Archive for taco bell

2014 Fear Finder Cover Art Released

Posted in News with tags , , , on August 31, 2014 by bluefall8

There’s no better prelude to the haunt season than to jump on the Internet to find that the cover of the 2014 Fear Finder has been released; and on the last day of August no less! The release of the Fear Finder is just one of the many fall traditions I enjoy as a Michigan boy. According to several sources the Fear Finder will hit the streets on Friday, September 12 and let there be no doubt that I’ll visit my usual stomping grounds until I’ve obtained a copy.

This year’s cover features a Nosferatu-style vampire and he seems to be fleeing a would-be attack through a candle-lit chamber whilst our hapless hero is left to fend off an army of bats. I love the atmosphere created by the artwork and find myself particularly partial to the detailed features on the face and heads of the monster. The 2014 cover is yet another worthy addition in a long line of memorable artwork.

The Fear Finder first fascinated me as a child when my brother and I found it at a Taco Bell inside the Southland Mall during the mid-90’s. I can remember thumbing through it as we ate lunch and imagined we would visit so many of the spooky places that beckoned to us from the pages within.

I made it a point to collect the Fear Finder while in college but a couple of my copies were discarded during a move in 2005. Currently, I possess at least one copy of every issue since 2006 and am actively trying to track down every issue prior to that dating back to the inception of the paper when it was merely referred to as the Halloween Events Newspaper.

If there are any other Fear Finder collectors out there (or pack rats as my wife calls us); shoot me an email here: horrorlust@bluestarproductions.net

On first impression this cover put me in mind of the science lab featured on the 2004 edition of the Fear Finder.

On first impression this cover put me in mind of the science lab featured on the 2004 edition of the Fear Finder.

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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.

2013 Fear Finder Cover Art Released

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2013 by bluefall8

I’ll admit that I find myself a bit stunned that the haunt season is nearly upon us once again, but boy am I excited. The cover art for the 2013 Fear Finder was released today with word that the celebrated annual newspaper will hit the streets, appropriately, on Friday the 13th! There’s a lot going on with this cover and I like it; that witch may be ugly but once upon a time she was rockin’ some serious knockers. There is a special sort of magic that comes with laying eyes on a new edition for the first time and I cannot wait to clutch it in my greedy fists this Friday!

I think I’ll try to pick up my copy at an area Taco Bell this year as it is the place I first discovered the treasured rag so many moons ago. On a related note, I’ve made a habit of collecting the Fear Finder in recent years; currently I possess copies from 2006 to present. I lost my copies of the 2004 and 2005 editions some years ago in a move and it’s irked me ever since. I’d love to replace those and in addition complete the collection with past issues dating back to its inception. If any readers have past issues or can put me in contact with somebody that does please leave a comment or email me here: joel@bluestarproductions.net

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Blood Bath and Beyond Hayride Wows with Creativity

Posted in 2012, Review, Slaughter House Adventure with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2012 by bluefall8

We arrived at Slaughter House Adventure later than I would have liked and because of this we would ultimately miss the opportunity to check out the Haunted Maze nor would a return trip through the now legendary barn manifest — none of this however was going to stop me from enjoying the Blood Bath and Beyond Hayride! When we arrived at the loading area we found a few other haunters milling about — kindred spirits as it turned out. As is our custom, we swapped stories from the road and the most interesting they had to tell concerned a little known haunt in St. Charles, Michigan called Village of the Living Dead. I read a little about it last year and thought it sounded intriguing but after hearing it described by these haunters as “terrifying” I find myself penciling it in for the 2013 haunt season. After a bit of back and forth, our wagon arrived and we were in for a full half hour amidst the cornfield and through the woods.

The Blood Bath and Beyond Hayride takes its cues from the Slaughter House Barn very well — fusing elements of comedy and illusion with basic haunt fundamentals. The result is a spooky fun ride through the Fowlerville wilderness highlighted by unique visual effects and quirky characters.

In the early stages of our journey the wagon was assaulted by clowns and then briefly accompanied by the Headless Horseman; we even saw a movie come to life — in a manner of speaking. While riding through the woods we witnessed a melee of odd folk, such as the fisherman who taunted us when our tractor had trouble pulling through his fishing hole and a man named Ed who had a liking for, what else, the dead. Elsewhere — a nutter swung between trees armed with a chainsaw, a super-sized vulture eyed us hungrily, and one poor fellow was found doubled over a barrel puking his guts out whilst he lamented his choice of Taco Bell for dinner!

And the madness didn’t stop there. Near the woods’ edge we encountered an alien crash site where some bloke prattled on about being the victim of a probing, we witnessed the escape of Harry Potter’s evil twin, and stood aside as an Army gunner mowed down some shambling zombies.

My favorite startle scares however occurred while we were still in the woods — the first took place just after we’d fled Ed and his dead. The headlights of a car could be seen to our right off in the woods and the car began a mad dash toward our wagon! I won’t give away the entire scene as not to spoil it but suffice it to say that the entire sequence was pulled off surprisingly well — it’s amazing what a little attention to details like perspective and timing can do. The second gag involved a couple of ghouls who had taken to chopping down a tree and they didn’t exactly have our safety in mind. It was a neat trick that I’ve yet to witness on any other haunted hayride.

The conclusion of the hayride did not disappoint either as it featured a wonderful set piece, an anarchist pyromaniac, and a surprise return! It made for a fitting end to a very fun and interesting haunted hayride. There was certainly a lot of production value put into the Blood Bath and Beyond Hayride and quite frankly there are things here that the average haunter just isn’t likely to see at most other hayrides. When you consider the amount of attractions at Slaughter House Adventure and the detail and planning put into each, it’s easy to see that this location offers haunters a great bang for the buck.

Rating: 4.25 stars