Rotten Manor, Abandon Driven Mad by Halloween Moon

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by bluefall8

Howl at the moon, baby. I went to bed last night with thoughts of Rotten Manor and Abandon swirling in my head and when I woke this morning those same thoughts remained stuck in my mind. What had we experienced? Had our eyes deceived us? Did any of that really happen?! When you find yourself pondering such questions that’s when you know you’ve witnessed an all-time classic and on Halloween no less.

After some trick r’ treating with the little ones, which included one seriously awesome yard display on Kings Highway in Lincoln Park, John and I hightailed it into the night. This has been a haunt season busier and longer than any that has come before it — we were admittedly feeling road-weary as we drove north on I-75 through increasingly poor conditions. The further north we traveled the harder the rain hit the pavement and the lower visibility sunk. But any fear that Halloween would become a washout began to recede the moment we arrived at Rotten Manor.

The facade was far more impressive than it had appeared in pictures; it jutted from the landscape like a mountain in a valley and what lie on the inside was more impressive still. Rotten Manor was a half-hour trek through expertly detailed and creative environments that held inventive scares, glorious eye candy, surreal strangeness and the omnipresence of a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist dummy. Loaded with live actors, psychological warfare and several unique features — Rotten Manor blasted itself into the rarefied territory of our all-time best haunted house adventures.

As we drove in the direction of home we reveled in the experience and thought it a shame that Rotten Manor hadn’t been our last stop of the night because it seemed impossible that anything could follow that. Indeed, another first year attraction, Abandon had its work cut out. We pulled into Play Atlantis in Melvindale a little more than an hour after we had departed Rotten Manor with that experience fresh in mind. Somehow, Abandon would make an impression all it’s own.

Abandon took old school to the nth degree and in the process redefined minimalism. The cavernous, multi-level haunt supplied atmosphere in spades; an effect that was heightened by the expert use of Midnight Syndicate’s booming medieval music. So much of Abandon was purposely understated which provided the imagination free range to manifest horrors hidden in every shadow. Fueled by ghost stories and a genuine sweep from a team of paranormal research investigators (go on, I dare you to ask about the EVPs), Abandon possessed an eerie vibe that is difficult to find. In terms of pure fear factor it was one of the most foreboding and frightening haunted attractions we’ve toured in all these many seasons.

A heartfelt thank you to Wally, Eric and the rest of the large cast and crew of Rotten Manor and to Jason of Abandon who patiently shared creepy stories including his own personal encounters. All of you made Halloween 2015 a truly unforgettable night of haunting that will live on in Horrorlust lore for many moons to come.

The Best Night of the Year

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by bluefall8

The best rite of passage of childhood is set to commence all across the nation; all manner of freaks, creeps, ghouls and monsters will soon flood neighborhoods in search of treasured treats. My son and I will join my sister, nephew and the Disco Devil for trick r’ treating and once the kids have had their fill we’ll turn our gaze to haunted houses!

We seem set to tour Abandon in Melvindale and Rotten Manor in Holly — a pair of new haunts on All Hallow’s Eve shall fit the bill well!

Happy Halloween!

Horrorlust Radio Episode #019

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by bluefall8

horrorlust radio

In episode #019 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m rejoined by all of my previous guests for a celebration of Halloween!

Also in this edition of Horrorlust Radio are interviews with home haunter Adam Grignon from Terror on the Blvd. and Cody Bailey of Hush in Westland.

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:

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



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

“Halloween Theme” John Carpenter (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 2010)

“Trick or Treat” by Nekromantix (Return of the Loving Dead, 2004)

“Halloween” by Aqua (Aquarius, 2000)

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

“Halloween” by The Misfits (Legacy of Brutality, 1981)

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A Fracas on Devil’s Night

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2015 by bluefall8

We got a later start than we had originally intended which cost us a visit to Rotten Manor for the time being but Devil’s Night 2015 turned out to be another fun entry in our haunted history.

All was quiet when we arrived at our first stop — Terror on the Boulevard, a home haunt in Lincoln Park. The little haunt was neatly themed, well detailed and an all around good time. Brave trick r’ treaters should be aware that it will be open once again tonight from 7-10pm so don’t miss your chance to confront the Boogeyman!

