The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com I Thursday, October 23,2008
The Daily Arts
guide to the best
- it's everywhere
you should be this
weekend and why.
This kind of thing would never happen in California.
Halloween is the time of year when, asa child, you get
to carve a pumpkin, dress up as the cute little vampire
and have your mother hold your hand in chilly weather
as your neighbors - some sketchier than others - drop
miniature lumps of teeth-rotting gold into your pillow-
case. And that's pretty much the entire holiday. A little
flash, hopefully no snow, maybe a few pumpkins and pos-
sibly a razorblade that one of your neighbors stashed in a
Snickers bar. All in good fun, really, until you get too old
and the same neighbors refuse to give you any candy and
tell you to just go home.
This is where haunted houses come in handy. They
capitalize on the adult portions of Halloween: fear and
terror. And there might not be a better state in the nation
to celebrate the next stage in our Halloween life-cycles
For a state so economically depressed, Michigan's
haunted house market is one sector that isn't suffering.
More than 50 haunted attractions can be found within
a few hours of Ann Arbor, with more being added each
year. This hasn't always been the case, though the popu-
larity of Halloween among college students is sky high
(even if that means a lot of beer and a lot of cleavagey
A lot of the credit for the state's position as the nation's
most haunted area can be traced back to Ed Terebus and
his brother James, owners and creators of the nation's
largest haunted house, Erebus, in downtown Pontiac.
What started as a side project has turned into an all-
out passion for Ed Terebus, a locksmith by trade, who
prior to 2000, sold his home and moved in with his broth-
er, James, to buy the warehouse where Erebus is now
housed. The two brothers have been in the haunt busi-
ness for 28 years and are the creators of the Fear Finder, a
newspaper listing of local haunts across Michigan.
Though Erebus - clearly the leader in the haunted
house world - competes with other haunted attractions
in the state, Terebus said that keeping the little guys
alive is a big deal for Michigan to support such athriving
"We want to keep the little guy alive," Terebus said.
"We were all small haunts at one time."
This sort of camaraderie among owners in Michigan
is one of the main reasons for the explosion of haunted
houses in the area, big and small. Families and couples
are able to make a night of terror for themselves out of a
pseudo-road trip to explore the haunted attractions.
Two such smaller attractions, the Haunted Winery
in Farmington and Terror in Townsend Forest (run by
the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club) in Clarkston, may
not have the pizazz - nor the budget - of something
like Erebus, but they still manage to pull off a haunting
thrill. The Haunted Winery capitalizes on a confusing
maze of dark rooms and people in costume who, to vary-
ing degrees, jump from behind corners looking to scare
people. Terror in Townsend Forest is a different type of
experience. A tour guide leads a group into a forest filled
with goblins behind trees, funhouse tricks and plenty of
Dick Wilton, one of the Forest's tour guides and a life-
time member of the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club,
has been leading tours for three years and says the forest
is geared more toward families and teenagers who aren't
looking for a massive spectacle.
"This isn't like (Erebus). People like the woods and t
this is a little bit different," Wilton said.
Though the woods provide a clever alternative to the
standard haunted house, they provide people an oppor-
tunity to explore another part of Michigan's heritage: the
See HAUNTED, Page 4B 1
Under the direction of
graduate music students,
the University Symphony
Orchestra and the Univer-
sity Philharmonic Orches-
tra will join together to
perform their annual Hal-
loween concert Sunday
at 4:30 and 8 p.m. The
musicians will be decked
out in costumes and the
audience is encouraged to
dress up as well. Tickets
start at $8.
The low-end warriors of
the University of Michi-
ensemble show off their
bass register chops all
weekend in their annual
gala, Octubafest. Profes-
sor Fritz Kaenzig directs.
At 8 p.m. Thursday and
Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday
at the E.V. Moore Building.
Admission is free.
Ever wanted towatch a band
of "ghost hunters" lead a
tour of the Michigan League
and reveal their "paranor-
mal findings"? Well, that's
exactly what will happen
at the Halloween Festival
hosted by UMix and UUAP
at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow
night in the League. There
will also be games, prizes
and free food.
