Archive for the Darksyde Acres Category

A Drift on the Darksyde

Posted in 2014, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by bluefall8

It was growing late on that windswept, rainy Saturday night; cell reception was spotty at best and we had to make a decision which haunt to hit after departing the Corpse Barn Shock Haunt. The original plan had us heading to Shawhaven Haunted Farm in Mason but that attraction was set to close at 11pm and was more than a half hour drive; the Boneyard in Stockbridge was roughly the same distance too but we feared their respective outdoor events may be closed due to the weather.

With all these factors in place the decision was made for us — our friends at Darksyde would be going strong until 12:30am and thus we departed for the dirt roads of Jonesville. When we arrived it was to find that the rain, if anything, had fell even harder in this neck of the woods but the place was aglow with the signature lights that ring the former pig farm. We snagged up our tickets and made for the entrance of the main attraction — The Catacombs and The Rusthole.

THE CATACOMBS & THE RUSTHOLE SEETHE DEATH & DECAY

The queue area has a presence all its own and there we encountered several old friends — the well-fed Dr. Ick and the sultry Lex Lethal. Group by group were swallowed by the darkness and it wasn’t long before it was our turn to descend into The Catacombs.

We were first assailed by a gangly, long-haired, snarling fellow with a mad glint in his eye — I think Dr. Ick had been stealing his lunch because he hungrily stalked us to the entrance of the tombs. The Catacombs itself seemed to be longer than in years past as a variety of undead creatures screamed, scowled and threatened us along the way.

The storied clown area was put to use again although it was missing some familiar faces. Where was the intimidating Bubbles or his rambunctious brother Pickles?! Absent too was their bushy-haired, incestuous mother as well as the boy’s pale-faced, spunky sister with the dynamite body! Indeed, this quartet had set the bar high during previous visits and while the current infestation of clowns were enjoyable in their own right, they’ll need some time to gel as a group before they can aspire to such lofty heights.

And of course it just wouldn’t be a trip to Darksyde without a mention of provocative haunt hotties who sway and gyrate in shadowed recesses. One of the femme fatales had escaped her cage and was found at a very peculiar angle with one leg hooked over the outside of the cage bars. Let us not forget too, Casey the resident pool dancer, who does her thing in the bowels of The Rusthole to the throbbing sounds of quality rock music.

Rating: 3 stars

CAPTAIN KARCASS, LADY CHOP CHOP SHINE BRIGHT ON DARK ABYSS

When we emerged from oppressive dark of The Rusthole it was to find the night even more chilly and wet; so we sought shelter with the damned souls aboard the Dark Abyss.

We found Captain Karcass in rather jovial spirits although his new first mate was rather burly and unfriendly. The good captain did seem a little short on busty wenches this year; perhaps a few had finally succomb to the cocktail of 17th century diseases that Captain Karcass likes to pass around? However, still aboard was the Queen of the Wenches, the ever-present Lady Chop Chop who was as witty, vivacious and dangerous as ever she was.

Other notable instances aboard the Dark Abyss included a camouflaged creature who gave us a proper scare and an encounter with the tall, gaunt man and a mysterious, unnamed wench who threatened to strangle me with some hanging chains. I was able to buy my mates some time to flee when I caught the sea bound harlot off guard and offered to hang myself.

Rating: 2.75 stars

Once the Dark Abyss had docked and we disembarked, several members of my party required a pit stop and so I wandered the Darksyde Carnivale in search of entertainment. There I watched Ringmaster Baiter (that’s pronounced Bat-E-Aye, you degenerates) eat glass and drive a nail into his nasal cavity.

I couldn’t get a steady signal to my phone and had yet to reconnect with my friends, but the hour was growing late so I beat a hasty path for The Catacombs & Rusthole once more. I talked for a few minutes with the young guy at the front of the queue line who mentioned something very strange indeed. He asked me to let him know if I came across an apparition of a man in a bathtub on the third floor of The Rusthole. I didn’t even know there was a second floor of The Rusthole, let alone a third. His story sounded like something out of The Shining or 1408.

