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is a man of integrity and vision -- we’ve never heard anything but praise for him! And now we also see true wisdom from Mayor Duggan as he acknowledges the overwhelming popularity of the Halloween Season.
Detroit is a big city, so for starters the Mayor is throwing ELEVEN HALLOWEEN PARTIES at 11 different Recreation Centers. They will have haunted houses, carnival games, face painting, DJ’s and more!
Also part of the festivities is Scarefest | October 29 from 4 - 8PM Palmer Park, 910 Merrill Pl. Detroit, MI (NOT to be confused with SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. which is a different premiere long running haunt: https://scarefestscreampark.com/ )
FROM THE CITY OF DETROIT WEBSITE:
Palmer Park will transform into a place of fun and fright for children and adults with the Zombie Trail of Terror, haunted hay rides, haunted tent, zombie laser tag, scary face painting, costume parade, candy drop, aerial artist, Halloween bag decorating, photo booth, DJ sets, and live entertainment. Scarefest will also include an adult costume contest, a dog costume parade, vendors, and food trucks. Participants will receive free food tickets while supplies last.
Recreation Activities at Parks
Fall Fest October 28 from 1PM - 5PM Clark Park 1130 Clark Street Detroit, MI.
Fall Fest features a variety of activities: Carnival rides/ games, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, archery, axe throwing, rock climbing, zip line, Barbie Zone featuring Barbie and the selfie bus, video game truck, and mobile bowling alley. Other activities include pumpkin and face painting, arts-n-crafts, outdoor games, and photo booths. Smores, food trucks and other vendors!
https://detroitmi.gov/departments/department-neighborhoods/halloween-d WDIV-TV COVERAGE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59G9NpBK6bI
How about that? Even BARBIE is on board with the festivities at CLARK PARK with the BARBIE ZONE.
2023 marks the 6th Anniversary of this event which has proven to be a BIG WINNER!
OCTOBER 15, 2023 SUNDAY 9 PM - THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS
No, not the inspirational song.
It’s THE DETROIT LIONS along with STAR QUARTERBACK JARED GOFF who continue to DESTROY ALL MONSTERS who would dare oppose them. In a crushing defeat only hours ago their inferior opponents were publicly embarrassed on WORLDWIDE TV, being held to only two field goals on their home turf. Their identity is irrelevant.
ALL EYES ON DETROIT - ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
Each additional stunning victory by THE DETROIT LIONS & STAR QUARTERBACK JARED GOFF results in yet more humiliation of foolish rivals, and even more attention being paid to Detroit - THE BIRTHPLACE OF HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS.
So this gives Detroit big time street cred on the world stage, further laying the groundwork for THE DETROIT LIONS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL.
And if/when that happens JARED GOFF, who may or may not be a haunted house aficionado, will be asked what he intends to do to celebrate becoming WORLD CHAMPS.
Seeing as DETROIT is and in all likelihood will continue to be a hotbed of haunted attraction frenzy, there is a distinct possibility JARED GOFF will become indoctrinated into the vibrant DETROIT HAUNT SCENE and possibly even become a card-carrying member of the MOTOR CITY HAUNT CLUB who we highly admire.
And if/when that happens JARED GOFF would most likely SHUN DISNEY and declare he intends to celebrate WINNING THE SUPER BOWL by GOING TO HAUNTED HOUSES IN DETROIT!
A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES
The football game THE DETROIT LIONS just won was billed as “America’s Game of the Week” so it follows that DETROIT could be construed as being part of “America’s Favorite Haunted Attraction State” by many including those who are inclined to think that way already! (;
OCTOBER 14, 2023 SATURDAY 9 PM - HOLLYWOOD IN FRENZIED BID TO MATCH DETROIT HAUNT STREET CRED
We’ve got big news from TINSEL TOWN, and you won’t hear it anywhere else.
But before we get to that, to fully understand the situation we need to start by acknowledging that the haunted attraction genre was invented in suburban Detroit.
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
As stated in our Mission Statement at the top of the main page:
To our knowledge, the very first haunted attraction in the USA was MUTILATION MANSION in Detroit suburb MADISON HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN which began in 1966. Disney’s Haunted Mansion debuted in 1969, and Knott’s Berry Farm haunt started in 1973. If anyone can provide evidence of an earlier haunt, please email us at ZioptisFoundation@gmail.com
So you can see -- HOLLYWOOD has been playing “Follow The Leader” from the get-go when it comes to haunted attractions, right?
