Brotherly Love

Posted in News on October 7, 2018 by bluefall8

The weather was admittedly crummy last night throughout Metro-Detroit, but most attractions defied the elements and remained open to the public. My brother, Jason, and I set off into the dreary night in search of fright. Once upon a time, my brother scarcely missed a haunt outing, but then he became a nurse and his work schedule seriously put the brakes on haunting. I was shocked when I realized that it had been five years since he and I had visited a haunt together.

Our target on this night was Madison Heights with Azra: Chamber of Horrors in our sights. As my brother was in a hilariously altered state of mind (more on this later), I was asked to ferry us to our destination. While cruising through Detroit on northbound I-75 we witnessed an extended lighting strike that appeared as if it may have produced a small explosion. It was cool sight to behold.

I was a little skeptical about Azra which is held in a former laser tag venue, but the new haunt did not disappoint. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall production value. It did feature a mishmash of themes — one part medieval, gothic dungeon, one part industrial hellscape and a little harlequin influence near the conclusion for good measure — but some how the disparate narratives pulled together okay.

When we had exited through the sewer of Azra, we arrived on the inside of an adjoining space that housed a rage room where two dudes gleefully smashed glass items and a variety of themed escape rooms! One facade was shaped like a pyramid, another put me in mind of a lost, underwater civilization, but what truly piqued my interest was the brightly colored Mardi Gras room that reminded me of something I once saw on Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

“So, I found a piece of a stale cookie in my desk. I ate it. Now, I’m stoned.”

-My brother, explaining his actions before departing his house, and what just might become a pre-haunt ritual.

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Sad Face, Happy Face

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2018 by bluefall8

Ominous clouds roll through the sky, the wind carries a frenzied energy — it’s an ideal night to be one of the horde at any haunted attraction. Unfortunately, for your dear author here at Horrorlust, it’s a work night…and so is tomorrow. But, like last Saturday, I believe I’ll grace a few local haunts with my presence. Where I shall visit remains to be decided, but there’s no shortage of options.

On the flip side of that coin, they’re some Michigan mainstays that will not be operating this season; the most noteworthy of which is St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum which is reportedly in the midst of a move. No word yet on where the new location will be but the operators do hope to find a new home in time for the 2019 season.

Also in the dark is Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors, a fun for the whole family event, that has stolen my heart over the years. The ole witch vows to be back next year and I take her at her word because Hilda and her brood have proven mighty resilient over the years.

As some of you know, Anxiety Alley in Lincoln Park did not operate last year after decades of opening its doors to seasonal patrons. Several weeks ago, my source within my hometown informed me that the trailers in which the event was held had officially been scraped. Anxiety Alley was poorly organized and executed in recent years but it was the object of boyhood fascination and the very first haunted attraction that I ever attended. It holds a special place in my heart and will be missed.

On a happier note the Woods of Darkness in South Rockwood will open its gates tonight for the 2018 haunt season. The Psycho Path in Flat Rock will follow suit on Friday, October 12th. I fully intend to visit both of these attractions this season as I have in the past.

Happy Haunting.

With Autumn Air, I Breathe Again

Posted in News with tags , , , , on September 27, 2018 by bluefall8

Silver moonlight showered the night, a crispness bit the air and I was alive once more. Last Saturday a local, double feature was just what I needed to kick the season off in style. As fate would have it, an old favorite returned to form and a promising upstart offered a preview of things to come.

The Scream Machine was a wild ride through classic scenes, humorous scares and moments of fun interaction. Once free of the soul-sucking device, we tried our hand at an escape room but our efforts to break free were thwarted by a chubby, dead boy and his incessant chatter! It all added up to a new, thrilling chapter for Taylor’s resurrected haunt.

In nearby Romulus, Deranged had attracted a respectable crowd for just its second night of operation. The forest trail provided an idyllic setting on this beautiful first night of fall. Deranged was a little rough around the edges but a mixture of atmosphere, sheer weirdness and a decidedly odd family dynamic ensured a memorable experience.

Autumn Equinox

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , on September 22, 2018 by bluefall8

Life changes and so too we change with it. My own life and the writings here at Horrorlust are no exception and in a future post I’d like to delve into that more but for tonight I’d like to simply focus on the arrival of the 2018 haunt season.

