Editorial: Halloween Horror Nights 2017?Announced Mazes

I have been a long-time visitor to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights event in Hollywood, California.  I have never been to the Florida event but it is a “must do” on my bucket list.  Keep that in mind, since I will primarily be focusing on Hollywood’s upcoming event and will only sprinkle in some thoughts on Florida’s currently announced lineup. 

Trouble in Paradise?

That’s right, there was some big buzz on news feeds since the 2016 event that fans were certain to get a maze based on James Wan’s Conjuring series.  Well folks, it does not look like we are going to be getting that anytime soon.  Seeing as author of the book “The Demonologist,” Gerald Brittle is currently in a lawsuit with Warner Brothers Studios regarding the producers not having the rights to properly use the likeliness of Ed and Lorraine Warren.  This is a 900 million dollar issue that Universal surely avoided during their selection process and rights acquisitions for the 2017 season.  Yes, it really sucks, but I can’t blame them for not wanting to get thrown into WB’s quicksand.  

The rumored Hollywood replacement for this maze is said to be a haunt based on horror “it” man Jason Blum’s productions.  Think of this as an anthology house that could include Get Out, Insidious, Lights Out,  Split, Sinister….the list goes on.  This house, based on which films it chooses to portray could either be amazing or complete trash if they opt to re-hash old Purge scenes that we have seen on the streets of Sunset Boulevard and on the backlot for the last four years of HHN.  Time will only tell.

Announced Maze: The Shining

After HHN ringleader John Murray finally obtained the rights to his crown jewel intellectual prouduct The Exorcist, it only seems right that fans get to step inside of another classic.  

Personally, I’m surprised that Murdy did not opt to use The Exorcist again, especially after the success of he maze which had wait times that exceeded 2 1/2 hours. So, it’s out with the old, in with the new and I am loving it!  Yes, The Shining is a slow burn of a movie with maybe 3-5 scenes that could be considered straight horror, but I feel like Murdy is going to be able to pull this one off.  Muddy describes the maze as a glimpse into going insane, and as one of the most difficult mazes to pull off.  

My predictions are we will be seeing the hallway twins in both living and dead forms, the bathroom scene, and of course, Jackie Boy going nuts on the audience with his axe through a simulated hedge maze.  I would love to see the bloody elevator scene happen, but I can’t fathom how they would pull it off without making guests wear rain boots throughout the attraction.  However, something tells me that such an iconic scene in horror will not go unnoticed by the HHN creative team.

Both parks have announced that The Shining will appear at the 2017 event.

Maze Announcement: American Horror Story: Your Roanoke Nightmare

Last year, AHS made its debut at Horror Nights where it essentially showcased three mini-houses for the Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel (my personal favorite) seasons.  I had a gut feeling that AHS would return this year showcasing Coven, Asylum and Roanoke, and I was both right and wrong in my predictions.

Recently it was announced that Orlando would get all three seasons in one house, and Hollywood would be a solo venture into the most recent season, My Roanoke Nightmare.

Roanoke promo art. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Let me preface my next statements by saying that I absolutely LOATHED My Roanoke Nightmare.  It was poorly written, played its plot too close to Murder House and Hotel, and it played with some formatting choices that just came off as a cheap gimmick.

However, while the show was a mess, I can confidently say there was enough content in the season to merit a solo house.  While I thoroughly enjoy Asylum and Coven, I’m eager to see what a solo AHS house can put out for guests of the event.

I would look forward to a scene that portrays being lost in the woods, a basement attack by the witch of the woods or Shelby, a Cannibal scene, and even an appearance by the murderous sister nurses.  Just please, don’t let it be a constant slew of Butcher characters bursting through the walls yelling unintelligible Irish slurs or us being hunted down by the damned Pig Man.  Sadly, judging by promotional pictures, Pig Man is front and center. Yaaaaaaay….

Keep your eyes peeled for more HHN 2017 announcements as the news is released on my end. Until next time, Plague Rats!


Blood Drive Episode Recap: The F…ing Cop

Syfy has not been known to produce anything remotely close to top-quality when it comes to their original productions, and frankly, that’s fine.  It’s Syfy for crying out loud, the television channel that spawned production companies like The Asylum.  However, with their latest venture into shock value entertainment, Blood Drive, they may just have a gem on their hands.  With a title that promises violence, Syfy delivers the blood in bulk, and that is not the only good thing to say about this production.

