Archive for waterford

Horrorlust Radio is Hatched

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by bluefall8

I’m pleased and excited to bring to you the inaugural edition of Horrorlust Radio! My plan is to release a new episode of this podcast each and every week throughout the Halloween season and then once-a- month beginning in December. Each episode will be featured here on Horrorlust but will soon be on other forums as well such as iTunes.

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

In this frist episode of Horrorlust Radio I’m joined by my brother, Jason, to discuss sensationalism and hyperbole in haunted attraction advertisements. We also debate how those same ads, in addition to various news outlets and previous visits form customers’ year-to-year expectations of haunted attractions.

This episode also features the debut of two original Horrorlust Radio segments, Lost to Time and Oddments & Urban Legends. The former pays tribute to haunted attractions that are no longer in operation, today we lay to rest the beloved Extreme Scream. In the latter segment we debate the merit of various urban legends, focusing this week on whether or not mummies were once used to fuel locomotives.

Also, we delve into the origins of modern haunted attractions and what role the Jaycees has played in popularizing this unique form of entertainment. Finally, we recount the harrowing tale of our fabled 2010 visit to Demonic Demons in Detroit.

Email any questions or comments to the address above or feel welcome to post any reactions to this podcast in the comments section below.

Welcome to Horrorlust Radio.

HORRORLUST RADIO: EPISODE 001 

SHOW NOTES

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a three-part series of children’s books, which as the title suggests, contains spooky stories derived from urban legends and folklore. Written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell, the book was originally released in 1981. The series continued appropriately on October 31, 1984 with the release of More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and concluded with the 1991 release of Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.

Pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel.

Pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel.

The Woods of Darkness promotional video that was mentioned briefly during the podcast was shot during the course of the 2010 haunt season. The operators there began using it the following year and credited their surge in attendance that season to the video. The Woods of Darkness is located at 11665 Haggerman Road in South Rockwood, Michigan.

Here is a link to that video: Will You Survive the Horror of the Woods?

During the Oddments & Urban Legends segment I referenced a poem by Charles Webb, here’s a link to a Slate.com article where you can not only read the poem but also here the author read it himself: Mummies to Burn

Lastly, the musical pieces and audio clip featured in this episode are referenced below in the order that each played during the podcast.

“People Who Died” by Jim Carroll Band (Catholic Boy, 1980)

“Gargoyles Over Copenhagen” by The Nekromantix (Return of the Loving Dead, 2002)

Peter, from George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978)

“Life is a Grave and I Dig It!” by The Nekromantix (Life is a Grave and I Dig It!, 2007)

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The Haunt List

Posted in Hallowblog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2014 by bluefall8

As you’ll shortly read, I was still toying with an alternate name for Hallowblog when this was first written; however the name would ultimately stick.

I suppose this can be viewed as my own pared down version of the Fear Finder; over the years I did end up visiting the majority of these haunted attractions. As of 2013, 15 of the 22 attractions listed remained in operation in some form.

The curtain fell on Deadly Intentions in 2012 although The Deadland currently uses the same building. The Lab and Chainsaw Creek last ran in 2009. To the best of my knowledge, Scare Grounds at the Fairgrounds closed up after 2008 and  Death Sentence, Motor City Massacre and Nox were open only during the 2007 season. This was originally posted October 4, 2007.

I’ve compiled a list of haunted attractions I’d like to visit this season, I realize it is quite unlikely that I make it to each of these but this list is simply meant to serve as a general guideline. If any of these sound interesting just let me know and we’ll make the trek you rotten bastards. Jason and Disco have served as my fellow haunt-goers the last three years but we wouldn’t mind a few new faces.

In other Halloween news, I’ve decided against running the companion blog to the Halloween themed Word of the Week. No worries though, I have plenty other Halloween content to provide and it is quite likely that anything that would have appeared in the companion blog will simply be infused into this column, Hallowblog. And that brings me to my next point; I’ve received no suggestions for an alternate blog title so that means I’ll pick one of my own making in the coming days.

If you’re looking for on-screen horror check out Flight of the Living Dead which was released on DVD October 2. No, I haven’t watched it but c’mon it’s got zombies. 28 Weeks Later will also be available on DVD October 9. At theatres horror fans can watch Resident Evil: Extinction, Saw IV premiering October 26, or the vampire thriller 30 Days of Night beginning October 19.

That’s all the news I have for now so look over the list below and tell me what strikes your haunting fancy.

