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The Top 13 Games to Play During October

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Much like the creepy wooden doll on the big wheel in the corner that is staring deep into your soul, we would like to play a game… actually, we want to play 13 games, and they have to be the very BEST games to play during the month of October, with no limit to the year the game came out, the console on which the game originated or the active availability of said games. We’ve locked our Trunk Gaming staff in a closet with nothing but a bag of candy corn and an extensive list of video games to comb through in order to find you the most horrifying of all the polygons, bit graphics and full motion video. Here is what they came up with!

13. Loaded

Though this game is technically an over the head shooter, you can’t help but recognize this game set the groundwork for the beautiful mood lighting that console games boast today, and we’re not talking Red Lobster, prom date lighting. This was one of the first games to show actual gradients and creepy flash light lighting that will have you reaching for the contrast button while playing late at night. Some could even argue the Loaded series was the forerunner for some of the trigger-happy horror games like Devil May Cry.

12. Altered Beast

Perhaps one of the earliest games, if not the earliest, to tackle life as a werewolf or an “Altered Beast.” Somewhere between a side-scrolling fight-fest and a horror flick, this game was one of the pioneers that made transforming into a monster as routine as getting fireballs from a mushroom in Mario Bros.

11. Luigi’s Mansion

Speaking of the famous plumbing Mario Brothers, Luigi stepped out of his brother’s gaming shadow and into…well, a lot more shadows in a haunted mansion! Traversing this side scroller and busting ghosts with your vacuum and flashlight was the best Ghostbuster experience to hit the gaming realm up to this point. The popularity of this now retro game has even launched a current ping-pong ball based arcade game that can be found in arcades around the globe.

10. Splatter House

Splatter House was one of the earliest games to attempt the horror genre and do it with great success. Though the first game was not featured on a mainstream console, it still garnered a fan base that launched the Splatter House franchise and made Sega Genesis the console to get if you wanted to play Galaga with the undead creatures of the night.

9. Doom II

To talk about the horror genre without discussing Doom II would be like talking mob movies and leaving out The Godfather. Simply put, Doom II was the best first-person shooter to grace PCs and terrify parents and teachers alike. Some of our Trunk Gaming staff may even remember having a friend that put Doom II on their school’s server so students could meet for “study hour” in the computer lab and blast some demons. This was also a major turning point in the discussion of age appropriate ratings for video games.

8. The Evil Within 2

Unlike movies, sequels in the horror gaming industry just get better and better with each new installment. The Evil Within 2 is no exception. This gaming experience truly plunges you into a surreal world that is as terrifying as it is gorgeous. This survival horror story is the ultimate John McClane experience and will no doubt be the fuel of our nightmares for months to come.

7. The Last of Us (remastered)

We chose the remastered version of The Last of Us because if the devil is in the details, then this game is carrying a pitchfork and twirling its mustache while sitting on a flaming throne. This installment was among the first to put you in a cinematic gaming experience. For the first time, you have some control during full motion portions of the game, which was unheard of at this time, and helps you feel like you’re experiencing this fungus zombie world in real time.

6. Jaws

Yup, the one for the NES! Anyone else remember this? There weren’t many things to be scared of on the old NES system, but the Jaws game boasted that recognizable John Williams soundtrack and put you pixel-to-pixel with the great white beast. This was also one of the first games to switch between side scrolling to first person interaction.

5. Friday the 13th

The latest installment for the PS4, Xbox One and PC is as close as you will get (or should want to get) to being in an actual Friday the 13th movie. The game serves up the option to play as a camper or the poor, misunderstood serial killer, Jason Voorhees. Though there are some gameplay issues that people get hung up on, you have to tip your hockey mask to the overall gaming experience.

4. Silent Hill

Just the idea of those sirens sounding and the ghastly otherworldly realm taking over your screen is as anxiety inducing an experience as any ever created by a video game. The haunting score and use of lighting were among the first to perfectly replicate the horror experience of suspense in a video game setting.

3. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

This was that wonderful era when Nintendo took all their NES titles and plussed them up with “Super” in front of every title, but… in this instance we have to agree with them. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts began exploring the idea of gaming on different levels of depth much like an animation cell. You could have things happening on multiple fields of game play at the same time. This was groundbreaking stuff and helped fill your screen with numerous ways to lose your armor or be cursed into a wee little baby adventurer.

2. Super Castlevania IV

Another plussed up offering from Nintendo, Super Castlevania began delving into the realm of 3D with levels like the swirling casket room – you know the one that you have to have a Dramamine before playing now? Also impressive for its time was the masterful soundtrack. We realized upon playing the SNES Classic console that was recently released, just hearing the first few notes of the soundtrack, you immediately recalled which level and experience you were about to have.

1. Resident Evil

The crème de la crème of the horror gaming genre. Resident Evil easily takes the heavyweight title in our book. It’s the first video game we remember playing and having an actual horror movie response of jumping in surprise when the undead dog jumps through the window to chase you down the hallway. Never mind that this gaming franchise also spawned a successful butt-kicking movie franchise featuring Milla Jovovich, the Resident Evil games continue to stand on their own and terrify fans in fresh and horrifying ways. Look for Resident Evil 2 remastered coming up in early 2019!

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Erebus Haunted Attraction

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We’re chatting with Erebus Haunted Attraction co-founder Ed Terebus about the long-running Pontiac, Michigan haunt!
www.hauntedpontiac.com

TrunkSpace: Can you start by giving us a little bit of history about your location?
Terebus: Our current location was an empty shell of a building with no running water, gas, and limited electric. Prior to our purchasing the building it had been used as an indoor junkyard, so when we purchased it we inherited some interesting items including several Cadillacs from the 1930s – 1960s.

When did it begin? Our adventure began in 1981 when my brother Jim got laid off from Ford Motor Co. and decided to open a haunted house. That was the Haunted Gallery, a 1200 square foot pre-fab haunt that cost $1.50 admission.

How has it grown over the years? In 1982 we converted to four trailers, which increased the size to 2800 square feet, and in 1984, we added a fifth trailer to further increase the size to 3400 square feet. We eventually sold the original trailers to a church, for a whopping $1.00. We then moved into bigger, longer trailers (14 feet wide and 70 feet long), we put 10 trailers together to create a 9,800 square foot haunted house. We ran that for seven years. In 1998 we purchased the building we’re now in, and in 2000 Erebus was born!!!!

Both Jim and I made sacrifices to make our dream a reality – Jim remortgaged his house and I sold mine to make the deal work! With hard work and dedication, in August of 2005 we took the Guinness Book of World Records away from a haunt in Japan. We held the record for five seasons until 2009, as the world’s largest walk-through haunted house.

TrunkSpace: The Halloween-related industry seems to grow year after year. Where have those changes impacted your business most? Is it in consumer tastes? Advancements in technology?
Terebus: Yes and yes! Everyone wants more. With all the new technology out there and what everyone sees in the movies, consumers want more. In a well-designed haunt you need to see it, feel it, hear it, smell it, and hope it doesn’t bite! (Laughter) With the advancements in technology, we are able to control more now than ever! Plus, add the human or inhuman element to it and you have a masterpiece of scary proportions.

TrunkSpace: What is it about your particular haunted attraction that you feel helps it stand out compared to other seasonal locations targeting the same audience? What makes it unique?
Terebus: In any given year we have from 50 to 100 haunts within a 50 mile radius of us. Because of that fact, we have to be different and it forces us to innovate. You will see things at Erebus you will not see anywhere else. We have things that will grab you, bite you, land on top of you, and then we will bury you alive. (How long can you hold your breath?) We created The Swamp, The Bottomless Pit, The Spiked Spindle, The Jaws of Death, Buried Alive, and many more.

