Archive for Hayride of the Lost

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

Advertisements

2014 Star Ratings

Posted in Star Ratings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2015 by bluefall8

This list is not meant to be used to compare one haunted attraction to another. The star system (1 – 5 stars) is merely meant to reflect how well I felt each individual haunt executed their particular show. Haunted attractions are a unique breed of entertainment and the quality of a show can vary from night to night, hour to hour and guest to guest for a great many reasons.

As you’ll notice, haunts are listed below in descending order. Where there are multiple haunts with the same star rating (and that happened often in 2014) those attractions are listed in alphabetically.

Again, this list should not be used to gauge which haunt is better than another. Primarily, I use these lists for archival purposes so that I can have a record of the haunted houses I visited and how those attractions performed in a given year.

2014 STAR RATINGS

1. Centralia County Fair – 4.5 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

2. Dark Legacy – 4.5 (Wixom, MI.)

3. Exit 13 – 4.5 (Mt. Morris, MI.)

4. Hush – 4.5 (Westland, MI.)

5. Bloodview – 4.25 (Broadview Heights, OH.)

6. Zombie Uprising at Braxton Estate – 4.25 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

7. 13 Feet Under – 4 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

8. The Asylum – 4 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

9. Centralia Mental Facility – 4 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

10. House of Nightmares 3D – 4 (Pontiac, MI.)

11. The Mind Shaft – 4 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

12. Psycho Path – 4 (Flat Rock, MI.)

13. The Realm of Darkness – 4 (Pontiac, MI.)

14. Alien Caged Clowns – 3.75 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

15. Corpse Barn Shock Haunt – 3.75 (Napoleon, MI.)

16. Ultimate Haunted Barn – 3.75 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

17. District 13 – 3.5 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

18. Hayride of the Lost – 3.5 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

19. The Crypt – 3.25 (Burton, MI.)

20. St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum – 3.25 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

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

22. The Dark Abyss – 2.75 (Darksyde Acres – Jonesville, MI.)

23. Fō-bē-ə – 2.75 (Wyandotte, MI.)

24. The Haunted Funeral Home – 1.25 (Inkster, MI.)

Haunted Hexad Fuels Wiard’s Night Terrors

Posted in 2014, Review, Wiard's Night Terrors with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2015 by bluefall8

Map-of-Night-Terrors-2014

The air was dry, the sky was clear and the revelers were out in throngs to experience the haunted happenings that Wiard’s Night Terrors had to offer. Less than 24 hours ago I had been in the Cleveland, Ohio area to tour both The Fear Experience and Bloodview and now I stood in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the threshold of six additional haunted attractions.

The flurry of activity near the entrance of the thrill park was matched by the dizzying buzz inside my mind. I had attempted some ambitious haunt endeavors in the past but this schedule was a whole other beast. When combined, The Fear Experience, Bloodview and Wiard’s Night Terrors featured roughly a dozen haunted attractions and I was on pace to tour them all in little more than a 24-hour period! Was I mad?!! Had I lost my mind?!!! Was it even possible to enjoy the hallowed pastime of haunting at such a breakneck pace??!!! Would I be able to commit enough details to memory in order to draft a review???!!!

This blog isn’t called Horrorlust for nothing.

It was time to switch off the mental machine and simply soak in the energy that surrounded me. I had brought my teenaged sister-in-law, Madison, along for the night of frights as she had never before experienced a thrill park of this magnitude. I thought it would be fun to gauge her reactions in contrast to those of the more grizzled veterans who are usually by my side for these nocturnal horror shows.

We were shortly joined by Brandon Wiard, one of the operators here and the man who had extended us an invite. He had been making the rounds, snapping photos and when he arrived he had with him a camera which led us into a conversation about photography and another passion of mine, videography. When able, Brandon served as a tour guide throughout the night and the first attraction he recommended we visit was the Hayride of the Lost.

PROTECT IT WITH FIRE

Hayride of the Lost pulled us through the backwoods of Wiard’s Orchard where a gang of unruly moonshiners had set up shop. There was a frail old man who popped out of a window and issued a comical warning near the beginning of the woodland jaunt; I can only assume it was his kinfolk we encountered deeper into the woods.

The hayride was highlighted by several impressive fire balls, detailed facades and one flying, chainsaw wielding maniac who assailed us from above inside of a barn. The tour did suffer from a couple of lulls in the action and I would’ve welcomed a little more interaction — especially from the creepy but relatively stoic firemen who guarded the aforementioned barn — but on the whole the Hayride of the Lost was a fun experience capable of being enjoyed by all ages. Did I mention we were given cider and donuts at the conclusion of the ride?

Rating: 3.5 stars

Once we had disembarked and wolfed down our treats, we gleefully watched a fire juggler perform for the crowd. I always appreciate quality side shows with my haunted attractions, and this chap delighted us with his skillful fire play and timely wit.

When his act had concluded we reconnected with Brandon who led us to the entrance of Splattertown, a zombie paintball shoot. This was actually the first time I’d participated in such an attraction and I was looking forward to unleashing multi-colored mayhem all over some rotting enemies.

