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Five Nights Etched in Time

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by bluefall8

I’m often asked which haunted house is my favorite and the honest answer is that I don’t have just one favorite. Haunted attractions come in all shapes and sizes and employ a wide range of themes, narratives and scare tactics to deliver a memorable experience. While I certainly do have my preferences, my favorites are a collection of diverse attractions. As the list below examines, some of the my most treasured haunted adventures were not limited to a single haunted house but encompassed an entire evening of haunting.

The outings below are not ranked in any way other than chronological. Trips made during the 2015 haunt season did not qualify for consideration as the season is, as of the time of this writing, in progress.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It will demand further investigation but if memory serves this was the first instance in which we toured three separate haunted attractions on a single night. 2008 was a momentous season in which we visited nine total locations, our personal best at the time. Without a doubt the best of the year was saved for Halloween when we raced against the clock to tour Deadly Intentions in Warren and then Realm of Darkness and Erebus both in Pontiac. Deadly Intentions claimed the 2008 Horrorlust Monster Award while Erebus gobbled up the 2008 Horrorlust Killer Automatons Award.

Fun Fact: The avatar used to identify myself here on Horrorlust was snapped that night.

RELIVE THE NIGHT!

Erebus, The Realm of Darkness & Deadly Intentions Electrify Halloween Night

Friday, October 30, 2009

Devil’s Night was raucous and windswept; large crowds and an impending storm only added to the pandemonium. We began the evening with a romp through Hellblock 13 which was held in the former Wyandotte police station and ended the night with a wild, rain-soaked hayride at Haunted Farm of Terror; sandwiched between the two was a visit to The Realm of Darkness. This night didn’t capture any awards (although had the Horrorlust Samhain Award existed at the time it would likely have been awarded to this night) but The Realm of Darkness and Hellblock 13 did combine for four honorable mentions.

Fun Fact: While on the hayride at Haunted Farm of Terror, I narrowly avoided being struck square in the face by a large, runaway prop.

RELIVE THE NIGHT!

Season Concludes with Devil’s Night Frenzy

Friday, October 14, 2011

This was an insanely fun night of haunting in which we witnessed three awesome, albeit different shows. Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom had style and substance while Chelsea Feargrounds boasted flash and excitement around every corner and finally The Bone Yard served up a trio of fun-filled attractions. Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom grabbed the 2011 Horrorlust Dark Horse Award, Tent of Terror (The Bone Yard) became the inaugural recipient of the Horrorlust Prop Master Award and unsurprisingly the whole night was recognized with the then brand new Horrorlust Samhain Award. Furthermore, Tent of Terror and Chelsea Feargrounds combined for three honorable mentions in other award categories.

Fun Fact: The Chelsea Feargrounds offered a unique photo-op in which small, alien creatures were made to look as if they’d burst from the subject’s chest.

RELIVE THE NIGHT!

Thrills & Chills Dominated Hilda’s, Feargrounds & The Bone Yard

Friday, October 5, 2012

Threaten as it did to thwart our plans, the weather was no match for the spirit of the season on this night. It was a trip filled with laughter, illusion and effective, low budget haunting. Barn of Horrors at Erwin Orchards won the 2012 Horrorlust Prop Master Award while Slaughter House collected the 2012 Horrorlust Pulse Pounder Award. Like the previous entry, this night too claimed the Horrorlust Samhain Award.

Fun Fact: Ken Evans, one of the organizer’s of Slaugher House, happened to be conducting some quality control when we toured the barn and asked our opinion of the place once we’d exited the haunt. We got to talking and hit it off — later that year the website for Slaughter House would feature some quotes from the review I posted to Horrorlust. To the best of my knowledge that was the first instance of a haunt using my words to promote their attraction and I thought that was awesome. 

RELIVE THE NIGHT!

Elements Conspire but Erwin, Slaugher House Persevere

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This overnight trip to Ohio had a big time feel as we visited two haunts with a lot of history — Bloodview in Broadview Heights and Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory in Akron. Bloodview ensnared the 2012 Horrorlust Eerie Vibrations Award and together with Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory scored a slew of honorable mentions.

Fun Fact: It was on this trip that I first enjoyed the little known, gem of a horror film called Stake Land.

RELIVE THE NIGHT!

