Archive for the News Category

Cleveland Trip Underscored by Mix of Emotions

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by bluefall8

This past Saturday, I took to the road with 7 Floors of Hell and Bloodview on the agenda. It was a fun outing despite some rain but overall I did expect more from my maiden voyage to 7 Floors of Hell. The same can be said of my beloved Bloodview; this was my third trip to the haunt called home by the Legion of Terror  and although it had its moments, I found myself nostalgic for years gone by.

7 Floors of Hell, as the name implies, featured seven separate haunted attractions — Chaos, The Basement, House of the Dead, Catacombs, The Butcher Shop, Mental Ward and Phobia. Chaos and The Basement were the best executed, House of the Dead also had several redeeming qualities but on average the various haunts offered too few unique scares or interesting characters.

The set designs fit the bill and each attraction featured plentiful, impressive props, but only a handful of actors engaged in fun and creative interaction, the vast majority delivered simple jump scares and bland, cliched vocalizations.

Bloodview remained a beautiful, macabre Mecca but the cast on this night was largely missing that magical spark. There were memorable moments sprinkled here and there but that was the exception. Perhaps the lack of punch was caused by the rain, or the false emergency that was in full swing upon our arrival or maybe it was simply the effect of the passage of time on yours truly. Such things are difficult to discern these days.

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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.

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.

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.

Hank Hymen: Virgin Slayer

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 29, 2016 by bluefall8

Hank Hymen: Virgin Slayer is a horror-comedy short released Halloween 2012 as part of an anthology special called Our Muddy Nightmare. The sketch, presented as a movie trailer, details the absurd case of a serial lothario Hank Hymen, who surfaces each October to seduce virgins — 31 of them to be exact. Hank is pursued by Detectives Rockford and Grant, a crime-fighting duo willing to color outside the lines of the law to settle a personal grudge.