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Hallowe’en Nights a Family Friendly Delight

Posted in 2015, Hallowe'en Nights, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2016 by bluefall8

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From apple orchards and pumpkin patches to haunted houses and hayrides, Michigan is blessed with a cornucopia of fall festivities and activities. Indeed the rich and colorful history of Halloween runs deep in the Wolverine State and one event that has become a staple of the Detroit area is Hallowe’en Nights at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.

Greenfield Village, for those unfamiliar, was the brainchild of Henry Ford — yes, the Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company fame. Greenfield Village is a collection of historic homes, shops and buildings assembled by the late Mr. Ford and each October the streets and districts are transformed into a vintage Halloween celebration. I visited this event for the first time last fall with my wife and son and discovered a fun, family friendly atmosphere with playful scares and mildly spooky scenes.

The magical journey began in the Working Farms District, 1,000s of jack-o-lanterns lined the streets and served as a silent guide throughout Greenfield Village. Although not each and every last area of the village was accessible, all of the seven districts that comprise Greenfield Village were incorporated into the event in some capacity and the level of decoration was immaculate. Attention was paid to detail, the labs inside Edison at Work were alight with the signature glow of black lights; historic homesteads and shops from a bygone era featured windows and doors that pulsed with the eerie beacon of strobe lights.

The Main Street District was dominated by a carnival sideshow that included a stage performance and a photo-op with an enchanting mermaid. We pushed our way through the throngs of revelers and settled for a moment next to a large statue of Thomas Edison where I snapped a photo of my beloved wife and son.

Following a trek through Menlo Park, we entered the Porches & Parlors District heralded by a bizarre musical performance that was conducted by a pair of glowing skeletons who had taken up residence beneath a gazebo. When that whimsical oddity had concluded we braved the covered bridge that featured fog and lasers. The bridge was the most purely frightening experience of Hallowe’en Nights and I’m proud to report that my little guy never blinked in the face of fear; instead his eyes were full of wonder and curiosity.

Near Walnut Grove we witnessed a trio of oversized, singing jack-o-lanterns and became acquainted with a pair of peculiar fairy sisters, Kynda and Roodelle. As we continued uphill we watched pirates duel, breezed past a graveyard adjacent to Martha-Mary Chapel and eyed broom rentals near J.R. Jones General Store. Indeed, the various characters, mini-plays and complimentary scenes spread across Greenfield Village only served to heighten the overall mystique of this special event.

The light of the jack-o-lanterns had brought us back to Main Street where we paused for a few moments and were delighted to find that the iconic carousel was used to great effect. Old-fashioned music drifted across the intersection of Christie and Main Street while the carousel spun haunting rotations as if propelled by a ghostly hand. It immediately brought to mind an episode of The Twilight Zone titled Walking Distance in which a man is transported back in time to his childhood and pays a visit to the local carnival. This was, undoubtedly, one of my favorite highlights of Hallowe’en Nights.

Next, we were briefly routed into Railroad Junction where we traversed a spooky grove, illuminated only by the glow of several carved pumpkins — this was another one of my most favorite moments. When we emerged from the atmospheric grove, it was a short jaunt into the beautiful Liberty Craftworks District where a fun-loving werewolf danced to the tune of Lil’ Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. This area also sported an excellent Halloween Tree positioned just outside the Pottery Shop.

Once we had left Liberty Craftworks behind our journey was nearly complete, but not before the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane engaged in bit of Halloween humor in a field just off of Mill Road back in the Working Farms District.

Hallowe’en Nights at Greenfield Village is an event that I would recommend to people of all ages because there truly did seem to be a little something for everybody. There was considerable congestion near several of the candy stations, but it was rarely overwhelming and perhaps can be further alleviated if additional areas of the village were utilized for the event. Regardless, I was impressed by the overall quality of Hallowe’en Nights and look forward to future trips with the family.

Rating: 4.25 stars

Horrorlust Radio Episode #018

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by bluefall8

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In episode #018 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined by author, Kasey Pierce.

In this installment of Horrorlust Radio, Kasey and I continued our discussion of her horror anthology, Pieces of Madness.

This edition of Horrorlust Radio also featured a brief chat on conspiracy theories which is the topic of Kasey’s vlog, Dark Blend. There’s also an interview with Murray the Clown, a most curious character at the Wyandotte Jaycess Haunted House, Delirium.

I’m actively seeking sponsors for Horrorlust Radio, if you own or operate a haunted attraction or are otherwise involved or connected to the haunt industry and are interested in such an opportunity you can contact me at the following email address: horrorlust@bluestarproductions.net

Email any questions or comments to the address above or feel welcome to post any reactions to this podcast in the comments section below.

HORRORLUST RADIO: EPISODE 018

SHOW NOTES

For more information on Pieces of Madness and all things Kasey Pierce visit her blog: Kosmic Kasey

Pieces of Madness is available for sale on Amazon.

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Before the hit television series of the same name, there was the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow that starred Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane and the gorgeous Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel. The film was directed by Tim Burton.

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The songs and audio clips featured in this episode are listed below in chronological order:

“Lil’ Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs (Single, 1966)

Sleepy Hollow Theatrical Trailer, 1999

“I Want to Be a Vigilante” by Calabrese (Born With a Scorpion’s Tale, 2013)

Magistrate Beheaded from Sleepy Hollow, 1999

“Coffin of Ruins” by Calabrese (Dayglo Necros, 2012)

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American Horror Story, Sleepy Hollow

Posted in Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2013 by bluefall8

American Horror Story returned last night to FX for its third season. Seasons one and two were highlighted by strong casts, engrossing plots, and salacious imagery. However the hit show has not gone without some criticism — the writing staff has been guilty of spreading the story too thin, which I feel has laid the groundwork for less than stellar conclusions. Still — the gore, stylized composition and editing, and sexual tension will keep the show grossly entertaining. Hell, even the theme song is notable for its unsettling, perverse drone. American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays on FX at 10 pm.

Fox has also jumped into the fray with Sleepy Hollow, a modern twist on Washington Irving’s 1820 classic that told the story of Ichabod Crane and the mysterious Headless Horseman. The series stars Tom Mison as Ichabod and he is excellent in the role as the out-of-time protagonist.  His female counterpart is Nicole Beharie as Lieutenant Abbie Mills who is unwittingly drug into supernatural occurrences by her own sordid past. Underutilized and under appreciated character actor Clancy Brown, of Pet Cemetery II and Carnivale fame, is used in cameo appearances. The show has become a quick hit with my wife and I and that should come as no surprise as it’s produced in part by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci; the same tandem who served in a similar fashion on FringeSleepy Hollow airs Mondays on Fox at 9 pm.

Incredulously, I just recently discovered that Amy Lee of Evanescence did a haunting, heart wrenching, and beautiful cover of “Sally’s Song” from A Nightmare Before Christmas. The song is part of Nightmare Revisited, a cover album released on September 30, 2008 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 1993 animated classic. Most notably it contains a harsh rendition of “This is Halloween” by Marilyn Manson that has just as much spirit as Danny Elfman’s original score.