Masthead header
Heather's Halloween bio picture
  • Hello & Welcome!

    Hi, I'm Heather! My love of Halloween + my love of photography = Heather's Halloween, photo blog about all things haunted and fun!

    Although I'm a portrait photographer by trade, Urban Exploration is part of my hobby photography. I travel a little, so I like to visit cool haunted locations wherever I am.

    I also include the stories I've heard or researched about a lot of locations. If you have any additional or different information about these places, please share what you know in the comments. I and my readers would love to hear what everyone has to say. As long as it's nice.

    Have fun!

Nazi Zombie Paintball by ASF Haunt

Here’s a sneak peek of ASF Haunt’s Nazi Zombie Paintball and Corn Maze!  The Haunting of Andrews Spring is in Lewisburg, TN, and the fun begins on September 21.  To see all the details, include dates, times, and cost, check out their new website:  http://www.asfhaunt.com

Nazi experimentation with biological warfare goes terribly wrong, their genetically engineered virus spreads among them, and now there are Zombie Nazis terrorizing the woods of Andrews Spring Farm.  Take a haunted hayride through the woods, and shoot the Nazi terrorists with paintball guns.  How fun is that?!

Or, get lost in a hunted corn maze, with creepy attractions hidden throughout.  Just when you think you’ve made it out of the corn, then you have to find your way through a scarier maze in the woods!  You never know what might be lurking there.

OR SIGN UP FOR BOTH ATTRACTIONS!!  I haven’t see it in full action yet, but it looks pretty cool so far.

You might expect the big haunted attractions to only be in the big cities, but even people who live in Nashville should make their way south to small town Lewisburg to see this!  It’s going to be scary awesome!

 

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

Andrews Spring Farm Haunted Hayride Corn Maze

 

|Share|Tweet|Pin

Zombies, Run! Running Game App Review & Playlist of Best Songs for a Zombie Chase

Zombies, Run! is my favorite new game and running app, so I will share my initial review, tips, and my playlist recommendation of the best songs for a zombie chase!

 

Zombie Apocalypse Zombie Chase Runner Five

 

Zombies, Run! is a game for your iPhone, Android, and other phones.  But it’s also a running app to get an actual workout.  The gist of the game is that you are dropped off at a camp in Abel Township during Zombie Apocalypse, and your character, Runner 5, is a runner for the camp to fetch supplies.  To collect supplies, you have to actually go out and run.  You can run outdoors with a GPS signal or accelerometer, as well as on a treadmill with the accelerometer, as long as your phone/device supports it.  Walking is also acceptable, but watch out!  As you collect supplies with distance, zombies are randomly detected, and you must increase your speed to outrun them.  If you are not able to evade the zombies, you “drop” supplies to distract them.  When you complete a mission/workout, you can go back into the game and distribute the supplies around camp.  As you strengthen your camp, you receive new missions for future runs.  All the while, you’re tuning into a fun storyline, and you get to listen to your own music while you run.

Each mission begins with radio conversation, mostly with Sam, the main radio control guy of the camp.  He tells you what is going on and what your mission is.  In reality, you are already walking/running, and depending on your fitness level, I recommend keeping a slow pace while Sam is chatting with you.  Once he gives you instructions, your music will come on.  During that time, you will hear a computer voice-over telling you when you’ve collected something.  There’s no need to press any buttons or do anything during your run.  It all happens automatically.  Sometimes Sam will tell you that a zombie is on your trail, and he’ll encourage you to run, like a good coach. This is just to get you into the story.  Then the music kicks in.  You may or may not hear the computer voice-over announce, “zombies detected”, along with a beeping sound to indicated that they are near. Sometimes, even when Sam says that zombies are near, you won’t always actually be attacked by them yet. It’s only when the computer voice tells you “zombies detected”, that’s when it’s game on!  When they get really close, you’ll even hear the zombies moaning behind you.  The beeping will increase, and the computer voiceover will say, “zombies, 20 meters” or whatever distance they are from you.  They’re not playing at this point.  You have to increase your speed to outrun them.  Sometimes, you have to full on run for your life.  The voice-over will let you know once you’ve failed or succeeded, and you may slow your pace again.

