Much like a classic horror film, Panic at Pine Stump Hollow scares visitors with authentic, suspenseful attractions rather than 3-D special effects. Actors dressed in terrifying ensembles and lit only by dim torches and the light of the moon prowl the half-mile haunted forest walk in search of nervous explorers. The trail, which features a pitch-black tunnel and a "vortex" passage, eventually leads visitors to the haunted house, where even more macabre ghouls wait to scream, snarl, and whisper bad stock advice to wary walkers. The terrors eventually give way to a relaxed group area, where a warm bonfire welcomes those who made it through the attractions in one piece. Though inciting fright is important to the staff, helping out is just as high on their to-do list—a portion of the attractions' proceeds goes to support the St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council.
Gerald and Elisabeth Blake established Blake Farms in 1946 with the help of their 13 children. In the 60-plus years and several generations since, Blake's has spread their operation to three locations across the metro Detroit area. More than 500 acres of orchard and farmland compose the family business, and during certain seasons, that land allows average citizens a chance to give their robotic fruit harvesters a rest and come pick their own apples, strawberries, peaches, and pumpkins. Blake's becomes especially busy with the arrival of autumn, when it hosts an annual fall festival, and Christmastime, when its U-Cut tree program lets families team up to chop down their own tannenbaum.
Creepy clowns, bloodied ghosts, and decaying zombies lurk behind every twist and turn at the Slaughtered at Sundown haunted house. Voted the best haunted attraction of 2011 by WDIV readers, the house's pitch-black passageways wind through a chilling cemetery, simulated scenes of violence, and plenty of loud noises and pop-up scares.
If they happen to survive the darkness, intrepid guests can brave a trip through the terrifying countryside on the Slaughtered Town hayride, where they'll encounter horrifying figures such as a headless horseman who seeks revenge against those who always beat him at Marco Polo. Those lucky enough to emerge from both attractions unscathed can calm down and enjoy their own snacks and beverages at Slaughtered at Sundown's bonfire area.
The Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce & Industry pairs with nine area restaurants in an effort to silence growling bellies during the Spring Grub Crawl. Nibble on platters of specialty cuisine or tipple drinks from cash bars at eateries including Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant, Longhorn Steakhouse, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and Wildwood Friendly Tavern. Crawlers can travel at their own pace, and a complimentary shuttle is available to pick up passengers every 20–30 minutes and heads to their next location or national park of choice.
Commandeering components of Hampton Golf Club for its sinister spookery, Dementia at Hampton lures brave souls into temptation with theatrical and interactive scares swamped in horror legends of lore. Visitors are thrust into an asylum and warned that inmates are on the loose. Sifting through smoky corridors, they encounter blade-wielding welders, spy blood-riddled axes, and dodge chainsaw-carrying clowns. Though the haunted house is more frightening than visiting the in-laws or filing one’s taxes with a blowtorch, it is recommended for ages 13 and older, allowing pre-teens and high-schoolers to seek refuge from mid-October ennui. The golf course’s prime location in a highly residential area of town near the Hampton Village Center Shopping Center offers an accessible, commercial area where late-night runs for proton packs may be satiated.
As the sun rises and sets on the shore of Lake St. Clair, it illuminates a historic mansion surrounded by 87 acres of gardens, meadows, and lagoons. The light catches the elm and sugar maple trees, blue lilacs, and other local florae, treating guests to the same idyllic views that Edsel Ford—the only son of Henry Ford—used to enjoy with his wife, Eleanor Clay Ford, and their children. Built in 1929 and now open to the general public, this historic house and its surrounding grounds give visitors a glimpse into the everyday lives of one of America's most prominent families.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford were renowned for their progressive design tastes and support of the arts, and these forward-thinking sensibilities are readily apparent throughout their Gaukler Point home. Detroit architect Albert Kahn chose to characterize it as a cozy escape from city life by recreating the aesthetic of a Cotswold village cottage, complete with stone roofs, vine-covered walls, and lead-paned windows. But the Ford's decidedly modern style is still visible—for every antique and stuffed and mounted Model T, guests can also spot the sleek, custom-made furnishings and leather-paneled walls recommended by interior designer Walter Teague. The acres outside those walls were shaped with equal care by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen, who chose to accentuate the area's natural beauty without giving any indication of manmade interference.
Of course, the Ford House would be incomplete without the invention that made the Ford name—the automobile. Reflecting that legacy and Edsel's own passion for designing vehicles, the garage houses a 1934 Brewster Town Car, a 1938 Lincoln K Brunn Brougham, and a 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, each of which was customized to Edsel's specifications. The crown jewel of the exhibited collection—when it is not being displayed at car shows and museums across the country—is Edsel's treasured 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster, a vehicle that he personally spent years conceptualizing and then refining into a sleek, aluminum-bodied roadster.