…And so it began. The end of the 2009 Halloween season brought forth many reasons for change to The Realm of Darkness. For 9 years the old location nestled away in the neighborhoods of Pontiac, Michigan served as the epi-center of fear and death; sometimes literally! With the building conditions deteriorating, a property owner not willing to maintain the location, and the economy affecting the quality of safety for the patrons of the haunt, some hard decisions had to be made regarding the future of The Realm of Darkness.
Following 2 years of flood occurrences in the haunt, one a frozen sprinkler system, the other damage to water pipes from a hi-lo. Realm’s owners and staff were in doubt about being able to carry on with the attraction (at least in that location). In November of 2009 it was decided that Realm needed to move to a new home. One that would provide a secure environment for its patrons yet maintain all of the haunt’s glory and allow for expansion in years to come. After several viewings of many different suggested options from the owners’ realtor, the perfect location was found at 37 Turk St. in Pontiac right off Woodward at the mouth of the Woodward loop. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
THE FUTURE IS NOW
The purchase of the new building for Realm was a whirlwind experience. With purchasing the property instead of leasing, the owners could control their own destiny with the location. In the beginning of March 2010 the owners were handed the keys of what has become The Realm of Darkness’ new home. There was not time to get comfortable due the task of moving out of the old facility and planning the layout of the new building all in time for the inspection process and the approaching Halloween season. Some would think 7 months would be more than enough time to complete the tasks at hand. The tear down and assembly of 15,000 sq. ft. of haunted house was no easy task and Realm’s history for “over the top” décor and effects could not be sacrificed. 2010 would mark the 10th anniversary for Realm and the owners wanted to make sure it was nothing less than spectacular. This required new themes, more advanced effects and “built from the ground up” illusions. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
Plagued with unreliable help, permit issues and the scheduling of inspections, the build period seemed to never end. August 2010 arrived with the haunt ready to hit the ground running. The Realm of Darkness had weathered everything thrown its way and opened for the 2010 Halloween season with much success and enthusiasm to enter its next decade of fear. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
TO KNOW US IS TO LOVE US
Realm’s reputation for attention to detail and realism has always been its crowning achievement. Modeled after the quality of Disney’s Haunted Mansion attractions, the haunt strives to immerse patrons in an environmental and sensory experience that will be talked about for years. The 2011 Halloween season has several new changes in store for those willing to meet their destiny. Realm 2011 will host a new staff of actors that are at the height of the industry. Additional site attractions will be on hand to minimize wait times on line. The interior of the house will be 55% different than last year (it is tradition at Realm to change the house as much as possible from the previous year). The team from The Realm of Darkness is also participating once again at the NILES SCREAM PARK haunt in Niles, Michigan. The NILES SCREAM PARK is the premiere all around haunted attraction in Michigan and the Realm crew has worked in cooperation with Niles the last 8 years to add new and unique scares to their ever changing venue. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
In addition to NILES, each year the Realm team is approached by other haunt owners looking to spruce up their existing haunt or to create something new and never before seen in a haunted attraction. This year is no different as a super secret project is in the works-stay tuned!!! (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
The Realm of Darkness operation also works with a local charity to give opportunities and support to adults with physical and mental disabilities. LAVERNE’S LOVING ANGELS is an organization that provides activities and educational courses and is also engaged with The Realm of Darkness to give their group a venue for their members to participate in and enjoy the experience that the Haunted House provides. They also welcome any charity that would like to use the Haunted House as a site for a fund raiser event. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
The Realm of Darkness offers group discounts for pre-arranged group attendance. They also welcome private functions and parties, with pre-arrangements being made, as well. The Realm of Darkness can also be found on-line.
The website, www.therealmofdarkness.com, has several items of interest as well as ticket, group and ordering information. There are also videos posted on their YOUTUBE page under “The Realm of Darkness haunted House” that can be viewed to get a feel of the experience. If you need assistance in setting up or starting a haunt, give them a call to get something started, they’re always willing to help.
The Realm of Darkness is known as Michigan’s only interactive haunted house with the challenge of receiving valuable prizes if you are successful in defeating the interactive challenges and face the evil wizard Daemon. Once face to face with Daemon, provided you survive the experience and are victorious with the challenges he offers you, the treasures are yours for the taking. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
THE LEGEND OF THE REALM OF DARKNESS
Sometimes, there is a horror so great, a tragedy so severe; it causes time to stand still…
The evil Wizard Daemon has reigned over The Realm of Darkness for centuries. The progression of time still hasn’t aged old flagstone castle. Now, Daemon grows stronger with every soul he claims. He is using all his power to lure time itself into the Realm’s vortex. Ghost Warriors from bygone eras, Pirate Lords, their ships and crew, Torture masters, a variety of creatures thought long extinct, Zombies and horrible experiments gone wrong have all been captured and forced to do the bidding of the demented Wizard. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
The Wizard is intolerant of any form of insurrection. Those responsible are dealt with quickly and severely, as are their superiors. The captured minions are finding out what the tortured villagers have known for generations. Obey or your corpses will line the pathways that lead to his castle.
The “Judges of the Underworld” sensing chaos at the hands of the Wizard, seek to answer the question, how do you stop the “undead”??? How can you stop evil, growing stronger with each soul that enters this domain? (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
The Judges must turn to a force they have resisted calling upon; until now.
They summon the only species able to stop this uncontrollable evil; the ages old Stregoneria. Italian sorcerers and witches that at times have employed “the Stregoni Benfici”, Italian vampires that are blessed by Catholic clergy and are mortal enemies of evil. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
Now in the latter part of 2011, one of those, an immortal from the 13th century has come to The Realm of Darkness, to pursue the dark Wizard, and hopefully end his reign of terror.
Will you dare accept the challenge? YOU may become a “ghost warrior” by defeating the Wizard and winning fantastic prizes. Be warned, the inhabitants will try everything to keep you from the treasures that lie along the path of your journey. If your efforts are successful, and you are lucky and brave enough, you may defeat the challenges of The Realm of Darkness. (www.therealmofdarkness.com)
Realm’s contact information is:
Owners: Denise Siess/Frank Gadwell
Direct Line: (248)338-0029
Street address: 37 Turk St. Pontiac, Michigan 48341
YOUTUBE: The Realm of Darkness Haunted House
2011 OPERATING DATES
September 30, October 1-2