Metroplague is proud to cover recaps of this show for its dear readers without spoiling any of the gory details.  So, for the first episode, titled The F…ing Cop, here is a brief rundown of the story.

The setting for Blood Drive is a dystopian 1999.  Seemingly most of humanity has gone to hell in a handbasket and even the cops perform their duties with an air of bloodlust.  Enter Arthur (Alan Ritchson), the “last good cop in Los Angeles,” who stumbles upon the opening ceremonies of the nastiest race in the nation, Blood Drive.

One scene leads to another and Arthur is forced against his will to participate in the race with his equally unwilling partner, badass, sailor-mouthed, Grace D’Argento (Christina Ochoa).  The two must now race to the finish of the competition, where human body parts are used for fuel, and one of the main rules is “do what you like to the competition, just don’t purposely kill them.”

The inaugural episode finds our two protagonists on their first race from Los Angeles to Arizona.  On the way, Arthur and Grace share some witty banter that is placed just to show Arthur is the “good guy” and Grace is our anti-hero that we are all going to root for.  The two characters cross paths with fellow competition, “The Gentleman” and “The Scholar,” cheesy dialogue and more insanity ensue, with a climax that really pushes this show to an extreme that most audiences may see coming but still be surprised about.

Christina Ochoa, playing the mysterious lead, Grace D’Argento.
Photo Credit: Collider
The Good: For a Syfy produced show, it is obvious that some care was put into the production value of Blood Drive.  This show looks, for the most part, like a movie of the Grindhouse genre that it is striving to fall under.  With over-the-top characters that have names like “Slink,” and “Fat Elvis,” Blood Drive really blends into the genre with ease.

The special effects are also top notch, and audiences will find themselves wincing with gross-out pleasure throughout.

Grace and Slink (the ringleader played devilishly by Colin Cunningham), are two characters that are sure to be developed in some interesting ways as the show drives along.

The Bad:  At first glance of the synopsis, Blood Drive really seems like The Asylum’s version of Death Race 2000 or its more modern re-boots.  From the racing theme in general to some of the devices used to keep racers in line with the rules, the similarities could throw some people out of the show’s overall originality, and turn them off completely.

This is meant to be a Grindhouse show, but some of the acting from the supporting characters, one of which is sure to be recurring, was just flat-out bad.  Fortunately, the showrunners were intelligent enough to keep these poorly acted pieces to a minimum, taking up 5-7 minutes of the hour-long spectacle.

Just fueling up!
Photo Credit: Yahoo
The Ugly: Okay, this is it, let’s talk violence and language.  The lengths that Syfy is able to go with both areas in Blood Drive are astounding.  This show really straddles the line between standard cable and premium pay channel content.  In the first episode alone, 7 F-bombs were dropped, multiple faces were mutilated, and there were no less than 4 sexual situations.  This show is definitely not one to watch with the kids, and viewers really ought to know what they are getting into before jumping into the passenger seat of this show.  Sex, Blood, and Rock n’ Roll are what Blood Drive is all about, and if Grindhouse entertainment is what viewers are scrambling for, the first episode delivers in bulk.

Look out for weekly recaps and thoughts as Blood Drive plays out its first season.  Be sure to catch the show on Syfy Wednesday nights at 10 PM EST/9 PM CST.

Cutting Edge and Dark Hour Bring the Fear to DFW for the Weekend

Haunted attractions are a thing that Metroplague firmly believes should be celebrated year-round.  Luckily, two haunted attractions in the area feel the same and are putting on some wicked shows this weekend for us DFW locals.

The girls are out this weekend at Dark Hour!
Photo Credit: Dark Hour Haunted House

In our very first article, we discussed Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano and how the haunt runs differently themed attractions each off-season month.  Well, that time of the month has arrived again, and Metroplague has all of the gory details for you Plague Rats.  This Friday and Saturday, Dark Hour presents its Summer Spirits attraction that boasts “You’ll need a ticket, you’ll WANT a priest.”  Take a walk down the haunted halls of an all girl’s school, where something has taken control of the occupants and turned them into something…..otherworldly.

Hours: June 16: 8 PM to 11 PM; June 17: 8 PM to 11 PM

Price: General Admission: $28; Fast Pass: $50.  Tickets can be bought HERE.

