HAUNTS THAT CLOSED, BUT ARE NOT FORGOTTEN:
1. THE REALM OF DARKNESS, PONTIAC - haunt changed hands and moved to Mississippi in 2017. This haunt was created by the lady that also made HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES in WARREN. Both of these haunts were critically acclaimed by multiple haunt review/rating services. The classy lady that ran these haunts continues as a top level consultant to many Michigan haunts, and is also known as “THE SCREAM QUEEN.” Attention to detail was off-the-hook at REALM. They pioneered the implementation of the “DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK” promotion. Many rumors about “getting your money back if you make it all the way” were only Urban Legends. But at REALM patrons were challenged to be observant of clues that could allow them to “MEET THE WIZARD” and then literally get DOUBLE their money back. The funds were provided by a radio station, as the law prohibits haunted houses from giving cash prizes. This haunt has a most amazing history, including accidentally documented ghost activity by a major church pastor! (see Reviews 2015_C) http://www.zioptis.com/html/2015_c.shtml
2. THE HAUNTING, ADRIAN - world class magician staged large & small scale mind blowing magic shows, first major Stu Smith 3D display, first effective green laser liquid sky room, used local college drama students, master of misdirection, best bang-for-the-buck, mind boggling impossible situations involving actors and pathways, giant scale room illusions, vigorous haunt cross-promotion.
3. REALM OF HAUNTED MINDS, ROMULUS - awesome haunt at Huron Turkey farm with miniature city to explore as well.
4. KRAZY HILDA’S, SALINE, YPSILANTI - one-of-a-kind outdoors haunt with original spooky dolls and giant scale gags. The dolls were handmade by the family matriarch. Shortly before she died a glowing review we wrote was read to her by her daughter Nicole, in a rare poignant moment she shared with us. The loss of KRAZY HILDA’S was a major blow to the Michigan haunt scene, with its’ unusually high artistic standards and penchant for MASSIVE PROPS such as real farm machinery like a thrasher. Crowd reaction at KRAZY HILDA’S was OFF THE HOOK CRAZY, and their excellent outdoor sound system set the mood from the moment you arrived. This haunt was on hiatus from operating in SALINE, then came back at PANAMA FARMS in YPSILANTI before their unfortunate demise. We can’t help but hope this haunt reappears, and it paired very nicely with an evening of haunting that also included NIGHT TERRORS AT WIARD’S and/or HUSH.
5. PSYCHO PATH, FLAT ROCK - excellent haunt at a church property.
6. WOODS OF DARKNESS, SOUTH ROCKWOOD - double attraction haunt with walk thru and forest walk.
7. THE CRYPT, BURTON - long running primo old school haunt in Flint area is sorely missed.
8. ST. LUCIFER’S HAUNTED ASYLUM, GRAND BLANC - primo Flint area haunt may be moving to new location after long run at PLAYLAND.
9. ANXIETY ALLEY, LINCOLN PARK - failed to appear in 2017. This is one of the very first haunted houses ever along with MUTILATION MANSION in MADISON HEIGHTS. Both were created by local JAYCEE'S groups, who essentially invented the haunted attraction genre. They only had a few trailers to work with. But no matter because the magic took over, and kids discovered a whole new experience they couldn't wait to share with Little Susie or Johnny next door...and as they say, the rest is history!
10. CLIO MANOR HAUNTED HOUSE, FLINT - First rate haunt failed to appear in 2018.
11. TERRORTOWN, TOLEDO, OHIO - Longtime premier BUCKEYE MEGA HAUNT closed after owner/operator MR left to work with ROB ZOMBIE on his haunts!
12. THE NIGHTMARE WITHIN, TIFFIN, OHIO - Original haunt by operator of TERRORTOWN.
13. ERWIN'S BARN OF HORRORS, CORN STALKERS MAZE & HAUNTED WAGON RIDE, SOUTH LYON - one of the longest running haunts in Michigan closed in 2016 due to upcoming re-zoning.
14. THE BONEYARD, STOCKBRIDGE - Top notch indoor/outdoor haunt with amazing propane blasts closed after short-sighted neighbors complained about noise.
15. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ROAD, WEBBERVILLE - this had become a favorite spot for us to CELEBRATE ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT. Several times we blew off our BIG CITY MEGA HAUNT plans for Halloween to go here instead! A MASSIVE LOSS to the industry.
16. McCURDY'S REVENGE, CORUNNA - top notch volunteer haunt with clever story lines lost its building, re-located then failed to appear.
17. BURTON HAUNTED FOREST, BURTON - highly creative volunteer haunt was approached by ABC-TV for possible story. This haunt told us they sometimes go on hiatus, we hope to see them back!
18. KENTWOOD JAYCEES FOREST OF FEAR, CALEDONIA - long running primo forest haunt.
19. DEADLANDS HAUNTED HOUSE, WARREN - Originally in Flint, then took over at the site of the defunct DEADLY INTENTIONS at 8 Mile & Dequindre until they failed to appear in 2018.
20. THE FEAR FACTORY, MT. CLEMENS - failed to appear in 2017. This longtime running haunt at the Gibralter Trade Center(with the giant cowboy) featured a confusing last room you can't find your way out of.
21. DARK LEGACY, WIXOM - promising new haunt closed after 2 years due to unexpected loss of haunt site.
22. ABANDON HAUNTED HOUSE, MELVINDALE - haunt suffered dismal attendance despite an incredible setup and fabulous show with great actors and makeup. A total mystery, why this haunt didn't take off in a big way!
23. BOUGHAN'S HAUNTED HAYRIDE OF FRIGHT, BELLEVILLE - a two year flash-in-the-pan, 2015 and 2016.
24. HAUNTED HOLLOWS, ARMADA - fabulous haunt was last open in 2012, incredible invisible actor, awarded BEST TWISTED GAG in 2011, actress "Scarlet" won BEST CREEPY ACTOR in 2011,¬ largest drive-thru black hole, industry stunned when unexpectedly shuttered in 2013, status unknown.
25. NAUTICAL NIGHTMARE, TOLEDO, LORAIN, OHIO & RIVER ROUGE, MICHIGAN - was on an original Bob-Lo boat, original artifacts for juxtaposition between antique and high tech, actor with extendo legs bolting about at ridiculous speeds, closed by EPA for emitting unknown chemicals.
26. HAUNTED THEATRE (on Livernois), DETROIT - had dance routine w/ UV skeleton costumes lit by mercury arc blacklight (produces no visible light), dog actor, very realistic moving severed hand on table, final spinning room powered by inverted golf cart.
27. CREATURE CASTLE/ PSYCHO ASYLUM, MONROE - first we saw using voice pitch bend on live, custom taunting thru PA.
28. ISLE OF TERROR at CROAKIE'S PARTY ISLAND, MONROE - astonishing body sliced-in-half gag w/ actor that had no legs.
29. DEADLY INTENTIONS, WARREN - pushed the envelope to the edge with controversial performances, had trademark personality characters like Morbid Melvin w/ his beanie-copter hat, actors w/ TV appearances on horror movie shows. This haunt also published a super wacky & creative small spooky book that was a bonus freebie. Owner/operator HOWARD ELRICH was admired and liked by all, including his competitors!
30. HAUNTED HILL ACRES, BELLEVILLE - early magic shows, convincing "battle" ensues during hayride, made feature length horror movie, unexpectedly shuttered in 2013. They were working on producing a Hollywood-grade movie, which still may be released!
31. PSYCHO’S HAUNTED HOUSE & HAYRIDE, ROMULUS - 2006 flash in the pan haunt.
32. THE DEVIL’S ASYLUM, PORT HURON - a one year flash in the pan at McMorran Place with a cool photo taken of each group.
33. HOME OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN, WHITE LAKE - a brief, but high quality appearance on haunt scene from¬ Pontiac Lake Riding Stable.
34. HAUNTED HALLOWS, WESTLAND - fabulous volunteer hayride/forest walk lacked resources to continue high quality show in 2013.
