Spine-tingling chills begin as soon as visitors enter Hysterium Haunted Asylum's clinical waiting room and fall under the gaze of the facility's head nurse. Once groups enter the asylum, they find themselves navigating a macabre maze filled with darkened hallways and gory scenes. Plenty of costumed inmates lurk in the shadows along the way, awaiting the perfect opportunity to give passersby a good scare.
The haunting doesn't end with Halloween though. For a limited time each winter, the asylum transforms into a gruesome, Christmas-themed experience. The mythological Krampus stalks visitors as they shuffle past mischievous elves and a familiar cast of devious inmates.
It's been more than 75 years since Clarence disappeared into the depths of Hagan Park, but the lost souls that inhabit the Horror Trail are all too aware of his presence. The shadow of the man looms over what was already a grim place, even though the tale of his axe-murdering spree is a wound on the area's history that has long since scarred over. But there's other things to worry about. Visitors find themselves inevitably drawn into the woods, following the cries of what they are certain could be their loved ones. Some think the cemetery is the source of strange lights that can sometimes be seen by passersby. And, worst of all, others still think they can hear the rhythmic scrape of a whetstone on Clarence's axe.
In more than 100 locations around the country, ThrillZown's staff facilitates adrenaline-filled excursions full of extreme water, air, and land adventures. Under the supervision of experts, brave souls defy gravity as they skydive, hang-glide, bungee jump, or play films of apples falling off trees in reverse. On land, crews harness the power of horses, stock cars, and snowmobiles; in the water, groups navigate whitewater rapids or explore aquatic depths as they scuba dive or surf.
In 1939, Everett Cook purchased what would become the Cook family farm and was told it was the worst investment he had ever made. But in the spirit of tenacious American homesteaders, three generations of Cooks turned that bad investment into a thriving bison ranch. After years of research, Peter Cook—Everett’s grandson—became a member of the National Bison Association, and ordered the ranch's first 30 bison in 1998. The hulking, majestic curiosities began drawing in groups from area schools, cross-country motor-coach tours, and time-traveling harmonica players to the 83-acre farm in northern Indiana's Amish country.
During the ranch’s signature one-hour tour, guests board a wagon and venture out to interact with and feed the animals as guides regale them with facts about North American bison. After the tour, groups can also sit down for a meal of bison burgers or bison brats. The animals receive no growth hormones or stimulants and graze on the ranch's own hay and grain, which produces tender and healthy meat, unlike animals fed with growth hormones, which produces meat that won’t stop quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Bison burgers, brats, and steaks are available for purchase online or inside the ranch's gift shop. In addition to the tours, the ranch also allows guests to hunt their own game during guided hunts, taking home bison, deer, and wild turkey.
After respective careers as a research scientist and an educator, Larry and Pam Satek were ready to settle into retirement. They anticipated relaxing on the plot of land purchased by Pam's great-grandfather in 1915—a verdant space that had matured from an apple orchard into an overgrown tangle, and which the Sateks turned into a commercial vineyard where other Indiana wineries bought their grapes. Now that they had escaped the daily grind, the Sateks' plan was to begin crafting their own wine. They did so with well-recognized aplomb, and soon, their "retirement business" was winning awards at the INDY International Wine Competition. In the past three years, almost 80% of their wines have medaled—the 2012 contest alone landed them 23 awards, including two Concordance Golds, which signify a unanimous decision by the judges. Their success is hardly surprising, though, if one looks at the descriptions of their wines. They deem their Old Vine red zinfandel "a searing of lightning and poetry," and liken the sweet Mango Mania to "sunshine in your glass."
The Sateks remain continually tapped into the community in an effort to share these wines, many of which are made from exclusively locally grown fruit. Their Twitter feed and Facebook page keep fans posted regarding new releases and suddenly sold-out varieties, and those hoping for a closer look can take a tour of the vineyard and bottling facilities. Additionally, special events such as dinners and pairing classes teach visitors how to expertly marry sips to bites without disappointing both of their families.
Housed in a two-story replica of The Hall of Justice, also known as the headquarters of the Super Friends, the Hall of Heroes Super Hero Museum unites memorabilia from fans’ favorite world savers under one roof. The museum’s comics, figurines, and artwork document the 70 years since superheroes first took over our collective imagination, replacing older, less exciting stories of cape-wearing flint and chisels. After browsing a vintage comic-book collection that spans the Golden Age and Silver Age, guests can wander through sections devoted to guardians including Green Lantern and Superman before exploring a Batcave complete with a Batpole. In addition to toys, collectors’ items, and sketches, the museum has unique objects such as an X-Men video game and a life-size Spider-Man.