Archive for yard haunt

Horrorlust Radio Episode #003

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by bluefall8

Wrestler, home haunter and haunted attraction enthusiast Mike Marvel serves as co-host for episode #003 of Horrorlust Radio.

In the third episode of Horrorlust Radio, Mike and I discuss the tradition of home haunting in all its various forms and then dig into the pros and cons of multi-attraction venues.

This episode also features the second installment of Lost to Time, a segment that highlights haunts now departed; you’ll also hear the birth of a new segment, Hosts & Hotties where we pay respect to icons of the industry from horror hosts to scream queens and everybody in between. The luscious Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is our inaugural honoree.

Mike and I also banter about the quality of haunted attractions during the month of September and even delve briefly into the crossover elements of professional wrestling and the haunted attraction industry.

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

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

HORRORLUST RADIO: EPISODE 003

SHOW NOTES

Mike Marvel isn’t just a wrestler, home haunter and haunted attraction enthusiast, he’s also the man behind the scenes at Michigan Haunt Central on Facebook.

Brandywine Cemetery, the prominent home haunt cited during this episode, is located at 2727 Brandywine St. Ann Arbor, MI. 48104. Brandywine Cemetery will be open Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31 in 2014. For more information visit their website here: Brandywine Cemetery

I’ve included a scan of The Lab’s 2009 ad from the Fear Finder. My scanner isn’t quite large enough to capture the entire ad but you can enjoy 95% of this colorful, eye-catching advertisement.

Fear Finder, 2009

Fear Finder, 2009

And for those of you who live under a rock, here’s a picture of the gorgeous Elvira, the first honoree in Hosts & Hotties.

She puts the lust in Horrorlust.

She puts the lust in Horrorlust.

The songs and audio clips featured in this episode are listed below in chronological order:

1. “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

2. The Return of the Living Dead  Theatrical Trailer, 1985

3. “Living Walls” by Midnight Syndicate (The 13th Hour, 2005)

4. Trash from The Return of the Living Dead, 1985

5. “Born of the Night” by Midnight Syndicate (Born of the Night, 1998)

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Where the Veil Ends: A Walk in Both Worlds

Posted in CikNis with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2014 by bluefall8

I once half-jokingly suggested to my wife that I didn’t just visit haunted attractions for fun — my nocturnal adventures to all things spooky was, as I told her, research. A lot of truth is said in jest and the truth is that a haunted attraction is something I’ve dreamt about building since I was a boy. My brother and I used to construct crude dummies to sit on our porch and on a few occasions we even talked our sisters into helping us build a miniature haunted house in the basement of our childhood home.

In June , a close friend approached me about doing something different for a Halloween party and by the end of the night we’d drawn up plans to build a haunted house inside of his garage — alcohol might’ve been involved. But it was a solid design that utilized nearly every square inch of space and we decided to go ahead with the idea and I’ve been excited ever since.

We began the build two weeks ago today and have thus far been pleasantly surprised with our progress and the lack of any major issues. I plan to chronicle much of our progress on Horrorlust leading up to the party and then of course share my thoughts on the impending results. There’s so much to consider when laying the framework for a haunted attraction but it’s been fun work. The structure is in place and painted; this weekend we’ll focus on the installation of lighting, sound and even a video element. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to construct a show that will leave our guests feeling just as I have on so many of those October excursions.

Prepare to witness The CikNis.

Halloween Spirit Triumphs over Gloom

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by bluefall8

The weather was determined not to cooperate on Halloween, but I was not about to let some rain dampen my spirits. We were forced to scale back our plans of  a multi-yard haunt and withdrew to the relative safety of the porch. Our disappointment with the weather quickly abated as we discovered we’d be able to adapt our act for this stage quite nicely; with the added bonus that we’d be able to keep ourselves dry.

The trick ‘r treaters were a mere trickle between 5 and 6 pm but as the annual rite entered the second hour the revelers began to multiply in number. A blue police beacon cut through the fading light, informing the masses that there was candy, and perhaps a good scare, to be had.

HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW

The dreadful duo of Gerkins and Pere held court, using the initial wave of trick ‘r treaters as a warm up.  Children, teenagers, and adults alike were all made to ascend the stairs in order to collect their holiday treat; some were reluctant while others simply refused altogether. Once on the porch the unassuming rubes were subjected to a litany of strange behavior, the likes of which included passive aggressive threats, innuendo and word play, and a bizarre dance performed by Pere.

