Archive for Fang Cemetery

Dark Legacy Pens Another Grave Chapter

Posted in 2015, Dark Legacy, Review with tags , , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by bluefall8

9949412_orig

Dark Legacy burst onto the scene during the 2014 haunt season with a blend of actors, animatronics and intricately detailed scenes. It would go on to win the 2014 Horrorlust Killer Automatons Award and earned an Honorable Mention in two other categories as well. In 2015 we discovered that Dark Legacy had added some new wrinkles, most notably a completely redesigned and expanded, Fang Cemetery.

BIG HAUNT FEEL

Dark Legacy offered more than twenty minutes of haunted goodness, each twist and turn served up production value in spades from blinking gizmos and ghoulish, static props to smartly-designed pneumatics and a robust soundscape punctuated by echoing wails, a blaring siren and the unnerving grind of machinery.

While inside Government Owned Haunt we discovered one room where monkeys were held captive inside a series of small cages. As if the scene weren’t dubious enough, we were approached by a man who offered us a taste of chicken. Riiiight, chicken. In another area, we narrowly survived the stampeding of a monstrous, decapitated dwarf in what was an expertly timed stunt. As if monkey meat and rampaging, headless dwarfs weren’t enough, Government Owned Haunt was also home to an extraterrestrial threat!

We exited Government Owned Haunt and emerged into a dingy alley, newspapers littered the ground. A silent hobo emerged from the shadows and methodically pursued us with a shopping cart. It was an eerie scene as the metal cart scraped noisily against a wall, contrasted against the utter silence of our ragged tail. What? That doesn’t sound hair-raising to you? Have you ever been followed by a hobo with a shopping cart in the dark?! It’s unsettling stuff. Faced with the horror of the hobo behind us and a solid wall in front of us, we turned to the right and entered Kensington Detention Center.

Much like Government Owned Haunt, Kensington Detention Center had unique scares of its own which included, among other things, a cleverly disguised coat stand. Yeah, you read that right; we were given a proper startle by an inanimate coat stand. I challenge any who pass this haunted object not to leap with fright.

Soon thereafter we were given another shock when a sadistic surgeon peeled back the face of a cadaver who turned out not to be a cadaver but very much still alive and now in considerable pain. No less freaky than a phantom raincoat or Faceless Frankie was a set of young, twin girls who seemed to have walked right off the set of The Shining. As we reached the end of Kensington Detention Center the identical pair mused in unison on the topic of our impending death.

We fled into the murk of Fang Cemetery which had indeed undergone a complete reconstruction that was equal parts impressive and immersive. Foreboding structures towered above us, we crossed a bridge and tunneled through tombs. A voodoo priestess pined for our hearts, zombies wormed out of wells and a seated statue sprang to life. We had nearly survived the whole ordeal when we were surprised by a rather spry hunchback and then forced to dodge the venomous bite of a super-sized snake!

Rating: 4.25 stars

The Horrorlust Brood

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by bluefall8

The recent cool down in temperatures has come just as the hallowed hearth is lit for the 2015 haunt season. As such, I thought it appropriate to acknowledge all of those who decided to become a sponsor of Horrorlust Radio. I’m very excited for all of the possibilities that the program can bring to the Michigan haunt scene and the podcast, as presented, simply wouldn’t be feasible without the support of sponsors. I offer my sincere thanks to those of you who lent your trust and support; may we create many nightmares together.

228924_10150349368001131_567422_n_1

Wiard’s Night Terrors: The name Wiard is synonymous with Halloween in Michigan. Since 1984 the orchard has offered haunted attractions alongside other seasonal fare. Wiard’s boasts four haunted houses, each with its own theme, a haunted hayride and a zombie paintball event known as Splattertown. There’s also Scareyoke, a bakery and creatures who prowl the grounds.Wiard’s Night Terrors is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan and will be open to thrill-seekers September 25th – November 1st. For ticket options and other information please visit their website: Wiard’s Night Terrors

logo-07-02-14-19421Hush: Now in its third season, Hush burst onto the scene in 2013 with unbridled energy and an eye on the future. There is an emphasis on continuity here as the narrative has evolved year to year. If you have any questions about the history of the Hush Corporation, I’m sure that Dr. Phineas Phun, despite his recently deceased status, would be happy answer your inquiries. Hush is located in Westland, Michigan and will operate September 25th – November 1st. For tickets and other information please visit their website: Hush

 

Deadland PicThe Deadland: Inherited a great location when Deadly Intentions closed-up shop following the 2012 haunt season. Located in Warren, Michigan at the County Line Antique Trade Center, The Deadland will offer unlimited trips through the haunted house for just $10 during opening weekend (September 18, 19 & 20). The Deadland will operate September 18th – October 31st. For ticket prices and promotions please visit their website: The Deadland

