Archive for krazy hilda’s

Mass Exodus

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by bluefall8

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While the cover art of the 2016 edition of the Fear Finder dazzled, the content inside the treasured seasonal publication left me yearning for more. Very few new haunts were featured, in fact, if you exclude the returning Scream Machine, there was just one new entry — Haunting in the Hills. Haunting in the Hills will include an outdoor trail of sorts, a haunted hayride and Train Car of Terror. This event will be held in Onsted, Michigan at the Stagecoach Stop Western Resort.

BLOODLETTING

So, who’s not in the Fear Finder this fall? Quite a number of places, actually. Below, I’ve highlighted some notable omissions.

Abandon, Bonadeo Farms, Exit 13, Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village, Haunted Elementary, St. Charles’ Village of the Living Dead and A Terror in Townsend Forest are not listed in the Fear Finder for 2016 but each of these attractions will be open and are advertised elsewhere.

WAITING GAME

Also missing in action are Erwin Orchards as well as Krazy Hilda’s; no word yet whether these haunts will be open or closed this season.

SHUTTERED

The Boneyard in Stockbridge announced several months ago that it would not be operational in 2016 so that particular vanishing act came as no surprise. Also dark for 2016 is Heck of a Haunted Barn in Monroe.

The big shock however was the announcement just days ago that Dark Legacy in Wixom would be closed. Dark Legacy is a powerhouse and had advertised everywhere since exploding on the scene in 2014, no specifics are known as to why it will be closed this season.

The biggest disappointment was word that The Dark Box will not be open after an intriguing rookie season. According to the folks there, the City of Pinckney took issue with the physicality employed at The Dark Box.

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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

Michigan Hidden Gems

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2015 by bluefall8

Halloween is big business in the Midwest and Michigan is no exception. The Mitten State is home to dozens of haunted attractions that stretch from Metro-Detroit to the edge of Lake Michigan all the way northward to the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula. Indeed, the October scene in Michigan is diverse, far-reaching and is truly a bubbling haven of haunted houses.

As the one-time holder of a Guinness World Record, Erebus has garnered a lot of national attention and is often ranked by numerous industry outlets as the one of America’s top haunted destinations. Wiard’s Night Terrors too has spent time in the limelight, one of Michigan’s oldest haunted attractions it was the subject of a HauntWorld article as recent as 2014 and is synonymous with all things that go bump in the night around these parts.

These highly visible haunts do our state proud, but Michigan is also fortunate to have a collection of volunteer haunts and other small venues that fly under the radar. These locations may not attract much media attention or possess a large advertising budget but what they lack in grandeur is compensated in heart, creativity and a certain charm.

Tonight, on Horrorlust, we explore the hidden gems of the Michigan haunt game.

A Nightmare on Elm Road – 2020 Elm Rd. Webberville, MI. 48892

A little advertised, smallish haunt situated on the edge of the woods. The low budget decor has just the right amount of grime and is complimented with old school fundamentals. A mixture of indoor and outdoor scenes will keep scare-seekers on their toes.

2012 Review: Elements Conspire but Erwin, Slaughter House Persevere (Beneath “Young Upstart Has Potential, Needs Improvement” Headline)

Krazy Hilda’s – 10340 Ford Rd. Ypsilanti, MI. 48198

Now at Panana Hills Farm, the old witch refuses to be forgotten after nearly two decades of brewing up scares. The Trail of Terrors is an atmospheric forest walk that will delight children and adults of all ages. The team is passionate, precise and can deliver a laugh alongside a scare.

2011 Review: Thrills & Chills Dominate Hilda’s, Feargrounds & The Boneyard!

2012 Review: Krazy Hilda’s Unleashes Spooks on Campground

2015 Review: Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors Casts A Spell

The Psycho Path – 23984 Gibraltar Rd. Flat Rock, MI. 48134

A volunteer effort that has survived for more than twenty seasons, The Psycho Path is a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and creativity. The show is re-themed each year and suffers no shortage of live actors. In a throwback to every child’s nightmare fantasy the haunt is concealed by a patch of woods behind a church.