35. HOUSE OF FEAR, HAZEL PARK - fabulous all volunteer haunt with admission as low as $5.
36. THE EXTREME SCREAM, TAYLOR & WATERFORD - old school at its best, shocked fans with extreme sideshow type freaks.
37. THE SCREAMATORIUM, TAYLOR - 2006 flash in the pan haunt.
38. HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES, WARREN - first haunt by creator of REALM OF DARKNESS. In a church parking lot, some rooms were made from portable classroom buildings. One of the first exceptional quality haunts, first year was 1974.
39. HAUNTED GALLERY, STERLING HEIGHTS and PONTIAC - first haunt by creator of EREBUS. Still a viable haunt, it now appears as CASTLE OF THE DEAD at SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP. as one of several attractions there.
40. TERRORZONE at JOHNNY APPLESEED'S, WASHINGTON TWP. - first haunt by creator of SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK.
41. WICKED AT LASER'S EDGE, CLINTON TWP. - excellent acting and story lines, in a video game arcade.
42. NIGHTCRAWLERS at CJ BARRYMORE'S, CLINTON TWP. - first we saw with high-end subwoofers (Klipsch brand), army of stilt creatures in final maze.
43. PIGMAN'S LAIR, CHELSEA - disturbing newspaper articles in waiting area, super tall laboratory with mad scientist.
44. GIYRA ISLAND OF TERROR, GROSSE ILE - in former airport building, hydraulic floor moves dramatically with movie scene, first with actor emerging from movie screen, giant slide exit.
45. HAUNTED WINERY, FARMINGTON - tall smokestack on super old building with built in ambience off the charts.
46. CHAINSAW CREEK, TOLEDO, OHIO - multi-attraction haunt easily moved from city to city, unknown status.
47. DIMENSIONS IN DARKNESS, MAUMEE, OHIO - old school flash in the pan.
48. UNCLE SCOOTER'S CHOP SHOP, FENTON - zany flash-in-the-pan one year haunt.
49. THE THIRTEENTH REALM, FLINT - small flash in the pan haunt.
50. HALLS OF TERROR, MOUNT MORRIS - 2006 flash in the pan haunt.
51. GREAT FENTON BEAN COMPANY, FENTON - we took a chance & drove a long way in violent rain to get here, and be their next to last customers ever, first memory of high-speed vibrating metal floor.
52. PLYMOUTH/CANTON JAYCEE'S ESTATE OF THE DAMNED, PLYMOUTH - in large warehouse, hard to find.
53. REAPER'S DUNGEON, LIVONIA - at Wonderland Mall, early high quality trailer haunt still exists, may resurface. Editor’s note: We think this finally was disassembled and trashed.
54. THE HOMER MILL, HOMER - giant, old imposing building burned down several years ago.
55. GRUESOME ENCOUNTERS, OTISVILLE - high intensity flash-in-the-pan.
56. MOUNT FRIGHTEN, BRIGHTON - in way-old building, had room with moving wall worn by actor.
57. DEMENTIA AT HAMPTON, ROCHESTER HILLS - actors eating strange things, statues come to life.
58. NOX, TAYLOR & NOVI - tricycle riding maniac roams excellent short-lived haunt. Ran 2004 - 2007, had an incredible POLKA DOT ROOM
59. HOUSE OF HORRORS, DAVISBURG - cool short-lived haunt at county fairgrounds.
60. HAUNTED TRAIL PROJECT AT LOCH LOMAND, FLINT - had fabulous old man carved into tree on right, Beavis & Butthead silliness, was sold and will become an animal farm.
61. TERROR IN THE ATTIC, CANTON - 2001 flash-in-the-pan haunt at the Center Stage.
62. SPOOKTACULAR HAUNTED HAYRIDE & CORN MAZE, BELLEVILLE - 2007 and 2008 haunt.
63. HAUNTED THEATER, WAYNE - in the Historic Wayne Theater circa 2005.
64. MELVINDALE DAD'S CLUB HAYRIDE, MELVINDALE on Outer Drive, first hayride we saw with mirror-box illusions and an effective Motel Hell scene with actors standing in deep camouflaged holes.