 

6aa8db9667ca3009c25e63e2ef79dc88

Slaughtered at Sundown: A staple of the Macomb County haunt scene for more than a decade, Slaughtered at Sundown features both a haunted house and haunted hayride. Located in Armada, Michigan, Slaughtered at Sundown will operate this fall September 25th – October 31st. For more information regarding ticket prices and other promotions please visit their website: Slaughtered at Sundown

 

9949412_orig

Dark Legacy: Burst onto the scene in 2014 with three haunted attractions housed under the same roof — Government Owned Haunt, Kensington Dentention Center and Fang Cemetery. Dark Legacy is located in Wixom, Michigan and will operate September 18th – October 31st this fall. For ticket prices and additional information please visit their website: Dark Legacy

Crafting A Dark Legacy

Posted in 2014, Dark Legacy, Review with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2015 by bluefall8

9949412_orig

When Dark Legacy appeared in the Fear Finder and Haunt Guide last fall with full page advertisements it was clear that somebody wasn’t playing around. The mysterious haunted attraction was new to the Detroit scene but all indicators suggested that it was being organized and operated by anything but a rookie. Located in Wixom, Michigan, Dark Legacy featured three haunted attractions — Government Owned Haunt, Kensington Detention Center and Fang Cemetery. Each leg of Dark Legacy was intricately detailed and appropriately styled to match a specific theme but the true strength here was that the journey through Michigan’s newest haunt told a single, continuous story.

John and I made the trip out to Wixom on Devil’s Night and when we arrived enjoyed a conversation with owner Austin Denney and various members of his staff. They were each enthusiastic and knowledgable about their respective roles and positions within the hierarchy of Dark Legacy; a few of them even seemed intrigued by our travels throughout the state and lands behind in our never ending chase for screams. As John and I would soon learn, our trek through Dark Legacy would become another memorable entry in our book of horrors.

The fun began in the queue area which had been fitted with prop steel girders that had been expertly distressed to create an authentic aged industrial appearance. The look set the stage well for the quasi-military research facility known simply as Government Owned Haunt. This area was dominated by large rooms and the elaborate props that had been thoughtfully selected and placed within them.

One area contained an impressive security control panel flush with monitors, switches and buttons. Another room contained a series of cages which held shrieking, thrashing animatronic monkeys and yet another laboratory saw us witness the electrocution of a tall zombie. His limbs flopped and flapped as the electricity coursed through his rotting body and then suddenly the contraption spun violently and revealed a hidden chamber from which a live actor sprung and chased us from the room.

Elsewhere, there was a strange doctor with alien specimens followed by an eye-catching hallway that featured a sliding floor and a series of dancing lasers. Amidst such eye candy it might come as a surprise that the most memorable moment inside Government Owned Haunt occurred in a very small room that was humbly decorated with a simple chair and small, floor model television. Static filled the screen for a moment but then a shape began to emerge from the white noise, a human face forced itself from the snow-driven abyss! John and I were bewildered and observed the phenomenon from various angles as a way to test the merit of the illusion. Shockingly, no matter the angle the bizarre head pushed forward from the television set. It was an awesome sight and something John and I have witnessed exactly once in all of our haunted house adventures.

We exited Government Owned Haunt and found ourselves in an alley complete with dumpster and one fetid creature who mindlessly pushed a shopping cart. This area served as a transitional one and was smartly designed to maintain continuity while it guided customers from Government Owned Haunt to Kensington Detention Center.

Kensington Detention Center, like Government Owned Haunt before it, offered immersive scenes that transported guests to a defunct facility where all manner of experiments had been conducted on the hapless souls trapped within the walls. John and I would have the pleasure of meeting several of those hapless souls as we traversed Kensington’s haunted halls.

One of the most animated characters came in the form of a small woman who wore a medical gown and had recently lost an eye. There was a metallic instrument clutched in one of her hands and as we interacted with this excitable patient it became apparent that she had likely performed the grisly surgery herself! It wasn’t long before she intimated that she’d love nothing more than to add one of our peepers to her collection.

Kensington Detention Center also showcased several props with integrated video elements and without a doubt the most exciting of the bunch was a shipping crate that had been chained to the ground and bore the words: Biohazard. The wooden box rocked back and forth as if something on the inside violently thrashed for freedom. A window near the top of the box afforded us a view into the interior and as we peered into the unknown a monstrous face suddenly appeared in the window etched with rage and anguish.

Soon thereafter, we traveled through a morgue and then entered the hallowed grounds of Fang Cemetery. The cemetery was highlighted by an imposing series of catacombs and an awesome graveyard scene that utilized an explosion of light, sound and movement to deliver a heart-pounding jump scare when a stone gargoyle suddenly turned animate and disrupted our progress.

