Archive for Rochester

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.)

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Tunnel of Terror Conjures Ghost of Halloween Past

Posted in 2015, Review, Tunnel of Terror with tags , , , on October 23, 2015 by bluefall8

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We toured the Tunnel of Terror on just the second night of operation and while it was admittedly light on actors the Rochester Jaycees long-running trailer haunt did induce a nostalgia for the humble heyday of the haunted attraction industry.

The Tunnel of Terror featured a guided tour of sorts; a trickster ghoul haphazardly led us through the coiling darkness by the sound of his voice and with the aid of a small flashlight. He disappeared more often than not to shout basic orders and offer humorous, albeit deliberately obtuse observations.

The trek was punctuated by oppressive, pitch black halls and several jump scares; I was pleasantly surprised to hear a sound system in use which is too frequently ignored at non-profit organizations.

The Tunnel of Terror was a brief haunted attraction that clocked in at under five minutes and due to space limitations did not showcase many scenes but we did like a small toxic waste area that emitted an eerie glow and also enjoyed a creepy doll room; although an inventive scare or interesting character in the latter would’ve smacked an excellent exclamation point on the whole experience.

Rating: 3 stars

Horrorlust Radio Episode #016

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by bluefall8

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In episode #016 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined once again by fellow haunted attraction enthusiast, Mike Marvel.

In this installment of Horrorlust Radio, Mike and I continued our discussion of haunted houses, specifically how such attractions can succeed or fail on the strength of a finale.

This edition of Horrorlust Radio also featured interviews with the cast and crew of TNT Productions stage performance of Night of the Living Dead. Also included is an interview with Corey from Past Tense After Dark.

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 016

SHOW NOTES

Thank you to the latest sponsor of Horrorlust Radio, Krazy Hilda’s!

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Join me for Night of the Living Dead this Saturday at James R. Desana Center for Arts & Culture located at 81 Chestnut Street in Wyandotte!

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch may not feature the iconic Michael Myers but it did introduce a generation of impressionable youths to the hypnotic tune of the Silver Shamrock commercial. As a child I was quite horrified by the images of those masks that rotted the heads of countless unsuspecting kids.

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

“Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (Single, 1962)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Theatrical Trailer, 1982

“Night Wraiths” by Nox Arcana (Grimm Tales, 2008)

Silver Shamrock Commercial from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, 1982

“Darkly Everafter” by Nox Arcana (Grimm, 2008)

 

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Past Tense After Dark Delivers the Fright Stuff

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2015 by bluefall8

Following another Saturday night in the great month of October, we placed two more notches in the old belt after maiden visits to Tunnel of Terror in Rochester and Past Tense After Dark in Lapeer.

Tunnel of Terror brought me back to my youth with an old school trailer haunt that pressed in on us from all sides. The pitch black passages and sparse scenery struck the right tone and left me brimming with ideas. Past Tense After Dark was a pure delight which exceeded expectations with a professional cast, superior detailing and a penchant for humor. The House of Horrors, in particular, succeeded on several fronts and rocketed to the top of the best of list for 2015.

Full reviews to be posted in the coming weeks, of course. Thanks to Paul and Dan at the Tunnel of Terror as well as Nick and Corey at Past Tense After Dark for being gracious and knowledgeable hosts. It’s always fun to talk haunts and I enjoyed picking your brains. Corey even shared a great local ghost story — you can’t beat that!

Crisp Air, Fresh Haunts

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2015 by bluefall8

It will be a night of first time visits for us tonight and I don’t think there’s anything more exciting during the month of October than the chance to tour never-before-seen haunted attractions.

First, we’ll check in with the Rochester Jaycees at the Tunnel of Terror! The Tunnel of Terror is a so-called trailer or modular haunt and quite frankly I have a bit of a thing for trailer haunts. The trailer haunt and other scrappy volunteer efforts formed the very foundation that the haunted house industry was built on, so any time I discover one I relish the opportunity to pass through its halls. There simply aren’t that many trailer haunts left in this area; I believe the last time I paid one a visit was four years ago.

We plan to cap the night off at Past Tense After Dark in Lapeer which boasts three attractions — Hayride of Despair, Cornmaze of Fear and The House of Horrors. Past Tense After Dark is one of a handful of attractions that I’ve yearned to visit for a couple of years now and I’m happy to finally see a trip manifest.

Originally, I had hoped we could also visit Scott’s Haunted Corn Maze, Hayride and Rooms of Terror but given the number of attractions between it and Past Tense After Dark, I think we’d be cutting it a bit too close. It’s a shame as we will pass Oxford on our way to and from Lapeer but such is the life of a haunter.

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.