Erebus experience

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By Elena Rauch ’18 | Page Editor

I can feel the anxiety in my chest rising. I’ve been able to keep calm for the ride here, but nearing our destination, my heart begins to race. Did I make a mistake?

Stepping out of the car was a process. Do I bring my jacket so I can shield my eyes if need be? There’s a chance I might get too hot with a coat on, but who knows how long we’ll be waiting outside in line. It is Saturday night at Erebus after all.

For those who may not know, Erebus is a haunted house in Pontiac, Michigan with over half a mile of haunted pathways. In 2010, Erebus was rated #1 as the United State’s best haunted house, as well as holding the Guinness World Record from 2005-2009 for the world’s largest haunted walk through attraction.

If the reviews I had read held true, I was about to enter 40 minutes of pure terror. I was not ready for that. I’ve always enjoyed haunted houses and being moderately scared, but I’d never experienced anything like this.

I decided to leave my jacket in the car. After all, it was already 7 p.m. and my group had bought tickets online in advance- reserving a time slot at 7 p.m. One advantage of buying a ticket online is that you’re guaranteed to get into the haunted house within half an hour of your start time (or so we thought).

Walking up to the former parking garage that now held this supposedly terrifying haunted house, it was clear that there wasn’t much organization.

Two poorly marked lines stretched down the block in opposite directions. One line was for those who purchased a timed ticket, the other for general admission. The line for ticket holders was significantly longer than the general admission line, but they must have some system right? I mean, we did pay for a reserved spot.

After about 15 minutes passed, it was clear no one was going to come and check our ticket for the time we reserved. Someone with a much later start time could’ve easily been wrongfully ahead of us in line.

By the time we got to the front of the line, people in general admission that arrived after us had already gone inside. We would’ve been better off going the general admission route and waiting to buy a ticket until we arrived.

Thankfully (and coincidentally), we did make it to the front of the line by the time we were supposed to.

Entering another line, this one inside, I saw a screen titled “Wimp Out Scoreboard”. I took note of the fact that 25 people had already either peed their pants, thrown up, or fainted this season, and that several hundred had wimped out.

For the next 35 minutes, my group made our way down dark hallways and into gloomy elevators. It was fun, but I was still waiting for the bone-chilling experience I was promised.

Sadly, it never came.

Erebus is four stories of haunted hallways and attractions. However, it’s almost impossible to keep your bearings. At the time, I was under the impression the haunted house got more frightening each level you surpassed (although I have since found no evidence this is true). I thought I was about to take on floor three when I devastatingly realized I was looking at a gift shop instead of another creepy corridor.  

A wave of disappointment rushed over me. That was it? Was I really underwhelmed with the supposedly most ghastly haunted house in Michigan? Apparently so.

Don’t get me wrong, there were times where I was frightened and creeped out. This is no place for someone who scares easily. However, there was a large gap between everything I’d heard or read about Erebus and what I actually experienced (two out of the three other people I went with agree).

If I was to do it over again, I might consider holding off on buying a timed ticket, since the general admission line was significantly shorter than the line for ticket holders. However, there could’ve been a separate line inside for those who need to buy tickets and I wouldn’t have known.

Overall, it was a really fun, enjoyable experience. Although the haunted house did possess some shortcomings, I recommend Erebus as a good destination for a night out with friends, family or a date.