Location: 701 Taylor Drive, Plano, TX, 75074

Don’t forget to eat and fuel up before APOC!
Photo Credit: Cutting Edge Haunted House

The second haunt is a SATURDAY ONLY event at Cutting Edge.  Sign your troops up and come out to experience Zombie APOC Army at the creepiest haunt on Lancaster.

Does your team have what it takes to shoot the undead and live to tell about it?  Gear up with military infrared laser training weapons and test your might in a scored event that could lead your team to the August Finals.  This is a limited space event, and tickets are still available.  Grab yours today!


Price: $39.99 HERE.

Location: 1701 E. Lancaster Ave; Fort Worth, TX, 76102

The Haunted Armory Bringing Scares that Care (Gallery Inside)

Angie Stephens poses with one of her many creations that benefit The Haunted Armory.
The love of all things creepy goes hand-in-hand with most of the personalities in the Goth community.  In Metroplague’s opinion, the best way to celebrate the creepiness in life is to visit all of the local haunted attractions of an area during the Halloween season.

However, while many haunted attractions around the nation are very large-scale, for-profit businesses,  DFW is lucky to have a community of haunters that take their businesses to the next level and bring the profits up for a better community. Continue reading “The Haunted Armory Bringing Scares that Care (Gallery Inside)”

999 Happy Haunts, but Always Room for 1,000

Photo Credit: Marc Davis, Walt Disney Studios

Disneyland and Disney World are the places of dreams for children and adults alike.  With happy-go-lucky vibes around, it is hard to pinpoint an ounce of sorrow behind any aspect of a Disney park…that is unless you’re the one fronting the bill. OR you are one of the unfortunate souls to remain in the park after your visit.

From ghostly shopkeepers to ashes spread where no ashes should fall, Disney does have its fair share of stories with a major creep factor.  Yes, the story about the crying boy in the haunted mansion, or the Small World suicide are all fun urban legends to joke about, but according to past cast members,  there are some very freaky happenings that go on behind the scenes (And we aren’t talking about Prince Eric and Belle, either).

As a short extra for you all, and a prelude to my Haunted Mansion history series in August,  I’ve provided a few videos that feature Disney ghost stories, famous Disney deaths, and my personal favorite Disney CreepyPasta.  Grab your Mouse Ears and make a homemade Dole Whip (Recipe HERE) before sitting down to this ghastly hour.  Until Monday, Plague Rats, enjoy.


This Ain’t Your Childhood Mummy Movie


Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
Metroplague was lucky enough to catch a late night advanced screening of Universal’s “first” foray into their Dark Universe, The Mummy.  Going into this movie we had seen critics and other fans alike jump all over this movie like a plague of locusts.  Based on the buzz, we thought it was going to be bad and went in with the lowest expectations possible for the latest reimagining of the classic story.   Continue reading “This Ain’t Your Childhood Mummy Movie”

Ghosts, Cults and Murderous Legends of Proctor Valley Road, CA

Photo Credit: World News

When thinking of San Diego, California, most outsiders quickly imagine lush beaches, palm trees, the sun, and an alternative rock playlist that seems to serve as a permanent soundtrack to the lives of the comfortable citizens of the landscape.

Sure, those things are technically there, you don’t have to look farther than your nearest billboard off of the 805 freeway to find the way to that type of scenery.  However, if you look past the beaches and pristine streets, you will quickly find the grime and crust of urban legends and violent pasts that stain the outwardly immaculate body of my beloved hometown.

As in all towns, there was the standard haunted house at the end of the darkest street, or the restaurant that was occupied by supposed demonic entities; but none of these tales could hold a candle to the fear that Proctor Valley Road could place into a child’s soul.

From hitchhiking figures to occult and Klan sightings, there were plenty of reasons to be dubious about Proctor Valley Road, and fortunately for me, I spent most of my life on a ranch in the suburb of Bonita that rested right at the entrance of this eerie hollow.

As a kid, my Uncle “C” used to tell me stories of how he would go out to Proctor Valley in the 70s and party with his friends at a well-lit bonfire.  However, one story always stood out to me.

“I was at the fire with my friends, you know, drinking booze and flirting with ‘chicks,’ then one of my friends started screaming in the distance.  We all ditched the fire and went towards the screams.  We found him about 50 yards out, near a tree where he had been taking a piss.  A young girl in a white dress could be seen hanging by a rope from a nearby branch.”