Haunted Schoolhouse has Presence, lacks Punch

Laboratory Mirrors Successes, Shortcomings of Haunted Schoolhouse

Legion of Terror Breathes Life into Bloodview

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2009 Haunt Season Preview

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2014 by bluefall8

This entry served as the official kickoff to the 2009 haunt season and was originally posted on Friday, September 11, 2009. The song at the top of this entry is called “Bag- O’-Bones” and was included on a Halloween CD called Moans from the Mausoleum.

This entry briefly summarized the 2008 haunt season, but focused mainly on the attractions we were likely to visit in 2009.

As with many of these Hallowblog entries, many of the links that were included at the time no longer function and thus have been deactivated. 

Well I heard about this Monster Mash dance
bunch of creatures flailing around
Well listen up cause now’s your chance
to get spooky and get down

Do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
Let the skeleton inside you dance around
Do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
Let the skeleton inside you dance around.

Now get up on the bony feet
And give those bony hands a clap
Well then you move those bony knees
And give that funny bone a slap
And that’s the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
That’s the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
Let the skeleton inside you dance around
That’s the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
Let the skeleton inside you dance around.

I think you really outta be knowin’
wherever you might be a goin’
well there’s a skeleton walkin’ round
they ain’t just buried in the ground
Cause you’re a bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
You’re a bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
So let the skeleton inside you dance around
Do the bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
You’re a bag o’ bones (bag o’ bones)
So let the skeleton inside you dance around.

Whoa, you’re so creepy
I think you’re scaring me a little bit now

I saw the first true signs of fall today; a few leaves had fallen from their summer perch. I knew then that the time was ripe for the first edition of Hallowblog 2009. The 2009 haunt season is nearly here and yet the memories of last year are still so fresh in my mind, it’s hard to believe that the annual celebration of all things frightful and mysterious is so close. Ahhhh, a haunting we shall go indeed but first we have much news to discuss.

The 2008 haunt season was unparalled in scope, in fact the season was such a success it will be the focus of an upcoming edition of Hallowblog. Today however we gather here at this hallowed hearth for a glimpse not into the past, no today we look into the creepy things to come.

My fellow haunters will be excited to know that a majority of haunts have already updated their websites for the coming season one of the noteworthy few that has not is TerrorTown. It is with great anticipation that I await an update from those that provided such a memorable experience last year with The House of the Dead.

Like last year Pigman’s Lair in Chelsea will be dark and it doesn’t seem as if the operators have a definitive plan for the future either. You can amuse yourself with the legend of the Pigman though; I think it’s worth a read anyway.

Legend of the Pigman

While driving on Biddle in Wyandotte last week I made a sad discovery: the building that held 2007’s Hell’s Hospital and 2008’s Templin’s Night Terror has been demolished. I have yet to hear where the Wyandotte Jaycees will hold their attraction this year but you can trust that I’ll keep my eyes and ears open.

I don’t know about anyone else but I still long for a return visit to the Nautical Nightmare. The rug was pulled out from beneath us last year and it just wasn’t right my friends. The Haunt Trinity could have been cannibalized by famished hobos! I’ve emailed somebody involved with the restoration of the Ste. Claire regarding the possible return of the water bound haunt but I have yet to receive a response.

Zioptis will apparently initiate a new rating system for haunts this year. It states on their website that too many people were failing to understand the star system or more specifically for example how a mega-haunt such as Erebus could receive the same rating as a locally produced modular haunt. Well Zioptis clearly states that the ratings are a reflection of how well an individual haunt executes what it sets out to do. They are not meant to serve as a comparison from one attraction to the next. I’m not sure how people fail to understand that, retards. Zioptis also claims that the ratings have inadvertently pitted haunts against each other. The site isn’t exactly clear on what this new system will look like but I can assure you that Hallowblog will continue to grade haunts on the star system. I’ve always enjoyed the information that Zioptis displays and I think the star system is a fine way to rate haunts. If Zioptis is guilty of anything it’s granting far too many 5 star ratings. Too often the site fails to give in-depth details of any haunt and has a tendency to give glowing reviews to mediocre attractions.

The Fear Finder may be released as early as next week but realistically I look for it to flood the area the following week. When it does come out I and my fellows haunters will have some tough decisions to make. We visited a lot of great haunts last year but it’ll be near impossible to revisit them all this year if we also plan to hit some new haunts. The 2009 haunt season will have to be the most carefully planned to date if we’re to make this year as successful and entertaining as the last. Let’s take a look at a sampling of possible first time visits then shall we?