My work schedule will keep me close to home most weekends this fall and so I’ll use the opportunity to visit some area haunted attractions, both old and new.

The Scream Machine returned to Taylor a few years back at a new location and I’m excited to see how a change of scenery and an infusion of new blood has transformed this hallmark of the downriver haunt scene.

In Romulus, Deranged has emerged as the new kid on the block. I have something of a personal rooting interest in this one as it’s being operated by a friend who earlier this year decided to take his home haunt to the big leagues.

It’s officially fall, citizens of Michigan — get out there and support the art of the scare.

Happy Haunting.

Exit 13 Goes Bonkers

Posted in News with tags , , , , on January 17, 2017 by bluefall8

Last Friday, Exit 13 opened its doors for a little event known as Friday the 13th Massacre. But this was no ordinary night — well, there aren’t really ordinary nights at Exit 13. Suffice it to say, this production by the Monsters of Mt. Morris was extra special. You see, once the clock rolled past 10:30pm, patrons were made to sign a waiver upon entrance and every pair of wrists were fitted with restraints.

I made this journey with members of my Jaycees family, all of whom were involved with SIN Haunted House last fall. Anticipation was high and the bladder of more than one haunter in our group was fit to burst. Oh, not mine of course. But there were those in the group who had to make an extra pit stop before we were granted access to the haunted halls of Exit 13.  What’s that? You want names? No, I can’t do that. Not without being bribed anyway.

Once inside we experienced an outlandish landscape at a breakneck pace that left each of us covered in goop, theatrical blood and one supremely foul-smelling scent. There were actors around every corner who engaged us with enthusiasm, sarcasm and flat out abuse. It was wild and unpredictable, like the haunted house version of a choose-your-own-adventure book. Groups were broken up, folks were snatched up, heads were bagged.

Exit 13 has engaged in some interesting experiments over the course of several haunt seasons and in the process has become one of the best haunted attractions in the entire state. I suspect the tinkering has only just begun. A full review of this most raucous affair will be penned in the coming weeks.

The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be

Posted in News with tags , , , on November 7, 2016 by bluefall8

A long, strange haunt season came to an end Saturday morning when John and I returned from Cincinnati fresh off of a maiden voyage to The Dent Schoolhouse.

The Dent Schoolhouse turned out to be an ideal end to a Halloween season that brought winds of change. We reveled in the festive atmosphere outside the attraction where a haunters market of sorts had set up shop. Once inside The Dent Schoolhouse we were delighted by a Lights Out: Clown Edition event stuffed to the gills with an energized cast who delivered scares and laughs in spades. We enjoyed the inherent schoolhouse theme and fell in love with several signature scenes.

Now that the season has concluded, full reviews for all attractions shall follow. Halloween may be done for the masses but the torch is always lit here at Horrorlust and I still have plenty of goodies to unwrap from the latest season of screams.

Weird October

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2016 by bluefall8

It’s been several years since I visited so few haunted attractions during the month of October. The season started normal enough on Saturday, October 1 with a trio of stops at Shawhaven Haunted Farm, Awaken and Jackson’s Underworld. A pair of weeknight outings organized by the Michigan Haunters Association then brought me to Rotten Manor on Tuesday, October 11 and then Clio Manor and Exit 13 the following night.

Due to my budding love affair with SIN, an already streamlined haunt schedule was blown to bits by the second week of October. A return to the beloved Bloodview was dashed along with would-be maiden voyages to Haunted Elementary and Bates Haunted Saw Mill. Psycho Path was shutdown by the City of Flat Rock over safety concerns and was relegated to hosting a hayride — that put a serious damper on a night that included other nearby haunts, Woods of Darkness and Hush.

But perhaps it was all written in the stars, 2016 was a season of change. I found a second family at SIN and while I’m disappointed I didn’t get to visit a bunch of new and exciting places this fall, I don’t regret my decision to commit to SIN. It was a blast and I’ll cherish the memories.

The lack of trips did leave me hankering for some post Halloween fun and lo and behold an opportunity presented itself. Tomorrow night we’ll drive to Cincinnati for an overnight trip headlined by The Dent Schoolhouse where a most intriguing and timely event is set to take place — Lights Out: Clown Edition. If time permits we’ll then make a break for Middletown, home to Nightmare Manor and Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park.