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Posted on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Join the quest for Washtenaw County's - and Michigan's - best haunted house

By Bob Needham


A past Night Terrors at Wiard's Orchards.

file photo | The Ann Arbor News

Following on the heels of searches for Michigan's best coney dog, barbecue and ice-cream parlor, MLive—'s statewide partner website—is launching a drive to find the state's best haunted house.

And, as usual, we—I—need your help. This time in particular.

The way these projects work is we start by finding the best whatever-it-is in each of the areas around the state where MLive has a presence, to narrow down the possibilities. And we do that with a poll of our readers.

We had plenty of local choices for our past projects. But with haunted houses — and just to be clear, we mean scary Halloween attractions open to the public — I'm afraid that Washtenaw County may lack for contenders.

Of course, there's the massive Night Terrors operation at Wiard's Orchards. Obviously, I won't be surprised if that ends up being our local representative in the statewide battle.

But what other options are out there? What else can we put in our poll?

I know of a couple other possibilties — there's a haunted corn maze at Talladay Farms, near Milan. And there's the Bone Yard outside Stockbridge (I'm willing to stretch a bit beyond our county borders for this one.) Unfortunately, it looks like the Chelsea Feargrounds is taking a breather this year.

You can nominate any sort of haunted attraction. As John "Gonzo" Gonzalez, our Michigan's Best Maestro, puts it in his announcement of this effort, "We're looking at the total experience: Scare factor, set design, quality of actors, special effects, originality and how many times I run for the exit signs. We'll accept corn mazes and other attractions, too. But they have to fit the concept of a haunted house, and they have to be open to the public.”

So, where do you go to get scared? Leave a comment below, or email us at

Once I get a list of contenders, we'll run a poll starting next Wednesday. Gonzo will visit all the local winners, plus other suggestions from around the state, and we'll cover those visits.

A winner — Michigan's best haunted house — will be announced Oct. 23.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.


Candy Chavez

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

Barn of blood in New Boston!

Candy Chavez

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

Jns131 They are closed this season remodeling for a serious up-do! I only found out this morning.


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

New Boston. Thank you. I was trying to remember the town. They have a great hayride to see the witch for children. This is fun even though we are not school age anymore. More like geriatric age.


Sat, Sep 22, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

I think we are all missing the boat on this one. What about Brandywine Cemetery? A local haunt without all the gore? That is my choice. Wiards is next and then Apple Charlies near Belleville.

Bob Needham

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

Thanks, I'm checking into this -- if I remember correctly, I think maybe they only set up right at Halloween, which would mean the timing might not work for the statewide project. If not, though, we'll try to do a separate story on Brandywine.

James Toy

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

There was one reportedly - a small apt bldg next to St. Vincent de Paul north of the Broadway Bridge - there may be 2 apt bldgs there. In the late 70's one of my Social Work field instructors went there with her husband to check out an apartment vacancy. The owner couldn't go, so he loaned the couple a key. The husband went in first - he was there for a few seconds and came back out. "We aren't going in there. Something's wrong about this place." My field instructor said, come on, nothing's wrong. Her husband refused. They went back to the owner. The husband shared what had happened. The owner, as I recall, reported that decades before, a physician had murdered someone in the building.