The first haunt that jumped out at me this year is The Haunt in Walker. It’s quite a drive from my apartment, clocking in at 2 hours and 45 minutes so that would obviously be a factor but I encourage all fellow haunters to check out each haunt and bring your own opinions to the table.

An Ohio haunt that has hit the Haunt Trinity radar is The Haunted Hydro. This haunt is located in Fremont which is approximately 30 minutes south of TerrorTown in Maumee. This pair of haunts could make for an adventurous night in the Buckeye State.

In Michigan I discovered a brand new haunt in Jackson called Jackson’s Underworld. I first came across this while looking at the Homer Mill’s myspace page, I’m unsure as to whether it’s operated by the same people or if the two haunts have simply formed an alliance. One thing is for certain if the folks at the Homer Mill are either endorsing or producing this new locale it’s worth checking out.

Also in Michigan is Darksyde Acres in Jonesville. Darksyde Acres features a number of attractions and is produced by Bodybag Entertainment, the same company that was supposed to produce the Nautical Nightmare last year. The sheer size of this place and the ambition of those involved makes this location intriguing but last years disappearing act at Hart Plaza, while not totally the fault of Bodybag Entertainment, has left a bad taste in my mouth. For the time being we’ll place this one in the wild card category.

And there’s plenty of potential first time haunts that we simply didn’t make it to last year like Haunted Farm of Terror in Lenox Township and it’s nearby neighbors Slaughtered at Sundown and Blake’s in Armada. There are also dark horse contenders to consider like The Deadland Haunted House in Davison, The Crypt in Burton, or St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum in Grand Blanc.

And then the waters really get muddied when you start to consider which of our favorite mainstays will have to sit on the sidelines during the 2009 season. Last year we opted not to visit The Scream Machine in Taylor or The Lab in Grosse Ile but where will the axe fall this year? I’d like to visit The Scream Machine this year although The Lab is up for debate. The Lab is changing things up a bit this year offering guests an opportunity to traverse the haunt in total darkness with nothing to guide your party but a single glow stick. This “Lights Out” feature will run at midnight every Friday and Saturday.

It has been suggested that perhaps we skip Pontiac’s twin terrors this season: Erebus and The Realm of Darkness. These two haunts have served as our biggest night out the last three seasons and excluding them borders on sacrilege…but if we are to maximize both our time and dollar it may have to be a sacrifice we’re willing to make.

One place that I definitely want to return to is Deadly Intentions in Warren. This haunt scorched our frontal lobes last Halloween and the recently released 2009 theme has set my horror juices a’ bubbling: City of the Living Dead. I don’t think I have to say any more than that to those who witnessed this balls out effort last year. Jason and Disco I ask you this, can the dynamics we experienced at this haunt last year coupled with the excitement of an apocalyptic zombie theme result in anything less than an all time classic? This is a dark alchemy not soon to be forgotten.

Nor can we simply forget about Extreme Scream in Taylor or The Realm of Haunted Minds in Romulus both put forth worthy efforts last year and we’d be remiss to dismiss them so easily. And there’s also Chainsaw Creek in Toledo which delighted us last season with a slew of tasteless characters. It also remains to be known whether or not Adrian’s The Haunting deserves a second chance after a relatively disappointing visit in 2007. I would also like to propose a possible visit to Cedar Point HalloWeekends which features two new attractions this year, one of which is called Happy Jack’s Toy Factory. Can you think of a more devilishly fun theme for a haunted attraction than that?! It’ll be like Chucky, Puppetmaster, and Goosebumps all rolled into one!

We have many decisions to make this season my haunt brethren, let us choose wisely.

Horrorlust Haunt Awards: A History

Posted in Awards with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2014 by bluefall8

The haunt awards, like Horrorlust itself, are the result of an evolution. The 2013 crop will be the sixth annual edition for most of the awards — Rotten Pumpkin, Eerie Vibrations, Dark Horse, Killer Automatons, Pulse Pounder, and Monster all debuted following the 2008 haunt season. The Prop Master and Samhain Awards were both added at the conclusion of the 2011 season, thus making this the third consecutive year for those respective distinctions.

