Our goal for this season was to visit 5 specific haunts.
1. A haunt that has been around for 10 years or longer.
2. A haunt that was large, but in a small community.
3. A haunt that was large, from a metropolitan area.
4. A small mom & pop style haunt.
5. A brand new haunt, first year haunt.
Stop number three of our Michigan Haunt Tour took us to the west side of the state, to Wyoming (SW and just outside of Grand Rapids), where this haunt would meet our large haunt/large community criteria. The name is simple and straight to the point and obviously very confident in such a straightforward name…THE HAUNT!
We roll up onto the sight of what is considered to be a very popular Michigan attraction. It is located in a strip-type mall and takes up a good portion of the real estate. Situated right out front is the obligatory hearse. We are hearse people, so we really like seeing a nice ol' creepy sled out front!
We only spent approximately 15 minutes, or so, outside in line. Once we got inside the lobby area we were in line for another 15-20 minutes. This is not a bad wait though due to the awesome décor you get to experience. What's in store. The Haunt touts multiple stories and essentially 5 different haunts within its walls, all separated by control rooms to get you "reset" for the next section. Before you even get to the actual "scary" stuff and into the "guts" of the haunt, you wind your way through what we thought was a beautifully created macabre mausoleum.
The winding halls feature broken and cracked walls with exposed coffins and corpses. Webs and sounds and a roaming creepy guy gets you fired up for what's coming next. For the poor group of 8 teenagers behind us, this alone was all they could handle. They were screaming, huddled tightly together before they even got into the actual haunt. I would not be surprised if one of them…Well, had an accident. Snakes, oh my! Our group gets the green light to proceed into the darkness. As soon as we step inside, that same group of teenagers are totally wrecked and begin to panic. This was not going to work for us so we quickly said "go ahead and get in front of us so you can run". Run they did! We didn't see them again until we got to the first control room. Now that we could take our time and take in all that was in front of us, we were treated to FORSAKEN. A dark and beautifully designed scary home…Filled with snakes, hissing and characters that like to show off their snakes. The mood in the home has a very somber, yet evil feel to it. The scares are subtle, but you have to pay attention or you will walk into some pretty terrifying things…Especially if you're not a fan of snakes! Set design is phenomenal and you go through what seems like an entire house, all dressed in detailed distress and gloom. Control Room 1 We survived the house and were feeling very good about this haunt with the quality that was presented so far.
After a slight delay in control room 1 (breaker issue) we were on to, AFTERMATH. This quite possibly was my favorite section of the haunt. It is a Post-Apocalyptic, dystopian hell whole. It is set in an old factory and filled with sludge and chemical waste flowing through broken pipes. There is loud, clanking machinery and sparking wires and power boxes throughout. Damp floors, smoke and mutants are abundant and add to the misery of this place. There are several poor souls that have perished in their bunks and others that are suffering in dark corners and holes. The actors really picked up the pace on the scares here and they do a great job portraying dysfunctional and psychotic survivors that fill this horrible place, that has now become their home. There are some good scares and, again, fantastic, realistic set design and application. WTH! This next section was something we have never seen or experienced. It is an experience you will not forget, nor will you want to experience anytime soon. You will be laughing. You will be confused. You will be frustrated. You will be tormented. Hence the name…TINKLES TORMENT.
You enter a seemingly mild and innocent looking bedroom. You are greeted by a creepy character that will be of no help to you as you go through THE most crazy ride you will likely experience in a haunt. I can't and won't give away what happens here, but what you will go through is incredible…Or terrifying depending on how you look at it. I also can't tell you how long you will be stuck in this crazy realm. But, plan for a long adventure! We were fortunate enough to meet the Owner of The Haunt and get the inside scoop of how this illusion was accomplished. There is alot going on behind the scenes to make this work and the payoff is huge. It is refreshing to really experience something new and exciting after years of haunting. Trip to the hospital! Right off the bat, we have to say the trip to this abandoned hospital was unique. Yes it has all the gory, scary and disturbing things you would expect from a hospital haunt. However, they did it one better. This was so realistically done and had so much purposely placed clutter it felt like you were placed in a scene from several years into the Walking Dead. Halls would be blocked by a ton of debris just high enough where you could still see things on the other side…Things you may not want to see. You navigate down a different hall only to end up on the other side of the debris blocked hall you just went down. You do this several times as you make your way through this long, perilous trek to the next section.
3D is all the rage! We went from being not big fans of 3D, to being big fans of 3D over the past 2 weeks and 2 haunts. Like last week's haunt, the skill of the paint artists are top shelf in quality. The designs, lighting and application is on point and mesmerizing. What really took this to the next level was the circus theme that went with it. You are treated to circus animals in cages. Mid-way game booths complete with toys and stuffed animals hanging from the booth rafters, as well as a carny that sits you down and performs a magic trick. To top this experience off you have several freaking cLOwNs! These are energetic and scary clowns! Great interaction and makeup from these entertainers of the mid-way. Sindee was a big hit inside this 3D funland. Her bright lime green hair was glowing like a blown nuclear reactor and the actors loved it.
They were quick to compliment, yet stayed in character the entire time. Big time haunt! This was our big market haunt for this tour. It has a reputation as one of the top haunts in Michigan and in the Country. It definitely lives up to that reputation. It also lives up to its namesake…
You are going to be here a long time, not because of the lines, but because this is a big haunt. A big haunt that has all the thrills, chills and scares of a big time haunt. It is a tier one haunt and after talking to Doug, its Owner, it is only going to get bigger and better. We look forward to this and fully expect to return next year to experience the "new look" Haunt!