And now AMERICAN TELEVISION has produced a new game show to coincide with the Halloween season, “MAKE ME SCREAM” which appears on PRIME TV from AMAZON. There’s a host and hostess, with the hostess going by the stage name “QUEEN OF SCREAMS.”
Hold on! That sounds a lot like the nickname “THE SCREAM QUEEN” which we coined for industry pioneer DS long ago.
Is it really just a coincidence they decided to use such a similar name as our legendary SCREAM QUEEN?
In case you didn’t know, THE SCREAM QUEEN created such legendary haunts as HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES in WARREN and THE REALM OF DARKNESS in PONTIAC.
She also has been consultant / designer for such premiere haunts as HUSH, NILES SCREAM PARK, ROTTEN MANOR, THE HAUNT, etc. Oh yeah, as if that’s not enough she also created THE HAUNT GUIDE with help from KW at ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM in FLINT which had their SWAN SONG years ago.
So regardless of how PRIME TV decided to use the moniker “QUEEN OF SCREAMS,” we all know who the true holder of the title goes to! (;
OCTOBER 14, 2023 SATURDAY 8 PM - BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS
No, not the book by KURT VONNEGUT. It’s when ZOMBIES EAT YOUR BRAINS as they catch you letting up your guard -- don’t let them!
But when you next have some free time for reading after haunting, we have a suggestion that will blow your mind: CAT’S CRADLE by KURT VONNEGUT.
If you enjoy haunting, which we know you do, you’ll also appreciate the delightful twisted insanity of CAT’S CRADLE. It’s been years since I read this but some of its’ scenarios are impossible to forget, much like going to a premier haunted attraction.
In CAT’S CRADLE you’ll learn of the illegal religion BOKONONISM with its’ glitzy glamor and forbidden practice of PRESSING FEET with members of the opposite sex. One of the ultimate WHAT IFS is revealed, as ICE NINE threatens to end the world at the whim of MADMAN FELIX HOENIKKER.
Haunted attractions have also been known to throw down some amazingly convoluted concepts, rivaling the imagination of WORLD CLASS AUTHORS such as KURT VONNEGUT!
This book will dazzle and befuddle you! You do know what a book is, right? (;
OCTOBER 14, 2023 SATURDAY 7 PM - SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
No, not the disco movie with John Travolta. It’s the vibe on the streets, as haunters head out tonight to get their haunt on.
I just watched a video on YOUTUBE of HUSH from last year, and it’s cool. But it’s by no means a substitute for seeing it live. Also, the light from the video camera obscures much of the subtle lighting, which in itself is a masterpiece. We’re not going to post a link to that video, because we think it’s so much better to experience HUSH in person. https://hushhauntedattractions.com/
We will, however, post links for videos from NILES SCREAM PARK in NILES. Like HUSH, this is an amazing haunt but it’s quite a journey from Detroit. 2023 is their 50th year! TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vH8X6NIH4M FULL WALK THRU FROM THE SCARE FACTOR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz4p6S-XlMI
OCTOBER 14, 2023 SATURDAY 3 AM - ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET
“The journey of a lifetime starts with a single step,” according to one of those wise guys from long ago in a land far away, right? You have to start at POINT A to make it to POINT B, and so on...
Well, some of you have asked how I got into promoting the haunt scene to begin with. My brother Dick’s clever award winning robot costume was just the beginning, and led to our home haunt described below in IT’S FRIDAY THE 13TH, YOUR LUCKY DAY!
With my dad having started the ball rolling with our early HALLOWEEN HAUNT, I became obsessed with using special lighting effects to create a spooky mood. It started with florescent tube blacklights, the biggest of which were 4 feet long. These remain available to this day, and are still in use at many haunted attractions.
Many moons ago, people used to make their own electronic goodies. HEATHKIT was the industry leader, based here in Michigan. I built my own amateur radio, and HEATHKIT is still around: https://shop.heathkit.com/shop
Another major kit supplier was SOUTHWEST TECHNICAL PRODUCTS from SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. They were the first to offer an affordable kit STROBE LIGHT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWTPC#/media/File:SWTPC_Strobe.jpg
For many including me, this was their first chance to own an authentic strobe light.