Here I was, set to reenter the attraction all on my lonesome armed with a strange ghost story and fresh goosebumps crawling on my flesh. I later paused near the end of The Catacombs when I encountered that crypt dweller Ricter Mortis, another Darksyde mainstay. I told ole Ricter the tale of the specter and he seemed to snicker at my quest to uncover the truth. He soon added that in order to see the bathtub ghost one must first suck the toes of yet another apparition. This was starting to sound like a lot of work to see one dead dude in a bathtub. I never did come across any spirits but the whole story did get my heart racing at bit faster, especially when I was faced with the dark of The Rusthole by myself.

The adverse weather did put something of a damper on the evening and overall Darksyde Acres felt as if it may have been suffering from a few growing pains, but make no mistake this remains a unique outpost on the haunted landscape. There is immense potential for expansion and there has been some talk amongst ownership of turning that potential into a reality in the not too distant future.

There is a dark magnetism that stalks the grounds and permeates the air of Darksyde Acres and its legend has only just begun to ensnare the hearts and minds of all who dare to visit.

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Friday the 13th at Darksyde Acres

Posted in 2013, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2013 by bluefall8

It’s no secret to the readers of Horrorlust what kind of show you can expect from the cast of Darksyde Acres; over the past two years I’ve written reviews that detailed zany characters and preposterous scenes tantamount to haunt legend. It’s truly a unique frequency on the haunted spectrum, one any thrill seeker would be foolish to ignore. Tucked away in scarcely populated Hillsdale County, on a dirt road in Jonesville, Michigan there is a former pig farm poised to empty your bowels.

CATACOMBS & RUSTHOLE FORM FORMIDABLE DUO

The queue area is interesting and expansive and as always featured a hodge podge of macabre scenery. The burly Dr. Ickk spoke to us about his love for the dead…well mostly his love for dead girls and boy did this guy have a lot of uses for a dead girl. Meanwhile a pair of haunt hotties made threats of sinister showers as they bobbed throughout the line, there was even a mention of an oven. The chatter was as tasteless as it was tantalizing. Elsewhere a proud mother stood with her newborn baby, Char — and I do mean newborn. Mother’s dress was stained with blood, in fact the umbilical cord still connected mother to child!

As it was opening night we were not made to wait long to enter the haunted attraction which is a good thing of course but I do wonder what the queue area must look like when Darksyde Acres is abuzz with a crush of guests. We have failed to visit this location during the peak of the haunt season — in 2011 we stopped by in early October and then the last night of operation in 2012; of course this season it was opening night. If time and the haunt fates should permit, I would very much like to return when Darksyde Acres is positively rip roaring.

The costuming and make-up are two aspects of Darksyde Acres that are excellent — the ghouls and goblins sported everything from vibrant contacts and rotten teeth to wild hair and dingy clothing. The Catacombs housed numerous creepy crawlers, some mocked while others snarled. One unkempt lass informed us that she hadn’t had her shots but expressed an interest in dry humping all the same, deeper into the earthen tomb a skeletal figure dubbed me Giggleshorts after we shared a laugh.

It wasn’t long after I’d earned my new nickname that we met Humpy the Clown and his pet beaver which he implored us to stroke…and we did. Hey, don’t judge us! When the pale-faced ones at Darksyde ask you to do something it has been my experience that it’s best to simply comply. You wouldn’t want to upset them! After we had petted Humpy’s furry friend we entered a door to our right into a room that contained Humpy’s kin. A harlequin hottie skipped silently through the room while the ever rambunctious Pickles let fly a perverted stream of consciousness diatribe. He and his sister seemed to have some unfinished business as the pair squared off as if ready to do battle. Just as we thought a brawl would erupt Pickles lunged at dear ole sis and began using her ample breasts as bongos. He was of course greatly amused with his antics until Humpy entered, approached Pickles from behind and bent him over — that’s when Pickles nearly hit the roof, shouting as he was with glee. He’s a tough one to figure that Pickles.