The oldest award that we recognize is of course, Haunt of the Year. This award predates Horrorlust, indeed Haunt of the Year goes back even further than Hallowblog, the predecessor to this blog. Not long before I began chronicling all of these wonderful haunted adventures my merry band of travelers and I would simply agree upon the best attraction of the Halloween season. And so you’ll notice that in the annals of Horrorlust, that the Haunt of the Year Award is officially recognized as having originated in 2005.

As an interesting aside, it’s worth noting that these awards were initially called the Haunt Trinity Haunt Awards. If you delve into the depths of past Horrorlust posts you’re sure to come across such a phrase. The Haunt Trinity was a nickname I fashioned once a upon a time for a frequent trio of haunters. The group was comprised of myself, Jason (my older brother), and our good friend John who is sometimes referred to in these posts as the Disco Devil or simply, Disco.

I used to get a kick out of the name; I even spun spur of the moment rhymes about it and haunted attractions but mostly I think it merely served to annoy everybody else. After a time, it was rarely just the three of us participating in the beloved haunt excursions; a half a dozen or more friends and acquaintances regularly rotated in and out on any given night. My brother began to joke that the nickname Haunt Trinity was a misnomer.

A couple of years ago he found work in a new field and his schedule changed drastically; allowing him to partake in the haunted festivities only a time or two per season. This roughly coincided with the advent of Horrorlust and so it has been since 2011 that the annual awards have shared the namesake of this blog.

Readers, if you need a refresher on any of the awards please refer to the other posts under the “Awards” category, where full descriptions are posted. As a historical footnote, it’s worth mentioning that we began to recognize an honorable mention for each award in 2009 although those are not listed in this post. Interested parties are referred to the aforementioned entries found under the “Awards” category.

Fun Fact: No haunted attraction has ever been named Haunt of the Year on more than one occasion. In fact, there exists just two haunted houses that claimed the same award in multiple years. House of the Dead (Terror Town) won the Killer Automatons Award four consecutive years from 2009-2012. Deadly Intentions secured the Monster Award in back-to-back years during the 2008 and 2009 haunt seasons.

 

Rotten Pumpkin

2008: Templin’s Night Terror (Wyandotte Jaycees)

2009: Jackson’s Underworld

2010: Leo’s House of Horror

2011: Anxiety Alley

2012: Scream Machine

 

Eerie Vibrations

2008: Homer Mill

2009: Bowbee’s Nightmare (Haunted Hollows)

2010: The Haunted Farm

2011: Catacombs & The Rusthole (Darksyde Acres)

2012: Bloodview

 

Dark Horse

2008: Realm of Haunted Minds

2009: Extreme Scream

2010: Woods of Darkness

2011: Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom

2012: Dimensions of Darkness

 

Killer Automatons

2008: Erebus

2009: House of the Dead (Terror Town)

2010: House of the Dead (Terror Town)

2011: House of the Dead (Terror Town)

2012: House of the Dead (Terror Town)

 

Pulse Pounder

2008: County Morgue (Chainsaw Creek)

2009: Bowbee’s Nightmare (Haunted Hollows)

2010: Demonic Demons

2011: Catacombs & The Rusthole (Darksyde Acres)

2012: Slaughter House (Slaughter House Adventure)

 

Monster

2008: Deadly Intentions

2009: Deadly Intentions

2010: Realm of Darkness

2011: Catacombs & The Rusthole (Darksyde Acres)

2012: Sinister

 

Prop Master

2011: Tent of Terror (The Boneyard)

2012: Barn of Horrors (Erwin Orchards)

 

Samhain

2011: October 14, 2011 (Krazy Hilda’s, Chelsea Feargrounds, The Boneyard)

2012: October 12, 2012 (Erwin Orchards, Slaughter House Adventure, A Nightmare on Elm Road)

 

Haunt of the Year

2005: Nautical Nightmare

2006: Erebus

2007: Realm of Darkness

2008: House of the Dead (Terror Town)

2009: Bowbee’s Nightmare (Haunted Hollows)

2010: Demonic Demons

2011: Catacombs & The Rusthole (Darksyde Acres)

2012: Sinister

Mixed Results at Terrorfied Forest and Manor

Posted in 2013, Review, Terrorfied Forest & Manor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2013 by bluefall8

We arrived in Pinckney with little time to spare; a full moon was suspended high in the sky as the midnight hour approached. The wooded landscape upon which Terrorfied Forest and Manor resides immediately put me in mind of Krazy Hilda’s Camp of no Return last year in Chelsea.