65. HERSHEY HAUNTED HOUSE, DEARBORN - first haunt with a roller coaster inside a building, first we saw using recorded and live sound effects w/ custom taunting by name in 2002, reverted to an insurance office building on Michigan Avenue.
66. LEO'S HOUSE OF HORRORS, RIVERVIEW - Lion's Club trailer haunt was a fixture at the Sportsman Den parking lot, excellent forest scenes.
67. TWIST OF EVIL, BROWNSTOWN TWP. - 2009 flash in the pan haunt in a strip mall.
68. JAYCEE'S SLAUGHTER HOUSE, REDFORD TWP. - a multi-level building at Beech Daly & 5 mile, all levels used effectively, 2002.
69. WESTLAND JAYCEE'S, WESTLAND - core-value trailer haunt failed to appear in 2013.
70. ALLEN PARK JAYCEE'S, ALLEN PARK - long-time trailer haunt in ACO parking lot at Allen Road & Southfield for many years.
71. MUTILATION MANSION, MADISON HEIGHTS - to our knowledge this was the VERY FIRST HAUNTED HOUSE in the USA, the original precursor to things yet-to-come. It was started by the Jaycee's youth group, and ran from 1966 - 2006!
72. DEARBORN JAYCEE’S, DEARBORN - a small trailer haunt behind the Dearborn Youth Center at Michigan Ave. & Greenfield. My dad took me to this - not sure of the year but think it was 1964 or 1965, in which case this would pre-date MUTILATION MANSION!
73. CLARKSTON FOUNTAINS, CLARKSTON - wacky golf cart ride thru haunted golf course, won OUTSTANDING ACTRESS in 2009 for the highly spontaneous clown girl.
74. SOUTHFIELD'S HAUNTED NURSERY, SOUTHFIELD - excellent haunt in 9 large buildings, closed due to noise complaints from neighbors.
75. DARK HOUSE THE HAUNTED MANSION, BROWN CITY - 2010 flash-in-the-pan haunt in mansion with short outdoor walk ending.
76. HAUNTED OPERA HOUSE OF HOWELL, HOWELL - walk thru haunt downstairs, worn-out movie played upstairs with actors roaming.
77. CLIO AREA AMPHITHEATER, CLIO - intro was in theater seats, giant propane fire blasts.
78. DR. PHOBIA'S HAUNTED HOUSE, WARREN - small but detailed haunt was open year-round at the Universal Mall.
79. CHAMBERS OF HORRORS / SPOOKTACULAR, STERLING HEIGHTS - was at Freedom Hill in 2000 and 2001.
80. SINISTER GLOW HAUNTED HOUSE & MINIATURE GOLF, SHELBY TWP. - 2010 flash in the pan haunt planned to be open off season too.
81. HAUNTFEST, CLARKSTON, ROCHESTER and GRAND BLANC- early multi-attraction haunt, carnival rides, mirrored fun house, pay-one-price for all activities.
82. CHELSEA FEARGROUNDS, CHELSEA - 2011 flash-in-the-pan haunt with awesome use of old analog electronic equipment, great mad scientist action.
83. HAUNTED MONSTER TRUCK RIDES, LANSING - 2011 short lived haunt from Mongoose Racing was big on physical thrill factor.
84. PANIC AT MAYHEM MANOR, WATERFORD - a one year flash-in-the-pan in 2006
85. TENT OF TERROR & THE REAL HAUNTED HOUSE, CARLETON - a one year flash-in-the-pan created at a florist building
86. THE THIRTEENTH REALM, FLINT - a one year flash-in-the-pan in 2006
87. CASTLE OF THE DEAD, MT. CLEMENS - now a part of SCAREFEST SCREAM PARK in LENOX TWP.
88. THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME & THE FRIGHT ZONE - MT. CLEMENS ICE ARENA - a one year flash-in-the-pan in 2006
89. PSYCHO’S HAUNTED HOUSE & HAYRIDE, ROMULUS - a one year flash-in-the-pan in 2006
90. FRENZY HAUNTED HOUSE, ALLEGAN - 2009 flash-in-the-pan haunt, small bridge leads to an abandoned sawmill that looks like giant house, some rooms left as-is to great effect.
