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2013 Horrorlust Haunt Award Nominations

Posted in Awards with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2014 by bluefall8

As the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show rolls on in St. Louis; the time as come to recognize the best haunted offerings of the 2013 season. We here at Horrorlust present nine dreadful categories , the original seven include: Monster, Killer Automatons, Eerie Vibrations, Pulse Pounder, Dark Horse, Rotten Pumpkin and finally, Haunt of the Year. In 2011 we added the Prop Master and Samhain Awards.

Below are descriptions for each category accompanied by this years’ nominees. All cities listed in parenthesis are located in the State of Michigan unless otherwise noted.

Rotten Pumpkin – The Rotten Pumpkin award is given to the haunt considered to be the most disappointing of the season. Disappointment may be the result of an over hyped marketing campaign or the failure of the haunt to live up to expectations set forth in previous seasons. Whatever the case may be let there be no doubt that the haunt receiving this unwanted distinction truly dropped the ball, failing to provide a worthwhile show.

2013 Rotten Pumpkin Nominees: 

3-Story Haunted Barn (Blake’s – Armada)

Realm of Darkness (Pontiac)

Scream Machine (Taylor)

Eerie Vibrations – The Eerie Vibrations award is given to the haunt considered to exude the best overall atmosphere. Atmosphere is defined by the mood of the haunt itself but can also be fostered by immediate grounds or even the surrounding area.

2013 Eerie Vibrations Nominees:

Exit 13 (Mt. Morris)

Terrorfied Forest (Terrorfied Forest & Manor – Pinckney)

Village of the Living Dead (St. Charles)

Dark Horse – The Dark Horse award is given to the haunt considered to have the most potential for growth. Criteria for this award include the ability to deliver an entertaining show at a relatively small venue and at a reduced rate. Think of the Dark Horse award as our way of recognizing the little haunt that could.

2013 Dark Horse Nominees:

Bloodbath on Biddle (Wyandotte)

Hillside Mortuary (Terrorfied Forest & Manor – Pinckney)

Realm of Haunted Minds (Romulus)

Killer Automatons – The Killer Automatons award is given to the haunt that best integrates animatronics into its attraction. When determining this award several factors are considered including timing, prop placement, realism, and sheer wow effect.

2013 Killer Automatons Nominees:

Erebus (Pontiac)

Jackson’s Underworld (Jackson)

Realm of Darkness (Pontiac)

Monster – The Monster award is given to the haunt considered to have the best live actors of the season. In order to claim this award workers must display a certain level of intensity as well as a refusal to break character. Also crucial is the ability to improvise lines or actions when adapting to an individual guest or group.

2013 Monster Nominees:

Exit 13 (Mt. Morris)

Hush (Westland)

Sinister (Utica)

Prop Master – The Prop Master award is given to the haunt considered to have best implemented props into the attraction. A prop may be considered a piece of furniture, a weapon, or a dummy. The haunt that claims this award will have paid special attention to placement, function, and realism.

2013 Prop Master Nominees:

Bloodbath on Biddle (Wyandotte)

Slaughter House (Slaughter House Adventure – Fowlerville)

Hillside Mortuary (Terrorfied Forest & Manor – Pinckney)

Pulse Pounder – The Pulse Pounder award is given to the haunt considered to be the most intense attraction of the season. Intensity can be gauged by a number of factors including commitment of actors, gory or realistic scenes, and harsh or loud music and sound effects. However, the most important element when considering this award is genuine fear factor.

2013 Pulse Pounder Nominees:

Exit 13 (Mt. Morris)

Purgatory’s Revenge (New Haven)

Village of the Living Dead (St. Charles)

Samhain – This award recognizes the most enjoyable night of haunting in a given season. A plethora of factors are considered when deciding this award but at the end of the season it comes down to the night of haunting that provided us with the most scares, laughs, and memories.

2013 Samhain Nominees:

October 25, 2013 (Blake’s, Purgatory’s Revenge, Slaughtered at Sundown)

October 30, 2013 (Bloodbath on Biddle, Hush, Scream Machine)

November 1, 2013 (Exit 13 & Village of the Living Dead)

Haunt of the Year – The Haunt of Year award is given to the haunt considered to be the best overall attraction of the season. When deciding on this award several factors are taken into consideration including the timing and intensity of actors, the pace and length of the haunt, attention to detail, use of special effects, realism of props, and most importantly the lasting imprint left on guests.

2013 Haunt of the Year Nominees:

Erebus (Pontiac)

Hush (Westland)

Village of the Living Dead (St. Charles)

For awards from 2010-2012 consult the “Awards” category listed in the sidebar to the right. A comprehensive list of past winners will be posted mid-week with the 2013 winners being released one week from today.

HauntWorld #35

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2014 by bluefall8
Consummate the marriage? I'll pass!

Consummate the marriage? I’ll pass!

I found the latest issue of HauntWorld Magazine inside my mail box last week and after reading it, I thought it high time to interact with all of you wonderful creeps once more. If you want a little nostalgic eye candy, check out the Fright Props ad on page 5. The artwork and humor are reminiscent of that found in EC Comics; it’s spooky fun and very colorful.

Issue #35 featured articles on five haunted attractions — Hex House, Atrox Factory, Legends: A Haunting at Old Town, The Darkness, and Wiard’s Orchards’ Night Terrors. I found the articles on Legends: A Haunting at Old Town and Wiard’s Orchards’ Night Terrors of particular interest.

HAUNTED SANDBOX

Legends is based in Kissimmee, Florida and is open to guests not only during the Halloween season, but indeed the entire calendar year. Every Tuesday through Sunday the ghouls prowl the halls of Ashdown and Son’s Undertakers and any warm body willing to pay the price of admission can get themselves a scare.

Surely, such a breakneck schedule would lead to repetition and familiarity for visitors or burn out for actors. However, this isn’t the case because Legends employs an innovative approach to scareactor management, says co-owner Jim Shackelford, “We designed our show to be a playground. The haunt actors can, and do, go anywhere.”

That kind of flexibility is a crucial element to the success of haunted attractions. I’ve witnessed first hand how this strategy can positively impact the overall quality of a show. Actors should be granted the freedom to roam and to adapt their performance for different guests. Do you want your cast to unleash its full potential? Then provide the ultimate canvas onto which their nightmarish vision can best be painted.

The best firsthand example I have witnessed was the team at Sinister in Utica. During a visit there last fall I had the opportunity to talk to the owner/operator at length and he explained that this was something on which he placed a strong emphasis.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

There simply aren’t many major haunted attractions that we haven’t visited in Michigan, but Wiard’s Orchards’ Night Terrors is one such location. Despite six attractions and an eye-catching ad in the Fear Finder, a combination of a mixed reviews and a hefty admission have kept me from penciling in Wiard’s for a visit. However, after reading the current HauntWorld feature, it may be time to reconsider.

Wiard’s first opened their marquee attraction, the Ultimate Haunted Barn in 1984, which according to HauntWorld is the oldest known barn haunt in the United States! 2014 will mark the establishment’s 30th anniversary, a fact that singularly suggests that the operators must be doing something right.  My interest is officially peaked and I’ll certainly do some research in preparation for a possible trip this fall.