Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors Casts A Spell

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It had been three years since the witch had last beckoned to me but any concern that she had lost her magic was quickly dispelled. Now located at Panama Farms on Ford Road in Ypsilanti, one could argue that Krazy Hilda is more potent now than ever she was.

An earthen path descended slowly but surely toward the forest and once at the base of the treeline we waited until the call of the witch signaled us to enter her shrouded dominion. Once inside we discovered a landscape dotted with classic Halloween scenes that included Frankenstein’s Laboratory, an eerie cemetery and a werewolf’s lair; among others. The natural ambiance of the forest trail was the ideal canvas for Hilda’s coven to ply their craft; there are some effects that no amount of money can buy.

Somewhere in the distance we heard the chilling lullaby of an unseen woman and it seemed inevitable that we would, at some point in our journey, cross her path. For the time being we had to deal with a series of great jump scares that were executed by the expertly concealed cast. A skull-faced creature, who Mark dubbed Gully Suit Man, bounded after us like an animal and in a raspy voice told us with much enthusiasm that he’d like to chew our bones. No sooner had we shook the camouflaged cretin and the master of nightmares himself, Freddy Krueger, had materialized from behind some tombstones.

As a general rule of thumb, I’m not a fan of licensed characters being used in haunted attractions but this actor truly did the character justice. He was a towering man in full costume and makeup, he even nailed Freddy’s trademark acerbic wit. Mark and I sought the safety of a black structure but soon it was clear that the dream weaver had decided to follow.

Krueger clicked his metal talons and drug them across the wall; it was apparent that he too had entered the structure. We scrambled around several corners in search of an exit and when we found it we desperately attempted to escape but to no avail. The mirthless laugh of Freddy Krueger echoed through the halls as we balked at the false exit. In desperation we tried an adjoining panel and by luck were able to flee the corrupter of sleep.

It was quite a scene that the Trail of Terrors had set, one that featured sparse animatronics but used dummies as effective implements of misdirection. As we crossed a bridge a pair of decapitated heads hung from a tree branch and appeared positively dreadful illuminated only by moonlight.

We followed the path around a bend, the sound of circus music was carried on the cool, fall air to our ears. A carnival game loomed ahead and inside the booth was a clown. He challenged me to a game of Paper, Scissor, Rock and following some sound deliberation I was victorious. And it was a good thing too because one of my fingers was on the line!

It wasn’t long after we’d ditched the clown that we stumbled upon a small homestead where the front yard had been littered with dolls. Some had been posed as if they were at play, one gruesome youngster had it’s mouth stapled shut while another offered up a pair of soiled underwear.

Just as I had challenged Mark to kiss the creepy mannequin that resided on the porch a familiar tune rattled the air. We had found Lullaby Girl and she wasn’t alone. In her arms she cradled an infant, an infant with glowing red eyes who chimed in a sing-song voice, “I’m watching you” and “Come play with me.” Something about that demon child told me that it didn’t play well with others so we made for the treeline which was now in sight.

Clear of the forest we traversed a long pathway, lined with a tall fence on either side. A stray ghoul or two tracked us from the other side; it felt as if we were being prepped for an ambush. To our surprise the path opened on a quaint country scene, a dark-haired woman sat silently in a chair. We tried to inquire about a pair of emaciated corpses next to her but she eyed us with disdain and in a weird, strangled voice informed us that we had to leave. The old hag decided that we hadn’t moved fast enough and in a calm voice that cut to the bone she called out a single name, “Juuuunioooor.”

The air suddenly felt electric, pregnant with anticipation. For a moment time stood still and then like a phantom in the night Junior answered his mother’s call — by the skin of our teeth and with the aid of some fancy footwork, Mark and I were able to escape Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors, hides intact.

Rating: 4 stars

“Oh, there’s a Junior! There’s always a Junior!”

– Yours truly, once made aware of the existence of the aforementioned, Junior

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