91. FOUR BEARS WATER PARK, UTICA - haunt got shut down for risque shows that pushed the envelope too far for conservative neighbors who complained.
92. TRUMBULLPLEX HAUNTED HAUS, DETROIT - one day only haunt, won CREEPIEST HAUNT OF 2001, measured you for body bag w/ all sizes available, baby served on dinner plate, working gas stove brews "bat stew," gruesome actor hanging from meat hook. (See archived review in "Wayne Cty - Cities A thru S") http://www.zioptis.com/html/cities_a_thru_s.shtml
93. DEMONIC DEMONS, DETROIT - our hands-down MOST INTENSE, SCARY HAUNT EVER, highly physically demanding, sudden steep falling, forced to crawl 1/2 way thru in total darkness, extreme exit slide. (See archived review in "Wayne Cty - Cities A thru S") http://www.zioptis.com/html/cities_a_thru_s.shtml
94. SINISTER HAUNTED HOUSE, UTICA - Unexpectedly shuttered in 2014. This is a MAJOR LOSS to the Detroit haunt scene, as SINISTER HH consistently provided a totally unique haunt experience, superior acting and animal impersonations, surprise story lines, waaaay over-the-top optional patron interaction and involvement on multiple levels.
A rare example of an intelectually stimulating haunted attraction.
Critically acclaimed by MULTIPLE HAUNT REVIEW SERVICES, this haunt simply proved to BE TOO GOOD FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.
That SINISTER HAUNTED HOUSE could not survive in the HAUNTED HOUSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD is a travesty in our opinion.
95. MAXWORLD, DETROIT - (circa 1985) This was in a 2 level house on Warren Road, run by the late Pat McElroy who also was a DJ on now defunct classical radio station WQRS, before moving to the state of Washington where he continued in radio work until he passed.
96. THE GAUNTLET, LIVONIA MALL - A flash in the pan, 2004 only, a modular haunt.
97. FRIGHT NIGHTS, LIVONIA MALL - 2002 & 2003. Highly disorienting journey into NEVER NEVER LAND!
98. HAUNTED BARN OF BLOOD, NEW BOSTON - at APPLE CHARLIE’S 2004 & 2005
99. MILLER’S BIG RED, WASHINGTON TWP. - Haunted hayride ended in 2013.
100. KNIGHT’S DUNGEON, DEARBORN HEIGHTS - Ran in 1999 & 2000 at KNIGHT’S OF COLUMBUS HALL, was a bargain at only $3!
101. 7 MILE HOUSE OF TERROR, DETROIT - Flash in the pan for 200 only, was 3 block east of Southfield Freeway.
102. CHOP SHOP / THE LAB, GROSSE ILE - 2005 & 2006, GIYRA haunt revamped by John L. Burton. The hydraulic moving floor was gone, but many other gags left you speechless. FOUL MOUTHED GOONS RULED THIS STRANGE DOMAIN.
103. MORTUARY MANOR, RIVER ROUGE - Flash in the pan for 1999.
104. EXFEARIENCE, TAYLOR - ran from 2002 - 2005 in GIBRALTAR TRADE CENTER
105. BULL’S HOLLOW GYM HAUNTED HOUSE, TAYLOR - one year flash-in-the-pan haunt. This haunt was part of our submission to GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for “Most Haunted Attractions in an American city - 6.” Our submission was not accepted.
106. DUNCAN STREET TERROR, TAYLOR - A long-running yard haunt on steroids that caused traffic jams. They had a queue line, and a specific path with closed tops and multiple monster surprises with special lighting & sound. All of this qualified it as a haunted attraction, and was part of a submission we made to GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS for “Most Haunter Attractions In An American City.” There were SIX haunts in Taylor when we made the submission, which unfortunately was denied.