In no particular order:

The Scream Machine & Carnevil of Lost Souls

Taylor, MI./$12 for Scream Machine or $16 for both

Hours: Sun-Thurs: 7-11, Fri-Sat: 7-Midnight

Run Dates: 9/27-11/4

The Lab

Grosse Ile, MI./$12

Hours: Sun-Thurs: 7-11, Fri-Sat: 7-Midnight

Run Dates: 9/28-10/31

Anxiety Alley

Lincoln Park, MI./$6

Hours: 7-11

Run Dates: 10/12-13, 19-21, 26-30

Erebus

Pontiac, MI./$20

Hours: Sun-Thurs: 7-11, Fri: 7-1, Sat: 6-1

Run Dates: 9/28-11/3

The Realm of Darkness

Pontiac, MI./$19

Hours: Sun-Thurs: Tix on sale @ 7:30, Fri-Sat: Tix on sale @ 7

Run Dates: 9/21-23, 28-30, 10/5-7, 11-14, 18-31

Terrortown

Maumee, OH./$10 for main attraction or $16 for three

Hours: Sun: 7:30-10, Fri-Sat: 7:30-Midnight, Halloween: 7:30-10

Run Dates: Fri, Sat, Sun starting 9/28-10/28, also 10/31

Chainsaw Creek

Toledo, OH./$10 per house or $20 for all four

Hours: Sun-Thurs: Dark-11, Fri-Sat: Dark-Midnight

Run Dates: 9/28-10/15 (Thurs-Sun), 10/18-10/31

Scare Grounds at the Fairgrounds

Michigan State Fairgrounds/$13

Hours: Sun-Thurs: 7-11, Fri-Sat: 7-Midnight

Run Dates: 10/12-10/31

Hell’s Hospital

Wyandotte, MI./$10

Hours: Sun & Thurs: 7-10, Fri-Sat: 7-Midnight, Mon & Wed (Halloween week) 7-10

Run Dates: 10/6-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-31

Realm of Haunted Minds

Romulus, MI./$10

Hours: 7-10

Run Dates: 10/5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 29-30

The Carn-evil of Fear

Flat Rock, MI./$10

Hours: 8-11

Run Dates: 10/19-20, 26-27

Haunted Hill Acres

Belleville, MI./per event

Hours: Tix on sale @ 7

Dates: Every Thurs-Sun in October

Phantom Forest Hayrides

Grosse Ile, MI./$8

Hours: Fri-Sat: 7-11, Sun: 7-10

Run Dates: 9/28-30, 10/5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-30

The Pumpkin Factory

Belleville, MI./$6

Hours: Fri-Sat: 7-10, Sun: 7-9

Run Dates: Every Fri-Sun in October

Slaughtered at Sundown

Armada, MI./$12 or $20 for both attractions

Hours: Begins @ 7

Run Dates: 9/28-10/27 (Fri-Sat only), 10/21, 10/28

Blake’s Nighttime Spooky Hayrides

Armada, MI./Call for prices (586) 784-9710

Hours: Dusk-?

Run Dates: 9/28-29, every Fri-Sun in October

Fear Factory

Warren, MI./$17

Hours: 7-?

Run Dates: 9/21-23, 28-30, 10/4-7, 10-14, 17-31

Motor City Massacre

Roseville, MI./$15

Hours: 7-till the Massacre ends

Run Dates: 9/28-29, 10/5-7, 12-14, 18-31

Death Sentence

Waterford, MI./$12 (Sun-Wed), $15 (Thurs-Sat)

Hours: Sun-Wed: 7-11, Thurs-Sat: 7-1

Run Dates: 9/28-10/31

Nox

Troy, MI./$17

Hours: Weekdays: 7-11, Weekends: 7-1

Run Dates: 9/28-30, 10/3-7, 10-14, 17-31

Castle of the Dead

Lenox Township, MI./$16

Hours: Thurs & Sun: 7-11, Fri & Sat: 7-1

Run Dates: 9/28-30, 10/5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 25-31

Deadly Intentions

Warren, MI./$13

Hours: Weekdays: 7:30-11, Fri-Sat: 7:30-1

Run Dates: 9/21-30 (Fri-Sun only), 10/4-21 (Thurs-Sun only), 10/25-31

Old School Romp at Exit 13

Posted in 2012, Exit 13, Review with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2012 by bluefall8

Our final stop last Friday night brought us to Exit 13 in Mt. Morris just north of Flint. We pulled into the parking lot of a dilapidated building, brush ran wild in untended thickets — it looked as if the place had been abandoned for at least a decade. There was scarcely a crowd at the entrance, a lone group stood hesitantly outside the doors, a boy of roughly twelve was visibly crying — he had yet to enter the attraction — on the inside I had a laugh. We purchased our tickets from an unsettlingly quiet and stoney eyed senior citizen, the creep factor inched a bit higher. We walked to the front of the queue line as there wasn’t a wait — an obscure, low budget film was being projected on the far wall but we had no time for such table dressing the ghouls at Exit 13 awaited our arrival.

