About Andy Shultz

I'm a writer, director, producer, reviewer and co-founder of All Hallows' Haunts- A Horror, Halloween and Haunt review blog! Check us out on wordpress @AllHallowsHaunts and on Twitter @HallowsHaunts. You can also follow me on Twitter- @Andy1701.

Alice Cooper’s Paranormal Album

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Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils Chef

Midsummer Scream Tickets on Sale Now!

Midsummer-Scream-2017_Postcard-696x1024Alright all you Halloween, horror, and haunt enthusiasts! Tickets are now on sale for Midsummer Scream, the biggest Halloween festival of the year. In case you’re unfamiliar with Midsummer Scream, it’s a summertime extravaganza dedicated to Halloween and haunts. Many of the California based haunts and theme parks, including Knott’s, Universal Studios, and Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, made their official Halloween announcements at Midsummer Scream.

Theme Park Adventure (@TPAMagazine), the co-creators of Midsummer Scream, have announced some of the lineup for this year’s event that includes the Decayed Brigade, Zombie Joe’s Underground, Return Home Podcast, Force of Nature Productions, Mudd The Magnificent, and many more to be announced.

They also announced the return of the Hall of Shadows, Midsummer Scream’s own scarezone which features numerous mini-haunts.

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For you party ghouls, this year’s party will be hosted aboard the Queen Mary by Dark Harbor’s Sinister Circus!

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I know that I speak for the whole All Hallows’ Haunts team when I say last year’s Midsummer Scream was not just the best Halloween convention we had been to, but it was the best overall convention that any of us had ever attended. We can’t wait for July when Midsummer Scream returns!!!

Midsummer Scream takes place Saturday July 29th and Sunday July 30th, 2017 at the Long Beach convention center. Tickets are on sale and can be bought at MidsummerScream.org . You can also follow them on Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, and Instagram: @MidsummerScream.

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here and on Twitter (@HallowsHaunts) for more information on Midsummer Scream as more announcements are made.

(Midsummer Scream Poster by Midsummer Scream.)

 

A New Room Has Been Discovered At The Winchester Mystery House

Officials at the Winchester Mystery House revealed this week that a new room has been discovered in the mansion and that is now open to the public.

The room, being called “Sarah’s Attic,” appears to have been sealed in 1906 after the San Francisco earthquake. The room contains numerous items including a pump organ, a couch, numerous paintings, and more. It’s speculated that Sarah Winchester sealed the attic after being almost trapped in the attic due to the earthquake, which she believed was caused by angry spirits.

The attic now brings the total to 161 rooms at the Winchester House. It’s believed that there may still be more hidden throughout the property.

Construction on the mansion began in 1884 after Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle Company, built the mansion believing it would be the only way to protect herself from malevolent spirits. The mansion was under constant construction for nearly 40 years, until her death in 1922. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction and hotspot for paranormal activity.

For more information on the Winchester Mystery House, please visit http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com.

(All Photos by Winchester Mystery House.)

Ash Vs Evil Dead: The Morgue

Just when you thought that you may have seen everything you could possibly see in the Evil Dead Universe, Ash vs Evil Dead proved you wrong. Episode 2 of the second season, saw our heroes begin their quest to retrieve the Necronomicon, with some zany, disgusting, and hilarious mishaps along the way.

The episode entitled “The Morgue” immediately left off right where the last episode began with Ash and company attempting to obtain the Necronomicon. Unfortunately, Ruby hid it in the body of a corpse that’s currently in the town’s morgue. Well, they make a plan: Ash and Kelly will go to the morgue, while Pablo stays behind to watch Ruby.

While Ash and Kelly leave, Pablo attempts to get answers from Ruby as to what’s been happening to him. Ruby turns the tides on him and interrogates him, discovering that he has been having premonitions since his encounter with the Necronomicon.

As for Ash and Kelly, they make it to the morgue. While Kelly acts as look out, Ash begins to brutally disect the many corpses looking for the book. Finally realizing it’s in the very last corpse, Ash attempts to retrieve the book. However, the body’s intestines refuse to let go. In one of the all time greatest scenes in Evil Dead History, Ash battles with this snake/worm like intestines monster that literally pulls Ash up in the, (and I apologize for the language), ass of the of the corpse. Then hilarity ensues as Ash battles the the monster while stuck up the corpse’s ass. Ultimately, Ash wins, gets the Necronomicon, and rejoins Kelly.

