Archive for the catacombs

2014 Star Ratings

Posted in Star Ratings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2015 by bluefall8

This list is not meant to be used 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 (and that happened often in 2014) those attractions are listed in 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.

2014 STAR RATINGS

1. Centralia County Fair – 4.5 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

2. Dark Legacy – 4.5 (Wixom, MI.)

3. Exit 13 – 4.5 (Mt. Morris, MI.)

4. Hush – 4.5 (Westland, MI.)

5. Bloodview – 4.25 (Broadview Heights, OH.)

6. Zombie Uprising at Braxton Estate – 4.25 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

7. 13 Feet Under – 4 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

8. The Asylum – 4 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

9. Centralia Mental Facility – 4 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

10. House of Nightmares 3D – 4 (Pontiac, MI.)

11. The Mind Shaft – 4 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

12. Psycho Path – 4 (Flat Rock, MI.)

13. The Realm of Darkness – 4 (Pontiac, MI.)

14. Alien Caged Clowns – 3.75 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

15. Corpse Barn Shock Haunt – 3.75 (Napoleon, MI.)

16. Ultimate Haunted Barn – 3.75 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

17. District 13 – 3.5 (The Fear Experience – Parma, OH.)

18. Hayride of the Lost – 3.5 (Wiard’s Night Terrors – Ypsilanti, MI.)

19. The Crypt – 3.25 (Burton, MI.)

20. St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum – 3.25 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

21. The Catacombs & The Rusthole – 3 (Darksyde Acres – Jonesville, MI.)

22. The Dark Abyss – 2.75 (Darksyde Acres – Jonesville, MI.)

23. Fō-bē-ə – 2.75 (Wyandotte, MI.)

24. The Haunted Funeral Home – 1.25 (Inkster, MI.)

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A Drift on the Darksyde

Posted in 2014, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2014 by bluefall8

It was growing late on that windswept, rainy Saturday night; cell reception was spotty at best and we had to make a decision which haunt to hit after departing the Corpse Barn Shock Haunt. The original plan had us heading to Shawhaven Haunted Farm in Mason but that attraction was set to close at 11pm and was more than a half hour drive; the Boneyard in Stockbridge was roughly the same distance too but we feared their respective outdoor events may be closed due to the weather.

With all these factors in place the decision was made for us — our friends at Darksyde would be going strong until 12:30am and thus we departed for the dirt roads of Jonesville. When we arrived it was to find that the rain, if anything, had fell even harder in this neck of the woods but the place was aglow with the signature lights that ring the former pig farm. We snagged up our tickets and made for the entrance of the main attraction — The Catacombs and The Rusthole.

THE CATACOMBS & THE RUSTHOLE SEETHE DEATH & DECAY

The queue area has a presence all its own and there we encountered several old friends — the well-fed Dr. Ick and the sultry Lex Lethal. Group by group were swallowed by the darkness and it wasn’t long before it was our turn to descend into The Catacombs.

We were first assailed by a gangly, long-haired, snarling fellow with a mad glint in his eye — I think Dr. Ick had been stealing his lunch because he hungrily stalked us to the entrance of the tombs. The Catacombs itself seemed to be longer than in years past as a variety of undead creatures screamed, scowled and threatened us along the way.

The storied clown area was put to use again although it was missing some familiar faces. Where was the intimidating Bubbles or his rambunctious brother Pickles?! Absent too was their bushy-haired, incestuous mother as well as the boy’s pale-faced, spunky sister with the dynamite body! Indeed, this quartet had set the bar high during previous visits and while the current infestation of clowns were enjoyable in their own right, they’ll need some time to gel as a group before they can aspire to such lofty heights.

And of course it just wouldn’t be a trip to Darksyde without a mention of provocative haunt hotties who sway and gyrate in shadowed recesses. One of the femme fatales had escaped her cage and was found at a very peculiar angle with one leg hooked over the outside of the cage bars. Let us not forget too, Casey the resident pool dancer, who does her thing in the bowels of The Rusthole to the throbbing sounds of quality rock music.

Rating: 3 stars

CAPTAIN KARCASS, LADY CHOP CHOP SHINE BRIGHT ON DARK ABYSS

When we emerged from oppressive dark of The Rusthole it was to find the night even more chilly and wet; so we sought shelter with the damned souls aboard the Dark Abyss.

We found Captain Karcass in rather jovial spirits although his new first mate was rather burly and unfriendly. The good captain did seem a little short on busty wenches this year; perhaps a few had finally succomb to the cocktail of 17th century diseases that Captain Karcass likes to pass around? However, still aboard was the Queen of the Wenches, the ever-present Lady Chop Chop who was as witty, vivacious and dangerous as ever she was.

Other notable instances aboard the Dark Abyss included a camouflaged creature who gave us a proper scare and an encounter with the tall, gaunt man and a mysterious, unnamed wench who threatened to strangle me with some hanging chains. I was able to buy my mates some time to flee when I caught the sea bound harlot off guard and offered to hang myself.