As it were a member of the group we had witnessed milling about nervously when we arrived decided he’d rather go with us. His name was Corey and he latched onto my arm as if I were his date for the night. We were greeted by a man who identified himself as Dr. John, doctor of what he did not say. Dr. John comically explained to us that there were no rules at Exit 13 and that the monsters within would indeed touch us and as he said this I felt a pair of hands grab my ankles, this would occur at various times throughout the haunt and it provided that spooky vibe that only an unseen menace can conjure up.

Exit 13 employed a minimalist approach — the whole of the attraction was dark and cold — and reminded me greatly of the old school stylings put forth at the Extreme Scream. By the way — does anybody know what’s become of the Extreme Scream? I miss it dearly. Exit 13 provided rooms with an interesting twist such as the darkly reflective tinfoil room and the narrow passage where a towering wall of water cooler jugs nearly buried us alive. The actors were something of a mixed bag, but the crew was plentiful and on average they performed admirably. A few of the workers did deliver lackluster scares and in one crucial scene a scare came far too late but the cast was lively and genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves.

We very much enjoyed the Christmas room which was cozy and yet some how horrific simultaneously. It’s neat to see a scene like this in a haunted attraction flush with Christmas decorations and lighting — a stark contrast indeed. It was here that an ill timed scare could’ve been so much more, we did give the evil helper ample opportunity to spring his trap but not every scare can be a work of art. Later on we stumbled upon an enthusiastic preacher who bullied us from his pulpit and commanded us sinners to step in the confessional. I thought for a moment that we would be locked inside of a small room and forced to repent but my anticipation soon diminished as we merely proceeded into the next hallway with no further interaction — yet another opportunity lost in my opinion.

Elsewhere we came upon a small window which afforded us the opportunity to peer inside of a bedroom (oh, kinky) that we would soon enter. I enjoy these type of features in haunted attractions because it adds a twist to the impending scare. The operators are giving you a glimpse of what you must face, a disturbed girl sat in front of a mirror combing her hair, but you know that this won’t be it — someone or something was bound to join her soon. We escaped this scene and proceeded to something neither John or I had witnessed before — a clear Womb of Doom?! It was an incredible and fanciful sight — suffocating inflatable walls pushed in on us from either side except they were a semi-clear plastic and a multitude of bright lights swirled about them. The overall effect was quite dazzling and to add to the excitement the crazed girls we’d escaped from a room prior were now thrashing at us from the other side of the thin walls. This was one of my favorite features of the attraction I only wish it had been utilized to maximum effect and used near the conclusion of the haunt where it would have been much better suited in a thematic sense.

As we neared the final third of Exit 13 we found ourselves caged as animals, a chain linked fence comprised the ceiling above our heads. This is a little used design strategy that I’ve only witnessed at a few haunted houses — Demonic Demons comes to mind most readily — but it provides for an easy assault from above and indeed a wily ghoul beat the top of the fence with shovel whilst shouting insults and threats. By this time our pal Corey had danced a circle of fear around John and I both as he comically talked trash to the monsters while using us as human shields. The chase was on now as we braved the final onslaught of Exit 13 — a giant sized cretin stalked us through a room full of drums, beating on them violently as we proceeded.

A livid nurse ushered us into a hospital room where a retarded man was about to give birth, yes you read that correctly. Suddenly, the newborn sprung forth from beneath his gown and swung wildly by his umbilical cord. The offspring flopped to the ground on the side of the gurney and lay limp. The new parent cast me a confused or bemused or maybe it was just a plain ole retarded look. I approached the bed and picked the apparent still born up off of the floor — it was spongy and skeletal and completely absurd. I handed the baby to the mustachioed father and gave my congratulations, he stared at me with googly eyes and nodded stupidly before pointing to the next room. I glanced back before I proceeded, wondering if I had actually just witnessed a mentally challenged person exploited in a haunted attraction. It was either that or that guy was the best damn actor I’ve encountered at any such attraction — gave me a laugh nonetheless.

Finally, we entered into a large room where several clowns had run a mock. One gleefully peddled a tricycle much too small for himself while another furiously cranked the handle on an immense box. The box sprung open and a third clown raced toward our group, poor Corey nearly hit the ceiling not knowing which way to run. He bolted for the exit where a fourth clown, this one of the hefty sort, greeted him with a chainsaw! The quartet paraded about the room madly for a few moments before they relented and granted us our freedom.

Admittedly, Exit 13 fell short in some areas as I’ve mentioned but on the whole the operators stuck to the fundamentals of haunting and managed to deliver both laughs and scares along the way. A number of the scenes I’ve mentioned were quite creative and full of energy – – John and I saw a couple of things that we hadn’t quite experienced before and for that Exit 13 deserves high marks. With a more consistent cast, a little more emphasis on interactive environments, and a few design tweaks — Exit 13 could be even better still. Regardless, I look forward to returning one day perhaps when we get around to that weekend long Flint area haunt crawl.