Interval training at its awesomest!!  (Yes, I know that’s not a word.)

Civil War House I see during zombie chase

 

When you initially set up your game, you are given an option between 30 minute missions or 1 hour missions.  These are approximate, and timing really depends on the length of your songs.  The mission storyline continues between songs.  Shorter songs gets you through the entire mission/workout faster, but longer songs allow you go more distance and collect more supplies for your camp.  If a song is extremely long, the game might break it up.  I haven’t experienced that yet.  If you complete a mission but aren’t quite ready to stop your workout, the game will continue in “radio mode”.   You will still hear random radio communications that go along with the story, and you will still collect supplies and possibly be chased by zombies mobs.

 

Old barn I see during zombie chase

 

Perhaps you’d like to play the game and get a nice steady workout without the stress of zombie attacks.  You have the option in your app’s settings to turn off zombie chases.  But where’s the fun in that?!!  One way the developers could make the game better is to give an option for difficulty level that would control how many zombie mobs chase you during a mission.  I find myself wanting more than I get, and I hope it increases as I get deeper into the game.  UPDATE:  It does seem to increase in difficulty with later missions!  Sometimes, it seems like more frequent zombie attacks, and sometimes, it seems like longer zombie attacks.  I haven’t figured out the algorithms yet, but this FUN game is no joke when it comes to a serious workout.

 

Roosters I see during zombie chase

 

I love Zombies, Run!  I am so hooked on this game that even after a sweat pouring, leg numbing mission, I want to immediately go into a new mission and keep going.  I normally don’t run until the afternoons, but now I’m finding myself anxious in the mornings to get out and do a workout.  A few weeks ago, I hadn’t run farther than 5k’s because I’d get so bored.  Now, I’m running 10k’s regularly, and I want to do more!!   It’s such great motivation when exercise is a fun game!   It has been extra fun running on country back roads.  They totally fit the story!  Mostly low traffic, mad crickets chirping, roosters crowing as you pass, abandoned houses, rickety barns, hunters’ gun shots in the distance…  I sometimes don’t know if it’s the game or really what’s going on around me.  So fun!

 

Cows on a farm I see during zombie chase

 

TIP:  I was confused by a couple things during my first mission attempt, mostly because I had trouble hearing the radio communications over my music.  There’s a setting to increase the game’s volume, but I’ve figured out that you have to change your music volume through your iTunes on your phone/device before you start the game.  You definitely want to make sure you can hear when zombies are detected and hot on your trail!

TIP:  You can pause your run at any time (like when you stop to take pictures of the fun things you see along your route).  BUT….  if the computer voice has announced “zombies detected”, you can pause your music, but zombies don’t understand the concept of “pause.”  There ‘s no time out in Zombie Apocalypse.  It will keep beeping, and they will keep coming.  RUN. FOR. YOUR. LIFE.

 

Abandoned house I see during zombie chase

 

I’m only on my 4th mission now.  I’m learning more about how it all works and getting used to how to control my pace throughout the missions.  You’ll get the hang of it, too, and you’ll find your groove.  I’m even finding myself wanting more zombie chases because the challenge is so fun!  I’m not sure how future missions will go, but I hope they increase in difficulty (more chases).  Like I mentioned, your songs will have some affect on how much is accomplished in a mission, and your personal pace is also factored in by the app.

Barking Dog I see during zombie chase

 

Let’s talk about the best songs for a zombie chase!  You know how movies have the music soundtrack during action scenes?  That’s how I feel when I’m running missions in Zombies, Run!   As soon as my music kicks on, I feel like I’m in a movie.  The action picks up, and I want to keep running!  You can obviously choose songs that are great for working out, but it’s just that much more fun when the songs fit the theme.  Here’s my recommended playlist of the best songs for a zombie chase to get you started.  I’m including approximate times for your song length consideration.  Another tip is to look for a remix version of songs you might like because they typically have a faster beat for working out.

(Sorry, I can’t get these to stay aligned.)