Rating: 2.75 stars

Once the Dark Abyss had docked and we disembarked, several members of my party required a pit stop and so I wandered the Darksyde Carnivale in search of entertainment. There I watched Ringmaster Baiter (that’s pronounced Bat-E-Aye, you degenerates) eat glass and drive a nail into his nasal cavity.

I couldn’t get a steady signal to my phone and had yet to reconnect with my friends, but the hour was growing late so I beat a hasty path for The Catacombs & Rusthole once more. I talked for a few minutes with the young guy at the front of the queue line who mentioned something very strange indeed. He asked me to let him know if I came across an apparition of a man in a bathtub on the third floor of The Rusthole. I didn’t even know there was a second floor of The Rusthole, let alone a third. His story sounded like something out of The Shining or 1408.

Here I was, set to reenter the attraction all on my lonesome armed with a strange ghost story and fresh goosebumps crawling on my flesh. I later paused near the end of The Catacombs when I encountered that crypt dweller Ricter Mortis, another Darksyde mainstay. I told ole Ricter the tale of the specter and he seemed to snicker at my quest to uncover the truth. He soon added that in order to see the bathtub ghost one must first suck the toes of yet another apparition. This was starting to sound like a lot of work to see one dead dude in a bathtub. I never did come across any spirits but the whole story did get my heart racing at bit faster, especially when I was faced with the dark of The Rusthole by myself.

The adverse weather did put something of a damper on the evening and overall Darksyde Acres felt as if it may have been suffering from a few growing pains, but make no mistake this remains a unique outpost on the haunted landscape. There is immense potential for expansion and there has been some talk amongst ownership of turning that potential into a reality in the not too distant future.

There is a dark magnetism that stalks the grounds and permeates the air of Darksyde Acres and its legend has only just begun to ensnare the hearts and minds of all who dare to visit.

Adults Only at Darksyde Acres A Must See

Posted in 2012, Darksyde Acres, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2013 by bluefall8

Darksyde Acres is a haunted attraction not quite like any other. You won’t find an army of flashy animatronics here, nor is the show exactly old school — hell, it really isn’t anything in between either. Darksyde Acres is entirely something else. Having visited the location previously in 2011 I knew my group and I were in for an unforgettable night of haunting on November 3, 2012 — the night Darksyde admitted adults only.

A phrase like that can produce a lot of images for a reader and prospective customer, and that’s precisely the point. I’m not going to give away all the surprises either but suffice it to say, you’ll see and experience things on this night that you aren’t likely to see at many other attractions. I know I haven’t and I’ve visited a lot of haunted attractions. By and large the cast and crew at Darksyde Acres is deranged, energetic, and willing to take the act just about as far as any given patron is willing to push it. Oh, I’m not kidding — go ahead, push it.

After purchasing our tickets we headed first for the new maze, The Labyrinth! This attraction isn’t haunted but it was actually a lot of fun and likely the hardest maze we’ve encountered at any haunted attraction. Without the occasion ghoul to correct your path it’s easy to become a bit disoriented — when we initially arrived at the entrance a couple who had been lost inside for half an hour was just emerging. Although truth be told that may have been due to some spur of the moment hanky-panky and when I jokingly presented that possibility to them it was meet with giggles. A young guy dressed as a panda was the gatekeeper here and we had numerous and interesting conversations with him throughout the night — Richard somehow mistook him for a girl, revealing this to me during a conversation while we were lost in the maze.

“She smelled good,” he said. As I peered about the maze for an available opening I turned to him and replied, “Who?” He answered with, “The Panda.” I looked at him quizzically, wondering if he was making a joke but he seemed completely genuine. We both paused, momentarily forgetting that we were lost in a maze. He left me with no choice but to matter-of-factly state, “That was…a guy.” There was an awkward pause and then Richard said, “Oh…well…he smelled good.” Just one of those little things that only seem to happen when you’re out haunting with friends.

THE CATACOMBS AND RUSTHOLE SET TO TITILLATE

As we approached the main entrance we saw a sexy girl performing various eye-catching moves with a hoola-hoop, meanwhile a split-tongued fellow with a blue mohawk beckoned us to enter inside the feature presentation.

Beyond this door is a large queue area dotted with a variety of scenes guests must first wind their way past, and oh what a trek it was. It was here that we came across the first of many haunt hotties to populate the attraction. One dressed as a bunny (a really hot bunny) was full of pep, her counterpart was a dead school girl (a really hot dead school girl) who acted innocently enough but held deliciously devilish deeds in her eyes. The pair accompanied us to the front of the line, entertaining us the whole way — they even made Cikalo dance under the threat of entering the haunted house by himself. Soon he and I entered the long hallway that transports guests into the belly of the beast. I soaked it all in knowing that this was the final night of the 2012 haunt season.

Within the confines of the Catacombs and Rusthole there were certainly some scares but what truly fueled this attraction on adults night was humor…and the transfixing sexiness of the female cast. It all added up to a frenzied night of fun and laughs. In one area a young man assailed us in nothing more than what can only be described as a nugget pouch and he was quite proud of this fact — gyrating his hips and pelvis before turning his backside at us and bouncing backward down a passageway chanting, “Boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty. Boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty, boo-ty.” It was ridiculous, but bless his heart he was determined not to let the girls have all the fun.