Our next stop was Hush in Westland where the once mighty corporation was found in a ruinous state. Dr. Phun may be dead but the halls of Hush had no shortage of creepy crawlers — I was even assailed from above by a diminutive pygmy creature! The back-end of the attraction in particular was positively littered with freaks and ghouls who dialed it up to ten as all hell broke loose!

The final stop of the night was a return to Dark Legacy in Wixom, now in their second season. The haunt had been fitted with new scenes, gags and a completely redesigned Fang Cemetery. In particular we enjoyed a handful of inventive scares, several highly detailed scenes and the cast which we found to be collectively superior to their 2014 counterparts.

Full reviews to be posted in the coming weeks.

The Freaks are Due on Devil’s Night

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by bluefall8

Haunting on Devil’s Night is something of a tradition here at Horrorlust; regular readers of the blog know this to be true. It may not be the magical night itself when the veil between worlds is thinnest but Devil’s Night has a special aura all its own.

The much ballyhooed Devil’s Night 2009 is the stuff of Horrorlust legend and was just this week enshrined as one of the five greatest nights in our haunted history. On that date we famously survived Hellblock 13 by the Wyandotte Jaycees, The Realm of Darkness (the final year of it’s original location) and finished the night with a maiden voyage to Haunted Farm of Terror!

In 2013 the Wyandotte Jaycees helped us kick off another memorable Devil’s Night with Bloodbath on Biddle which would go on to win the Horrorlust Dark Horse Award that season. That evening would also mark our first exposure to a rookie by the name of Hush which absolutely wowed us and subsequently claimed the Horrorlust Haunt of the Year Award. The night did end with a historic dud in what would become known as the death knell for the Scream Machine, that shocking turn-of-events earned Scream Machine the Horrorlust Rotten Pumpkin Award and in the process made Devil’s Night 2013 all the more memorable.

Last year we ventured first to Dark Legacy and were impressed with the scale and scope of the new attraction — it garnered the Horrorlust Killer Automatons Award. We then returned to Hush where we were once again blown away by a sterling performance that earned the then sophomore haunt the Horrorlust Monster Award.

So yeah, Devil’s Night is serious business around these parts and it is with great excitement that we anticipate another evening on the road as mayhem and mischief rule the night! If all goes as planned we will visit four separate haunted houses beginning with Terror on the Boulevard, a home haunt located in Lincoln Park. I actually attempted to visit this haunt on Devil’s Night 2012 but the so-called Frankenstorm that was all the rage at the time thwarted my efforts.

Next, we’ll burn rubber to Westland and tour Hush for a third consecutive year on Devil’s Night — this combination has yielded nothing but magic thus far so we saw no reason to make a change. Furthermore this will be the endgame for the original location as big plans are on the horizon — is this the year that Dr. Phun and the bunch render us a permanent fixture of the haunt?! If we manage to escape it’ll be off to Wixom for the revamped Dark Legacy and then a flight to the finish at the brand new Rotten Manor in Holly.

Methinks this shall be another Devil’s Night to remember for years to come.

Happy Haunting!

Horrorlust Radio Episode #018

Posted in Horrorlust Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by bluefall8

horrorlust radio

In episode #018 of Horrorlust Radio, I’m joined by author, Kasey Pierce.

In this installment of Horrorlust Radio, Kasey and I continued our discussion of her horror anthology, Pieces of Madness.

This edition of Horrorlust Radio also featured a brief chat on conspiracy theories which is the topic of Kasey’s vlog, Dark Blend. There’s also an interview with Murray the Clown, a most curious character at the Wyandotte Jaycess Haunted House, Delirium.

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:

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



For more information on Pieces of Madness and all things Kasey Pierce visit her blog: Kosmic Kasey

Pieces of Madness is available for sale on Amazon.


Before the hit television series of the same name, there was the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow that starred Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane and the gorgeous Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel. The film was directed by Tim Burton.