The Rusthole is as dark and difficult to navigate as ever it was, but it’s here that I feel the haunt could really amp up the scare factor with live actors or perhaps even some tactile effects. This area did however feature several caged vixens who swayed to the delight of many to be sure, it’s also the home of Darksyde Acres professional pole dancer. Yep, they have one of those.

There were a few design changes made to the path this year, perhaps most notable was my personal favorite that utilized a casket for a doorway. There’s still a ton of room to expand here which means that Darksyde Acres is positively brimming with further haunted potential. The actors I’ve noted throughout this review were very good, some of them were even great but there were a few who left something to be desired. As it was opening night that is to be expected, it takes time to shake off those cobwebs and hone that special energy that fuels the haunt season.

Rating: 3 stars

BUSTY, LUSTY WENCHES NEVER BETTER

The Dark Abyss was very well themed, detailed, and well stocked with a cursed crew. We enjoyed some banter with a pair of foliage draped sailors who were found swatting a tethered head to and fro. The duo took a liking to us; indeed they seemed to have a distinct preference for boys in general. They expressed great interest in a game of pink sock. There was also a gangly, imposing fellow who accosted us near the end of the ship who made for a memorable sight.

However, without a doubt the stars of this vicious vessel were the buxom wenches. This gaggle of sultry sirens displayed a touch of bi-polar disorder, flirtatious one moment and then woman scorned the next. The unquestioned leader of the pack is one Lady Chop Chop and this gal meant business. Armed with a meat cleaver she made her wants and desires well known. She often insisted on a game of find-the-bone and when she wasn’t doing that she dared wayward travelers to reach into her honey pot or crow’s nest. Lady Chop Chop was never at loss for a euphemism and loved to engage in word play, her high pitched cackle could be heard throughout the Dark Abyss. She went from sexy to enraged and back again in the same sentence and was truly one of the best characters we’ve come across in all our haunted travels.

Rating: 3 stars

When we had exited the Dark Abyss we wandered over to the midway area where the Darksyde Carnivale had taken up residence for the season. We witnessed a display of sword juggling and fire breathing, and who doesn’t enjoy that sort of thing? As I understand it the midway will also feature a block head, fortune teller, sideshow freaks, and hoopers throughout the haunt season. We also had a chance to meet the owner of Darksyde Acres, Rob Johnson. He was a friendly and hospitable host who even turned us on to a nearby attraction, Ladd’s Evil Acres.

Adults Only at Darksyde Acres A Must See

Posted in 2012, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2013 by bluefall8

Darksyde Acres is a haunted attraction not quite like any other. You won’t find an army of flashy animatronics here, nor is the show exactly old school — hell, it really isn’t anything in between either. Darksyde Acres is entirely something else. Having visited the location previously in 2011 I knew my group and I were in for an unforgettable night of haunting on November 3, 2012 — the night Darksyde admitted adults only.

A phrase like that can produce a lot of images for a reader and prospective customer, and that’s precisely the point. I’m not going to give away all the surprises either but suffice it to say, you’ll see and experience things on this night that you aren’t likely to see at many other attractions. I know I haven’t and I’ve visited a lot of haunted attractions. By and large the cast and crew at Darksyde Acres is deranged, energetic, and willing to take the act just about as far as any given patron is willing to push it. Oh, I’m not kidding — go ahead, push it.

After purchasing our tickets we headed first for the new maze, The Labyrinth! This attraction isn’t haunted but it was actually a lot of fun and likely the hardest maze we’ve encountered at any haunted attraction. Without the occasion ghoul to correct your path it’s easy to become a bit disoriented — when we initially arrived at the entrance a couple who had been lost inside for half an hour was just emerging. Although truth be told that may have been due to some spur of the moment hanky-panky and when I jokingly presented that possibility to them it was meet with giggles. A young guy dressed as a panda was the gatekeeper here and we had numerous and interesting conversations with him throughout the night — Richard somehow mistook him for a girl, revealing this to me during a conversation while we were lost in the maze.

