Archive for lincoln park

Sad Face, Happy Face

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2018 by bluefall8

Ominous clouds roll through the sky, the wind carries a frenzied energy — it’s an ideal night to be one of the horde at any haunted attraction. Unfortunately, for your dear author here at Horrorlust, it’s a work night…and so is tomorrow. But, like last Saturday, I believe I’ll grace a few local haunts with my presence. Where I shall visit remains to be decided, but there’s no shortage of options.

On the flip side of that coin, they’re some Michigan mainstays that will not be operating this season; the most noteworthy of which is St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum which is reportedly in the midst of a move. No word yet on where the new location will be but the operators do hope to find a new home in time for the 2019 season.

Also in the dark is Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors, a fun for the whole family event, that has stolen my heart over the years. The ole witch vows to be back next year and I take her at her word because Hilda and her brood have proven mighty resilient over the years.

As some of you know, Anxiety Alley in Lincoln Park did not operate last year after decades of opening its doors to seasonal patrons. Several weeks ago, my source within my hometown informed me that the trailers in which the event was held had officially been scraped. Anxiety Alley was poorly organized and executed in recent years but it was the object of boyhood fascination and the very first haunted attraction that I ever attended. It holds a special place in my heart and will be missed.

On a happier note the Woods of Darkness in South Rockwood will open its gates tonight for the 2018 haunt season. The Psycho Path in Flat Rock will follow suit on Friday, October 12th. I fully intend to visit both of these attractions this season as I have in the past.

Happy Haunting.

2015 Star Ratings

Posted in Star Ratings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by bluefall8

This list is not meant 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 those attractions are listed 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.

2015 STAR RATINGS

1. Rotten Manor – 4.75 (Holly, MI.)

2. Research Labs – 4.5 (Dreadlands Haunt of Davison – Davison, MI.)

3. Clio Manor – 4.25 (Clio, MI.)

4. Dark Legacy – 4.25 (Wixom, MI.)

5. Exit 13 – 4.25 (Mt. Morris, MI.)

6. Hallowe’en Nights at Greenfield Village – 4.25 (Dearborn, MI.)

7. Abandon – 4 (Melvindale, MI.)

8. House of Horrors – 4 (Past Tense After Dark – Lapeer, MI.)

9. Hush – 4 (Westland, MI.)

10. Krazy Hilda’s Trail of Terrors – 4 (Ypsilanti, MI.)

11. Zombie Sniper Arena – 4 (Dreadlands Haunt of Davison – Davison, MI.)

12. The Deadland – 3.75 (Warren, MI.)

13. Haunted House – 3.75 (Haunted Farm of Terror – Lenox Township, MI.)

14. The Dark Box – 3.5 (Pinckney, MI.)

15. Haunted Hayride – 3.5 (Haunted Farm of Terror, Lenox Township, MI.)

16. Proving Grounds Trail – 3.5 (Dreadlands Haunt of Davison – Davison, MI.)

17. Psycho Path – 3.5 (Flat Rock, MI.)

18. Terror on the Blvd. – 3.5 (Lincoln Park, MI.)

19. The Freak’s Show – 3.25 (The Boneyard – Stockbridge, MI.)

20. Terrorfied Forest – 3.25 (Terrorfied Forest & Manor – Pinckney, MI.)

21. Cornmaze of Fear – 3 (Past Tense After Dark – Lapeer, MI.)

22. Deadwood Forest – 3 (The Boneyard – Stockbridge, MI.)

23. Fear Factory – 3 (Mt. Clemens, MI.)

24. Hayride of Despair – 3 (Past Tense After Dark – Lapeer, MI.)

25. Realm of Haunted Minds – 3 (Romulus, MI.)

26. Tunnel of Terror – 3 (Rochester, MI.)

27. Total Blackout – 2.75 (Exit 13 – Mt. Morris, MI.)

28. Bubbles’ Fun House – 2.5 (Terrorfied Forest & Manor, Pinckney, MI.)

29. Delirium – 2.25 (Wyandotte, MI.)

30. Scarecrow Hollow – 1.75 (The Boneyard – Stockbridge, MI.)

31. Route 666 – 1.25 (The Boneyard – Stockbridge, MI.)

Terror on the Boulevard a Textbook of Home Haunting

Posted in 2015, Review, Terror on the Boulevard with tags , , , on August 12, 2016 by bluefall8