BLUE CHEER AND A $15 STROBE LIGHT KIT - C’MON BABY LIGHT MY FIRE
After I completed making my SOUTHWEST TECHNICAL STROBE LIGHT, I took it to a neighbor’s house for dance parties in their garage. We turned off the lights, and played BLUE CHEER* records and made ourselves dizzy with the stop-motion of the strobe light fueling our adolescent frenzy. VINCEBUS ERUPTUM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_2uQNrWTk0 OUTSIDE INSIDE - JUST A LITTLE BIT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CkRWOQnQpo&list=PLM7k5L_U7M92XhEXJOyVC02hGTesHPMAt&index= 3
* = BLUE CHEER was an early ”psychedelic acid rock band” that was known for playing at insanely high volumes, and was documented as being the loudest band of the day. One of their albums was literally recorded at a ocean pier because they were too loud for recording studios!
But that wasn’t my first strobe light. Before the SOUTHWEST TECHNICAL STROBE LIGHT hit the market, I made my own mechanical strobe light.
A wooden box held a 150 watt spotlight with a motor mounted on top. Attached to the motor was a circular piece of cardboard positioned in front of the box with a slot cut out. When it spun around it produced a flash of light as the opening allowed light to shine through. It was super bright, but it didn’t freeze motion like a XENON GAS strobe light with each burst of light lasting only 1/1000 of a second.
I also made my own COLOR ORGAN from yet another kit supplier EICO. This was an early light show tool that made incandescent lights flash / fluctuate with its’ audio input. It had three channels that could handle up to 300 watts each, just right for 2 150 watt projector bulbs with colored gels.
The three channels corresponded to low, mid, and high frequencies. The suggested setup was to point the lights at a white screen or on the ceiling using blue lights for low frequencies, green lights for mid, and red lights for high. The result was lights dancing with the music, quite dramatic at the time.
Another variation on this came from EDMUND SCIENTIFIC, who also offered kits of all sorts. It was called MUSIC VISION as I recall, and produced highly dramatic patterns on a white ceiling or wall. The package included a special thin rubber membrane, small circular front-surface mirrors with threads attached, and a spinning color wheel.
The buyer needed to supply an 8 inch full-range speaker in a small cabinet and a slide projector.
Later, I decided to start my own special lighting mail order house
DROP SHIPPING BLISS - WAITING UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME
THE CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST
STILL BEING WRITTEN
OCTOBER 13, 2023 FRIDAY 7 PM - WHEN MORE COMPETITION MEANS MORE PROFIT
Anyone remember KELLY HAMBURGERS on MICHIGAN AVENUE in DEARBORN? It was basically the first fast food joint in town, and they made a killing. Nobody else did what they did, and nobody even tried.
Until one day, when we saw a small sign on an empty lot down the block from KELLY’S. It said: “COMING SOON! McDonald’s Hamburgers” We paid it little attention. After all, we thought, who would be crazy enough to think they could compete with KELLY’S?
But soon enough, we found out that indeed someone else could equal or even exceed the quality of KELLY’S. We feared for the future of our beloved KELLY’S but then a funny thing happened.
Not only did KELLY HAMBURGERS survive, their business dramatically increased. The addition of a competitor doubled the availability of tasty burgers in the vicinity, right? And the end result was that the total traffic of hungry people to the area more than doubled.
Both burger joints had long lines. So the extra competition brought more total profits to both of them. This business model has played out in other sectors of the economy like at gas stations, and YES, haunted attractions as well.
MULTIPLE MITTEN MAGIC
Fast forward to today, and we find multiple cities in Michigan that sport multiple haunts: ASHLEY with HINTERLAND and TERROR ON 27, GRAND RAPIDS with ABANDONED ACRES FARM HAUNTED ATTRACTION and THE HAUNT, HOLLY with GLENLORE TRAILS and ROTTEN MANOR, PINCKNEY with GHOSTLY GROVE and TERRORFIED FOREST, and WESTLAND with ELOISE ASYLUM and HUSH HAUNTED ATTRACTION.