 

Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)            6:24            Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Living Dead Girl                                        3:22            Rob Zombie

Bodies                                                          3:25            Drowning Pool

Dragula                                                        3:43            Rob Zombie

I’m Your Boogie Man                                4:28            White Zombie

Down With the Sickness                          4:38            Disturbed

Stayin’ Alive                                                4:48            Bee Gees

Maneater                                                     4:25            Nelly Furtado

Run Through The Jungle                        3:06             Creedence Clearwater Revival

Cyanide                                                       6:40            Metallica

Keep Yourself Alive                                  3:46            Queen

Run For the Hills                                      3:54            Iron Maiden

Runnin’ With the Devil                            3:36            Van Halen

We Die Young                                           2:33             Alice In Chains

More Human Than Human                    4:19            White Zombie

Burning Down the House                       3:40            The Used

The Beautiful People                                3:43            Marilyn Manson

I’m Alive (Xanadu Sdtk)                         3:47            Electric Light Orchestra

Born To Be Wild                                       3:36            Steppenwolf

Run For Your Life                                    2:18            The Beatles

Die Mother F###er Die                          3:06            Dope

Die Another Day                                       4:38            Madonna

After the Flesh                                          3:00            The Crow Soundtrack

Kryptonite                                                  3:54            3 Doors Down

Head Like A Hole                                    5:00            Nine Inch Nails

‘Till I Collapse                                           4:58            Emimem & Nate Dogg

Never Gonna Stop                                    3:11            Rob Zombie

Zombie Stomp                                          6:13            Ozzy Osbourne

Zombie Zoo                                               2:57            Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Zombie                                                       5:06            The Cranberries

 

You can choose to shuffle all of your songs, but you can’t shuffle within a playlist.  If you want your songs to change up from mission to mission, you’ll either have to change their order manually, or only have those songs on your device that you want shuffled.  I hope they fix that in the future.

Please share in the comments if you have any other great song choices!  I would have a lot more Metallica on here, but most of the best songs are a bit more lengthy than I would like.

Please be safe when you’re working out, especially if you are running on roads.  Also, be aware that when you’re running down the street flailing your arms in the air and screaming, “They’re coming, the zombies are coming!”, your neighbors might start to look at you funny.  If you’re running with a partner, be aware that your missions might play out in different times, based on your music and pace.  Let me know if you learn any other great tips, and I’ll try to update this post after I’ve completed a little bit more of the game!

 

Dead end I see during zombie chase

 

Now, go!  Run!  Zombies are coming!!

Click here to view the Zombies, Run! website.

 

UPDATE:  When it gives you the option to set up a profile on the Zombies, Run! website, DO IT!!  I will share screen shots and more details later, but the website show so many cool details about your run.  The phone/device app gives good general details, too, but the website is awesome.  You can see a map of your run and follow your route, including zombie chases.  You can drag your cursor along and see how the zombies catch up to you or how you outrun them.  It’s bad ass.  I’ll try to post more details as soon as I get a chance!

|Share|Tweet|Pin

Susan Hammett Peplinski - great review…love the playlist!

Jaime Bourgeois - I used songs from the walking dead soundtrack and it really adds to the app and run.

Claudia Hill - Thank you this is exactly what I wanted to know.

Haunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is known as the most haunted city in Texas and one of the most haunted in the United States.  After the bloody battle at The Alamo in 1836, ghosts were no strangers in the heart of San Antonio.  Right next to The Alamo sits the Menger Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Texas.  William Menger was a German immigrant who started the Menger Brewery and later opened the Menger Hotel in 1859, contributing directly to the development and growth of San Antonio.  The Menger Hotel attracted wealthy businessmen and numerous US Presidents and celebrities, some of whom are said to still linger at the hotel.

Some witnesses have reported seeing the ghost of President Theodore Roosevelt at the hotel bar.  In the 1890’s, Teddy Roosevelt would sit at the Menger’s bar and scout out tough Texas cowboys.  After getting a few drinks in them, he would convince them to join the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry assembled to fight in the Spanish-American War after the US Army was weakened in numbers and strength after the Civil War.

