Archive for Southgate

Halloween Hopscotch

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2020 by bluefall8

Halloween was, as it always seems to be, a surreal, mad dash toward that invisible veil that separates our world from the next. My son, Lincoln, and I got an early start on our hunt for candy and made a stop first to Churchill Cemetery in Southgate, which was, of course, the subject of a recent story here on Horrorlust.

Lincoln bravely walked through the cemetery gates where he was offered some treats at the end of a groundkeeper’s spade which I found to be a clever and effective way to safely dispense candy in a COVID-19 world. He posed for a picture with the towering Patches before we departed Churchill Cemetery and then, at a nearby house, semi-confidently informed a creepy jack-in-the-box that it was nothing more than an electronic.

Patches (left) and my 5-year-old son, Lincoln, at Adam Grignon’s Churchill Cemetery in Southgate, Michigan.

We hopped back into the car and came to rest next on London Street in Lincoln Park; this is the street that I grew up on. As my son is still a relatively young trick r’ treater, we pounded the pavement as the Sun still hung in the air which perhaps explained the lack of houses that had yet to flick on a porch light. Lincoln didn’t notice of course, but I did, and the sight saddened me a bit.

As we visited some of the very same houses I did as a young child, I saw my memories layered over the present and I told my curious little boy stories from my own youth. All told, we probably spent an hour on the hunt and that was all Lincoln needed as he reasonably said to me, “I’m good, dad. I have enough candy.” Being a parent is humbling, and ironic, and sometimes heartbreaking; it’s also the most worthwhile endeavor I’ve ever experienced.

Yours truly (left) donning the mask of The Misfits iconic Fiend, Lincoln (right) appears amused by the rictus grin looming behind us.

As the Sun began to set, Lincoln was excited to attend a kid’s Halloween Party with his mom. Meanwhile, I hit the road with a few members of our own haunted house crew including my girlfriend, Shirley, to return to the Haunted Hydro in Fremont, Ohio for the first time in a decade. Although, I did attend a limited amount of haunts this season, of those, Crazy Bob and the gang far and away ran the most efficient operation tailored to COVID-19.

A lot had changed since my last visit in 2010, but the overall charm of the place was alive and well. The theme played loosely with the current pandemic, and offered a tagline that read, “Curse or the Cure.” The outdoor maze, Curzed Woods, was a tangle of fun highlighted by a lively cast and a full moon that sent silver rays of light glistening across the bubbling surface of the Sandusky River.

Once free, we enjoyed a stroll through a makeshift museum which detailed the long history of the Haunted Hydro, a history that I was pleasantly surprised to learn included the Fremont Jaycees.

The main attraction located inside the former hydro-electric dam itself, Cure Family’s Bizarre Bazaar, did not disappoint either, dotted with an array of highly-detailed rooms full of whimsy and fright. Our favorites included a skeletal, high school band, a curiously padded cell, and a series of interesting freak show displays near the conclusion of the attraction.

The entire affair came to an end in bales of laughter when Jaclyn, Shirley’s impish, 17-year-old cousin, who I affectionately (and sometimes disparagingly) refer to as Frankenstein, unwittingly purchased a pair of bondage bracelets which she believed to be a spooky necklace.