Rating: 4 stars

“Congratulations, it’s a…it’s a….we’ll it’s a something.”

“(Unintelligible groaning)” 

-My interaction with the proud father as I presented him with his clearly dead newborn.

Season of Fear Creeps Near

Posted in Haunt Schedule, Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2012 by bluefall8

Today is one of those days when fall and the haunt season feel so tantalizingly close it’s almost painful. By this time next week the Fear Finder may very well be in my greedy little hands! And that is, of course, a very important document for myself and the Haunt Trinity. As much as I try and get an early start on planning our trips, prior to the release of the seasonal newspaper there’s a lot of guesswork. The status of several old favorites and former mainstays remains in question and probably will until I crack open the pages of the Fear Finder.

FIVE HAUNTS IN LIMBO

One haunt shrouded in mystery that we are interested in is Extreme Scream, after moving to Waterford in 2010 the treasured haunt didn’t run last season and unfortunately I’ve yet to see anything that suggests it’ll return in 2012. I don’t know why Extreme Scream didn’t run last Halloween season, but it does cause me to wonder whether or not things went well at the new location in 2010. Formerly located on Telegraph in Taylor, my great hope is that Extreme Scream returns to its roots this year.

Another old favorite that seems to have vanished is The Lab. The operators apparently lost possession of the building after the 2009 season and did not run in 2010. I spoke with somebody involved with the haunt prior to the 2010 season and she said they (the operators) were “optimistic” that the haunted attraction would return in 2011, alas it did not. Just today I discovered that the website has also disappeared. Until further notice I have no choice but to consider The Lab lost to time.

An Ohio haunt that may have experienced a similar fate is Chainsaw Creek. This multi attraction event last ran in 2009 and from what I can tell from their Facebook page it seems as if they had planned to operate in 2010 but for reasons unknown, did not. The website for Chainsaw Creek had vowed to return with a permanent location in 2011. Chainsaw Creek had formerly been located in the immense parking lot of Toledo’s Franklin Park Mall — it’s certainly possible that the relationship between mall management and haunt management went sour but I’m not certain. What I do know is that Chainsaw Creek did not run in 2011 as the website had claimed it would. Currently a very similar message can be found on the Chainsaw Creek homepage in regard to the 2012 haunt season.

Last year we paid our first visit to Krazy Hilda’s and found the experience quite enjoyable. Krazy Hilda’s has called a few places home over the years but in recent years has settled into a location in Saline, Michigan. After our visit last fall I exchanged a few emails with the operator who revealed that the haunt was staffed entirely by volunteers, a fact that impressed me greatly — most volunteer efforts do not display the kind of professionalism that Hilda’s had to offer. Unfortunately, she also informed me that business had been slow and that closing up shop was a very real possibility. I emailed the operator a few weeks ago but have yet to hear back. I hope that this doesn’t spell doom for Krazy Hilda’s.

The final haunt in question is the fabled Demonic Demons. We experienced this haunt just once but it was a trip that will live on in our memories forever. Demonic Demons was housed in a building on Wyoming Street in Detroit and in 2010 Jason, Brad, and I experienced a haunted adventure here straight out of our childhood nightmares. Sadly, when we attempted a return  trip last year it was to find the building foreclosed or condemned or both. According to Zioptis this particular haunted house is infamous for having a spotty history. It seems to pop up one year and then disappear for several only to reappear once more. I am hopeful for a resurrection but as of now no new information is available.

THE OPEN (HAUNTED) ROAD

In 2011 we hit a record nine new locations and in 2012 we’ll look to break that number once more. While this year’s list is not yet complete a few routes have been plotted. Fellow haunt brethren I encourage you to peruse this list and leave me some feedback. With your suggestions and the impending release of the Fear Finder, it is my hope that any voids will soon be filled. Keep in mind that the order in which these outings are listed is not meant to be chronological and in no way does it reflect the date on which we will make the trip — those decisions will be made at the next phase of the process.

Night #1: Erwin’s Orchard (South Lyon) Slaughter House (Fowlerville), A Nightmare on Elm Road (Webberville)

Night #2: Darksyde Acres (Jonesville), Uncle Dickeys Wrong Turn (Hudson), The Haunting (Adrian)

Night #3: Westland Haunted Woods (Westland), Haunted Hallows (Westland), Westland Jaycees (Westland)

Night #4: Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory (Akron, OH), Bloodview (Broadview Heights, OH)

Night #5: Wyandotte Jaycees (Wyandotte), Realm of Haunted Minds (Romulus), Psycho Path (Flat Rock), Scream Machine (Taylor)

Night #5: Deadly Intentions (Warren), House of Fear (Hazel Park)

NIght #6: Exit 13 (Mt. Morris)