The loss of the Homer Mill in the spring of 2010 did not mean the end of Halloween haunted attractions in the Jackson, Mich., area. Several new haunts springing up like toadstools have helped fill the gap, including one developed by the creators of the beloved Homer Mill. It's not clear whether Alice Cooper will hang out at any of the new haunts the way he did at Homer Mill, but for everyone else there are still plenty of scary thrills to be had around Jackson.
After the popular Homer Mill attraction was destroyed by fire, its creators turned their attention to this relatively new haunt in Jackson (1318 Wildwood Ave.; jxunderworld.com). Housed in the old Shaw's Furniture Galleries building, the Underworld is not actually underground, but it is 30,000 square feet of haunted house that its owner describes as "extreme." The focus here is on props and displays, although there are a few live -- well, presumably live -- actors lurking in the hallways as well. Admission fees at time of writing ranged from $15 to $20, depending on day of the week.
Created by cousins Rick and Randy Reynolds on their farmland outside Stockbridge, The Bone Yard (5010 Green Rd.; boneyard-fx.com) is a traditional mash-up of corn maze and haunted house that attempts to provide family entertainment with a little scary spice. During the day, it features all corn and pumpkin activities suitable for the little ones, but at night the Scarecrow Hollow haunted corn maze, Deadwood Forest Old West-themed walk and the Tent of Terror haunted house turn up the fright level. At time of writing, $20 per person provided admission to all three haunts.
The Corpse Barn (6220 Brooklyn Rd.; myspace.com/freaksntreats) began as a modest home haunt made to scare trick-or-treaters, but has become a full-scale haunted attraction with a permanent home just west of Napoleon. The approach here is all-out terror, with an emphasis on murder and death, as you might suspect from the attraction's name. It opens at the end of September and remains open every weekend in October. At time of writing, admission was $10 per person.
Down the road in Jonesville, Darksyde Acres (11375 Rowe Rd; darksydeacres.com) offers 38 acres of horror, including themed mazes The Rusthole and The Catacombs, as well as The Dark Abyss, a creepy haunted ship. The creators of Darksyde are members of the haunted attraction school that values backstory over all else, and they want visitors to be immersed in the environment of their haunts. Extreme makeup effects are definitely on display here, but it's all in service of the theme. At time of writing, Darksyde offered $20 standard admission and $30 VIP "no waiting" admission options.
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