107. SLAUGHTERED AT SUNDOWN, ARMADA - long running walk thru & hayride.
108. DETROIT URBAN LEGENDS, DETROIT - 2012 was the last year.
109. SILO X, CLINTON TWP. - at CJ Barrymore’s. Featured a real crashed helicopter! 1998
110. HALLOWEEN SPOOKTRAIN, BRIDGEPORT at JUNCTION VALLEY RAILROAD - a 2 mile train ride on a miniature train
111. DUNGEON OF THE DEAD, WARREN - from WARREN PARKS & RECREATION at RIDGEWOOD RECREATION CENTER. 1998 was their 16th year.
112. HAUNTED OLD MILL, DUNDEE - DUNDEE JAYCEES, in the dungeon of the old Ford Mill in Downtown Dundee
113. SALEM’S GATE, ROMEO at RAPP’S ORCHARD 32 MILE & VAN DYKE
114. CASTLE OF HORRORS, CHESTERFIELD TWP. 1998 was their 3rd annual show with CASTLE MAZE, PATH OF THE DEAD & TORTURE CHAMBER.
115. HALL OF HAUNTS, WALTZ - in WALTZ MEMORIAL PARK.
116. THE HAUNTED FUNERAL HOME, MT. CLEMENS - short lived haunt at Gibraltar Trade Center North that began in 1998. This was not affiliated with another haunt with the same name in Inkster which is still open.
117. ALMONT’S HAUNTED GHOST TOWN, ALMONT - triple attraction featured Haunted Ghost Town, Haunted Cornstalk Maze, and Moonlight Hayride.
118. TRILOGY OF TERROR, ROCHESTER HILLS - triple attraction haunt with Dark Dimension hayride, Trails of Lost Souls forest, and Dungeon of Blood walk through.
119. DEATH PARK, LENOX TWP. - at Salt River Park
120. HAUNTED FOREST, SOUTHGATE - hayride behind Aquinas High School
121. HAUNTED FOREST, ONSTED - Ride the train of terror through the Prehistoric Forest. (not affiliated with #121)
122. THE RIG, HOWELL - on Schafer Road circa 1998
123. SYMANZIK’S PUMPKINLAND at SYMANZIK BERRY FARM, GOODRICH - family oriented with a comedian/magician/juggler, Fun Barn, Goat Mountain, Wagon Rides, 50 foot slide, Climbing Train, Petting Zoo, Swinging Bridge, Jungle Maze, Pumpkinland, Space Trollies & more.
124. DOCTOR JACK’S HOUSE OF DEATH, WATERFORD - at LASER ZONE.
125. CRYPT OF TERROR, MONROE - MONROE JAYCEES, was downtown in the United Way building by the river.
126. HALLOWEEN HOUSE OF HORROR, FLINT - MILLENNIUM MANSION at Mayfair Plaza
127. BUNYEA FARMS, SUPERIOR TWP. - “A Country Family Halloween Experience” with hayrides, U-pick fields, animal petting farm
128. DUNGEON OF DOOM AT BARNSTORMER’S, WHITMORE LAKE
129. HUCKLEBERRY GHOST TRAIN & CROSSROADS GHOSTS & GOODIES, FLINT - “Michigan’s Biggest and Best Family Halloween Event!”
130. THE HOWLING, ROMEO - Hayrides & Haunted Hayloft, Mound Road btw. 29 & 30 Mile Roads
131. HAUNTED COAST GUARD STATION, ST. CLAIR SHORES - STATION SCS 1998 was their 4th annual show.
132. FESTIVAL OF THE DEAD, BELLEVILLE - BELLEVILLE JAYCEES at THE PUMPKIN FACTORY which is still open but with no haunt.
133. SCREAMERS #1, WARREN - at Produce Palace on Dequindre, over 13,000 square feet
134. SCREAMERS #2, MT. CLEMENS - at Performance Motor Sports Lounge on Gratiot, 6,000 square feet
135. NIGHTMARE ON DIXIE HWY., WATERFORD - Over 20 Mind Blowing Rooms! A Soiled Pants Production.
136. HAYRIDE THROUGH THE VALLEY OF DEATH, DEARBORN HEIGHTS - at Parkland Park by Dearborn Heights Jaycees & Dearborn Heights Parks & Recreation circa 1998
137. GORE GROUNDS, BRIDGEPORT - popular haunt in an old elementary school.
138. PANIC HAUNTED EXPERIENCE, WESTLAND - spin-off haunt from HUSH was shut down needlessly midseason by ill-informed city officials.
