Archive for murder mystery

A Bloodbath on Devil’s Night

Posted in 2013, Review, Wyandotte Jaycees with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2013 by bluefall8

Devil’s Night arrived dreary and wet but with the haunt season coming to a close it would take a lot more than that to keep us off the road. Our first stop brought us to the Wyandotte Jaycees 2013 haunted house — Bloodbath on Biddle. The Jaycees were fortunate to obtain the building that until recently housed City Hall, it’s large and centrally located in downtown Wyandotte.

John and I entered and talked shop with some of the team, some of you may recall that project lead Jon Dehring appeared on an episode of the Mud Puppets during October alongside several of his favorite ghouls. You can watch that episode right now, as well as a behind the scenes tour, by clicking these links: Murder Mystery and Bloodbath on Biddle: Behind the Scenes Tour.

As we talked I noticed a desk to my right, atop it sat a newspaper not unlike the Fear Finder. It was entitled Terror Tracker so I snatched one up to peruse at my leisure. I’ll ruminate more on this publication in a future post. John and I wrapped up the conversation with the Jaycees crew and trudged forth into the bloodbath.

In the past the Wyandotte Jaycees, not dissimilar to many volunteer groups, has struggled to staff their attraction with seasoned scarers. The organization took a step in the right direction this year — the cast may not have been battled scarred veterans, but on the whole the group displayed a lot of heart and energy. In the end we determined that the kids were alright and we appreciated the effort.

There were some standouts too, such as the freakishly contorted handwalkers in the whiteout room. These tortured souls issued primal screams that hastened our departure.

In another room we encountered  a criminally insane young woman who had been strapped into an electric chair and for good reason as we would soon find out. Initially she attempted to convince us of her innocence and asked if we’d free her from the restraints. Skeptical, we questioned her further and soon learned, by way of her own admission, that her current predicament was the result of an incident which involved an oven and some babies.

Her voice was calm, cold while she made this confession, a comical glint danced across her dead eyes — but before she could elaborate further someone threw the switch and sent a current of voltage ripping through her now spasming body!

The halfway point of the haunted house presented us with an interesting choice — Heaven or Hell. We decided that Hell was our best course of action but to our great surprise the route was a circuitous one which inevitably sent us to Heaven…well, maybe an offshoot of Heaven. A preacher had been hung by the neck and in the shadows lurked a devilish dame with a gash for a mouth and a whip for a tongue.

“I don’t know. Is this your idea of Heaven,” she quipped. Philosophers and psychos all under one roof, go figure. As she slunk out of the shadows with the confidence and poise of one who likes to play with her food, I found myself not just pondering the query but also fighting off the litany of inappropriate responses which had instantly flooded my mind. I know, I know — it’s a testament to just how deeply depraved I am that my mind so readily drudges up such things, but hey, it’s a fun way to live.

There was a handful of signature scenes throughout Bloodbath on Biddle which were all decorated and detailed quite well. We traversed a morgue, a carnival sideshow, and one room that featured a very curious wall of televisions.

There was also a pair of scenes inspired by cherished fairytales, granted the interpretation was twisted, but Snow White and Alice were represented nonetheless. Gruesome artwork highlighted these areas — a beheaded White Rabbit for Alice and a dwarf that hung from a tree for Snow White. Which of the seven dwarves, you ask? Un-Happy, of course!

I especially enjoyed the set pieces used in the latter two scenes — a pair of trees and a water wheel in Snow White’s forest and then a large, colorful tea cup found in Wonderland. Another eye catching sequence was found at the end of the attraction when we traversed a front yard and then several rooms in the accompanying house.

As visually impressive as all of the scenes were such inspiration did not lend itself to execution. For various reasons the actors in these prime areas just didn’t muster up a scare worthy of such settings. For instance, the room with the wall of televisions that I mentioned earlier featured a scare that depended almost entirely on timing and unfortunately the  technological and human elements were simply not in sync.

Two scenes in particular that I thought were loaded with potential was the aforementioned sideshow and the closet near the end of the attraction. The sideshow was neatly dressed with whimsical banners that advertised the oddballs who populated the big top. In the middle of the room was a large box but it’s potential went widely unrealized. Similarly, the closet which had clothes hanging in front of our eyes failed to capitalize on the creativity that went into designing the room.

I had also noticed that the actresses portraying Snow White and Alice were different from the pair who usually staffed those positions. I knew this because it was this duo who had joined Mr. Dehring for the interview mentioned near the beginning of this review. The original tandem was very effective in their respective roles and unfortunately their stand-ins didn’t own the characters in quite the same way. I would later learn that the girls had experienced a bit of haunt fatigue and were actually stationed at other positions in the attraction.

It’s a shame that the best scenes weren’t accompanied by more powerful scares and startles because the Wyandotte Jaycees did a lot of good things with Bloodbath on Biddle. The attraction spanned two floors, sported a large and mostly vocal cast, and lasted for more than twenty minutes. The attraction made use of false doors, integrated props well, and featured cool artwork and several detailed scenes. I hope to see the group build on these successes in the seasons to come.

Rating: 3.25 stars

Slaughtered, Terrified, and Muddy

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2013 by bluefall8

It was a long and enjoyable night of haunting for John, Cikalo, and I. We’d like to offer our thanks to Ken and his crew at Slaughter House for being such gracious hosts — it was there that we completed the haunted hat trick with trips through Slaughter House Barn, Haunted Maze, and Bloodbath and Beyond Hayride!

We marveled at the cornstalks which we estimated to be somewhere between twelve and thirteen feet tall; easily the biggest we’ve ever witnessed. We’ve saw some big ones before too, in 2010 The Haunted Farm in Pleasantville, Ohio sported stalks of corn so large we swore that they’d been gorged on the blood of innocents. Indeed, even that beastly crop was topped by the maize afforded at Slaughter House. We even watched as one middle-aged woman shambled drunkenly into the dense corn to urinate, and when she reemerged the cornstalks shifted and swayed violently as if a Sasquatch or a pack of wolves was about to emerge; a comical feast for the eyes!

When we had disembarked from the Bloodbath and Beyond Hayride we cut a swift path to the car, the hour had grown late and we still had a date with the Terrorfied Forest and Manor in Pinckney. In our haste I failed to notice a large trailer hitch that jutted out from the rear of a pickup truck — my shin took the full force of the impact and I hit the ground like a ton of bricks. My cohorts could only laugh at my plight as I rolled about on the ground and spat curses, but there was another haunt to get to so I bucked up and hobbled my way to the vehicle despite the fact that Cikalo believed my leg to be broken (it wasn’t).

Terrorfied Forest and Manor turned out to be an interesting and fun haunted attraction despite its’ various shortcomings. The Manor itself was all to brief for my liking but the Terrorfied Forest proved to be longer than expected and offered a few surprises as well. As with every attraction we visit I’ll have full reviews posted in the days and weeks to come.

In other news, Horror Month continued to roar on this weekend at Mud Puppet Studios. We now have a trailer posted that chronicles everything viewers can expect from the Mud Puppets during the season of screams. Furthermore, just today we uploaded the latest cable access episode to our YouTube channel, the aptly titled Murder Mystery featured interviews with the Wyandotte Jaycees and Reverend Thaddeus Doogoody. We also showcased two sketches, a clip from 2012’s Our Muddy Nightmare, and a video from our jaunt through Bloodbath on Biddle!