“She smelled good,” he said. As I peered about the maze for an available opening I turned to him and replied, “Who?” He answered with, “The Panda.” I looked at him quizzically, wondering if he was making a joke but he seemed completely genuine. We both paused, momentarily forgetting that we were lost in a maze. He left me with no choice but to matter-of-factly state, “That was…a guy.” There was an awkward pause and then Richard said, “Oh…well…he smelled good.” Just one of those little things that only seem to happen when you’re out haunting with friends.

THE CATACOMBS AND RUSTHOLE SET TO TITILLATE

As we approached the main entrance we saw a sexy girl performing various eye-catching moves with a hoola-hoop, meanwhile a split-tongued fellow with a blue mohawk beckoned us to enter inside the feature presentation.

Beyond this door is a large queue area dotted with a variety of scenes guests must first wind their way past, and oh what a trek it was. It was here that we came across the first of many haunt hotties to populate the attraction. One dressed as a bunny (a really hot bunny) was full of pep, her counterpart was a dead school girl (a really hot dead school girl) who acted innocently enough but held deliciously devilish deeds in her eyes. The pair accompanied us to the front of the line, entertaining us the whole way — they even made Cikalo dance under the threat of entering the haunted house by himself. Soon he and I entered the long hallway that transports guests into the belly of the beast. I soaked it all in knowing that this was the final night of the 2012 haunt season.

Within the confines of the Catacombs and Rusthole there were certainly some scares but what truly fueled this attraction on adults night was humor…and the transfixing sexiness of the female cast. It all added up to a frenzied night of fun and laughs. In one area a young man assailed us in nothing more than what can only be described as a nugget pouch and he was quite proud of this fact — gyrating his hips and pelvis before turning his backside at us and bouncing backward down a passageway chanting, “Boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty. Boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty.” It was ridiculous, but bless his heart he was determined not to let the girls have all the fun.

In another area we pushed our way through a series of hanging sheets, familiar music could be heard faintly in the distance. Something told me we would soon encounter the untamed harlequins known as Bubbles and Pickles. However, when we emerged from the jungle of sheets we found before us an interesting site indeed. A large, bushy haired woman stood before us, a  serene smile on her face. She was topless save for the miniature tortured faces that covered her breasts. She was very happy to see us, she spoke as if she knew us and as she did so the horrifying reality began to sink in — she thought we were the fathers of her children! So delighted by our return she flung open the door to her right and urged us to go meet our bastards. The room was bathed in the glow of a black light, neon-colored paint jumped out at us from every direction. The sounds of Creature Feature’s The Greatest Show Unearthed blared throughout the room — now I was positive that Pickles and Bubbles were near!

A curiosity to our left attracted our attention — it seemed to be a mannequin sitting a top a large box, one leg stretched out above it’s head. Surely this was a dummy of some sort. However it looked strangely alive, but no person could sit so still in such a position. Suddenly, she sprang to life. Yes, it was a she and a scorching hot one at that. Her petite frame moved with a creepy grace as she bobbed around us, ponytail swaying as she went. She wore a frilly skirt and little else, her barely covered breasts were the best instrument any hypnotist could ever ask for. Her face was painted white and beneath the black light the effect was both startling and alluring, like something from a vibrant nightmare. Obvious observations aside she was one of the most unique characters I’ve come across in all my travels to haunted attractions. As she spun and slunk her way around the room she was joined by her brother, the wise cracking Bubbles.

Bubbles however didn’t arrive alone — in his hand was an extra large member…not his own (geez, get your mind out of the gutter) but he threatened us with a good time all the same. All of a sudden a buzzing sound whooshed through my ears as I felt something tickle my hindquarters. The pale-faced beauty had snuck behind us and was engaging in her own brand of fun aided by an electronic baton. As we made our way through the rest of the room we encountered the youngest of the clown clan who seemed a bit more shy and nervous than his elder siblings, and finally there was Pickles. As we exited the room he followed us out where we again encountered the woman who had spawned these children, but before she could confront us for child support Pickles grabbed her from behind and began…well, pickling her. She cried out in ecstasy, we could only howl with laughter at this absurd example of incest.