So you can see -- all of these haunts are thriving and better yet actually helping each other soar to new heights.
OCTOBER 13, 2023 FRIDAY 3 PM - IT’S FRIDAY THE 13TH, YOUR LUCKY DAY!
The haunt season is in full swing, and fantasy and free candy are on the minds of kids of all ages. The Halloween season brings out even the most dormant vestiges of childhood that may be screaming to be released.
Mild-mannered adults suddenly travel back in time, with memories of pillow cases full of candy during the craziest holiday that leads to the craziest memories.
One such memory for me involves my oldest brother Dick, R.I.P. brother... There was an annual neighborhood Halloween party with a costume contest. Dick made his own costume, a robot outfit made from a large cardboard box decked out with flashing lights that he controlled. Nobody else had anything even close, and he won hands-down. It was if he just won the lottery!
And my dad was on board with the fever, turning the back porch of our house into a haunted house of sorts. The “piece de resistance” was a FRANKENSTEIN that appeared to be breathing, thanks to a motorized setup made from ERECTOR SET parts.
The entire neighborhood was drawn to our house, thanks to some giant speaker cabinets that were hoisted onto the roof. Each cabinet boasted two 15 inch BOZAK BRAND WOOFERS teamed up with 8 inch mid-range speakers and horn tweeters, all powered by the biggest HH SCOTT amplifier offered at the time.
Electronic music and “Organized Sound” records by avante gard pioneer TOD DOCKSTADER spun on a DUAL brand turntable.
Imagine for a moment...it’s the late 1960’s and on Halloween Night from the distance you hear these selections beckoning: LUNA PARK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hydIpd0RLw4 WATER MUSIC PART 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zaSzHqVrLA
TOD DOCKSTADER was way ahead of his time, so most haunters had never heard anything like this.
Another favorite record dad played was a SONIC TOUR DE FORCE featuring of all things kids from Belgium speaking French! TRIOS VISAGES DE LIEGE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEyaMQsdaSQ&list=RDvEyaMQsdaSQ&start_radio=1
OCTOBER 13, 2023 FRIDAY 10 AM - NEW EVENT
Who remembers TRUMBULLPLEX? It was a one year only event, but here’s another interesting sounding HALLOWEEN BASH: https://app.3common.com/event/public/mystique-at-the-mansion-a-stearns-house-halloween-bash-with-dpx-652410f5ec521747d010db74
OCTOBER 12, 2023 THURSDAY 10 PM - FOR HEIGHTS & DEPTHS NO WORDS CAN REACH, MUSIC IS THE SOUL’S OWN SPEECH
That’s what it says on a custom made embroidery plaque my mom’s double-piano partner made for her many moons ago.
Certainly, music/sound effects play a big role in haunted attractions. Can you imagine a scary movie without the suspenseful music? It wouldn’t be very scary, right?
And so it is with haunted attractions -- you need more than just spectacular visuals and actors.
For example, at elaborate haunts such as...oh let’s say JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON and THE HAUNT in GRAND RAPIDS.
Each and every room has its’ own sound system. Great care is taken to isolate the sound in every scene, with minimal or no spillage to the next gag. This allows for dramatic change from room to room, as they scramble your emotions for a wild experience. You could go from sensory overload to sensory depravation in a flash -- it can be breathtaking!
On the opposite end of the multi sound system approach was a haunt we can never forget, that used a single MONSTER PA SYSTEM and cranked it to eleven.
Who remembers THE EXTREME SCREAM in TAYLOR and then its’ SWAN SONG in WATERFORD? They had an EXTREME PRO AUDIO SOUND SYSTEM, which was pricey and rare at the time.
The CROWN POWER AMPS they used were (and still are) the industry standard for concerts and such. They cost a fortune and weighed a ton. And the speakers were overkill too -- ALTEC LANSING A7 VOICE-OF-THE-THEATER horn-loaded cabinets. For context, a single pair of these were used in the majority of movie theaters back then.
But they used TWO pairs of these monsters, unleashing a SONIC BLAST that could be heard several blocks away. Looking back, it was insane to use such a giant pro audio system at a haunt creating sound-pressure levels easily exceeding that of jet airplanes!