Back at the house, Ruby forces the truth out of Pablo in a vision and discovers that a demon known as Baal is coming. The interrogation is brief as they are interrupted by the deadite impersonation Ash’s Dad’s girlfriend. Ash and Kelly arrive just in time to see Ruby and Pablo defeat the deadite imposter. With the deadite dead and the Necronomicon retrieved, Ash and company celebrate. The party doesn’t last long. Ash’s car is stolen by some teenagers, with the Necronomicon in the trunk.

Overall, I had some mixed emotions with the episode. I totally agree that the slapstick humor was top notch. the scene with Ash being shoved up the corpse’s ass was hilarious, but it felt like the episode was mainly fluff, just to set up for the scene. With the show being only a half hour long, you need to make the most of time and I felt it was used to make one epic joke.

It begs the question, what’s next? Where does the show go next with its comedy? The morgue scene was a whole new level of slapstick, but how do you top it? My fear is it peaked too soon and we might be seeing the end of the series before it even gets there. I mean, we still learned a lot and the dialogue is still great. Still, the physical comedy has always been an important part of Evil Dead.  My hope is that I’m overreacting. The episode was still enjoyable, hilarious, but I do see cause to worry. Let’s hope this Sunday’s episode will put our doubts to rest.

Ash vs Evil Dead airs sundays on Starz. Check your local listings for times and channels.

(All photos from Starz.)

Are You Ready For The Exorcist?

excorcist_fox_title_cardA few weeks ago, the world saw the return of The Exorcist with the new TV show based on the classic horror movie franchise. Now, those who are familiar with the franchise, know that historically, the sequels, spinoffs, and reboots of The Exorcist have not met much success. However, it looks like this time around, the series has found success… so far.

As of today, we are two episodes in and the story has become quite intriguing.Viewers have been introduced to the Rance family, who seem to be going through troubled times. Matriarch Angela (Geena Davis) is trying to hold her family together as her husband (Alan Ruck) seems to be suffering from a mental degenerative issue and her oldest daughter has become a recluse after a car accident. Angela finds comfort and support from her local church, headed by Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera).

the-exorcist-tv-seriesNow to add more intrigue to the story, Tomas has been experiencing odd dreams of another priest, Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels). In his dreams, Keane performs an exorcism on a small boy, that goes horribly wrong, resulting in a demon killing the boy. Tomas tries to ignore the dreams until Angela approaches him after witnessing strange things occurring in her home. When Tomas investigates, he witnesses the demon in action. It’s possessed Angela’s daughter. Now believing that these events are possibly connected, Tomas seeks help from Marcus to fight these demons. Reluctantly, Marcus joins the fight, but may have a few secrets and demons of his own to battle.

Only two episodes in, I’m already intrigued by the story and am finding myself more hooked than I thought I would be. While I’m not finding the show to be particularly terrifying, I am enjoying the story and the mystery. That makes the it worth watching.

the_exorcist2I really appreciate the fact that the show hasn’t tried to rip off the original or ignore it completely. It has a few hidden Easter eggs from the original film. At the same time, it’s trying to pave its own path with its own story and characters. With that being said, I’m excited and nervous to see where it goes from here. There is a fine line between the show being amazing or another disaster, and it’s going to have to tip toe along that line for a while.

For those unfamiliar with original horror film classic, The Exorcist came out in 1973 and still to this day is considered one of the scariest movies ever made. As a fan of both the film and the William Peter Blatty novel, which the film is based, I agree it’s terrifying.

It’s enjoyable, a little creepy, and a mystery. It’s worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the film.

The Exorcist airs Friday nights on Fox. Check your local listings for times and channels.

(All Photos from 20th Century Fox)

Get Your Boomstick! Ash Is Back!

Time to get your boomstick, your chainsaw, and your epic grooviness ready- Ash is back for Season 2 of the hit Starz show, Ash vs Evil Dead.

Last season saw our groovy hero (Bruce Campbell) return to clean up his mess… again. This time, with two companions who want to see the Deadites go back to Hell. At the end of the season one finale, Ash struck a deal with Ruby (Lucy Lawless), the author of the Necronomicon. The deal allows Ruby to reign, while Ash, Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), and Pablo (Ray Santiago) get to live peacefully in Florida, partying it up and drinking. Then, on Sunday’s season two premiere episode “Home,” Ash’s happy little existence is interrupted again as Ruby has calls off her truce and sends her Deadites to kill him. In true Evil Dead fashion, Ash goes right back into battle and creates a blood bath of epic proportions.

Before Ash finishes off the last Deadite, she taunts him with an old familiar song, “Ashey Slashey.” It turns out the song was a joke started by the people of Ash’s hometown, after he was the only survivor of the cabin (The events of the Evil Dead Trilogy). Enraged, Ash packs up the crew and heads home to find and kill Ruby.