Soon thereafter we encountered a tall and portly man who wore only a diaper and bore a striking resemblance to Sloth from The Goonies, given his stature and possible state of mind I decided it was best not to point out this particular observation. The path forward descended into complete darkness as the Rusthole took hold. There was a lot of groping, grabbing, and feeling about in this area…because it was so dark (my goodness, leave it alone you perverts)! We would encounter a couple more of Darksyde’s femme fatales before exiting the Rusthole including Casey the resident pole dancer.

I’ve experienced this attraction during a normal operating night (normal being a relative term to describe Darksyde Acres, of course) and now on a night when only adults were welcome and I can state without hesitation that both live up to expectations. I’ve come away both times with only a couple of complaints, the first being that a few more actors would’ve fleshed out the attraction nicely. There are a couple of areas where a scare would keep haunters on edge particularly while fumbling their way through the blacked out Rusthole. My second wish is that the attraction is expanded. I noticed a number of doors leading to various rooms that seem to be ripe for terror. And after what I’ve described above, who wouldn’t want to spend more time in this haunted house?!

Rating: 4.25 stars

DAMNED MARINERS, LUSTY WENCHES PROVIDE HAUNT ROMP ABOARD THE DARK ABYSS 

The Dark Abyss is a noticeably shorter haunted attraction than the lethal combo of The Catacombs and Rusthole but it’s filled with the same wanton spirit of raunchiness and unrelenting tomfoolery. The buxom wenches aboard this once sea fearing vessel possess a sharp wit and shaper weapons. Armed with acerbic attitudes and ample attributes they’ll entertain any wayward sailors with the stones to keep them company. Mind your tongue though or you might lose your head (and not the one between your shoulders). One feisty lass was affronted by our cheek and let it be known that the cleaver she held wasn’t just for show. One mysterious lady near the end of the attraction was so kind to show us the Captain’s bountiful treasure — and my word did he have a lot of treasure!

Rating: 3.5 stars

Darksyde Acres isn’t perfect; there’s room for improvement as well as expansion but it is like no other show you’ll see. The interaction here is so far above and beyond what the vast majority of haunted attractions have to offer — the cast is dedicated, friendly, and wonderfully weird. It was nearly closing time when we exited the final attraction and we made a pit stop near a large bonfire to warm up. A number of Darksyde’s denizens were gathered around as well and much laughter and craziness ensued. Memorable stories were swapped, the hoola-hoop hottie teased, and one freak in a kilt challenged a customer three times his size to a wrestling match. The good natured man accepted and the results were hilarious and wild. Darksyde Acres is a special outpost on the haunted landscape, one untouched by the traditional rules of the industry and unhindered by common societal mores.

The Haunting Redeemed, Darksyde Discovered

Posted in 2011, Darksyde Acres, Review, The Haunting with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by bluefall8

Just as so many October adventures had thrilled us before so too did the excursions of this past weekend. The events of this past weekend will surely go on to live in Haunt Trinity lore for seasons to come, and just as well because many a memorable moment was made. The haunt season never truly begins until we’ve traveled at least a couple of county lines from home. Journey with us then, won’t you? As we gather around this hallowed hearth to share titillating tales full of deliciously macabre monstrosities.

A TRIP FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING

It simply wouldn’t be a haunt outing if Jason didn’t find a way to complicate matters and while last weekend may not have been his finest effort at such it was certainly notable. But I don’t hold it against him really — after all he is my brother, my original haunt partner stretching all the way back to our youth when we enjoyed stuffing old clothes full of dead leaves in order to make dummies. We departed Monroe at approximately 8:20 p.m. and arrived at The Haunting in Adrian nearly an hour later. We had first visited The Haunting some four years prior and came away from that experience harboring disappointment, but we wanted to give the show a fair shake so a return trip was in order (We actually intended to return here in 2009 but Jason’s prior mentioned shenanigans derailed the trip. We planned a similar trip last year but it too fell to the wayside. I simply let you guess why.) We’d finally returned — Jason, John, and I accompanied also by Amanda McCreary who transformed our typical trio into a quartet. Amanda last went haunting with us during the 2007 season, a night in which she braved The Scream Machine and The Lab.