However, before we could fight the undead menace, we had to place headphones onto our ears and listen to some rules and strategy about safely defeating the oncoming uglies as they were called. Once that business had finished we got down to the task at hand as a wave of zombies shambled into view.

I took a few pot shots at a distant zombie and then keyed on the walker nearest my location and prided myself on head shots. It wasn’t long before my juvenile instincts kicked into overdrive and I sent repeated shots to that same zombie’s crotch, and it was evident from the splattering of paint in the region that plenty of other previous participants, like myself, possessed the maturity of a 12-year-old boy.

The whole affair only lasted a minute or two but it was fun and ludicrous. I appreciated that the creators of the attraction had decided to include the recorded instructions as it really added to the atmosphere and overall fun factor of the event. As we exited, I conferred with Maddie and she too had shamelessly peppered the private parts of some dim-witted zombie.

A LITTLE CIRCUS, A LITTLE SCI-FI

One of my favorite attractions of the night was Alien Caged Clowns, a short haunt that possessed a lot of charm and creativity. A series of stagecoach wagons served as the queue line to enter the attraction, a few of them featured colorful banners that advertised wondrous acts.

A metal pole was situated at the end of the stagecoach wagons and atop it sat a small alien spaceship that housed a single clownish occupant. It was aglow with various lights and exuded a kitsch, throwback style; it reminded me of something found at a county fair in days gone by.

The final stagecoach emptied into the interior of Alien Caged Clowns where a short passage had been decorated with large wooden crates and clown memorabilia. There was even a monitor that displayed a clown who creepily danced (sometimes with balloons) to old timey music.

We were greeted by a most curious ringmaster when we entered the attraction, the fact that his spinal cord was exposed did nothing to diminish his spirits as he lively regaled us with wordplay and silly puns.

As Brandon would later explain to us, the creatures inside Alien Caged Clowns weren’t necessarily clowns in the traditional since but instead a feral alien race. I thought that was an interesting wrinkle and a fresh, fun perspective on a tried and true haunted house troupe.

The haunt employed a heavy dose of fog and strobes which made navigating the maze-like passages quite a challenge and also provided ideal cover for numerous pop out scares. Unlike other attractions in this vein, Alien Caged Clowns did not use chain-linked fence or wooden planks to form the twisting path, instead the maze was constructed of white bars which allowed the bizarre creatures to grab at us along the way.

We were treated to another bit of fun at the end of the attraction when we were made to play a guessing game before we realized we had to crouch and exit through a concealed box.

Alien Caged Clowns was colorful, quirky, fun and has, in my opinion, plenty of potential for growth.

Rating: 3.75 stars

MIND SHAFT MAYHEM

The facade outside the Mind Shaft haunted attraction was easily my favorite — a collection of wooden beams and barrels, mining tools and even a small train. The interior of the structure was no less impressive — highlighted by immersive sets, heart-pounding sounds and a fun-filled, breakneck pace.

Several characters and areas of note included a grubby, beady-eyed miner who entertained waiting guests, also a second minor who was the victim of an unfortunate ,and rather creative, cave-in scene. Finally, I was delightfully surprised by a large, hairy, Sasquatch-like prop which sprung up from beneath a bed of fog near the conclusion of the attraction.

Mind Shaft was a well-balanced haunted attraction that was true to its theme and delivered timely jump scares mixed with moments of excitement and laughter.

Rating: 4 stars

A TRIP TO THE FUNNY FARM

The next demon to be slain was the formidable, Asylum. We entered the building with a group of strangers and were greeted by a Dr. J. Wiard who seemed anything but a competent medical professional. We found ourselves in a small reception area, several chairs lined two opposing walls. The maniacal medicine man didn’t seem in a hurry to be rid of us so most of us took a seat while a couple of people stood awkwardly.

Dr. Wiard eyed the group with what appeared to be a mixture of curiosity and contempt. The little room had grown silent and suddenly I was all too aware of a rising tension. It felt like something bad was about to happen, an impending doom inched closer. Suddenly, Dr. J. Wiard picked up a phone that hung on the wall and when his conversation was finished we were instructed to leave our seats and begin down a nearby hallway.

The Asylum featured a collection of highly detailed and memorable scenes which included an electrocution that so convinced Maddie of its authenticity that she slammed herself with great force against a wall when the condemned delivered a posthumous jump scare. I could be found hunched over in laughter just a few feet away; the expert timing of the actor combined with Maddie’s shocked reaction created one of the best electrocution gags I’ve ever witnessed.

Two other scenes of note occurred near the end of the attraction — in one we found ourselves inside a high-ceilinged room adorned with twinkling lights and festive Christmas decorations. A scrawny, surly Santa Claus bemoaned our presence although he wasn’t a complete grinch as we did exchange a couple of light-hearted quips before Maddie and I departed his dwelling.