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Terror on the Boulevard is a home haunt located in Lincoln Park, Michigan that has been in existence for a decade; it’s a labor of love for Adam Grignon. Like many home haunts, Terror on the Boulevard is open to the public free of admission, but is only operational a couple of nights each October. I first learned of Terror on the Boulevard in 2012 while working as a substitute teacher at Carr Elementary School. I did attempt to attend that year on Devil’s Night but was thwarted by the aftereffects of the appropriately named, Frankenstorm. Three years to the day, I returned with my faithful haunt companion, John, by my side to finally tour Terror on the Boulevard.

We encountered Adam at the entrance of his home haunt, dressed in the fashion of a father from the 1950s complete with sweater vest and pipe. He ushered us eager kiddies into his creation which we would soon discover was home to the Boogeyman. The interior of Terror on the Boulevard wasn’t so different from your own home, specifically a child’s bedroom. One hallway was decorated with wallpaper, family photos and even a vintage radio that quietly transmitted a period correct song that reinforced the Boogeyman theme.

John and I would note that the attraction was professionally lit which is not a feat easily accomplished at an outdoor home haunt. Fog machines were also implemented in an appropriate manner — the effect wasn’t overdone so that it blotted out details rather it created the impression that perhaps a small fire had recently occurred somewhere in the house.

Adam was a bit short on help on the night of our visit and that did impact what I’m sure would have been an excellent signature scare. On one wall was scrawled a message that warned “Don’t look under the bed.” We noticed some skirting near our ankles and naturally couldn’t resist the temptation. Adam later informed me that a pair of oversized hands were scheduled to assail those who were curious enough to look. I have no doubt it garnered the lion’s share of shrieks during the hours of trick r’ treating.

As it were, the most memorable scare delivered to John and I came in the largest room of the haunt where a series of sheets had been fashioned into floating ghosts. We bobbed and weaved our way through the white figures, prepared for one or more to reach in our direction. All was still for several agonizingly long moments and just when we thought we were in the clear — SWOOSH!!! One expertly disguised ghostie alerted us to the fact that he had some life in him yet.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Dead Vengeance

Posted in Pop Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2016 by bluefall8

Dead Vengeance is a four-part series published by Dark Horse Comics. The first issue was released October 2015 with subsequent issues released monthly from November 2015 to January 2016. The series was written and illustrated by Bill Morrison, a native son of Lincoln Park, Michigan.

Steve Colwell, who has served as co-host on several episodes of Horrorlust Radio, turned me onto Dead Vengeance. Steve also hails from Lincoln Park; he and Bill have been friends since childhood. Lincoln Park also happens to be my boyhood home! It’s not every day that you get the chance to read a horror story created by somebody from your hometown, so it only seemed natural to highlight Dead Vengeance here on Horrorlust.

Dead Vengeance 001-000

The tale of Dead Vengeance begins in May 1940 at a carnival on the outskirts of Detroit. The very first panel reveals a carnival barker in front of a sideshow tent affixed with a sign that reads, “Cavalcade of Oddities.” Once inside the tent, readers will discover a mummified Fiji Mermaid but more importantly will be introduced to the central protagonist — a pickled man who unconsciously floats inside of a large tank. As the above cover art suggests, our new friend won’t be unconscious for long. And like that, I was sold.

Readers soon learn that Pickled Man is actually Johnny Dover, a one-time popular radio host out of Detroit. So how did this guy end up preserved inside of a tank full of chemicals at a carnival?! In order to find out you’ll just have to snag a copy and read for yourselves, my friends. The story also features a voluptuous fortune teller, a legless freak named Cesar and even Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang! Dead Vengeance is a fun, fast-paced read stuffed with action, intrigue and capped-off with a classic twist in the tradition of EC Comics!

It was neat too that creater, Bill Morrison, gave a nod to his hometown roots with a mention of area cities like Lincoln Park, Wyandotte and Flat Rock. Readers will also recognize familiar Detroit landmarks like the Ambassador Bridge. Dead Vengeance can be found at your local comic shop for $3.99 and should be enjoyed by any lover of horror but especially those who call Southeast Michigan home.

