Thursday, September 16, 2021

Elvira is Back on the Couch for Her 40th Anniversary!

Yes, you did read that right. Everyone's favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira, is coming back for one hell of a 40th Anniversary show on the Shudder streaming service. 

This has me all kinds of giddy, so much so that I could go a whole day without cutting the fingers off someone. I know, it's super serious. Elvira has been an icon for so long in my own personal life, and I try to introduce not only past episodes of Elvira's Movie Macabre to them, but also the Elvira movies. 

To say she's been an inspiration in my life would be an understatement. So, sitting here and writing this, pretty freakin' awesome! 

The Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special, Special will start at 8pm ET/6pm PT on Saturday, September 25th and then be available on demand on both Shudder and AMC+ starting on September 27th. The fact that Elvira hasn't been on Shudder before is a little baffling to me, especially since she is the queen of the macabre and has been a part of the horror landscape for so long now. 

The special will show four classic horror films and even one featuring Elvira herself, Elvira Mistress of the Dark. The other films are; House on Haunted Hill (1959), The City of the Dead (1960), and Messiah of Evil (1973). 


You can see it all via Shudder online or devices that support their app. 

Sweet Dreams and Pleasant Nightmares!

SCarowinds Announces No Bag Policy for 2021 Season

In these days, it's all about safety and trying to protect everyone so we call can have a ghoulishly good time while being scared shitless.  As to that, I'm not sure exactly what's prompted this new policy from Carowinds regarding the Scarowinds event, but they surely have a good reason...at least one would hope. 

Here's the official rule from the park's FAQ page:

Guests may not bring bags of any kind, including purses, backpacks, or diaper bags, into the park during SCarowinds. NOTE: Guests who require health accommodations may bring a bag no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” containing only medically necessary items into the park. All bags will be searched prior to entry.


As you can see, the policy is a blanket statement that includes all bags and that can be a problem as it will impact groups (women, disabled, etc) disproportionally and doesn't address other areas of ease to bring in contraband (cargo pants, hoodie pockets, jackets, etc). I'm not a fan of that at all and think there's better ways to go about dealing with the safety/contraband issue.

So, unless they change the policy, to all the other women who love all things that scream in the night, prepare to travel as light as possible and get creative with how to bring things that we need. 

Until next time...

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!


Graveside Chat: A Few Things for Scare Actors This, and Every Halloween Season

*Note: This post was originally made on 9/21/13 on Kitsuneverse.com. This is a republish.

Well, this year's Haunt Season is almost fully under way. Each day has more and more haunts opening with new and insane ways to scare those brave enough to entire their confines of madness. Along with this comes the legions of scare-actors that fill the halls and corners, the life blood of any haunt.

You can have the best sets, animatronics and costuming but it's the actors blood, sweat and tears that are the true heartbeat of any haunt. Without them, there's not much point is there?

I've always said that working in a haunt is one of the toughest forms of acting that's out there. You have to perform the same scene, or a variation of it, 100's if not 1,000's of times a night. Often with minimal breaks (if you even get them) for hours on end. It's not easy and many don't live up to the challenge.

That said, there's definitely some things the aspiring or current scare-actor can do to make sure that they're doing the best they can no matter what the situation. Over 20 years of working in these things has given me a bit of insight and while my body can't overly take the insane stress I put on it like in the past, I can pass a little wisdom down. So, take it from someone who's been around the block a few times for what it's worth.

First off, some things you'll be instructed to do by your manager or scene director. I wouldn't go too far against what they say that they're looking for from you in the particular area. However, you can always suggest a few things to improve your scare. Communication is key here, just don't go off half cocked. Even then, some of these will only work if you're allowed to wander a bit. If you're behind a drop panel or some other similar startle scare it can be a bit more difficult, but it still can be done if you're creative enough.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

All New Haunt 'Temecula Terror' Reveals 2021 Scares and More!

Looks like some fresh screams are in store for those around the Inland Empire region of Southern California, and by the sounds of things, they have a fairly unique take on the ideas that are coming to fill the night with screams.

New and tasty horror is always a welcome thing in my mind after all.

But, before we get to our breakdown of things, let's see what they have to say first!

This October the Inland Empire will be home (or should we say a haunted home) to an all-new, hair-raising, terrifying haunt: Temecula Terror. Open for 19-days, October 1- 31, Temecula Terror invites thrill-seekers to visit a creepy, small town, off a back road in the Temecula Valley, and step into a Halloween Harvest Carnival… with a sinister intention. Tickets start at $20 USD for adults and are on sale today at www.temeculaterror.com.

