Wiard's 'Night Terrors' Offers Many Scares
If you're looking for a haunted attraction to get you in the Halloween spirit, you don't have to look far to find one of the best, anywhere.
By day families flock to Wiard's Orchards and Country Fair to pick apples and pumpkins, check out the cider mill and buy delicious baked goods. But as 89.1 WEMU's Bob Eccles found out, when the sun goes down, Night Terrors begins.
Five haunted attractions and a haunted hay ride make for a much more intense visit than you'll have during the daytime. Night Terrors Director Brandon Wiard says they've been scaring people for 30 years.
"It started out with just the haunted barn across the street," Wiard says. "We tell people it's a roughly two-and-a-half hour, three hour endeavor. You come out, you spend the night, hang outwith friends. You don't just jump into the haunted house, pop out the other side and go 'OK, now what's next?'"
You can choose from the Hayride of the Lost, The Ultimate Haunted Barn, Alien Caged Clowns, The Mind Shaft, The Asylum, and new this year, Splattertown, sort of a zombie paintball shooting range.
"Each one has its own thing," Wiard says.
People ask him which attraction is the scariest.
"It depends on your fears and your phobias," he says. "If you're terrified of clowns...you may get two steps into the clown event and you're totally freaked out. We've had people screaming and running. Last week we had someone go to the bathroom, which the clowns were extremely proud of."
It is tough to pick a favorite. But the Ultimate Haunted Barn is right up there. No sooner do you step through the door than you're greeted by Curtis, who makes his home in the barn.
Curtis is actually Josh McDaniel of Ann Arbor, who's been playing the role for two years. McDaniel enjoys getting into visitors' "fear space."
"The performance really brings that out, and it's really fun," McDaniel says. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't do this as a kid. Probably did it too much. Probably got beaten up a couple of times for it. But now, it's OK."
McDaniel knows he's done his job when he scares people to the point where they just shut down completely.
"I want to say that we've gotten a couple of people to pee," McDaniel says, "but but I can't really check, so can only take their word for it."
If you can make it through the Haunted Barn, you'll end up in the country store, where you can grab some donuts and cider, maybe pick up a pie or a bag of apples to take home with you. On the other hand, if you go through the Asylum or the Mind Shaft, shopping will probably be the last thing on your mind when you come out. Just ask Melissa from Taylor.
"Gets the adrenaline going, for sure," she says. "Boy, am I sweating! It's cold, but I'm sweating. It's good. I highly recommend it."
Taylor's not really that far of a drive to visit Night Terrors. While Bob was there, he overheard a group from Fort Wayne, Indiana asking for advice on which attraction to visit first.
At Night Terrors you can visit individual attractions, buy a package that gets you into all six attractions, or go the VIP route, which puts you at the head of the line.
Night Terrors isn't for little kids, but there is a "Scaryokee" area where younger visitors can spend some time singing their favorite songs.