Fall festivities to enjoy: Rotten Manor


Photo courtesy of Mila Koivula

Senior Jackie Smith and Sophomore Megan Sclabassi posed in front of the entrance to the haunted forest.

Riley Coesens, Editor in Chief

Amidst a global pandemic, people have creatively attempted to find fun ways to spend time with friends, as well as keep traditions and holiday spirit alive. During “spooky season,” as it is often described as, students and families in the Milford area committed to this ideology, seeking the entertainment that haunted events offer every fall to Halloween fanatics. Rotten Manor, located in Holly, Michigan, offers two primary attractions for guests to enjoy: the Haunted Asylum/Forest, and the Rotten Manor (the haunted house). For an individual event price of $26 per person (or $40 for both attractions), guests can attend the after-dark events to experience the thrill of horror. For as popular as such endeavors are, is Rotten Manor worth it? 

Because Rotten Manor appeals to different audiences with outdoor and indoor events, participants can choose their preference based on personal desires for the spooky night that unfolds; upon entrance to the place, actors dressed in heavy makeup and bizarre costumes greet customers with creepy grins and jump scares–it is not for the faint of heart. This in of itself makes the attraction stand out from others in the area; this idea was maintained throughout the Haunted Asylum, as explained by Sophomore Mila Koivula: “My favorite part of the haunted forest was the creativity of it. I loved how it had different themes as you went through it,” she said. As someone who doesn’t tend to enjoy these fearful events, said, “The most unique part was definitely the use of actors and the surroundings to scare you. I generally don’t like scary things, but I found that I really enjoyed this experience. In between things, you got to relax for a second before getting scared again.” 

The most unfortunate part of the experience was the waiting; because tickets are purchased in-person, lines accumulate upon the attraction’s opening at 7 p.m. and continue throughout the evening; nonetheless, this provides a great opportunity to bond with friends before being scared together! Koivula and some of MHS’ swim team members attended the event together and found themselves enjoying the hours spent waiting, feeling the apprehension in unity, amplifying their excitement and the thrill of it all. “Honestly, I thought it was going to be way scarier than it was, so going in I was terrified, but now, I would definitely do it again,” Senior Jackie Smith said. “My favorite part of the experience would have to be getting to know my teammates better!” The memories made during such a strange, thrilling environment are like none other; Sophomores Mallory Armstrong and Megan Sclabassi both quoted the “conga line,” “constant jokes,” and “getting [temporarily] lost” as favorite moments of the night. 

What made the experience even more unforgettable, however, was the uniqueness of the Haunted Asylum itself. Featuring a wide array of rooms, paths, and scares, it truly captured the fears of everyday people and the eeriness of fairy tale worlds, like those portrayed in the iconic film series, Shrek. Some of the specific rooms included a destroyed doctor’s office setting, a gingerbread house (in which guests had to walk through an oven-like passage to escape), a “swamp”, a church, and more. “Everything was incredibly well decorated; there was a Santa’s workshop and it looked so cool and freaky,” Sclabassi explained. “I love Halloween and all things creepy–this just added to it.” As someone who is experienced in attending haunted events, Senior Annalyse Brogan added, “One unique aspect of the attraction was how in some rooms the floor would shake around, and I’ve never had that happen at a haunted house thing before.” 

To top it all off, as many haunted attractions do, it is no surprise that actors with chainsaws concluded the evening; as explained by Armstrong, “My favorite part of the haunted forest was at the very end when we got chased by a chainsaw killer, and half of our group took off sprinting while the rest sort of ignored the guy.” This is the part of the evening that startles most individuals and offers the best screams by those who are targeted by the actors. The tunnel in which participants travel through to emerge before these actors opens up into a large field, often covered in the heavy footsteps of fellow guests, running from the sound so many are petrified of. Would it really be a haunted forest without such a necessary yet intimidating asset, though?

Overall, Rotten Manor offers it all to those willing to test the level of horror its attractions can evoke: jump scares, convincing actors, and eccentric rooms to partake in. It is an enjoyable experience for fear-fanatics and  easily startled individuals alike, especially when done with friends. For those hoping to experience it for themselves, visit http://rottenmanor.com/ for more information–prepare to be scared, and good luck!