Haunted House in Pontiac Offers a Weekend
Original Story published by Detroit Free Press
By Annabel Ames
Our own Downtown Pontiac attraction, Erebus Haunted House held it's SUMMER SCREAM event brought visitors to be scared on Friday July 11 through Saturday July 12. The region's largest attraction scared folks who came as far as Toronto, Canada to visit one of their favorite haunted attractions around.
Annabel Ames of the Detroit Free Press covered the event with her article below.
This summer, thrill seekers will be left in the dark.
For the first time, Michigan’s largest haunted house hot spot, Erebus in Pontiac, will be open during the summer. Its Summer Scream this weekend is being described as a blackout event.
Visitors to Erebus will take a half-mile trek into the four-story building in total darkness and dodge 90 terrifying actors, pop-out props and things that go bump in the night, Erebus owner Edward Terebus says. The only light in the attraction will be a glow stick given to each participant.
Erebus is normally open from mid-September through early November, when it attracts tens of thousands of people.
“In the regular season, I have control of the light and I can make you look where I want you to look, but with a glow stick, you have control,” says Terebus. “There are some things you won’t see until it’s too late because you can’t see 30 feet in front of you. There are some things you won’t see at all — you’ll just hear your friends screaming.”
Erebus is a maze, and there’s only one way to get through. Actors will be placed every 10 to 15 feet to keep people moving.
“Even people that have been coming here for years will see a completely different event because now you’re walking in pitch-black,” says Terebus. “Normally, you might anticipate where things are going to come from. In total blackness, you won’t be able to expect that.”
CBS Radio Detroit has partnered with Erebus to host Summer Scream.
“(Erebus) is the best in any state, which is why we decided to partner with them,” says Debbie Kenyon, senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio Detroit. “It’s something unique and cost-efficient.”
The total blackout concept had been pondered for a while, and when Erebus pitched the idea during a conversation with CBS Radio Detroit, everyone agreed it was perfect.
Terebus says Summer Scream is an opportunity for those who can’t make it to haunted houses in the fall to embrace the holiday in the summer.
“You can go to a baseball game or to the beach any day of the summer, but you can’t do this any other time,” he says. “On the beach, you’re not going to smell gasoline or see a guy coming at you with a chainsaw. It gets you to step away from reality and experience Halloween in the middle of the year.”
Terebus, who is a partner in Erebus with his brother Jim, bought the building in 1998. He sold his house and Jim re-mortgaged his in order to bring their dream to life.
“My brother and I have been thinking about how to scare people for years,” says Terebus. “We live it, breathe it, sleep it and laugh about it. We said ‘We either make this work or we die.’ ”
And make it work they have.
Erebus clinched the Guinness World Records title as the largest walk-through haunted attraction for five seasons and has graced countless top haunted houses lists for over a decade. A team of artists and engineers creates 95% of the props used to spook people of all ages.
“We pride ourselves on being different and giving you an experience you won’t forget,” says Terebus. “It’s not just all scary — we want you to have an entertaining time, too.”
Breanna Copeland, a 30-year-old from Ortonville, has worked as an actor at Erebus for 10 years and is currently both a manager and a “scarer.”
“I love the thrill of it,” she says. “It’s a lot of fun to see their reaction and scare them.”