Stop number two of our Michigan Haunt Tour had us heading to Leslie Michigan…Home of
Awaken Haunted Attraction. Through a series of unforeseen events, we were quite
concerned about actually making it on time. A couple unexpected delays and pit stops along
the way put us way behind schedule. We were excited about this haunt and having such a full
schedule it would have been tough to reschedule. So we pressed on …And we are glad we did.
We arrived with about a half hour to spare and I think this really worked in our favor.
1. No line to wait in.
2. The actors were primed and all warmed up…
Pulling up to the haunt you are greeted with lots of bright festive lights, eye-catching graphics, a
creepy hearse (of course). And in our case, fantastic parking. This all gets your blood flowing in
anticipation for some good scary fun and surprises. Unfortunately, what we did miss by being
so late was all the pre and post reactions from the crowds that were there earlier.
Lets go get terrified
Entering the haunt things moved pretty quickly and we are rushed into a creepy-ass elevator by
"Nurse Candy". The urgency is by design, as your destination is highly scientific and obviously
a government controlled facility that is up to no good.
The elevator is a bumpy ride with flickering lights, a static-filled intercom and you're just hoping
you get there in one piece….Maybe you do, maybe you don't!
Being the alien conspiracy nerd that I am, this first section had me giddy as a school girl. I felt I
was literally in an area 51 lab that had just experienced something gone terribly wrong.
Whether you're an alien fan or not, you are going to love these first few rooms. The attention to
detail in the sets are second to none. The aliens are realistic and terrifying. The sounds and
visuals as a whole made these rooms some of my favorites of the whole haunt. Like always, I
was probably screwing up their timing because I want to poke around and see every detail and
gawk in appreciation at the craftsmanship. But, like any good haunt, they keep you moving
On to the next room.
Now, we have gone through many haunts with 3D fx…They pretty much all have them these
days. Typically it's not one of our favorite rooms in a haunt. It's not that we don't like them, it's
just not one of our favorite parts of a haunt. However, none of them at this point have been this
well done. What's really cool is, it's not just one quick room and you're done. Oh contraire,
you're in 3D for awhile and it is so mesmerising and flat out amazing. Things are floating all
around you. The floor seems to move. The walls are distorted and there's a freakin' clown! Oh
no…Not a freakin' creepy clown! Kodos to the artist that created this masterpiece and we now
have a new appreciation for 3D.
What else ya got?
You're going to go through a lot of spooky rooms, and so many twists and turns throughout this
haunt. From a dark attic, a gnarly kitchen, a bedroom that screams "I'm outta here", hallways, a
boileroom…Oh that fantastic boileroom. Of course there are so many others, each one is
designed with artistic perfection and tells a story specific to its purpose. I hope patrons going
through don't just close their eyes and run through, because you really need to take it all in
visually. I just can't stress this enough. Keep your eyes open, try not to run through any of the
rooms (unless you're being chased…Which you will) and make an effort to take it all in. You can
thank me later.
This is one of those haunts that will definitely WOW you with their set building, paint, props and vision for telling a story.
But is it scary?
As mentioned in previous articles, 40 years in the scare business…You're not likely to scare us. However, based on the poor souls a couple rooms behind us, yes, it has its fair share of scares and startles. We did manage to get startled on a couple good jump scares, but I'm not going to divulge that top secret information and ruin the surprises. I have the bad habit of paying so much attention to the sets and visuals I miss quite a few of the scares. Sindee on the hand is paying attention to the actors and definitely waiting and hoping someone gets her good. It's rare you get her, but if you're good you can do it!
Did she get scared?
No! Startled? Yes! So that is a big win for the haunt. So, you are going through, as mentioned before, a lot of rooms, halls and tight spaces. The jump scares are there…How you handle them is on you. At one point you end up outside and this, without giving away spoilers, is a creepy walk through the "backcountry". All I can say is, watch your back. Keep your wits and be prepared for anything because there is plenty of opportunity for carnage around every turn. The Creeps! They have some good developed characters throughout the haunt. We had a few favorites, such as; "Mama with the chainsaw", "mullet-boy", the female clown inside the 3D (I swear her head looks detached), the "swamp-moss" covered dude and of course "Nurse Candy". This Nurse is not to be trifled with! Each character throughout the haunt fits in with their surroundings and made sense for them being there. Makeup & costuming is on point. So good job to all the actors, make-up personnel and stylists. After the haunt…You're not done yet!
Once you survive the haunt itself, you are treated to some fun extracurricular activities. You must experience the "escape room". Sadly, Sindee and I failed miserably inside of it…But, it's still a lot of fun. The lobby is filled with fantastic photo opportunities, including; An Exorcist and Terrifier display, as well as other cool displays and areas to catch your breath and recap what you just experienced.
Speaking of The Terrifier.
October 14-16 you can meet Art The Clown himself, David Howard Thornton. He will be doing photo ops and signing autographs in the lobby. The topper to all this fun is the gift shop. Now we are a nostalgic kind of couple and love old school stuff. The gift shop made us feel like we were in the snack bar of a vintage single theater moviehouse and we really appreciated that touch. Oh yeah, the third reason why it was in our favor to be so late arriving. We were able to hang out with the staff and actors after the haunt serviced the last of their victims...I mean guests! We were able to take photos and talk with some of the actors and staff and hear about some of their experiences during the night. Prior to departing we also got to sample some of their limited edition Awaken Ghost Pepper Cider, made by Boss Cider Brewery of Leslie (Sold at the brewery, not at the haunt due to alcohol content). It's got a real kick just like the haunt itself. The haunt is easy to get to and has good parking. The staff and management are fantastic people and really go out of their way to assure you have a great time and experience. Sindee and I highly recommend Awaken Haunted Attraction, so make sure you get this one on your spookhouse schedule…You won't be disappointed.