The gruesome twosome stared silently into the eyes of trick ‘r treaters for uncomfortably long periods of time and were often seen sniffing them as well. In one instance, Pere held her cane to the throat of a nervous teenager; not to be outdone, Gerkins repeatedly informed young children of his desire to keep their mommies.

In another memorable moment, Gerkins harnessed the power of the occult and correctly produced one young man’s name. When his name fell from Gerkins’ lips the boy’s eyes bulged from his head, he backed down the stairs and began to walk to the next house; all the while his face was a tapestry of bewilderment and fear.

THE FREAKS COME OUT

Nightfall had now fallen proper which afforded us more opportunities to scare and startle trick ‘r treaters, it was then that Gerkins unleashed the full force of his macabre cabal — a tall, stalking scarecrow and a statuesque harlequin with horror in her heart.

Intermittent blasts from a fog machine shrouded the area in a dense mist, a strobe light pulsed against the wispy vapors. The Scarecrow guarded the candy with a fierce greed, he often bellowed threats at those who dared indulge. It also gave him great delight to surprise individuals and groups from behind bushes, tombstones, and idle cars.

The Clown applied a more subtle technique in her attempts to spread fear. As a mute she had not the use of speech to intimidate her prey, but was able to use this handicap to her advantage. She sat silent and still upon the stairs that led to the porch, stirring disquiet and fear in the hearts of those who dared to pass. Expertly, she lulled them into a false sense of security and when they had passed she would deftly wrap an ankle in a stone-like grip.

GERKINS, HORRIBLE GERKINS

The moonlight served to intensify the actions of Gerkins, who memorably cornered one teenager on the porch. The girl shrieked and begged as Gerkins blocked her path, her gaze momentarily fell upon the porch rail and she contemplated the jump. Gerkins would eventually relent, but mere minutes after the departure of the girl’s party the barker of old decided that he wasn’t done. He called out to her, begging her to stay and play. The girl and her friends quickly piled into a mini-van but this did not stop a determined Gerkins who pawed at the vehicle and traced a smiley face into the rain water of one window.

The creatures of the night terrorized and amused the neighborhood until the last piece of candy had been claimed, and Gerkins made sure that the trick ‘r treaters worked for each and every morsel. He chased children, admonished a foul mouthed teenager, and regaled passersby with stories from the carnivale circuit which included a memory from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, as well as a rather salacious tale that detailed his trysts with bi-sexual siamese twins.

REFLECTIONS AND PROGNOSTICATIONS

What began as a simple yard haunt mutated and took on a life of it’s own. Everybody seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience, regardless of age. It reinforced in me that desire to haunt and perform and bolstered the notion that somewhere in time I will produce a bona fide haunted attraction where guests will come to scream and be merry.

The Irrepressible, Pere.

The Irrepressible Pere.

Gerkins & Pere welcome you kindly.

Gerkins & Pere welcome you kindly.

Gerkins & The Nightmare Fuel Carnivale.

Gerkins & The Nightmare Fuel Carnivale.

Gerkins & Pere Cross the Veil

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by bluefall8

If the rain shall relent, it will be a magical Halloween. Tonight I’ll be participating in a yard haunt with my in-laws and some neighbors. There will be a cemetery scene stretched across several lawns complete with tombstones, ghouls, and even a scarecrow!

Oh yes, there will be candy too for the young ones who can navigate the path through strobe lights and fog whilst festive music fills the air; but it shan’t be easy. A pair of seasoned creeps will be lurking, a duo of undead carnival castoffs who are eager to provide nightmare fuel. This terrible tandem is known only as Gerkins and Pere.

Gerkins is a carnival barker of old who delights in laughs and screams a like. He possesses a dramatic flair that sometimes erodes to reveal a bi-polar disorder. His faithful sidekick Pere is a youthful ball of energy prone to mischief and nonsense; she is often admonished by Gerkins for this but such condemnations do little to augment her behavior. Pere is afflicted with an insatiable sweet tooth and has an annoying habit of parroting Gerkins. Together, the two comprise an All Hallow’s Eve tour de force hellbent on fun and fright!

The only known photo of Gerkins.

The only known photo of Gerkins, date unknown.