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

“Lil’ Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs (Single, 1966)

Sleepy Hollow Theatrical Trailer, 1999

“I Want to Be a Vigilante” by Calabrese (Born With a Scorpion’s Tale, 2013)

Magistrate Beheaded from Sleepy Hollow, 1999

“Coffin of Ruins” by Calabrese (Dayglo Necros, 2012)


Five Nights Etched in Time

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2015 by bluefall8

I’m often asked which haunted house is my favorite and the honest answer is that I don’t have just one favorite. Haunted attractions come in all shapes and sizes and employ a wide range of themes, narratives and scare tactics to deliver a memorable experience. While I certainly do have my preferences, my favorites are a collection of diverse attractions. As the list below examines, some of the my most treasured haunted adventures were not limited to a single haunted house but encompassed an entire evening of haunting.

The outings below are not ranked in any way other than chronological. Trips made during the 2015 haunt season did not qualify for consideration as the season is, as of the time of this writing, in progress.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It will demand further investigation but if memory serves this was the first instance in which we toured three separate haunted attractions on a single night. 2008 was a momentous season in which we visited nine total locations, our personal best at the time. Without a doubt the best of the year was saved for Halloween when we raced against the clock to tour Deadly Intentions in Warren and then Realm of Darkness and Erebus both in Pontiac. Deadly Intentions claimed the 2008 Horrorlust Monster Award while Erebus gobbled up the 2008 Horrorlust Killer Automatons Award.

Fun Fact: The avatar used to identify myself here on Horrorlust was snapped that night.


Erebus, The Realm of Darkness & Deadly Intentions Electrify Halloween Night

Friday, October 30, 2009

Devil’s Night was raucous and windswept; large crowds and an impending storm only added to the pandemonium. We began the evening with a romp through Hellblock 13 which was held in the former Wyandotte police station and ended the night with a wild, rain-soaked hayride at Haunted Farm of Terror; sandwiched between the two was a visit to The Realm of Darkness. This night didn’t capture any awards (although had the Horrorlust Samhain Award existed at the time it would likely have been awarded to this night) but The Realm of Darkness and Hellblock 13 did combine for four honorable mentions.

Fun Fact: While on the hayride at Haunted Farm of Terror, I narrowly avoided being struck square in the face by a large, runaway prop.


Season Concludes with Devil’s Night Frenzy

Friday, October 14, 2011

This was an insanely fun night of haunting in which we witnessed three awesome, albeit different shows. Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom had style and substance while Chelsea Feargrounds boasted flash and excitement around every corner and finally The Bone Yard served up a trio of fun-filled attractions. Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom grabbed the 2011 Horrorlust Dark Horse Award, Tent of Terror (The Bone Yard) became the inaugural recipient of the Horrorlust Prop Master Award and unsurprisingly the whole night was recognized with the then brand new Horrorlust Samhain Award. Furthermore, Tent of Terror and Chelsea Feargrounds combined for three honorable mentions in other award categories.

Fun Fact: The Chelsea Feargrounds offered a unique photo-op in which small, alien creatures were made to look as if they’d burst from the subject’s chest.


Thrills & Chills Dominated Hilda’s, Feargrounds & The Bone Yard

Friday, October 5, 2012

Threaten as it did to thwart our plans, the weather was no match for the spirit of the season on this night. It was a trip filled with laughter, illusion and effective, low budget haunting. Barn of Horrors at Erwin Orchards won the 2012 Horrorlust Prop Master Award while Slaughter House collected the 2012 Horrorlust Pulse Pounder Award. Like the previous entry, this night too claimed the Horrorlust Samhain Award.

Fun Fact: Ken Evans, one of the organizer’s of Slaugher House, happened to be conducting some quality control when we toured the barn and asked our opinion of the place once we’d exited the haunt. We got to talking and hit it off — later that year the website for Slaughter House would feature some quotes from the review I posted to Horrorlust. To the best of my knowledge that was the first instance of a haunt using my words to promote their attraction and I thought that was awesome. 


Elements Conspire but Erwin, Slaugher House Persevere

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This overnight trip to Ohio had a big time feel as we visited two haunts with a lot of history — Bloodview in Broadview Heights and Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory in Akron. Bloodview ensnared the 2012 Horrorlust Eerie Vibrations Award and together with Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory scored a slew of honorable mentions.

Fun Fact: It was on this trip that I first enjoyed the little known, gem of a horror film called Stake Land.


Haunted Schoolhouse has Presence, lacks Punch

Laboratory Mirrors Successes, Shortcomings of Haunted Schoolhouse

Legion of Terror Breathes Life into Bloodview


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