The grounds were eerily deserted when we arrived, the scene instantly reminded me of our visit four seasons earlier. But there was something different in the air this time and I held firmly to my conviction that The Haunting would be vindicated. We headed for the ticket window and paid a meager $5 (the haunt usually costs $10 but a coupon from The Haunting website, coupled with a canned good donation will net you a $5 discount). It was clear that the operators had majorly overhauled the waiting area and as we would find out shortly half of the haunt was themed in the familiar 3D paint while the back half bore more of a resemblance to a classic haunted attraction. I’ll spare you the suspense just this one time dear readers and tell you outright that The Haunting did not disappoint a second time.

What we experienced was a balanced presentation built on the tried and true fundamentals of haunting. The pace of the attraction was ideal, surprises were well disguised, and the cast delivered a solid, theatrical performance. Attention to detail has been paid to the placement of props – all throughout the labyrinthine structure dark halls and corners are dotted with convincing dummies, effectively keeping haunters on edge. As I mentioned earlier the first half of the haunted house features glowing paint, an element arguably enhanced by the use of 3D glasses; personally I don’t find the glasses necessary. I enjoyed the glow of these areas as well as the beautifully dark works of art peering out from the walls.

I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the neat trick employed near the beginning of the attraction. A giggling ghoul shepherded our party into a small room and closed the door behind us, a pair of vampire busts on either side of the door near the ceiling issued some sort of a chant. When the door opened the room we had previously occupied had radically changed. The room we initially entered was a basic, back square featuring no props or decorations. What now stood before us was a long, glowing hallway. It’s a technique the creators at The Haunting refer to as the vanishing room. We’ve witnessed similar gags before — The Scream Machine for instance uses the same technique when guests exit the Hellivator – but never has it pulled off better than at The Haunting.

The second half of the haunted house, referred to as The Darkness, began when our party was confronted by a tall, rotund ghoul who collected our 3D glasses. He bore a resemblance to Uncle Fester from The Addams Family and after collecting the glasses began asking us if we were, “…prepared to enter the darkness.” He spoke in a whisper and when satisfied that we were indeed ready to brave the darkness ahead, he allowed us entry. He revealed his true intentions however when he banged his fist on the wall and loudly announced our arrival to his dead brothers and sisters. It was this act that caused me to dub him Fester the Turncoat Bastard.

Shortly after entering The Darkness we came to a wonderfully lit hallway illuminated by a green laser which cast a majestic series of dancing points of light across our bodies and throughout the air. Our interaction with Fester set the tone for the remaining of the haunt as we came across several other actors – all in effective face paint – who delivered worthy performances. Among my personal favorites was an angry, twitchy girl, a stocky zombie who issued an unsettling, air sucking howl, and a hobo who requested change in exchange for access to a secret door.

I stated from the onset that The Haunting did not disappoint as it did back in 2007 and I stand by that statement. What we witnessed here last weekend was nothing short of a quality attraction steeped in the fundamentals of haunting.

Rating: 3.75 stars

BOONDOCKS HAUNT WILL SHOCK AND SURPRISE

A fog crept over the countryside as we headed for Jonesville, a countryside dotted with looming barns, decrepit farm houses, and Victorian estates. It was quiet and nearly deserted when we arrived at Darksyde Acres, a former pig farm. Outwardly it may have appeared docile but within its bowels all manner of creatures lurked both beautiful and hideous, deranged and merry. Darksyde Acres boasts three attractions — The Catacombs, Rusthole, and The Dark Abyss; the first two run concurrently. We purchased our tickets, were told to follow a row of colorful, blinking lights, and warned of the anal trauma ahead. We made a porta-potty pit stop at the entrance of the first haunt, when McCreary opened the door a blood stained, saber toothed, man-sized rabbit leaped from the latrine. Darksyde had used a gag I’d long sought to witness even before we entered the attraction; I already liked the place.