2014 Review: Psycho Path Sleeper Cell

Realm of Haunted Minds – 18910 Merriman Rd. Romulus, MI. 48174

Just one of the various activities at the quaint Huron Turkey Farm, Realm of Haunted Minds has been chugging along relatively unnoticed for quite some time. The country store where tickets are purchased has an excellent collection of horror movie icons in statue form and the outdoor area features an impressive array of miniature playscapes that lead to the haunted house. Realm of Haunted Minds itself is a blend of the old and new and will result in a fair amount of fun.

2008 Review: Realm of Haunted Minds & The Extreme Scream

2011 Review: Realm of Haunted Minds & Funeral Home a fitting pair for Windswept Outing

2013 Review: Elements & Ambiance Rule Realm of Haunted Minds

St. Charles Village of the Living Dead – 400 E. Water St. St. Charles, MI. 48655

An actor-driven, not-for-profit haunt that has extracted screams for 30 years. Dense fog and strobe lights combine for masterful distraction and disorientation techniques which are underscored with tactile sensations and challenging, claustrophobic sequences.

2013 Review: Village of the Living Dead Preys upon Victims with Classic Scares

Did I miss anything? Do you know of a hidden gem in Michigan? Leave it in the comments below and we shall discuss.

Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors Casts A Spell

Posted in 2015, Krazy Hilda's, Review with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2015 by bluefall8

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It had been three years since the witch had last beckoned to me but any concern that she had lost her magic was quickly dispelled. Now located at Panama Farms on Ford Road in Ypsilanti, one could argue that Krazy Hilda is more potent now than ever she was.

An earthen path descended slowly but surely toward the forest and once at the base of the treeline we waited until the call of the witch signaled us to enter her shrouded dominion. Once inside we discovered a landscape dotted with classic Halloween scenes that included Frankenstein’s Laboratory, an eerie cemetery and a werewolf’s lair; among others. The natural ambiance of the forest trail was the ideal canvas for Hilda’s coven to ply their craft; there are some effects that no amount of money can buy.

Somewhere in the distance we heard the chilling lullaby of an unseen woman and it seemed inevitable that we would, at some point in our journey, cross her path. For the time being we had to deal with a series of great jump scares that were executed by the expertly concealed cast. A skull-faced creature, who Mark dubbed Gully Suit Man, bounded after us like an animal and in a raspy voice told us with much enthusiasm that he’d like to chew our bones. No sooner had we shook the camouflaged cretin and the master of nightmares himself, Freddy Krueger, had materialized from behind some tombstones.

As a general rule of thumb, I’m not a fan of licensed characters being used in haunted attractions but this actor truly did the character justice. He was a towering man in full costume and makeup, he even nailed Freddy’s trademark acerbic wit. Mark and I sought the safety of a black structure but soon it was clear that the dream weaver had decided to follow.

Krueger clicked his metal talons and drug them across the wall; it was apparent that he too had entered the structure. We scrambled around several corners in search of an exit and when we found it we desperately attempted to escape but to no avail. The mirthless laugh of Freddy Krueger echoed through the halls as we balked at the false exit. In desperation we tried an adjoining panel and by luck were able to flee the corrupter of sleep.

It was quite a scene that the Trail of Terrors had set, one that featured sparse animatronics but used dummies as effective implements of misdirection. As we crossed a bridge a pair of decapitated heads hung from a tree branch and appeared positively dreadful illuminated only by moonlight.

We followed the path around a bend, the sound of circus music was carried on the cool, fall air to our ears. A carnival game loomed ahead and inside the booth was a clown. He challenged me to a game of Paper, Scissor, Rock and following some sound deliberation I was victorious. And it was a good thing too because one of my fingers was on the line!

It wasn’t long after we’d ditched the clown that we stumbled upon a small homestead where the front yard had been littered with dolls. Some had been posed as if they were at play, one gruesome youngster had it’s mouth stapled shut while another offered up a pair of soiled underwear.

Just as I had challenged Mark to kiss the creepy mannequin that resided on the porch a familiar tune rattled the air. We had found Lullaby Girl and she wasn’t alone. In her arms she cradled an infant, an infant with glowing red eyes who chimed in a sing-song voice, “I’m watching you” and “Come play with me.” Something about that demon child told me that it didn’t play well with others so we made for the treeline which was now in sight.