 

Dubbed an Indie-Style Haunt, Temecula Terror is located in Galway Downs, a unique outdoor experience located in the wild, shadowing hills of the Temecula Valley Wine Country. Lit only by the stars in the sky and the event’s carnival lights, Temecula Terror will deliver frights for 19-days with 3 mazes, 2 bars, 1 VIP Bar, nightly live DJ and entertainment, carnival games, local food trucks, a pumpkin patch, and a scare zone with roaming monsters.

 

“Without giving too much away, Temecula Terror encourages those who dare to make it past the fanfare of the carnival and circus to discover that the small town hidden behind it, in the middle of wine country, is the real haunted attraction and not necessarily the carnival,” shared Jeromy Ball, Bloodshed Brothers.

 

Zachary Ball, twin brother to Jeromy Ball and other half of the Bloodshed Brothers added, “For those really looking to test their bravery, we dare you to step inside the maze we’re calling 301 Hyde Street - some of our own team members were spooked just going over the build and storyline.”

 

In addition to the frights, Temecula Terror offers something for haunt-lovers of all ages: Family Fright starts 5:00pm with a pumpkin patch, carnival games, trick-or-treating, food and more. Then at 7:00pm, as the sun starts to set and hide behind the rolling hills, the sinister scares begin as the monsters and ominous spirits are unleashed.

 

Bringing to life the biggest "haunt" Temecula has ever seen this spooky season, Temecula Terror tickets go on sale today and start at just $20 per adult (12+ years) and $10 for children (Family Fright). Local event production companies Bloodshed Brothers and Clever Coven have banded together to create the first-year haunt with an emphasis on involving local companies, brands, and stories from the heart of Temecula Valley. Visit www.TemeculaTerror.com for more information, to purchase tickets and to stay up to date on Temecula Terror announcements, sales, and more.


Okay, that's a lot to take in and on the surface, it sounds like a great premise. The whole misdirection of the carnival not really being the haunt and the town itself, which I assume is part of the attraction, will be where the real horror lies. Maybe the carnival is just there to lure people in? Certainly a solid trope that we've seen in horror movies for years and one that I haven't seen too often in a haunted attraction, so I'm definitely curious on how they plan to pull that off.

I like that they have the mazes and even a scare zone here as well, definitely a good variety of things and for the price of tickets currently. Even if they are a little generic in their themes; being a Haunted House, Crypt and Asylum, they have managed to weave them together into the overall story for the event. That's always something I love to see and hopefully they've themed them to fit together with little nods here and there to the others.

Outside of that, it seems really ambitious for a first year haunt and they have a lot going on with the bars, music, things for kids to do, etc. That's a lot to manage, and while not impossible, does potentially leave for some issues on a few levels, but more importantly for families that want to do it all but can't because of little ones in tow, etc. So, it's definitely sounding like those with families and young critters may need to plan for two trips if they want to do it all. 

Overall, it seems like a pretty interesting event with something that should cater to everyone. How it does with the current climate of live events, that will remain to be seen, but sending them all the lovely misfortune that I can muster for a great season! 

Tickets are, at the time of this writing: $10 for 11 and under, $25 for 12+, and and $35 for the VIP ticket. There's also a $5 charge for parking. 
Dates: Thursdays-Sunday in October, starting on October 1st. 

Until next time,

Sweet Screams and Pleasant Nightmares!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Pittsburgh's Haunted Hills Hayride Issues Statement on Sept 11th Shooting


This past weekend at Haunted Hills Hayride in the Pittsburgh suburb of North Versailles, a 15 year old was shot and killed, another is in critical condition according to local authorities. The incident took place shortly before the gates opened at 8:30pm on Saturday, September 11th.

According to their Facebook page, they have issued this statement of today regarding the events that took place:

On behalf of the entire Haunted Hills Hayride staff, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims associated with the senseless act of violence that occurred at our facility on September 11, 2021. It is certainly difficult to hear, let alone experience, the reality of the loss of a loved one.
We would like to thank the North Versailles Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services personnel for their immediate response to the call for help as they were located at our site at the time.
The North Versailles Township Police, Detectives from the Allegheny County Police Department, and other responding agencies did an excellent job in responding to and investigating this case.
The safety of all persons associated with our family fun oriented event has always been a priority since we started 22 years ago. After meeting with members of our event staff and with an outpouring of support from the community and our fan base, it has been determined that we cannot let an isolated bad act stop the good of what the Haunted Hills Hayride provides.
Accordingly, we will resume our scheduled dates of operation as stated online.
Thank you for your continued support.