When we emerged from Dark Legacy I noted that the haunted expedition had chewed up roughly 25 minutes — a length that easily surpassed the average haunted attraction. The triple threat spook house managed to avoid the pitfall of rushing guests through at a break-neck pace but also made sure to eliminate any energy-sucking dead spots.

The attention to detail cannot be understated; each room was decorated with a wealth of props, animatronics and other set decor that enhanced the atmosphere and reinforced the overall illusion of a haunted attraction. The cast was an above average one punctuated by a few standouts who served the narrative of Dark Legacy quite well. And enough cannot be said about the flow from one attraction to the next — too often this is an overlooked or neglected aspect of a haunted attraction and when done poorly can break the spell operators work so hard create.

We’re also big supporters of the growing trend of the use of so-called actor-matronics, the hybrid of live actors and animatronic costumes. In my mind this isn’t just limited to actors wearing this style of costume but can also include instances of actors delivering a scare alongside an animatronic. Dark Legacy put this practice to use on at least two occasions — first when we encountered the electrified zombie and then later when we crossed paths with a hulking robot of sorts who gave us quite the surprise indeed.

In some ways Dark Legacy put me in mind of House of the Dead at Terror Town but that isn’t to suggest that the team here isn’t carving out a unique identity. Dark Legacy opened the haunted toolbox and built an attraction that utilized all of the tools and techniques that make a haunted house fun and exciting. It was a hell of a foundation that Dark Legacy laid out in 2014 which should only lend itself to future success.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Danced with the Devil & Lived to Tell the Tale

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by bluefall8

Holy bat syllables! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it’s nights like these that keep us on the road chasing that next great haunt fix. John and I witnessed such an avalanche of wonderful props, gags and actors that my mind is all abuzz with haunted goodies.

First, we zipped our way to Wixom where Dark Legacy lived up to the hype. We had a great time conversing with several members of the team before we ever entered the attraction; owner Austin Denney seemed a veritable treasure trove of industry information.

Dark Legacy was comprised of three continuous attractions beginning with Government Owned Haunt then Kensington Detention Center and finally Fang Cemetery. There was a clear continuity throughout the trio of attractions and this attention to detail was a boon for the story being told here. The rooms and other various areas were elaborately decorated and featured a wide range of props and animatronics from caged monkeys, alien cadavers and eerily glowing jars.

The scares were aplenty and the actors assailed us from all angles. We even witnessed a few gags and costumes that were new to us, and all of this is just the tip of the iceberg.

We departed Wixom and set our sights on Westland where we were pleased to find Dr. Phineas Phun right where we left him last year. Since our Devil’s Night visit last year, Hush has undergone a near total redesign and the result was impressive.

Hush featured a combination of excellent acting and several unique, striking scenes. The cast was a frenzy of activity and displayed a well-balanced blend of creepy and humorous situations; some with an edge of physicality uncommon to most haunts.

I have so many more thoughts to share on Dark Legacy and Hush, and of course it will all be detailed in upcoming full reviews.

Hush, Dark Legacy Highlight Devil’s Night Delight

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2014 by bluefall8

Devil’s Night has a knack for delivering memorable haunt outings — from the windswept, breakneck adventure in 2009 that saw us hit Hellblock 13 in Wyandotte, The Realm of Darkness in Pontiac and The Haunted Farm of Terror in Lenox Township to the 2013 roller coaster which began with Bloodbath on Biddle, soared to new heights at Hush and finally crashed and burned at the Scream Machine in Taylor.

Indeed, the night before the night of nights has historically provided something to write about whether it be trick or treat and tonight, I suspect, should be no different. If all goes according to plan and no uncontrollable intangibles threaten to thwart our night we’ll visit the well-publisized rookie in Wixom known as Dark Legacy and end the trek with a visit to the revamped, expanded 2013 Horrorlust Haunt of the Year, Hush.

Dark Legacy features three haunted attractions including the curiously named Government Owned Haunt, Kensington Detention Center and Fang Cemetery. The Dark Legacy website has a neat story for each of the attractions and it would seem that a shadowy sect of the United States government has been up to all sorts of nasty experiments. Irradiated milk? Genetic engineering?! And what the hell is Codename GACK?!!!

The evening shall end with a visit to Hush in Westland for a highly anticipated return to the breakout star of the 2013 haunt season and the Horrorlust Haunt of the Year. It would appear as if Dr. Phineas C. Phun has spent the last calendar year creating an army of abominations at the Hush Corporation and tonight we’ll see if John and I can bring down this megalomaniacal institution of arrogance and avarice.

Happy Haunting.