***END OF "CLOSED" HAUNTS LIST***
MAXWORLD is the FIRST haunt we ever made an audio recording of!
The idea had never crossed our minds...until meeting the Bewildered Brethren who roamed the front yard of this house that became a multi-interactive experience like no other at the time, or ever since!
So we came back the next day with a micro cassette recorder, saying we're from the Zioptis Foundation Dial-A-Trip, which drove DR. PLASMODIUS into a frenzy! Turns out he was already an avid Dial-A-Trip fan, and we ended up bringing some of the MAXWORLD CREW back to the Zioptis recording studio for some impromptu Dial-A-Trip episodes!
MAXWORLD also featured an invitation to play "COSMIC CHESS" around a giant, circular chess board of sorts with bizarre player's pieces to choose from. As the game progressed, the story line was customized on-the-spot by local actors including Harry Wetzel.
DIGITAL SURGERY was performed live on each patron by the very strange and wild DR. PLASMODIUS while you reclined in an actual dental chair. He used real analog electronic equipment to administer low level, high voltage harmless electric shocks, while you actually watched the resulting arc travel up your arm!
MAXWORLD had a second floor that was a whole other world! Part of it was the very first maze we saw that CHANGED WHILE YOU WERE TRYING TO GET THROUGH! Actors perched on top of the maze structure could change the path, somewhat like a railroad does when trains are re-directed as needed.
This was the first haunt ever reported on in detail on Zioptis Dial-A-Trip. So, in a way, MAXWORLD was responsible for the beginning of the ZIOPTIS HAUNTED HOUSE HOTLINE!
WARNING: SOCIAL COMMENTARY FOLLOWS!
Later, MAXWORLD had the BADDEST-ASS JACOB'S LADDER we have EVER seen at any haunt! It was hand constructed, WAY AGAINST UL CODE, by a local renegade electrician with a taste for the bizarre.
The metal rods were exactly 4 FEET LONG, and the neon light ballast required to produce an electric arc that would easily travel that length weighed a ton!
The resulting electric arc would have been literally LETAL with even the briefest contact, so it was encased in the thickest Plexiglas we could find!
This thing took your breath away, and totally freaked out anybody who understood how dangerous this device was.
The city inspectors had no idea what was going on in this MADHOUSE BEYOND BELIEF!
NOBODY was ever hurt by this EXTREMELY FOOLISH DEVICE TO HAVE, THANK GOD. (and it has since been dismantled)
BLAME IT ON YOUR YOUTH & USUALLY GET AWAY WITH IT
In retrospect, it was quite stupid to even have such a device in a haunt open publically to the wild kind of people who frequent them.
Drunk people run and fall into things all the time, and there's the rare idiot-on-purpose that can make Murphy's Law come true for you in an instant.
And THIS brings up a question we've been hearing as haunts try to outdo each other with more-and-more extreme stunts/gags that will excite the public SAFELY...or so we hope. Bigger and badder is NOT always BETTER.
We feel that a consortium of haunts together on this could proactively avert a disaster that would sully public opinion of the haunt genre in general.
There's a "Haunted House" in NEW YORK we've reported on several times called BLACKOUT.
We knew they "water-boarded" many patrons (who all signed waivers) in past years, but now they have a new antic that flies in the face of the "How is this likely to end?" mentality that in our opinion haunt owners should embrace.
It starts with putting a hood on the head of the haunter, stuffing them into a body bag, throwing the bag into a car and being driven to an unused warehouse where they are dumped out of the bag naked to sit alone.
But what happens if there's a car accident on the way to the warehouse? Or what happens if opportunists notice somebody made vulnerable, being dropped off alone in the warehouse?