We sought out the ticket booth where the man who sold the tickets directed us to a Chester Van off to the left where the trail to the manor, began. The man seemed to find a certain humor in our upcoming plight, a point that Cikalo deftly countered with his own brand of perverse and salacious wit.

We hit the trail and began the short trek to the entrance of the manor, as it turned out we did not cross paths with the keeper of the van who was perhaps preoccupied at the moment. We didn’t afford him the opportunity to meet our acquaintance either as we shortly came upon the door step and plunged into the manor.

A MOST MACABRE MANOR

As soon as we crossed the threshold of the manor we were assailed by a musty odor, and this was no manufactured scent, this was the genuine article. The structure resembled that of an old house or cabin and we were allowed to roam through the abode quite freely — it put me in mind of both The Funeral Home in Inkster and The Crypt in Burton.

As we entered into a large room, we heard the roll of thunder and witnessed a simple yet effective lightning effect just outside a series of windows to our right. Posed mannequins were spread throughout the house, one dressed as a cop was beside a casket; his face stoic an expressionless. My mind was brought to select scenes from House of Wax (an underrated horror flick in my opinion). I enjoyed this approach and wouldn’t mind if it were used to even greater effect here or at other attractions. It lent a creepy tension to each scene, it was almost as if we had been pulled into an old photograph. Let’s face it, mannequins — like other inanimate human impostors (such as dolls),  possess an evil quality.

Unfortunately their live counterparts didn’t offer much in the way of vocalization or improvisation, much of what we encountered was poorly timed scares and generic threats. It wasn’t an awful cast by any means but the effort was far from inspired.

Business would soon pick up however as we were shuttled down a long slide into the basement of the manor. I’ve always enjoyed features such as this in haunted attractions; slides are just fun and I’ve never quite seen one used to transport guests from one level of a haunt to another, typically a slide will serve merely as an exit.

The ghouls in this area were more energized than their peers on the first floor. First, a long haired nut in a straight-jacket pursued us with gusto and at the finale of the attraction we were treated to an electrocution. The actor in the chair gave a convincing performance and when we inquired about the contents of his drawers (we had to make sure he was dead) the executioner played along and confirmed that the deceased had indeed soiled his undergarments, which he confirmed with a good old fashioned thumbs up.

The Manor had its moments and certainly has potential to be improved, but there was a lot left on the table both in terms of acting and storytelling. In the end it concluded all too briefly.

Rating: 2.75 stars

MIDNIGHT STROLL THROUGH TERRORFIED FOREST

The natural ambience of a forest walk simply cannot be beaten, the path at Terrorfied Forest offered a half hour of scares through hills, valleys, and various outbuildings. The trip began with a descent into a mine which set us on our path to the forest, a string of dim red lights guided us on our journey.

We traversed a parcel of land that resembled a farm and then passed by an eerily placid body of water, the perfect place for a killer scare or monstrous prop and although we witnessed nothing of the nature, it’s just too perfect an opportunity for the operators to pass up in the future. The wooded path did feature a fair mix of live actors and props; some of the props were even animated such as the miniature wolf boy which gave me a quality startle scare.

Like those inside the Manor, many of the actors along the pathway provided sub par performances — the scares weren’t bad but they did lack a certain passion and creativity. This was no more evident than in one outbuilding where the severed body of a girl lie on a table, her captor was armed with a saw. As we entered, the actor buzzed his saw for just a moment and then placed it on the table and silently approached us. I thought perhaps we had caught him a little off guard so I encouraged him to saw her properly. He obliged as any good scare actor should but as the female actress on the table was just about to reach the peak of her scream, the shriek abruptly ended. She turned to us and snottily snapped, “You can go now.” I can scarcely blame the male actor for breaking character at this point as he was perhaps embarrassed by her unwarranted rudeness, but break character he did by asking if there were any groups behind us.