Obviously, Ash’s homecoming isn’t appreciated by the townsfolk, since trouble seems to follow him everywhere. Even his own father (Lee Majors) has issues with him. As the team explores the town, looking for signs of where Ruby is hiding, Pablo has a nightmarish vision. It’s revealed that Pablo has been suffering these visions since he was possessed last season by the Necronomicon. Luckily for our heroes, the vision also reveals the location of Ruby- an old abandoned plant.

Ash and company arrive at the plant, and go into battle against Ruby’s demon shadow children, who have grown quite strong. Eventually, Ash finds Ruby, and discovers that she broke the truce in order to bring Ash to help her. She’s lost control of her demon children and needs Ash’s help to defeat them and to retrieve the Necronomicon. Reluctantly, Ash agrees to a temporary truce. So, once again it’s Ash vs the Evil Dead!

The season premiere continued the success from where the first season left off. It also kept me invested, interested, and on the edge of my seat the entire time. By the end of the Deadite scene in the bar, with blood and body parts everywhere, I felt as if I were home.

Above all, I appreciated the show’s continued use of more practical effects over computer effects. It adds that classic campiness of great “B” horror movies and the Evil Dead franchise itself.

Let me just say how much I love the Evil Dead franchise. It’s just beautiful, and amazing, and gives me a warm feeling all over. From the writing, the direction, the effects, and the charm of Bruce Campbell, the movies and the show are a perfect combination. With that, I highly recommend Ash vs Evil Dead. It’s great, campy, scary, and fun. You won’t regret it.

Ash vs Evil Dead airs Sundays on Starz. Check you local listings for channels and times.

(All Photos from Starz.)

Halloween Wars is Back!

Food Network’s annual Halloween treat Halloween Wars returns this Sunday (October 2nd) for another season of horror and deliciousness.

For those unfamiliar with Halloween Wars, five teams consisting of a pastry chef, sugar/candy specialist, and a professional pumpkin carver, will battle it out each week by combining their skills to create deliciously scary dioramas based on a different horror theme. Then, each week a panel of judges will eliminate a team until only one team is left standing to take home the grand prize of $50,000.

The themes of each battle range from scary stories, to horror movie classics, to something completely out of this world. The team then is required to combine their respective talents to create a scene that embodies the theme, showcases their skills, and has an edible element to it.

While it’s not your usual scary Halloween show, it’s great for anyone who likes Halloween, art, pumpkin carving, baking, and if you’re like me, is a foodie.

Joining Halloween Wars this season on Food Network will be the Halloween Baking Championship (airing Monday Nights in October), making Food Network a fun Halloween alternative to horror movies and scary shows, plus it’s fun for the whole family.

Halloween Wars airs Sunday nights in October on the Food Network. Check your local listings for times.

(All Photos from The Food Network)

The Hall Of Shadows Scares At Midsummer Scream


For Halloween and haunt enthusiasts, Halloween and horror conventions are the second best time of the year (Halloween season being the first best of course). The team behind Midsummer Scream chose to raise the bar to a new level with Halloween and horror conventions by  adding the Hall Of Shadows- an entire section of the convention center filled with mini haunts, sliders, and an army of monsters.

The Hall Of Shadows at Midsummer Scream was a full size haunt event with in a haunt event. It was a fully functional scare zone. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go through every micro-maze. We really wanted to check out Blackout’s virtual reality maze, but sadly there wasn’t enough time. Of the ones we did see, Toxicity, put on by Boneyard Effects, was definitely our favorite. This is the first maze we saw as we entered the Hall of Shadows, as well was the largest, with the most attention to detail and greatest number of performers.

As we walked through Toxicity, we were surrounded by horrible mutants that looked like they stepped out of a Cronenberg movie. We made our way past vats of leaking toxins, and destroyed quarantine rooms. Finally we were able to make it to safety.

As we exited Toxicity, we had a chance to go through Fear Station’s creepy carnival mini haunt where we got to play a few classic carnival games with a spooky twist- you win or die. We won some popcorn and were fortunate enough not to die.

We were excited to see the Gorelesque! mini haunt as we had first had heard about Gorelesque! earlier this year at Monsterpalooza. We were saddened when they had to cancel their preview a few months ago, but they said they will be performing this Halloween season. For Gorelesque!, we were taken to a room where we were sized up to determine if we were perfect enough to join the Weltschmerz Society and go to Paradise. We were determined imperfect and cast away to see what happens to the imperfect people as we went through a mini maze filled with blood, flesh, and gore. It was a lot of fun.

