Archive for the News Category

Slash & Burn

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2016 by bluefall8

One of the cool perks of my work with SIN Haunted House has been the opportunity to tour other haunted attractions and on weeknights no less. Through the Michigan Haunters Association a number of haunted attractions throughout the state have collaborated to each host an event at their location. I think it’s a great tool for networking and provides haunters an opportunity to experience and appreciate the work of other passionate haunt freaks.

On Tuesday we converged at Rotten Manor and then last night enjoyed both Clio Manor and the indomitable, Exit 13. I toured all of those attractions last year and as such had planned to skip them this season so this afforded me the chance to get back to some great places and I’m thankful for that. Due to the insider nature of these events, as well as the aforementioned previous trips, I hadn’t originally planned to write official reviews but I still wanted to touch on some highlights from each event.

And then Exit 13 happened last night and I just don’t see how I can’t write a full review of the superior, odds-defying horror show that is taking place in Mt. Morris. So with that said I plan to do a streamlined review of these three locations with a focus on what was new. As for now, it’ll soon be time to channel Vermin once more and what a night it shall be next Monday when SIN is the final stop on the haunt swap. A plague is coming and Vermin is set to draw your sins as venom is drawn from a wound.

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Thunder & Lightning

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2016 by bluefall8

The weather did make for some challenging driving conditions last night, furthermore Shawhaven was forced to close Wagons of Fear and Dead Maze, but all things considered it was still a worthwhile night of haunting that began in Mason and ended in Jackson. Samara’s Boarding House at Shawhaven and Jackson’s Underworld were both enjoyable in their own right but it would be Awaken that captured my imagination and stole the night!

Samara’s Boarding House featured several captivating scenes inside of a curious series of buildings, my personal favorite was an intimate movie theater and a mirrored hall trimmed with red lasers. Awaken, the brand new haunted attraction in Leslie, Michigan, impressed us with a large cast and immersive scenes that included an ominous funeral parlor and riveting carnival! Jackson’s Underworld had excellent presence and scenery although most of the actors were pedestrian at best. The new secondary attraction, Psycho Vision 3D, featured awesome artwork and other visual splendor.

Thanks to Tammy at Shawhaven and the tandem of Rob and Brian at Awaken for being gracious hosts and all-around fun people to talk haunts with. Full reviews of each attraction will be posted soon.

A Plague of Vermin

Posted in News with tags , , , , on September 26, 2016 by bluefall8

I’ve toured and reviewed haunted attractions for a decade now and the desire to cross the veil and become part of a haunted attraction is something that was always there just beneath the surface. I first felt the pull in earnest back in 2010 while working on a promotional video for the Woods of Darkness. I knew that my path would ultimately lead me there but at the time there was still many haunts to visit and the call of the open road had to be answered.

Slowly but surely the two worlds began to collide and in the summer of 2014, I agreed to help a friend build a garage haunt for a Halloween party. We emptied the 20 x 24 foot space, erected walls and designed scenes, installed lighting and props; we even integrated an elegant sound system. It was a substantial commitment and required the sacrifice of several nights that ordinarily would’ve been spent on the road.

In addition, I acted several nights with the Wyandotte Jaycees at Fō-bē-ə that season. Unleashing the carnival barker turned doll-man known as Gerkins was an infectious adrenaline rush to which nothing else could quite compare. I reprised the role, if only briefly, last year at Delirium and knew that the 2016 season would offer further opportunity. After so many years on the road, a flip through the Fear Finder or Haunt Guide revealed that I’d experienced most of what Michigan had to offer. There remain a few outliers to be sure and I’ll dutifully check those off the list but it won’t require as many nights on the road this season.

With that in mind I made the decision to make a bigger commitment to the Wyandotte Jaycees. Initially, I considered resurrecting Gerkins once more but after some thought he didn’t seem to fit the 2016 SIN theme quite like he should so I began digging for a new character and slowly, like a difficult birth, Vermin was unearthed. I hope some of you readers have a chance to meet him this October — no doubt Vermin will relish the opportunity to pontificate on the nature of life itself or perhaps he’ll shed some light on your own dark secrets.

SIN is located at 3131 Biddle, Wyandotte, Michigan.

Brotherly Brainmuncher

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2016 by bluefall8

While on vacation with my family last month we visited Castle Farms in Charlevoix which turned out to be a pretty neat place to poke around. One of the main attractions there is something called the Enchanted Forest which possessed a mild creep factor. There was a cool entrance that looked like something out of the Blair Witch Project; once inside various pathways set off in multiple directions.

Witchcraft? You decide.

Witchcraft? You decide.

Somewhere along the way I noticed my brother veer off onto a different trail than the rest of us and although I felt the pull to follow him, I was nursing an injured foot and also happened to be carrying my 18-month son at the time. Practicality dashed my zest for adventure and shenanigans.