Aside from those issues the media, which now unfortunately can include any random idiot with a smartphone, can quickly turn against you as they're very anxious to find new things to be outraged by publically with as many "Likes" or Re-Tweets as possible.
Don't get us wrong...we're ABSOLUTELY IN FAVOR OF PHYSICAL THRILLS at haunts! They are supposed to be that way by their very definition.
One of our favorites was the HAUNTED MONSTER TRUCK RIDES in LANSING from the MONGOOSE MONSTER TRUCK COMPETITION TEAM in 2011. (see Reviews 2011_B)
And the long defunct HERSHEY HAUNTED HOUSE in DEARBORN had a small roller coaster INSIDE the haunt, if you can even imagine that! The only thing that ever got hurt there was the pride of the would-be tough guys clutching their girlfriend's for dear life!
But back to BLACKOUT in NEW YORK, which bills itself as being a haunted house.
Hmmm...they call THIS a "haunted house"? Would you want YOUR business associated with this type of operation? Should they even be calling this a "haunted house"???
Don't be surprised if the only people that get rich on this are the lawyers who are ravenous for cases involving ANY kind of abuse of ANYONE or ANYTHING, especially if there's a media feeding frenzy generating lots of high-profile public outrage.
WARNING: EVEN MORE SOCIAL COMMENTARY FOLLOWS!
Just look at the current "NFL CRISIS" involving Ray Rice, who was essentially found guilty a second time for doing exactly what he already fully confessed to as soon as the video was posted on YouTube, when the media went into a feeding frenzy.
Of course domestic violence has no place in America...that's been true since even before 1776...it's true now...and will continue to be true many years from now...there's no blurring between right and wrong here.
But I have NEVER heard so much impassioned, overly-dramatic bleating from sportscasters, TV reporters, and such in my entire life.
I just couldn't help but wonder why he's being made out to be the most evil guy arrested in the NFL EVER...so I asked my amazing friend Mister Google about "NFL ARRESTS" and found this: www.utsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database/
Wow, 759 PAGES, and that's just from 2000 until now?
And yet we never heard anything about the others even close to what we're now hearing about Ray Rice???
Let's go digging again, Mister Google...
WHOA NELLIE, how about this Warren Moon football hero dude who also seems to have no problem with domestic abuse: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1995-07-20/sports/1995201163_ 1_moon-worrell-felicia
Now compare what you SAW in the Ray Rice video to these WORDS from the above newspaper article: "...Felicia Moon said that she had been struck in the head with an open hand by Mr. Moon and that he had also choked her to the point of almost passing out."
Aren't just the words enough to convince you this guy has no place in the NFL?
Apparently not, because he was voted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame by the same media members who are now scrambling to see who can be seen expressing the most outrage about domestic abuse. www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=2 56
But do you think Ray Rice has any chance of being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame anytime soon?
I've always felt that the true test of someone's character is what they do when nobody is watching.
Or how about Jim Brown, the respected Wise Old Man of Football commentator who was hired again by the Cleveland Browns in 2013, despite a long history of abuse: www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/us/jim-brown-fast-facts/
Where is the media criticism of this choad?
You won't hear it. Ever.
There's no YouTube VIDEO, so it doesn't count.
For good or bad, this whole sordid episode shows the effect of different levels of media and that the neurology of SEEING something is more pervasive than only reading the words.
The sports media, including such well known's as Bob Costas and Dan Patrick, have had hundreds of chances over many years to call out the behavior of guys like Moon and Brown, yet remained largely silent.
Nobody seems willing to call the media out on their behavior, even as they make their very living doing it to others.
Can you imagine Bob Costas, for example, going on national TV and saying something like: "Regretfully, I've been provided with hundreds of opportunities through the years to make a stand against domestic violence but never followed through. Therefore, due to my own personal negligence, I must immediately resign so that a more socially responsible journalist can regularly report things I failed to do during my decades covering the men who have committed domestic violence."
Think that will happen before Hell freezes over?
Sigh...where's Ward and June when we need them?
Whoops...I digress again...never mind.