Vote 4 The Best: Special Halloween Edition concluded with thousands of votes cast. Metro Detroiters picked their favorites in a bunch of categories, and we got a chance to speak with the people who won for "best scary attraction".
Glen Williams and his father, Ray, love Halloween. Over the years they gathered quite a number of seasonal decorations, and since their large properties in Grosse Pointe Farms were right next to each other, they struck a pretty impressive facade. People heard about it, and so Glen began inviting people to do walkthroughs. To accommodate the crowds that were coming, Glen invited friends to help out, such as set builders Ron and Donna Carloni, and animatronics expert Jim Weine with his family Kristen, Taryn, and Carrie. In 2007 the production got so popular that Glen turned it into a charitable event. Haunted Garage Productions was born and the schools of Grosse Pointe have had a yearly boost ever since.
It's no surprise that Glen would choose to help the schools; he spent 32 years teaching physical education there, and some of his first customers were the students he taught by day. Some of those students even went on to work at the event.
"They know what I'm looking for," said Glen, "They were there as kids, so they know how we do it. We try to be family friendly; We're the only place that uses a blinking light."
The blinking light is for anyone who's had enough frights. They can turn it on and the actors know to leave that attendee alone for awhile. The actors also have certain boundaries that they keep within, and have rules against screaming or chasing guests.
Mr. Williams continued, "We still offer scares. There's animatronics, and scary sets along with our actors," but Glen thinks that the reason they have done so well in Vote 4 The Best is that everyone can feel welcome at The Haunted Garage.
He also made sure to say how much he appreciates the people that make it possible to operate every year, like Jaime Hacket who runs their facebook, or Joe, the Flagstar Bank liaison who made Flagstar a sponsor. He talked about Liz Fildew, who operates the concessions, and Dawn Magnuson, who handles all the tickets and acts as a bridge between The Haunted Garage and the charities they work with.
All of these people coming together has made The Haunted Garage metro Detroit's favorite scary attraction, and it's also done a lot of good for the schools.
Although they are done for this year, Glen invites you to check out their Facebook page, where you can see how you can donate to the charities they've helped support.