A few minutes later our party emerged from the murk of the Enchanted Forest and arrived at picturesque Birch Lake. Nobody had spotted my brother since his impromptu sidewinder; he finally emerged from the trail a couple of minutes later shambling like a zombie. I took the opportunity to capture the fun on video which you can view below. Of course, I did a little editing to spice things up.

I hope to see you readers subscribe to the Horrorlust YouTube Channel!

Mass Exodus

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by bluefall8

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While the cover art of the 2016 edition of the Fear Finder dazzled, the content inside the treasured seasonal publication left me yearning for more. Very few new haunts were featured, in fact, if you exclude the returning Scream Machine, there was just one new entry — Haunting in the Hills. Haunting in the Hills will include an outdoor trail of sorts, a haunted hayride and Train Car of Terror. This event will be held in Onsted, Michigan at the Stagecoach Stop Western Resort.

BLOODLETTING

So, who’s not in the Fear Finder this fall? Quite a number of places, actually. Below, I’ve highlighted some notable omissions.

Abandon, Bonadeo Farms, Exit 13, Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village, Haunted Elementary, St. Charles’ Village of the Living Dead and A Terror in Townsend Forest are not listed in the Fear Finder for 2016 but each of these attractions will be open and are advertised elsewhere.

WAITING GAME

Also missing in action are Erwin Orchards as well as Krazy Hilda’s; no word yet whether these haunts will be open or closed this season.

SHUTTERED

The Boneyard in Stockbridge announced several months ago that it would not be operational in 2016 so that particular vanishing act came as no surprise. Also dark for 2016 is Heck of a Haunted Barn in Monroe.

The big shock however was the announcement just days ago that Dark Legacy in Wixom would be closed. Dark Legacy is a powerhouse and had advertised everywhere since exploding on the scene in 2014, no specifics are known as to why it will be closed this season.

The biggest disappointment was word that The Dark Box will not be open after an intriguing rookie season. According to the folks there, the City of Pinckney took issue with the physicality employed at The Dark Box.

2016 Fear Finder Cover Art Released

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 9, 2016 by bluefall8

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Another fall season is rapidly approaching and with it comes the latest edition of the Fear Finder! The digital version will be released this weekend and distribution of hard copies will begin next week, as for now, we can enjoy the beautiful cover art of Steve Shipp.

Our unnamed hero is front and center trying to enjoy some fall fare. He seems to have just become aware that a pack of pumpkin reapers are in hot pursuit. Maybe they like cider and donuts too? I love the phosphorescent green that illuminates the shrouds worn by the gourd gang; the shades of orange and red splashed across the scene are equally eye-catching and atmospheric.

No gimmicks or contrivances here, this is a classic Fear Finder cover by Steve Shipp. In several ways it brings to mind the 2012 cover which was another favorite of mine. I love the autumn allure of this artwork.

As I do every year, I’ll request that other collectors of the Fear Finder looking to swap or sell, get in touch with me by leaving a comment on this post or by emailing: horrorlust31@gmail.com

I am in possession of copies dating back to 2006 and would sorely like to complete my collection.

The Haunt Guide: 2016 Edition

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2016 by bluefall8

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The 2016 version of The Haunt Guide is now available to view and download at the Michigan Haunters Association website. Long time readers may notice that the cover art has changed, gone is the self-reflexive skeleton who was pictured reading a copy of The Haunt Guide. As you can see above, the cover page now features a cemetery scene set beneath an inky night sky — there’s even a tombstone shaped like the Wolverine State.

Most of the haunted attractions advertised inside The Haunt Guide have become mainstays with that publication in recent years but there are a handful of interesting entries to note. The most prominent news is the addition of a third attraction, called Dead Souls Corral, at The Realm of Darkness in Pontiac. No word on whether the new attraction is an indoor or outdoor event or exactly how it might, if at all, interact with the other attractions there.

It’s good to see that a pair of first year hits will return for a second season — Abandon at Play Atlantis in Melvindale and Rotten Manor in Holly. The team at Rotten Manor does not appear content to rest on the laurels of 2015 having added Rotten Forest and a third attraction ominously dubbed, Clown Barn.

I was very excited to see a new haunt by the name of Awaken located in the small town of Leslie, Michigan which is a mere 15 minutes south of Mason, home to Shawhaven Haunted Farm. Also new to The Haunt Guide is Wicked Woods of Terror in Caro, Michigan which isn’t terribly far from Haunted Elementary in Bridgeport. Haunted Elementary is now under the umbrella known as Bridgeport Goregrounds which also boasts a 3D attraction called FrightSite and a third known as Outbreak.

Lastly, after two years in the dark, The Scream Machine will whir to life once more — this time at a new location in Taylor on Ecorse Road. I sincerely hope the one-time Downriver staple can reinvent itself and rise from the ashes of a dismal 2013 but I do have reservations. The ad featured inside The Haunt Guide is strikingly similar if not identical to the one that was used during the last few years of The Scream Machine’s initial run. It doesn’t help matters that, as of the time of this writing, the ad also includes a web address that doesn’t work.