Following Gorelesque!, we went through Perdition Home’s Sci-Fi space haunt, where a zombie like outbreak took out a space station and shuttle. While it was very short, its attention to detail and design was fantastic.

The last of the mini haunts we hit up was Spooky Hollows, which was a trip through a haunted swamp like area, where the plants have turned evil and deadly. Just like most of the mini-haunts, it was short. However, it was fun and the scares were very well done.

The Hall Of Shadows also featured another adrenaline pumping performance from the masters of sliding, the Decayed Brigade. The Decayed Brigade is wildly popular among the Halloween and horror convention circuit, and as always, delivered a top notch show.

Overall, the Hall Of Shadows was fantastic. Granted, we didn’t get to every mini haunt because the lines were so long- which we were not upset about and is totally okay. These were mini haunts. To give everyone an enjoyable experience, you have to let only a few in at a time. Pushing too many through, you risk ruining the experience and missing out on prime scares. The other reason we didn’t get to every mini haunt was that there was so much to do at Midsummer Scream, you had to pick and choose- which in itself was a great problem to have. Personally, I’d rather have too much to see at a convention than not enough.

Midsummer Scream definitely delivered with the Hall Of Shadows and I personally can’t wait to see what they have in store for Next year! Did you attend Midsummer Scream? What mini haunts were your favorite? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

Will You Escape The Bunker Experience?

Within the last few years, escape rooms have been popping up everywhere. Everything from simple rooms, all the way to complex rooms where you have to face your biggest fears in order to escape. There’s an escape room for everyone. In Pasadena California, there is an escape room that combines it all into one of the most epic adventures anyone could have- The Bunker Experience. Fellow All Hallows’ Haunts team member Chris Nelson and I had the opportunity to check out the Bunker Experience, and I can honestly say, we were not disappointed.

For those who have never done an escape room, it’s basically a room where you must complete a series of tasks in order to get out. These tasks could range from finding a key, to solving a puzzle, to finding clues, or facing a fear. The tasks do vary, as well as the difficulty and theme of the room. As for the Bunker Experience, it’s set in a post apocalyptic future where mankind resides in underground compounds for protection. However, the compound you’re in is compromised by savages known as the Vandals, led by Lightcrawler. The Vandals are savage like creatures who attack, kill, and eat humans. They have attacked the compound, and it’s your job to find the hidden map and escape to safety before it’s too late.

Now, I had never done an escape room before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We arrived just before our designated time, where we met several other participants who would be heading into the Bunker the same time we were. This was our team. We were checked in by a performer who was in dirty, ragged clothes. Once we checked in, another survivor brought us into the compound and explained to us what had been happening on the surface. Suddenly, an injured performer makes his way into the bunker. He had been attacked by the Vandals. The compound had been breached. We were rushed and sealed into the bunker, where we had forty minutes to find the map and escape to safety.

Now, for obvious reasons, I’m not going to reveal any clues or the exact tasks we had to complete. I don’t want to give anyone reading this an unfair advantage (though we’ve been told that they change the tasks periodically). I will tell you that they were some of the most clever and trickiest tasks I could’ve imagined. To add a sense of terror and urgency, there is the occasional banging on the walls, creepy sound effects, and dying guide who can assist you… till he dies. Sadly, we didn’t make it out before our time expired. Once the door opened, we had to make our way through this post apocalyptic maze where the Vandals were waiting.

I cannot even begin to describe how much fun we had. As soon as we entered, we were thrust into this incredible story of survival. We were part of the story and the adventure. It’s always cool walking through a maze or haunts, but you’re only walking through a story. With the Bunker Experience, you are part of the story. The challenges and tasks are so much fun. It’s great because it really shows you how important it is to work as a team and think outside the box. The forty minutes does go by really quick, but you’re having the time of your life!

We honestly can’t wait to do it again and bring our friends with us. I highly recommend the Bunker Experience to everyone. It’s fun, it’s scary, it’s challenging, and it’s an adventure. The story is fantastic and very enthralling. The performers are truly committed and top notch. You will have fun. You will be scared. You will not be disappointed.

The Bunker Experience, which first opened during the 2015 Halloween season, now runs year round. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit them online at http://www.thebunkerexperoence.com . You can also follow them on Twitter- @BunkerEx .

Per their site, you must be 18 years of age or older to participate, otherwise parental supervision is required. Groups consist of a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 12 people. There is no minimum to the number tickets you have to purchase, yet be prepared to share your time slot with others.

The Bunker Experience is located at 20 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103.

Seriously, visit the Bunker Experience and go on an adventure! You will not regret it!

(All Photos by The Bunker Experience.)