But that was only part of how they lived up to their name. Outside the haunt, some questionable antics by contortionists and assorted weirdoes with a taste for the bizarre freaked out the queue line and random passersby.
“The Telephone Game” principle we discussed earlier kicked in big time, and rumors ran rampant of all sorts of excessively deviant behavior at THE EXTREME SCREAM. Yes it was only FAKE NEWS, but the stories took on lives of their own and the rest is history as they say.
On another note, some haunts use outdoor sound systems to great effect. This sets a spooky mood the moment you arrive, and special lights responding to the sound further enhance the effect. Two examples of haunts doing this are JACKSON’S UNDERWORLD in JACKSON and HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME in INKSTER.
POUTINE & HOSERS, EH?
So I was talking to a keyboard player from Canada today. I complimented him on his musical T-shirt - THE DOORS / MORRISON HOTEL and wouldn’t you know it haunting is big in Canada too: https://www.narcity.com/toronto/haunted-attractions-ontario-scare-your-pants-off So of course I gave him Zioptis cards, and we traded music stories from bands we played in. Then we got to talking about other bands...HOLY MOLY!
It’s unusual to find someone who knows obscure bands like GENTLE GIANT and MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. But the icing on the cake was when he asked me who my ultimate drum mentor was. Not only was he also a fan of BILL BRUFORD, he quickly identified 2 of the main bands Bruford was in: YES & KING CRIMSON which were two of the first so-called PROG ROCK BANDS aka PROGRESSIVE ROCK.
This reminds me...a previous unfinished entry about THE BADDEST BASS DRUM IN THE WORLD...I need to follow through and also pay tribute to some old friends in the band SUNGLASS AFTER DARK. Stand by, my little monkeys...
OCTOBER 12, 2023 THURSDAY 5 AM - AND THE HITS JUST KEEP COMING!
The latest hit list from our website host has been added to Archive 33, and breaks down the total of 35,194 hits for the last period. Take a look if you like, we’re an open book: http://www.zioptis.com/html/archive_33.shtml
We can’t tell where they all come from however, as we have a no-frills basic account. We think most people are logging on from Michigan and Ohio but we don’t know for sure, only that traffic is picking up as it does every October. The biggest day for the last period was Sept. 29, 2023 with 2,032 hits that day.
OCTOBER 11, 2023 WEDNESDAY 7 PM - AN ARMY OF SUPER-SIZED SPOOKS
Yard haunts continue to pop up all over, with rampant enthusiasm for the haunt season growing every year.
People are going all out in a friendly competition to see who can pull off the BIGGEST WOWS without going broke in the process.
GIANT SKELETONS have become very popular, joining the ranks with tall inflatable monsters that also adorn the lawns of many yard haunts. These items are available at local stores and online.
***SIDEBAR A list of cool online sources of spooky props appears in the “News” section, and is growing as we find more: http://www.zioptis.com/html/news.shtml ***
But many of you probably have the “will and the way” to make your own haunt props. ANIMATRONICS are fabulous haunt props, but can be expensive from commercial haunt suppliers such as SCARE FACTORY, TRANSWORLD, and such.
YOUTUBE TO THE RESCUE
Fortunately, almost anything you think of can be learned on YouTube and that includes making your own animatronics on a shoestring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDxZNeLr8nI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5NUTYbli7Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43AWW6OExj8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFihyQncNC4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uesl7em6btA
OCTOBER 11, 2023 WEDNESDAY 2 AM - MISSOURI MAN SQUASHES PUMPKIN GUINNESS WORLD RECORD
Haunted attractions are known for craziness, right?
THE GREAT PUMPKIN SHOOTS UP WITH STEROIDS
Well, here’s a guy with a crazy passion we can all appreciate -- GOING GAGA FOR GOURDS. Meet Steve Kueny, a kindred spirit of ours whether or not he knows it.
UP THE CREEK WITH HIS ONLY FRIEND A PADDLE
OCTOBER 11, 2023 WEDNESDAY 1 AM - HOLLYWOOD BANISHES BARBIE & DECLARES HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS OF PRIME IMPORTANCE
So AMAZON PRIME DAY was yesterday and today. Who cares?
Not us, but thanks to Amazon we just made an amazing discovery and nothing will be the same again.