Clear of the forest we traversed a long pathway, lined with a tall fence on either side. A stray ghoul or two tracked us from the other side; it felt as if we were being prepped for an ambush. To our surprise the path opened on a quaint country scene, a dark-haired woman sat silently in a chair. We tried to inquire about a pair of emaciated corpses next to her but she eyed us with disdain and in a weird, strangled voice informed us that we had to leave. The old hag decided that we hadn’t moved fast enough and in a calm voice that cut to the bone she called out a single name, “Juuuunioooor.”

The air suddenly felt electric, pregnant with anticipation. For a moment time stood still and then like a phantom in the night Junior answered his mother’s call — by the skin of our teeth and with the aid of some fancy footwork, Mark and I were able to escape Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors, hides intact.

Rating: 4 stars

“Oh, there’s a Junior! There’s always a Junior!”

– Yours truly, once made aware of the existence of the aforementioned, Junior

Moonlight Delight at Krazy Hilda’s, Terrorfied Forest & Manor

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

The veteran cast of fellow haunters were all busy with work or prior engagements last night, so I went to the bullpen and invited my friend Mark to experience a night of haunting. It always does my heart good to convert mere mortals into haunters and I think that may be the process currently taking place with my Mark. He hadn’t visited a haunted attraction in years but with some prodding I convinced him last winter to accompany me on a trip through 50 Shades of Phun, the Valentine’s Day event held at Hush in Westland.

Since then, Mark and I have had numerous conversations about haunted attractions and so it was with great interest that we set off into a majestic September night to experience Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors and Terrorfied Forest and Manor. One could not have asked for a more ideal night to stroll through the haunted trails located in Ypsilanti and Pickney, respectively.

Krazy Hilda’s once again showcased how the passion of dedicated volunteers can capture the whimsical magic of the Halloween season. Here we were enchanted by a devilish brew of excellent jump scares, quintessential scenery and a cast of scareactors who know how to have fun. The witch and her brood have faced adversity many times throughout their two-decade run but old Hilda always seems to spur her undead army ever forward. Now at the ideally located Panama Hills Farm, Krazy Hilda is primed to stir her cauldron into the future.

It was an interesting ride to Terrorfied Forest and Manor, but wrong turns and missed road signs only make life on the open haunted road that much more intriguing. After a few course corrections we arrived to find Terrorfied Forest and Manor bathed in the hue of silver moonlight. Bubbles’ Funhouse had the charm of a fun narrative working in it’s favor as well as a handful of neat design features, perhaps most notably was the slide that took us into the basement. The haunted trail radiated ambiance and offered patrons some serious bang-for-the-buck with more than a half-hour of woodland scenes and shrieks.

We are much obliged to Nicole at Krazy Hilda’s and Dean from Terrorfied Forest and Manor for not only being such affable hosts but also for providing such excellent interviews to be featured in Horrorlust Radio. Thank you also to the respective cast and crew of Krazy Hilda’s and Terrorfied Forest and Manor for providing us with our latest treasured memories.

Call of the Witch

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , on September 26, 2015 by bluefall8

The schedule shifts and slides, ebbs and flows but so it goes in the month of September. I did have a pleasant conversation with the head witch out at Krazy Hilda’s and it would seem that the old girl is craving some souls for the keeping. We had memorable visits to Krazy Hilda’s in 2011 and 2012 when the witch had set up shop in Saline and Chelsea respectively. This time around Krazy Hilda and her minions of the night have taken up in Ypsilanti and I have no doubt the gang will leave us spellbound once more.

Past Reviews on Krazy Hilda’s

Thrills & Chills Dominate Hilda’s, Feargrounds and The Boneyard! (2011)

Krazy Hilda’s Unleashes Spooks on Campgrounds (2012)

Only one question remains — what other attraction shall we hit tonight? The field has been narrowed to just two — either the brand new, two-story Abandon in Melvindale or Terrorfied Forest and Manor in Pinckney. Both are tantalizing in their own right but the edge may go to Terrorfied Forest and Manor because earlier today I learned that the Manor has been themed as a funhouse — Bubbles’ Funhouse to be precise! It would seem that Bubbles was long ago abandoned by his traveling carnival and I just can’t see how I can pass that up!

Past Review on Terrorfied Forest and Manor

Mixed Results at Terrorfied Forest and Manor

2015 Haunt Schedule: Never is Enough

Posted in Haunt Schedule with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2015 by bluefall8

The haunt schedule can be a restless beast — there are time restraints, geographic considerations, unexpected vehicle maintenance and of course the threat of inclement weather. The 2014 schedule was made all the more problematic when some friends and I decided to produce a home haunt for a Halloween party. The CikNis was held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 but the build began in early September and as it was quite an undertaking, the project limited the number of haunts I visited that month to exactly one.