As a customer at a haunted attraction I expect the actors to be just as engaged in the show as I am, sometimes that requires a little improvisation and creativity. These actors weren’t threatened, we used no profane language, we simply engaged them as the characters they were portraying. This was amateur behavior in what was an otherwise professional haunted attraction and it’s precisely this type of behavior that continues to proliferate negative stereotypes about the haunt industry. I know that if I were the owner of a haunted attraction I would not tolerate an employee who displayed such distain toward paying guests.

Fortunately, there did happen to be some worthy characters as well such a muscly clown who blocked our path — his frame and chainsaw made for quite the imposing sight. This same area was also home to a few of his harlequin pals — dummies that held ominous signs which read, “This is the last time you’ll see me” and other similarly strange statements.

I particularly liked the sideshow themed area where it looked as if a carnival of old had once broken down on the side of the road and simply decided to stay. It is here that we met Torso Girl and later passed by a colorful wagon which contained a massive gorilla. As we stared through the protective bars the tune of classic circus music began to play, I hoped that upon its’ conclusion the beast would move to attack but it turned out to be a prop. This area concluded with a similarly themed outbuilding — it had both the feel of a fun house and a big top tent. Inside, a costumed actor ran to and fro erratically, his oversized clown arms swung comically. We exchanged pleasantries and even brokered a handshake.

The Terrorfied Forest ended with a trip through a pitch black maze, one of the best such structures we’ve ever encountered. Despite the various shortcomings here, we found it quite enjoyable. With a couple changes in personnel and the addition of a few prime scares, the Terrorfied Forest will send haunters scattering through the woods.

Rating: 3.25 stars

“I sure hope he has big fingers.”

-Cikalo’s jesting exchange with the ticket seller who warned us of Chester the Molester.

2012 Star Ratings

Posted in Star Ratings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by bluefall8

For each haunted attraction I visit a 1-5 star rating is ascribed. This list is intended to reflect those ratings only and does not indicate any other type of rank such as favorite to least favorite. Nor is the star ratings system meant to pit one attraction against another it’s just my way of summing up the overall effectiveness and enjoyability of that particular haunted attraction.  A lot of factors are taken into consideration when I determine the rating such as — actor performance, theme, quality of props and special effects, originality, and level of excitement — just to name a few but at the end of the night the rating comes down to my raw gut feeling of the overall experience. Below is a complete list of the haunted attractions I visited during the 2012 Halloween season ranked by their corresponding star rating. Again, it’s important to note that the star rating isn’t meant to serve as a way to compare one attraction to another rather it’s a reflection of how well each individual haunt executed what it set out to accomplish.

2012 Star Ratings

1. Sinister – 4.75 (Utica, MI.)

2. Slaughter House – 4.5 (Slaughter House Adventure – Fowlerville, MI.)

3. The Rusthole & Catacombs – 4.25 (Darksyde Acres – Jonesville, MI.)

4. Blood Bath & Beyond Hayride – 4.25 (Slaughter House Adventure – Fowlerville, MI.)

5. Exit 13 – 4 (Mt. Morris, MI.)

6. Bloodview – 3.75 (Broadview Heights, OH.)

7. Dark Abyss – 3.5 (Darksyde Acres – Jonesville, MI.)

8. Dimensions of Darkness – 3.5 (Maumee, OH.)

9. Krazy Hilda’s Camp of no Return – 3.5 (Chelsea, MI.)

10. Haunted Laboratory – 3.5 (Akron, OH.)

11. Barn of Horrors – 3.5 (Erwin Orchards – South Lyon, MI.)

12. Hayride of Doom – 3.5 (Scarefest Scream Park – New Haven, MI.)

13. Haunted Schoolhouse – 3.25 (Akron, OH.)

14. Big Top Terror – 3 (Terror Town – Maumee, OH.)

15. House of the Dead – 3 (Terror Town – Maumee, OH.)

16. Haunt for Hunger – 3 (Allen Park, MI.)

17. Deadly Intentions – 3 (Warren, MI.)

18. Corn Stalkers Maze – 3 (Erwin Orchards – South Lyon, MI.)

19. Castle of the Dead – 2.75 (Scarefest Scream Park – New Haven, MI.)

20. Scream Machine – 2.25 (Taylor, MI.)

21. Nightmare Sanctum – 2.25 (Wyandotte, MI.)

22. A Nightmare on Elm Road – 2 (Webberville, MI.)

Average Rating – 3.36 Stars

Krazy Hilda’s Unleashes Spooks on Campground

Posted in 2012, Krazy Hilda's, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by bluefall8