Actually, it’s thanks to an AMAZON FIRESTICK. In case you don’t know, the FIRESTICK (or FIRE TV STICK) is a handy little $20 gadget that converts any TV into a “SMART TV.” This allows you to receive thousands of TV channels, programs and such without paying a dime for cable TV.
Anyway, while flipping between YouTube and tennis I saw a promo that caught my eye big time. It’s a NEW GAME SHOW called “MAKE ME SCREAM.”
I immediately pushed the TALK BUTTON on the remote control and commanded: “Alexa, show me MAKE ME SCREAM.” “Getting that from PRIME TV.” I’m not a Prime Member but no matter -- moments later I was in TV BLISS watching Season 1, Episode 1 of MAKE ME SCREAM.
This is absolutely fabulous! It’s essentially a TV game show, cross-format focused to promote the haunted attraction genre. Competing teams of 2 members make their way through haunted attractions and try their best not to freak out. Of course, they fail miserably and the results are hilarious. Combining scaring people with comedy is a winning combination, as already proven by such premiere haunts as SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
An event counter appears on the left of the screen, and tallies up how many times the teams scream, run away, or close their eyes as they encounter various haunt gags. The team with the least occurrences wins the big prize.
So you can see -- Hollywood considers haunted attractions to be of Prime Importance, right?
A CALL TO ARMS - POURING GASOLINE ON FIRE TV
If they weren’t convinced that haunted attractions are all the rage, they wouldn’t be spending valuable production resources to make this new show.
Better yet, we can all help.
Talk to Alexa as we did and tell her “Alexa, show me the new game show hit sensation MAKE ME SCREAM.” If you can’t speak to Alexa, you can still find the show on PRIME TV which is free. Hit the “like” and “subscribe” buttons if you can, and then leave enthusiastic comments and tell everybody on social media about the big fun to be had!
OCTOBER 10, 2023 TUESDAY 8 PM - WORD ON THE STREET
Last night we ordered take out for a late dinner from the RAM’S HORN in ALLEN PARK, which is also home of THE DETROIT LIONS and star quarterback JARED GOFF who may or may not be a haunted house aficionado.
As I cashed out I noticed the gal attending the cash register was wearing HALLOWEEN leggings. “All decked out for Halloween already? That’s a good girl!”
She laughed, and I continued by asking if she ever goes to “those crazy haunted houses”?
“YES!” she exclaimed, whipping herself into a frenzy like she was being chased by a madman with a chain saw. And as it turned out, she was reacting to her experience last year at a haunt.
“So which haunts did you go to” I asked? “Just one” she said...”HUSH.”
“What did you like about it?” She gushed: “Everything! It was amazing...the monsters were incredible...the decorations...I’ve never seen anything like it!”
Ever prepared, I handed her a ZIOPTIS CARD so there’s a good chance she will read this and here’s my review of RAM’S HORN: the Chicken Parmesan and cabbage soup were delicious. YUM YUM!
OCTOBER 10, 2023 TUESDAY 6 PM - PARADIGM SHIFT IN YOUR FRONT YARD
Once upon a time HOLOGRAMS were a really big deal, and very expensive.
I remember seeing one of the earliest holograms at the SAE Convention in Detroit that my dad used to take us to every year at Cobo Hall. It was made by the CONDUCTRON CORPORATION in ANN ARBOR as I recall.
It was super basic and black and white. The subject was simply a bottle of COCA COLA that appeared midair as if floating. It was situated so as to appear directly in the middle of the walkway in front of their booth. People would initially walk around it, and then delight at waving a hand through it!
Many moons later we saw an impressive use of a hologram on NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE which was a haunt aboard an old BOBLO ISLAND BOAT. Amid some genuinely old surroundings, a girl suddenly appears ahead.
She was friendly looking with an infectious smile and wearing brightly colored clothes. Then she did a pirouette (spins around like a ballerina) but as she rotated she morphed into a hideous monster! They spent a small fortune on this, but it paid off creating a big buzz on the streets.
Word Of Mouth advertising is hands-down the most effective attractor, and the masses flocked to the haunt.
Things have progressed dramatically since then, and even yard haunts can WOW the Trick-or-Treaters with spectacular spooky goodness!
Rest In Peace, Adam T. Ladd
June 19, 1974 - May 30, 2014