A Fracas on Devil’s Night

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by bluefall8

We got a later start than we had originally intended which cost us a visit to Rotten Manor for the time being but Devil’s Night 2015 turned out to be another fun entry in our haunted history.

All was quiet when we arrived at our first stop — Terror on the Boulevard, a home haunt in Lincoln Park. The little haunt was neatly themed, well detailed and an all around good time. Brave trick r’ treaters should be aware that it will be open once again tonight from 7-10pm so don’t miss your chance to confront the Boogeyman!

Our next stop was Hush in Westland where the once mighty corporation was found in a ruinous state. Dr. Phun may be dead but the halls of Hush had no shortage of creepy crawlers — I was even assailed from above by a diminutive pygmy creature! The back-end of the attraction in particular was positively littered with freaks and ghouls who dialed it up to ten as all hell broke loose!

The final stop of the night was a return to Dark Legacy in Wixom, now in their second season. The haunt had been fitted with new scenes, gags and a completely redesigned Fang Cemetery. In particular we enjoyed a handful of inventive scares, several highly detailed scenes and the cast which we found to be collectively superior to their 2014 counterparts.

Full reviews to be posted in the coming weeks.

The Freaks are Due on Devil’s Night

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by bluefall8

Haunting on Devil’s Night is something of a tradition here at Horrorlust; regular readers of the blog know this to be true. It may not be the magical night itself when the veil between worlds is thinnest but Devil’s Night has a special aura all its own.

The much ballyhooed Devil’s Night 2009 is the stuff of Horrorlust legend and was just this week enshrined as one of the five greatest nights in our haunted history. On that date we famously survived Hellblock 13 by the Wyandotte Jaycees, The Realm of Darkness (the final year of it’s original location) and finished the night with a maiden voyage to Haunted Farm of Terror!

In 2013 the Wyandotte Jaycees helped us kick off another memorable Devil’s Night with Bloodbath on Biddle which would go on to win the Horrorlust Dark Horse Award that season. That evening would also mark our first exposure to a rookie by the name of Hush which absolutely wowed us and subsequently claimed the Horrorlust Haunt of the Year Award. The night did end with a historic dud in what would become known as the death knell for the Scream Machine, that shocking turn-of-events earned Scream Machine the Horrorlust Rotten Pumpkin Award and in the process made Devil’s Night 2013 all the more memorable.

Last year we ventured first to Dark Legacy and were impressed with the scale and scope of the new attraction — it garnered the Horrorlust Killer Automatons Award. We then returned to Hush where we were once again blown away by a sterling performance that earned the then sophomore haunt the Horrorlust Monster Award.

So yeah, Devil’s Night is serious business around these parts and it is with great excitement that we anticipate another evening on the road as mayhem and mischief rule the night! If all goes as planned we will visit four separate haunted houses beginning with Terror on the Boulevard, a home haunt located in Lincoln Park. I actually attempted to visit this haunt on Devil’s Night 2012 but the so-called Frankenstorm that was all the rage at the time thwarted my efforts.

Next, we’ll burn rubber to Westland and tour Hush for a third consecutive year on Devil’s Night — this combination has yielded nothing but magic thus far so we saw no reason to make a change. Furthermore this will be the endgame for the original location as big plans are on the horizon — is this the year that Dr. Phun and the bunch render us a permanent fixture of the haunt?! If we manage to escape it’ll be off to Wixom for the revamped Dark Legacy and then a flight to the finish at the brand new Rotten Manor in Holly.

Methinks this shall be another Devil’s Night to remember for years to come.

Happy Haunting!

Haunt Til You Drop

Posted in Haunt Schedule with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2015 by bluefall8

As with any season of haunting changes to the schedule are inevitable and 2015 is no exception. What I have posted below is an ambition if not all together insane flight to the finish. The haunt season has concluded with a flurry of activity in years past but the 8-night, 15-haunt gauntlet listed below is the stuff of madness. It may prove to be too ambition in the end; I may be found on November 2nd lying face down in a corn field with frayed nerves and a vacant expression, but damn it, I’m going down swinging.