It was a long ride from Wyandotte to Chelsea but it was one made with much excitement. Last year we paid our first visit to Krazy Hilda’s and instantly fell in love with the Barn of Doom, ultimately granting it our Dark Horse Award. As some of you may know, Krazy Hilda’s was at a different location last year, partnering with Coleman’s Corn Maze in Saline, but this year the old witch has relocated to an abandoned campground in Chelsea. As we drew near our surroundings grew increasingly dark and rural. Shortly, we were traveling across dirt roads flanked on either side by thick woods — Hilda and the gang were well off the beaten path this year.

We pulled into a vast clearing, illuminated by powerful work lights. Once we had parked, we exited the vehicle and were directed toward a wooded path which led to the camp grounds. Now, there weren’t any scares during this brief jaunt but it did allow us the chance to soak in the natural ambience, and heck you just can’t help but wonder if something is lurking in the woods.

We bought our tickets and had a nice conversation with the lady at the window who kindly provided us with discount coupons after we’d left ours in the car. When we inquired about the change of venue she informed us that the owner of Coleman’s Corn Maze had given them a raw deal — Hilda and her minions had no choice but to relocate. There was no line for the attraction and this made me sad for two reasons. The first being that the staff and operators here deserve better, they draw more out of what they have perhaps better than any other group I’ve witnessed. The second reason was simply because the lady who collects tickets is a joy to converse with and no wait meant our discussion was cut short (we swapped stories of Taylor’s former haunt, Extreme Scream).

Hilda’s featured some seasoned scarers who were well trained in the art of the startle  and one could hardly ask for a better back drop on which to ply such a craft. Here and there cabins dotted the landscape, the haunted trail left us feeling completely exposed. Our favorite moment occurred early in our trek, as we were marching up a hill there was a disturbance on the ground to our right. A rotting flesh eater clawed his way out of a bed of leaves and staggered after us expressing a desire for our brains! I must admit that the actor did a great job of pursuing us and whatever instrument he used to create such an unique vocalization was an excellent choice. His agonized moans for “Braaaaains” could be heard across the neighboring hills and valleys and provided a most unsettling effect.

I appreciate the fact that Krazy Hilda’s makes use of homemade dummies, some may argue that they look cheap and unconvincing but the practice brought me back to my youth. These dummies also provided a distraction for guests who may otherwise have spotted a lurking monster eager to deliver a scare. One cabin had a pair of cellar doors located at the rear and as you might have guessed, the doors flew open with malice as we approached them. A menacing, female ghoul emerged with expert timing and stalked us down the path.

Some of the workers were equipped with milk jugs (a strange tool for a monster you may be thinking) but these jugs weren’t filled with milk rather they contained something hard and numerous, small rocks perhaps, and when shaken abruptly at just the right moment served to heighten each scare. Simple, yet effective tactics such as these are often ignored at many haunts always to their detriment; scaring is done right at Krazy Hilda’s.

My only disappointment was that our path never took us through one of the various cabins we saw along the haunted path although the staff did seem to indicate that they planned to run at the location going forward so perhaps this is something they’ll integrate in the future. I trust that the minds behind Krazy Hilda’s realize what they have and will make full use of their facilities in time.

Rating: 3.5 stars

October slips into November

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2012 by bluefall8

More than any other year before it the 2012 haunt season went by in a whirlwind blur. I am drained, exhausted, and spent. We ended the season last Saturday with a raucous visit to Darksyde Acres in Jonesville and the team there did not disappoint. I still have a number of reviews to write and by God they will be written — beginning with our trip to Krazy Hilda’s and return to Slaughter House Adventure for the Blood Bath and Beyond Hayride on Friday, October 26. I’m aiming to post at least one of those tomorrow evening by the latest and after that I’ll chronicle our visit to Haunt for Hunger and The Scream Machine which took place the following night. Reviews are also coming from our Halloween outing which saw us stop at Dimensions in Darkness and Terror Town, and of course I’ll record all of the outlandish nonsense that occurred at the indomitable Darksyde Acres!

In the mean time I’d like to suggest that all lovers of horror and Halloween check out the Mud Puppets Halloween Special, Our Muddy Nightmare — right here: Our Muddy Nightmare