FINDING FRIGHTS, EVEN IN COLLEGE
Face it - we're too old for trick-or-treating. But there are other options in the area.
Daily Arts sent three editors to explore the unknown in three different haunts less than an hour outside Ann Arbor.
Have you ever wanted to see an exhausted Freddy Krueger
kick back with a bottle of grain alcohol? Well, look no further
than the Haunted Winery in Farmington. Here, no ghoul is too
half-assed; no shock is too predictable; no prop is too common;
and no performer is too method to take a break and swig on what
appeared to be some hard, child tantrum-eliminating liquor.
Yeah, this place is kind of crappy, and it highlights generic
examples of nearby haunted houses. Obviously run and operat-
ed by locals, this is bargain-basement Halloween. Imagine four
twenty-something Michigan students looking for a few cheap
thrills, only to be harassed in and out of a chintzy maze.
Throughout 15 to 20 chambers, teens (likely emo kids) jump
out of corners in Michael Myers and Jason masks, with plenty
of "hoos" and "haas" to spare. When we didn't react, we were
told, "you suck." In one room, our lack of response merited a
claim from one creeper that we should "hump each other."
OK, it was kind of funny.
At the end, the biggest shock was that we were out in ten
minutes and quickly propositioned with coupons to play laser
tag by a guy who may or may not have been with the show. He
was just thatgoth. But it was the drinking Fre
that made this one worthwhile.
It's not the operator's fault this thing was
paled in comparison to so many other elabo
out there. Still, between the garage sale belo
backyard vibes and the general cornball nat
experience, it was still kind of fun. Halloweer
taste, so this was no exception.
Now if only it had actual wine.
CR( fi OWfTND
This was not how I wanted to spend my Satu
again, this was not howI wanted to spend any
through a dark forest with people in rubber m
at me from the bushes. But hey, Halloween wa
away, and what's the season without a few
The Haunted Forest is clearly a commun
come in droves, even though the place is locate
abandonedback road. Locals sold t-shirts and
(a hot dog and potato chips) in the small cli
ddy near the end waited our turn. In the middle of the clearing, a small bonfire
burned brightly. As groups were called one by one and led, like
so hokey. It just cattle, into the darkness, a clown named Slappy "entertained"
rate productions us with a fake severed head. Needless to say, by the time our
w the house, the group's number was called, we were ready to take our chances
ure of the whole in the woods.
n's all about poor our walk through the forest started quaintly enough. In
fact, it was exactly what anyone would expect - lots of flashing
lights, ghosts on strings and people in masks jumping out of the
BLAKE GOBLE shadows. But as we ventured deeper and deeper into the for-
est, things began to get, well, creepier. Some of the "monsters"
FOR MST became genuinely bothersome. One "goblin" gave me goose-
'; 0 N bumps. Ieven jumped a few times.
Maybe it was just the atmosphere of the whole place or the
irday night. Then full moon working its magic, but by the time we stepped out
'night - walking of the darkened maze, passed the cackling witches and nearly
asks jumping out ran head first into a chainsaw-wielding clown, I was genuinely
s a couple weeks freaked out.
kitschy thrills, Alas, we made it out alive. Walking to the car, I turned back
to getone last glance at the eponymous forest. Instead, my eyes
ity event. People zeroed in on Slappy the Clown, holding the dangling, severed
d off a seemingly head, still smiling cheerfully.
"monster meals" -Brandon Conradis
earing where we See FRIGHTS, Page 4B
AT THE PODIUM
The 2008-2009 Dance
Legacy Lecture series kicks
off with "Arcs In Time:
Dance Protagonists," as
Michigan professors Jessica
Fogel and.Angela Kane lec-
ture on American postmod-
ern dance. Both speakers
will deliver presentations on
different perspectives of the
art form Friday at 4 p.m. in
Palmer Commons. Tickets