The last scene of interest consumed us entirely in an oppressive fog that left me disoriented and with a sensation that this white nothingness stretched out endlessly across space and time. It was an odd and unsettling feeling, I stopped momentarily in an attempt to gauge my sense of direction. There was nothing but a thick swirl of white abyss before my face, I turned to say something to Maddie and when I turned back around I was startled to find myself nose to nose with a gruesome face. A hideous, hanging prop was mere inches in front of me and had quite literally appeared as if from nowhere. The distinct chatter of a chainsaw ripped through the whiteout and hastened our search for the exit.

Rating: 4 stars

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF APPLE THIEVES

The Ultimate Haunted Barn is the oldest of all the haunted attractions at Wiard’s Night Terrors and as such is arguably the premier event. We entered the structure and were told to wait in front of a bank of monitors that all displayed the same bizarre sequence of flashing images. There were pigs, a laughing puppet and other unnerving oddities. It felt like we were being brainwashed in advance of some unethical psychological torture.

In the next room we were introduced to Curtis, a tall, lean young man with a hint of a southern drawl. Curtis spoke rapidly of his vast collection of goods which were displayed throughout the room. He intimated that he had amassed such a treasure trove by less than honest means but in the next breath stated plainly that any accusations of such would not be met with politeness. Curtis spoke with quickness and clarity; his voice possessed a mesmerizing cadence dashed with a pinch of wit. He was, without a doubt, the most well-rounded and fully formed character we encountered during our tour of Wiard’s Night Terrors.

The remainder of our trek through the Ultimate Haunted Barn was a mixture of humor, tension, jump scares and a bit of gore. In one darkened corner a grimy man appeared behind a window of chicken wire and sent a shower of sparks in our directions while he zestfully shouted, “Sweet Meat!” Although I fought the urge, the dark recesses of my mind refused to be denied and up to the surface swam a peculiar selection of banjo music accompanied by that infamous scene from Deliverance.

Other highlights from the Ultimate Haunted Barn included a crawling creep who popped out of a cabinet, a chainsaw-wielding nutter who swung above our heads and one seriously imposing butcher who momentarily assailed us before he returned to his twitching and bloody victim who had been hung from the ceiling. There was also a moment of separation where men and woman were forced to traverse different paths, a time-honored psychological ploy.

Rating: 3.75 stars

Wiard’s Night Terrors offered us an array of fun and diverse haunted attractions. It’s a full-fledged operation complete with concessions, bonfires, line entertainment and even Scareyoke. The atmosphere is festive and on a clear night the sky is beautiful. Wiard’s Night Terrors was a pleasure to tour and an ideal way to spend a night during the hallowed month of October.

Maddie and I capped off the night by posing for a picture with this fine gentleman.

Maddie and I capped off the night by posing for a picture with this fine gentleman.

Wired for Wiard’s Night Terrors

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2014 by bluefall8

The skies were clear and dry on Saturday night and what an evening of haunting it was at Wiard’s Orchard in Ypsilanti. I brought my delightfully strange sister-in-law, Madison, along for the nocturnal adventure that saw us survive backwood moonshiners on the Hayride of the Lost and ward off a wave of zombies in Splattertown.

That was a mere prelude of things to come — there was a comical fire juggler, roaming creatures of all species and the hilarity of poorly performed Scareyoke; and then of course there were haunted houses!

Alien Caged Clowns had a fun, creepy and intelligent charm while The Asylum, The Mind Shaft and The Ultimate Haunted Barn forged a trifecta of terror highlighted by laughs and screams alike.

A big thank you to Brandon Wiard for the invite who was a most gracious host, passionate haunter and all around friendly human being.

As with any other haunted excursion, a full review is in the works.

Wiard’s Night Terrors, Corpse Barn Shock Haunt Primed to Titillate

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by bluefall8

There is a certain undeniable excitement that accompanies the first big outing of each season; my mind is a frenetic mass of anticipation, nervousness and memories. Tonight those feelings seem more potent than usual, likely due to the somewhat delayed kickoff of the 2014 season. I’m brimming, jonesing, aching for a haunt fix! Tonight, I feed and sate my lust.

Our first stop will be a long-awaited visit to Night Terrors at Wiard’s Orchard where we’ll experience The Asylum, The Ultimate Haunted Barn, Alien Caged Clowns, Hayride of the Lost and Mind Shaft. Billed as “The Grandaddy of Gore since 1984” the name Wiard’s is synonymous with Halloween throughout the region and it’s time Night Terrors and Horrorlust become acquainted.

That’s a lot of haunting for one night — especially so early in the season, but portion control has never been my strong suit and I am chomping at the bit so if mother nature and father time are on our side we’ll springboard from Ypsilanti to Jackson. What’s in Jackson, you ask? Well, it’s actually what’s just outside of Jackson, in Napoleon to be exact, that has drew my gaze on this night.

Last September, after I had returned from Darksyde Acres in Jonesville and Jackson’s Underworld in the aforementioned Jackson I learned of another haunt in that neck of the woods and was aghast that we failed to realize that it was so close. That attraction is known as the Corpse Barn Shock Haunt and it has the look of a gritty, in-your-face, throwback. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — there’s a certain dark element that festers inside of barn haunts and I am drawn to it like moth to flame.

Here’s to the 2014 haunt season and endless spooky nights.