10/22 – Hallowe’en Nights in Greenfield Village

10/23 – Delirium

10/24 – Clio Manor, Exit 13, Dreadlands Haunt of Davison

10/25 – Shawhaven Haunted Farm, Slaughter House Adventure

10/29 – Dark Legacy, Rotten Manor

10/30 – Terror on the Boulevard, Abandon, Hush

10/31 – Slaughtered at Sundown, Terrors of Resistance

11/1 – Erebus or Wiard’s Night Terrors

And if all that doesn’t kill me I might just attempt to hit Scarefest Scream Park which will be open on Saturday, November 7th.  Why? Because haunts.

Absinthe & Automatonophobia

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 2, 2015 by bluefall8

All of a sudden it is in the air and all around — the magic of the fall season has regained that familiar foothold. Through ritual and routine we revisit all that we experience in this life and for me that is a comfort. Today, I stepped outside to find a crispness in the air and witnessed a hint of nature’s eternal paintbrush. I traveled down London Street in Lincoln Park, my childhood home. As each blocked rolled by my window in a blur of shapes and colors I realized it was here that a love of Halloween was first imprinted on my soul. In many ways that stretch of London Street is the very essence of Halloween for me.

I ventured out today to discuss ideas for a Horrorlust logo with my friend, Stefani Lawrence. She was the artist who created some perfectly spooky heads for The CikNis last year, a home haunt that I helped produce. It was a joy to thumb through some of her past work which included self-portraits, shadow boxes and oil pastels that depicted eerie subject matter. I know that Stefani is the perfect person to translate the dark imaginings of my mind into tangible art work; I can’t wait to see what beautifully nightmarish sketches she will create.

Indeed, fall has descended once more; with wind in hair and wrapped in flannel I raise a glass to another season of screams.

It is here that I am at peace.

A LOOK BACK AT STEFANI’S WORK ON THE CIKNIS

Artistry Most Wicked

STEFANI ON HORRORLUST RADIO

Horrorlust Radio Episode #009

Horrorlust Radio Episode #002

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2014 by bluefall8

My brother, Jason, returned to co-host once more in episode #002 of Horrorlust Radio.

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

In the second episode of Horrorlust Radio, Jason and I discuss the evolution of horror in video games and also delve into the sometimes blurred line between extreme haunted houses and abduction simulations.

This episode also features the debut of two new segments — Nightmare Fuel and Serious Celluloid. In Nightmare Fuel, Jason recounts a personal account of an unidentified flying object he once witnessed in August 1997 and in Serious Celluloid I recommend a horror film to listeners.

We also discuss some of our earliest visits to haunted attractions — most notably a legendary trip through Lincoln Park’s Anxiety Alley and and eye-popping jaunt through a Monroe Jaycees haunted house during the mid-90’s.

More show notes and additional description information to follow.

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 002

SHOW NOTES

One Day at Horrorland was book #16 in the original Goosebumps series and was released in February 1994. It’s among one of my favorite in the entire series and remains one of the most popular Goosebumps books.

Horrorland, no whores allowed.

Horrorland, no whores allowed.

The HauntWorld Issue #37 article I referenced in our conversation about extreme haunted houses and abduction simulations was titled Abduction Simulations: The Coming Plague and was written by Ben Armstrong of Netherworld Haunted House.

A link to the GQ article also mentioned during our conversation, written by Drew Magary which details his experience with Extreme Kidnapping: Kidnapped (Just Kidding!)

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

1. “The Greatest Show Unearthed” by Creature Feature (The Greatest Show Unearthed, 2007)

2. “Shadows Fall” by Nox Arcana (Carnival of Lost Souls, 2006)

3. Kinski, Boone and Peloquin from Clive Barker’s Night Breed (1990)

4. “Music Box” by Nox Arcana (Darklore Manor, 2003)

Haunt Updates, Haunted Dreams & Haunting Films

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

In this entry, from Monday, September 8, 2008, I recall a vibrant dream about the Fear Finder newspaper. In the years since I have had several similar dreams in which I get a nocturnal sneak peek at the seasonal treasure; my brother believes that it may be an indication of an unhealthy obsession.