TrunkSpace: What is the inspiration behind your themes? Do you draw from pop culture?
Terebus: Erebus is the result of Dr. Colber who worked for the government to build a time machine. After leaving the government, he worked on the time machine on his own. Dr. Colber was successful at sending people back in time, with only one glitch – the time period looked at the people like a virus and wiped them out. Determined to overcome this glitch, he sent in group after group of his own personnel. Unsuccessful, he ended up broke and lacking the proper personnel to run his machine. Dr. Colber came up with a brilliant idea to disguise his time machine as a haunted house and have the general public help fund his project and use the people going through as human guinea pigs.

TrunkSpace: Have you added any new elements this year?
Terebus: Yes, we change about 20 percent each year. This year, the doctors are dead and the doors are open – Psych Ward! We also intensified areas by adding a giant spider that tries to spin you into his web, and another area where a six foot vampire bat flies over your head.

TrunkSpace: What do you feel is the best feature and the most talked about part of your attraction heading into 2017?
Terebus: The three most talked about displays in Erebus are Buried Alive, The Swamp, and Blown Away! Those are classics that were invented at Erebus.

TrunkSpace: Why do guests come to your location? Are they looking to be scared? Are they looking to be entertained? What is the goal from your standpoint in terms of giving them a particular type of experience?
Terebus: I think it’s the whole package – the story, the characters, the scares, the entertainment, the high tech, the displays, and the cool special effects. You can’t scare everyone, but you can show everyone a good time. Halloween is a special holiday, you get to dress up and be whoever you want to be and nobody will judge you. Once you graduate from trick or treating, the next step is haunted houses!

TrunkSpace: How many guests are you anticipating scaring up throughout the 2017 season?
Terebus: Every year is different, but tens of thousands will pass through the gates.

TrunkSpace: Looking back over the years, are there any memorable guest reactions that have become the story of legend for everyone who works there?
Terebus: Back in the day, I would say we showed no mercy! I would even tell the actors, “If I yell ‘don’t scare them,’ I want you to come out and get them good!” One night, we had a very large woman pass out. I panicked and called 911. When she came to, she refused to go backwards through the haunt to the nearest fire exit, so we went forward. I yelled out, “Don’t scare her!” not thinking about what I had instructed the actors to do, so they kept popping out and scaring the yell out of her and she kept passing out! Also as I mentioned, she was a big woman, and holding her up was not an option. We eventually got her outside, but about every five feet or so, she would pass out again for no reason. Finally, she got in her car and was about to drive away when I grabbed her car keys from the ignition, thinking she could pass out while driving. She grabbed my arm like it was a juicy chicken leg and just sunk her teeth into me like she hadn’t eaten in years! Now I’m screaming, she’s screaming, and that’s when EMS shows up. They held me and tended to me longer than they tended to her. A human bite can be easily infected!

TrunkSpace: How many actors/scarentainers will you have on hand throughout the 2017 season and what type of preparation goes into getting everyone ready for opening night?
Terebus: We hire about 250 actors and have about 100 of those work each night. We also have make-up people and managers. Everyone gets checked in, assigned to a spot, and then gets into costume and make-up, ready to scare the masses.

TrunkSpace: For those horror junkies who travel far and wide to be scared each Halloween, why should they put miles on their car or jump on a plane to visit your location?
Terebus: We have 38 years of experience in scaring people. Erebus is one of the largest haunted attractions in the world – it’s over seven football fields long, including the end zones! We have things in here you will not see at any other haunted attraction. Beaumont Hospital doctors did a study here on fear and concluded that going through Erebus was like an aerobic work out for your heart.

While they are here they can also check out Erebus Escape – “Your Premium Escape Room Destination!” Some fun without the fear! Located just six blocks north of Erebus Haunted Attraction in downtown Pontiac, MI. www.erebusescape.com #funwithoutfear

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