Now, he never went beyond what happened next.  Did they go to the police?  Was she a spirit?  Was she just “hanging” around the bonfire waiting for a drink?  We never knew.  I honestly think this story was one told to keep ill-behaved children on the right side of the tracks.  But his story is not the only story of murder on the road.  Proctor Valley was notorious as a place for local denizens of the underbelly to stash the bodies of their robbed victims, so who knows…maybe my uncle was onto something.  I sure know my Aunt “D” was with this next story.

“One dusk evening your cousins & I drove down the dirt road to get to Eastlake ( before the road was paved) on Procter Valley. We came across a young man walking & talking on his phone. My first thought was to ask him if he was lost but I had my 3 kids in the car & just moved on.  As we drove by him slowly he had a hooded jacket covering his face so we weren’t able to see him. The next day he was on the news with a covered blanket over his upper body. To make a long story short we were the last to see him alive….” she said.

There are also rumored KKK sightings and occult offerings made on the vast dirt road in the middle of nowhere, but really all it seems to be is stories, and the only thing I’ve personally found out there was childish pentagram graffiti on dilapidated farm houses.  But is it the real danger that kept us away from the road?  Oh no, my dear Plague Rats.  On that road, there were plenty of “Monsters” lurking in the shadows.

*The most popular monster myth on this road is the Proctor Valley Monster.  This is something that has so many versions of the story that I’ll provide you with a link to a great article from the San Diego Reader here.

La Llorona Photo Credit: Universal HHN

Of course, for any Hispanic child, the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is one that is sure to keep them in line.  Yes, there is a version of La Llorona on Proctor Valley Road.  Legend has it, there is an older lady who wanders the dirt roads crying out for her children…..best hope she doesn’t catch you, for according to legend if she does, it’s curtains for you.

Another mysterious woman is the Lady in Blue.  According to tall tales, she crouches down in the middle of the road and cries out for help as drivers roll by.  Should you pick her up, she will “surely” kill the driver before the car reaches its destination.  Should you leave her, your act of cruelty will also result in your death before reaching your destination.  Cheesy, I know, but there are some stories that only the witnesses can comprehend.

My Aunt was kind enough to provide another story of PVR.  While this is not the women that I discussed previously, this story is honestly a completely terrifying one and is enough to keep me off of PVR at the age of 30!

“My dear friend Marcia and I used to carpool, and she’d take the short cut daily to pick me up. One night after dropping me off she saw a lady in a white long dress with no face appear in front of her car. As she slowed down not knowing who or what she was the lady looked at her with no face and glided off! Marcia never took that road again at night!”

It’s a wild story, so believe it or not.  I just know in all my years my Aunt hasn’t lied to me.

The final legend and the one that I am most curious about is the story of Haven  Bakery.  This eatery used to reside in Jamul, CA, where PVR ended.  I believe it was demolished in 2008 to be replaced by something corporate.  As my dear friend Amy says, no matter how dirty the history, it’s a damn shame to see it replaced with a Walgreens.

The Haven Restaurant and Bakery
Photo Credit: thisissandiego.tumblr.com

According to legend, Haven was run by a father who one day discovered his daughter hanging from a noose in the basement, dead.  Wild with rage, the father is rumored to have killed all of the workers in the restaurant and leaving the bodies in the bathroom to rot before killing himself.  This building used to be a large haunt for teens and amateur ghost hunters to get into mischief, and it is no surprise that the bathroom and basement areas are deemed the most haunted based on the story.

I haven’t been able to find any factual evidence of a massacre, but it does make for a fun story to frighten oneself with while exploring a run down property.  Here is a video of the bakery from Vegas13adventure’s YouTube Channel.

Although there isn’t evidence of the actual murder taking place, there is a handful of proven accidental deaths on the property.

For some REALLY creepy first-hand Haven Bakery stories check out this Sub-Reddit!

Keep in mind that there are tons of stories based around PVR, and this post didn’t even scratch the surface.

*In Rod Serling voice*  So, next time you find yourself in San Diego, California at night.  Take a chance and take a drive down that long dirt path at the end of Sweetwater Road.  Keep your headlights on and your wits about you, or you may just find yourself a permanent resident of….Proctor Valley Road.

If you have a PVR in your hometown, Metroplague wants to hear all about it in the comments section below.  Please subscribe to us so that we can continue to be DFW’s number one source for Horror and Goth culture.  Look out for our review of The Mummy on Friday!