A tall, portly Elvis impersonator welcomed us into the haunt, before us was a winding queue area with small but numerous scenes on either side. We walked down a center path until a deliciously devilish voice informed us that we were going the wrong way. We turned toward the voice — a scantily clad haunt vixen! My eyes may have popped out of my head whilst steam shot from my ears. Beside me John’s jaw dropped to the floor and his tongue rolled cartoonishly from his mouth. There’s definitely a chance that Jason begun removing his pants. Even McCreary was momentarily stunned by the brazen hotness of it all. The dark temptress corrected our path and was soon joined by a second femme fatale. The duo scampered off at times only to reappear and make sexual remarks or would otherwise be found in erotic poses with props. Jason wondered aloud if perhaps we hadn’t crossed over into some sort of blissful haunt afterlife. Such reveries were interrupted briefly when a dainty young man in a dress beckoned us closer and flashed us his nipples, he would later attempt to kiss Jason. Such shenanigans were salacious and attention grabbing and set the stage well for what was to follow. We approached the end of the queue line and came to rest on the threshold of the haunt, the Disco Devil and I took the first shift.

The approach at Darksyde Acres is intense, raunchy, and rare. Guests will not be wowed by flashy animatronics nor can this be accurately called a haunted attraction in the traditional sense, this is something different. Many of the actors are a wild, twisted breed, perhaps the best example of this is a pair of clowns respectively named Bubbles and Pickles. Pickles is a frenzied ball of energy and as horny as a toad, he lovingly spoke of rape and begged that we allow him to grab our backsides. When we obliged Pickles’ excitement grew tenfold an he implored that we return the favor which I thought was only fair. The stimulus propelled Pickles into a crazed euphoria, he whooped and giggled uncontrollably and quite literally bounced from one wall to the next. For an instant I thought perhaps my long time friend Stu was behind the make up. Bubbles in contrast had a more purely sinister nature although even he had a penchant for comedy which was revealed during a conversation about his rumored polka-dotted phallus.

As we traveled deeper into the attraction we traversed crypts, graveyards, and absolute darkness. A steady stream of heavy metal flooded our ears and at one point I was pleased to hear the circus inspired sound of Creature Feature. We were assailed by zombies, demons, and hot, dead girls. You read that correctly — hot, dead girls! Smoking deadites appeared behind bars equipped with stripper moves and it was in a word, mesmerizing. One particular scene even involved a stripper pole and some fancy moves, but that as we would later find out was a cruel illusion.

Rating: 4 stars

A short walk separates the attractions, the final of which is themed after an old pirate ship — The Dark Abyss. Here, Captain Karcass and his crew have been bound for some 300 years and as you might imagine they’re typically eager to add new souls to their league of damned, but on this night they were mostly jovial — a bit sarcastic perhaps but on the whole in good spirits. Captain Karcass delighted us with some witty banter before he sent us on our way through halls full of lusty wenches, decomposing bodies, and malevolent mariners. The ship was elaborately detailed, highlighted by a hallway of askew mirrors and one room full of dead pirates and treasure. The attraction even had a peculiar smell, a hint of bonfire and something else that was strangely familiar yet elusive.

Rating: 3.25 stars

Locations such as Darksyde Acres are the reason we continue to visit haunted attractions. The actors delivered a nearly flawless performance displaying superb interaction, effective vocalizations, and creative improvisation. The recurring threat of anal trauma is emphasized well first by the howling harlequins and then by the angst ridden Cain who dwells in the dank recesses of The Rusthole. Darksyde Acres features a good mix of dark passages, immersive scenes, and surreal strangeness — oh yeah the half naked girls don’t hurt either. In my opinion this secluded homestead of horror is worth the drive from anywhere in the Metro-Detroit area.