In addition I acted in the Wyandotte Jaycees haunted house on three or four nights in late October and unfortunately several of my Friday nights were effectively wiped out because I was needed at work. Don’t get me wrong, both The CikNis and the opportunity to act with the Wyandotte Jaycees were worthwhile and fruitful experiences but my participation in each did eliminate potential nights from the road schedule.

This year there is no home haunt to consider and I have yet to determine whether or not I’ll reprise my role as the irrepressible Gerkins with the Wyandotte Jaycees, so with that said the haunt schedule will feature more flexibility this fall. Although, a number of my Fridays will once again be hampered by work responsibilities. But, over the years I’ve learned to roll with the punches and leave it in the hands of the haunt fates.

Below, in no particular order, are possible outings for the 2015 haunt season.

HIGHWAY TO HELL

Night #1 – The Deadland (Warren), Fear Factory (Mt. Clemens) & Panic at Pine Stump Hollow (St. Clair)

Night #2 – The Dark Box (Pinckney) & The Boneyard (Stockbridge)

Night #3 – Jackson’s Underworld (Jackson) & Shawhaven Haunted Farm (Mason)

Night #4 – Heck of A Haunted Barn (Monroe) & Haunted Hydro (Fremont, OH.)

Night #5 – Past Tense After Dark (Lapeer), Scott’s Rooms of Terror (Oxford) & Tunnel of Terror (Rochester)

Night #6 – Haunted Elementary (Bridgeport), Clio Manor (Clio) & Exit 13 (Mt. Morris)

Night #7 – Wiard’s Night Terrors (Ypsilanti)

Night #8 – Rotten Manor (Holly), Bonadeo Farms (Highland) & Dark Legacy (Wixom)

Night #9 – Abandon (Melvindale), Hush (Westland) & Krazy Hilda’s (Ypsilanti)

Night #10 – Woods of Darkness (South Rockwood), Psycho Path (Flat Rock) & Delirium (Wyandotte)

Night #11 – Slaughtered at Sundown (Armada), Haunted Farm of Terror (Lenox Township) & Scarefest Scream Park (New Haven)

I paid special attention this season to attractions that Horrorlust has never toured; there’s 13 listed and Krazy Hilda’s has relocated since our last visit in 2012. Once I identified some fresh blood I sprinkled in some old favorites that we haven’t patronized in a few years. I like that there’s wiggle room in the schedule to allow for unexpected circumstances, for instance, we could easily slot Shawhaven Haunted Farm alongside The Dark Box if need be.

I also wanted to be sure to hit each of the sponsors for Horrorlust Radio and furthermore limited the number of locations toured on any given night to just three. John and I did manage to hit four separate locations on November 1st last year but it was a breakneck pace that did suck some of the enjoyment out of the experience. Admittedly, some of the haunts listed are wild cards but we’ve gambled before and come away with enjoyable experiences.

OTHER HAUNTS OF INTEREST

Bloodview – One of my all-time favorite places. A different theme each weekend is a tempting prospect indeed. I wish it weren’t so damn far from my home.

Bates Haunted Saw Mill & JC’s Axe House – If Haunted Elementary or Clio Manor don’t pan out for any reason this Millington haunt could fit the bill.

Corpse Barn Shock Haunt – Enjoyed it last year, confident an even better show is possible. Plus, it’s hard to pass up if we’re near Jackson.

Darksyde Acres – The old pig farm has become a staple in recent years and it’s hard to resist that wild, unpredictable cast. It’s a haul though without much else in the area.

Dreadlands Haunt of Davison – Might be placed into rotation during trip to Past Tense After Dark if limited dates render lesser knowns unlikely.

The Haunt – I was once told by a veteran haunted house owner that, “If you haven’t been to The Haunt, you haven’t been anywhere.”

Realm of Haunted Minds – It’s close to home and has a throwback charm; I like to visit every couple of years.

7 Floors of Hell – That’s a lot of floors and I need that much haunting in my life. Plus, I love my overnight Ohio trips; especially those that give me an excuse to hit Bloodview.