Erebus was first-up on our Michigan haunt tour, and we were PUMPED! We’ve been hearing nothing but AMAZING things about this haunt for a very long time, so they’ve been pretty high up on our bucket list. On the way there, we saw a spotlight in the night sky that beckoned us toward it like the Bat signal. Could it be? YES! It was the Erebus haunt signal lighting up the sky!
Erebus is a staple in the Detroit-area haunt scene and has been in business in some form or fashion for a whopping 43 YEARS! From the meager beginnings of haunted trailers to their current location for the last 23 years - a 4-story factory of terror in Pontiac, MI – Erebus is a story of sacrifice and perseverance that clearly paid off in a very big way! They’ve even been featured on the both the Discovery Channel and the Travel Channel which is where we originally heard about them.
As we approached the building, we immediately noticed the huge gargoyles looking down on us and the skeletons scaling the walls. While waiting in the queue line, Erebus had a large scoreboard that displayed some interesting statistics - the number of peed pants and people who didn’t make it through since the beginning of this haunt season and since the beginning of the haunt! Hahaha! We also heard the story about a “shitter” from the owner, Nasty!
The Erebus experience is a ½ mile indoor walk-through and begins with a very immersive failed time-travel experiment. Dr. Colber has unlocked the secrets of time travel, but people sent to different times were recognized like a virus and became sick. Erebus is actually Dr. Colber’s time travel experiment laboratory that he has disguised as a haunted attraction to ensure a never-ending supply of test subjects and funding for his experiments.
Even though, to us, it didn’t seem like the story carried throughout the attraction, the theming that was presented in each section was spot on! First off, let’s talk set design… WOW! Their sets are SUPER IMMERSIVE! There were a lot of areas that required us to interact with the environment including really long (and unnerving!) sections of ducking, shimmying, and squeezing our way through.
Erebus was an early innovator in the haunt industry and unafraid to take risks. This ensured that they not only withstood the test of time, but THRIVED! Erebus features some really original themes and fx we'd never seen before. They had one of the best swamp scenes we’ve experienced thus far! In fact, it’s been said that they were the originators of the modern-day swamp set, with the low laser lights and fog to create the surface of the “water” and waist level air bags to create the feeling of resistance.
In addition to the swamp, a couple of our other favorite themes were a very cool spider area and a really fun, interactive meat grinding section. We were sad to hear that we didn’t get to experience their “buried alive" experience. They had removed it due to Covid and with haunters still going down with the virus, it was best to keep it out of the show for at least another year... bummer.
During our haunt tours, we try to hit as many attractions as possible in a short period of time, so we LOVE when haunts are open on weekdays… even though we understand that we may not get the same level of show on a weeknight versus a weekend. We visited Erebus on a Wednesday night, so there probably weren’t as many actors as there would be on a Friday or Saturday but because a lot of the scares at Erebus are driven by their large props and animatronics it didn’t feel empty. Most of the actors interacted with us and had actual dialogue! We weren’t dealing with a bunch of screaming teenage actors which we appreciate.
Costuming and makeup were minimal but appropriate to each scene. Most characters were other test subjects in some stage of sickness. We could clearly see that some actors at Erebus have an affinity for Jordans... us too... but leave those at home on haunt nights guys, unless they are all black!
While Erebus is not considered a full-contact haunt, that doesn’t mean that you are not getting touched… just not by actors. Erebus features HUGE, in-your-face-props and animatronics that reach out from the darkness and, in many cases, slam into you!
These guys are OGs in the haunt game, and we are so thankful we got to check them out! In addition to the main attraction, they check a lot of the other haunt experience boxes - fun photo ops, concessions, and some really awesome merch. They even offer escape rooms around the corner.
You definitely do not want to miss this very fun, spooky, still very relevant piece of iconic haunt history! If you haven't already, go check them out!