 

It's never easy hearing about these types of incidents and I guess this one is a little more jarring as I used to live in the Pittsburgh area myself, and I know a lot of the haunt community there. Keeping everyone impacted from this in my thoughts. 

Stay safe out there, friends. 

via WTAE Pittsburgh

2021 Haunted Attraction Opening Dates in the Pacific Northwest


It's that time of year my sweet little demons, pumpkin spice is flowing through the veins, chainsaws and screams fill the night, and you can smell fear on the wind. It's time to get our scare on and what better way to get acquainted with a new area than to see when things open up for all things nightmare fuel?!

I can't be the only lover of all things Halloween in the Pacific Northwest, so let's dig in and see when places open up for the 2021 season.

All of these haunted attractions are located in the Western Oregon/Washington area primarily. This isn't an exhaustive list, as I'm still just figuring things out up here, so if you see a haunt that's missing, let me know! 

September Openings:

Sept 18th

Washington

Rutledge Haunted Corn Maze (https://rutledgecornmaze.com/attractions/)

Sept 24th

Washington

Georgetown Morgue Haunted House (https://seattlehaunts.com/)


October Openings:

October 1st:

Washington


Haunted Forest of Maple Valley (https://hauntedforestofmaplevalley.org/)
Frighthouse Station (https://www.tacomahaunts.com/)
The Fright Factory: (http://www.frightfactory.net/)
Maris Farms Haunted Woods (http://marisfarms.com/haunted-woods/)
My Haunted Forest (https://myhauntedforest.com/)
Nile Haunted House (https://nilenightmares.com/index.php)
Rain of Terror (https://www.facebook.com/forksterror/)

Oregon


Creatures of the Night (https://www.creaturesofthenighthalloween.com/)
The Fear PDX (http://fearpdx.com/index.html)
ScareGrounds PDX (https://scaregroundspdx.com/)

October 2nd:

Washington

My Morbid Mind (https://mymorbidmind.com/)
Stalker Farms (https://www.stalkerfarms.com/)

Oregon


Fearlandia (https://www.fearlandia.com/)

October 8th:

Washington


Fright Fest at Wild Waves (https://www.wildwaves.com/events.php)

Oregon


Cinema of Horrors Drive-In (https://www.ridgefield.cinemaofhorrors.com/)
- Mixing horror movies with real life scares? That's a new one on me! 

Milburn Manor (https://www.milburnmanor.com/)

October 15th

Washington


October 22nd

Washington


Not Opening for 2021:

Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds
Nightmare at Beaver Lake
Night on a Dark Trail

- Should be reopening in 2022 according their site.

Sprucing up the Cobwebs


It's been a while. A year, in fact. That can seem like an eternity for so many of us and it has for me over the past year.

A lot has happened and it's still ever changing. Between the pandemic and moving 2200 miles to an entirely new region, yet again, it's been a difficult but rewarding journey that's spanned the entire country. Myself and my partner are still not settled in fully in our new home in the Pacific Northwest but we're getting there more and more with each passing day. 

The fact that I can smell Fall again, that there's a chill in the air, and misty foggy mornings are a thing makes my dark little soul sing. I've been missing this for a long while, and didn't know how much I needed it until actually getting up here and having it land on my face like an axe through a door. 

So, what does this all mean? 

It means that the vision that I had for this website is finally going to come together and take more shape. A place for all things Halloween, Haunted Attraction, and horror related stuff. What kinda stuff? Reviews, news, and a slew of other weirdness as I figure it out. Sounds easy enough. This site won't be just a carbon copy of the old either, doing things differently and look forward to sharing just how that plays out with everyone as we go along. 

One of the things that I'm really looking forward to is being a lot closer to the haunts in California; Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, LA Haunted Hayride, Howl-O-Scream San Diego and so many more. While they're not right in my backyard, it's close enough! 

I am not sure if this year will be the start of things fully, but I am hoping to get to a few haunted attractions in our new home and write about them, so the first new haunt reviews in 4 years will finally be a thing. Other pieces about random horror/Halloween type type things will be coming soon as well. 

It's good to be back!

Until next time, 
Sweet screams and pleasant nightmares! 




Monday, June 18, 2018

New Things are Afoot!

No, not that foot. Though, I'm sure that we could dig one up somewhere around here, folks seem to misplace their feet quite often.

Anyway, just a little note here that we're still in the process of moving everything over from the the Kitsuneverse.com site to here. Yes, we are moving all the haunt reviews over. The Haunt news section over there, not so much. Most of that is all outdated but we will link to an archive of it!

Anyway, that's all I have to say about things right now. So, until we meet again, sweet screams and pleasant nightmares!