There’s also a few tidbits regarding various haunts contained in the second half of this post; originally I provided several links to the websites of a few attractions but those for the Homer Mill and The Haunting no longer function and thus the links have been removed.

The Homer Mill was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of May 16, 2010. The Haunting, which was held at the Lenawee County Fairgrounds, entertained the public for 18 Halloween seasons. The Adrian mainstay closed up shop following the 2011 haunt season; owner and magician Stuart MacDonald now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he works for a television station.

Terror Town is still going strong, although the link below will actually take you to an old version of the attraction’s website. I think it’s an interesting bit of Internet archeology.

Last week I had a very lucid dream in which me and Cikalo were gleefully rampaging through the streets of Lincoln Park. We drove recklessly, attempted to exploit ignorant youths by selling them over-priced stolen goods, and utterly neglected the duties of the classroom in which we were both substituting. It was great fun and some would suggest that’s it’s not too far off the antics that will some day undoubtedly be printed in my autobiography.

So after all these shenanigans we found ourselves at some type of strip mall. At this point I lost track of Jason and while I stood against a wall I noticed a man walk by me holding the 2008 edition of the Fear Finder. I suppose some may view this as an unhealthy obsession with Halloween and perhaps if I wasn’t so amused and intrigued by the nocturnal meanderings of my subconscious, I’d be concerned too. But to hell with that, check out what the latest version of the Fear Finder apparently looks like in some deep recess of my brain.

It happened very quickly, some non-descript, average Joe walks by nonchalantly and unfurls the Fear Finder. The paper resembles less its usual magazine style and appears more like an actual newspaper. I have an unhindered view of the entire front page which features a brightly colored backdrop; swirls of blue, red, green, yellow, and orange spring from the page. In the foreground and this is most peculiar, stands a leprechaun sporting a maniacal grin with his arm spread wide aloft his head. Yeah, I also got the sense that it was indeed the evil leprechaun from the series of Leprechaun movies. Fairly wacky stuff. Of course from here I embark on an epic quest to obtain a Fear Finder but just as I spot a CVS (a supplier of the FF) I’m intercepted by some former Borders co-workers. I awoke shortly after, having never obtained the prized haunt guide and reflected on what a truly bizarre dream it was.

In the waking world the 2008 Fear Finder has yet to be released but as one of the operators of the Scream Machine informed me, it should find a Taco Bell near you around the third week of September. Yeah that’s right, I sometimes call haunt operators. What? I also learned that the Screamatorium will not be operating this year and that it was indeed a one time shot in 2006.

I also called the Realm of Darkness where an up beat man ensured me that the show will indeed be under way this season. It’s all new and features over 30 rooms.

It seems every store I enter now has Halloween supplies on display; this makes my ghoulish heart smile. The Halloween USA located on the corner of Dix and Eureka in Southgate is also open and hopefully I’ll be working there part time again this season.

Zioptis has begun posting updates and recently visited the Homer Mill in Homer, Michigan. The haunt has garnered some glowing reviews and certainly sounds appealing. Apparently there is a Halloween themed bar and restaurant attached to the old mill that has a great natural ambience. This past weekend marked the haunt’s grand opening and it seems to be a frontrunner for an early season visit. Tickets are $15 during the month of September and then $20 throughout October. My fellow haunters would do well to check out the Homer Mill website here: The Homer Mill Extreme Haunted House

A few additional haunts have updated their websites, most notably TerrorTown in Maumee, Ohio and The Haunting in Adrian, Michigan. Interested parties can view those pages at the links below:

TerrorTown

The Haunting

I finally watched Romero’s Diary of the Dead and I very much enjoyed the style of his latest project. It’s an obvious departure from the style of each of his previous entries in the Dead series but the desired effect is achieved. It’s a fun, engaging story highlighted by some creative shots, inventive deaths, and a few truly grisly visuals. One unforgettable tidbit is Samuel, an elderly, deaf Amish man who doesn’t put up with zombie bullshit; he’s the kindest, cut throat bad ass ever. There are a number of striking visuals as well, my personal favorite may be the pool laden with the living dead.