In another area we pushed our way through a series of hanging sheets, familiar music could be heard faintly in the distance. Something told me we would soon encounter the untamed harlequins known as Bubbles and Pickles. However, when we emerged from the jungle of sheets we found before us an interesting site indeed. A large, bushy haired woman stood before us, a  serene smile on her face. She was topless save for the miniature tortured faces that covered her breasts. She was very happy to see us, she spoke as if she knew us and as she did so the horrifying reality began to sink in — she thought we were the fathers of her children! So delighted by our return she flung open the door to her right and urged us to go meet our bastards. The room was bathed in the glow of a black light, neon-colored paint jumped out at us from every direction. The sounds of Creature Feature’s The Greatest Show Unearthed blared throughout the room — now I was positive that Pickles and Bubbles were near!

A curiosity to our left attracted our attention — it seemed to be a mannequin sitting a top a large box, one leg stretched out above it’s head. Surely this was a dummy of some sort. However it looked strangely alive, but no person could sit so still in such a position. Suddenly, she sprang to life. Yes, it was a she and a scorching hot one at that. Her petite frame moved with a creepy grace as she bobbed around us, ponytail swaying as she went. She wore a frilly skirt and little else, her barely covered breasts were the best instrument any hypnotist could ever ask for. Her face was painted white and beneath the black light the effect was both startling and alluring, like something from a vibrant nightmare. Obvious observations aside she was one of the most unique characters I’ve come across in all my travels to haunted attractions. As she spun and slunk her way around the room she was joined by her brother, the wise cracking Bubbles.

Bubbles however didn’t arrive alone — in his hand was an extra large member…not his own (geez, get your mind out of the gutter) but he threatened us with a good time all the same. All of a sudden a buzzing sound whooshed through my ears as I felt something tickle my hindquarters. The pale-faced beauty had snuck behind us and was engaging in her own brand of fun aided by an electronic baton. As we made our way through the rest of the room we encountered the youngest of the clown clan who seemed a bit more shy and nervous than his elder siblings, and finally there was Pickles. As we exited the room he followed us out where we again encountered the woman who had spawned these children, but before she could confront us for child support Pickles grabbed her from behind and began…well, pickling her. She cried out in ecstasy, we could only howl with laughter at this absurd example of incest.

Soon thereafter we encountered a tall and portly man who wore only a diaper and bore a striking resemblance to Sloth from The Goonies, given his stature and possible state of mind I decided it was best not to point out this particular observation. The path forward descended into complete darkness as the Rusthole took hold. There was a lot of groping, grabbing, and feeling about in this area…because it was so dark (my goodness, leave it alone you perverts)! We would encounter a couple more of Darksyde’s femme fatales before exiting the Rusthole including Casey the resident pole dancer.

I’ve experienced this attraction during a normal operating night (normal being a relative term to describe Darksyde Acres, of course) and now on a night when only adults were welcome and I can state without hesitation that both live up to expectations. I’ve come away both times with only a couple of complaints, the first being that a few more actors would’ve fleshed out the attraction nicely. There are a couple of areas where a scare would keep haunters on edge particularly while fumbling their way through the blacked out Rusthole. My second wish is that the attraction is expanded. I noticed a number of doors leading to various rooms that seem to be ripe for terror. And after what I’ve described above, who wouldn’t want to spend more time in this haunted house?!

Rating: 4.25 stars

DAMNED MARINERS, LUSTY WENCHES PROVIDE HAUNT ROMP ABOARD THE DARK ABYSS 

The Dark Abyss is a noticeably shorter haunted attraction than the lethal combo of The Catacombs and Rusthole but it’s filled with the same wanton spirit of raunchiness and unrelenting tomfoolery. The buxom wenches aboard this once sea fearing vessel possess a sharp wit and shaper weapons. Armed with acerbic attitudes and ample attributes they’ll entertain any wayward sailors with the stones to keep them company. Mind your tongue though or you might lose your head (and not the one between your shoulders). One feisty lass was affronted by our cheek and let it be known that the cleaver she held wasn’t just for show. One mysterious lady near the end of the attraction was so kind to show us the Captain’s bountiful treasure — and my word did he have a lot of treasure!

Rating: 3.5 stars

Darksyde Acres isn’t perfect; there’s room for improvement as well as expansion but it is like no other show you’ll see. The interaction here is so far above and beyond what the vast majority of haunted attractions have to offer — the cast is dedicated, friendly, and wonderfully weird. It was nearly closing time when we exited the final attraction and we made a pit stop near a large bonfire to warm up. A number of Darksyde’s denizens were gathered around as well and much laughter and craziness ensued. Memorable stories were swapped, the hoola-hoop hottie teased, and one freak in a kilt challenged a customer three times his size to a wrestling match. The good natured man accepted and the results were hilarious and wild. Darksyde Acres is a special outpost on the haunted landscape, one untouched by the traditional rules of the industry and unhindered by common societal mores.