More often seen at the Menger Hotel is the ghost of Captain Richard King.  King began to build his wealth and status as a top-notch steamboat captain, and after spending time in San Antonio, he bought chunks of Texas land until he had one of the largest ranches in the world, King’s Ranch.  Captain King frequented the Menger Hotel so often, he had his own suite there.  At the age of 60, King’s doctor told him that his health was failing and he would die soon.  He decided to spend his last months at the Menger hotel, where he felt most at home, and this is where he tied up all of his personal and professional business and said goodbye to his friends.  In April 1885, Captain Richard King died at the Menger Hotel, in his personal suite, room #2052.  Ever since then, King’s spirit has been roaming the halls, and witnesses to claim to see him float through the door to his suite.  King’s ghost has been spotted in the parlor and other areas of the original hotel (newer wings have been added since King’s time).

Another commonly seen ghost at the Menger Hotel is that of Sallie White, a black chambermaid who worked at the hotel.  Sallie took pride in her job at the Menger, and she was treated like family by her employer and other staff members.  Sallie’s husband, Henry Wheeler, had a respectable job running horse-drawn cargo carriages, but he began losing work once the railroad started running through San Antonio.  The stress eventually took its toll, and the couple’s marriage began to suffer.  One night in March 1876, Henry and Sallie had a big fight, and Sallie stayed at the Menger Hotel for the evening.  It’s not known if she spent the night with another man, or if she had any sort of affair outside her marriage, but the next morning, as Sallie was leaving the hotel to go home, Henry confronted her.  He accused her of being unfaithful, and then he shot her.  Terribly wounded, she was carried into a room at the hotel and efforts were made to save her.  Two days later, Sallie White died at the Menger Hotel.  Sallie’s ghost is often seen in the hallways, dressed in her chambermaid uniform and carrying towels to deliver to guests’ rooms.  Others have reported seeing her in various areas of the hotel, dusting and tending to her duties.

Here are some pictures I took while exploring the Menger Hotel.  It’s a beautiful hotel in a perfectly cozy area, so I can see why so many felt at home there.  So much, they never want to leave…

Haunted Texas, Menger Hotel
Haunted Texas, Menger Hotel, San AntonioHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TexasHaunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Haunted Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas

 

|Share|Tweet|Pin

Wonderland Massacre

Wonderland Avenue Hollywood

Wonderland Avenue

8763 Wonderland Avenue is the address where a violent mass murder took place on July 1, 1981.  A friend of mine had recommended the movie Wonderland when I lived in the Los Angeles area in 2009, and I had to add it to my list of “Haunted Hollywood” locations to visit.  I drove to the house alone, and it was scary enough winding through Laurel Canyon, an area of Hollywood where $100k cars weave around corners at cocaine-induced speeds.  But I finally made it to Wonderland Avenue, where, other than the occasional speeding car, the neighborhood seemed relatively peaceful.  However, the thought of what happened at that house in 1981 brings chills…

8763 Wonderland Avenue

8763 Wonderland Avenue

One of the main characters in this true story is John Holmes, a very popular porn star in the 1970’s, best known for his extreme penis size.  Like many in Hollywood, Holmes was heavy into partying and drugs, and he rolled in dangerous circles.  Another major player in this legend is Eddie Nash, owner of several Los Angeles nightclubs and high-end cocaine dealer with a mafia boss mentality.

John Holmes frequently partied at the Wonderland house, and his friends who lived there, also big into the cocaine business, convinced him to participate in robbing Eddie Nash.  Since Holmes also frequented Nash’s home to buy drugs, he had access to unlock a back door and leave it open for the robbers to enter later. Holmes unlocked the door the evening of June 28, 1981, and on the morning of June 29, four of the friends (Holmes not with them) drove to Nash’s house and three of them entered Nash’s home, detained and humiliated Nash and his bodyguard, and proceeded to rob the mogul. They also threatened to kill the two, but they did not follow through.

Nash suspected Holmes’ involvement in the robbery, so the next day, Nash’s bodyguard beat Holmes until he confessed the names of the others involved. Then the morning of July 1, 1981, Nash’s people charged into the Wonderland house and proceeded to bludgeon everyone in the house with lead pipes.  Two of the robbers were present, and they were beaten to death, along with the girlfriend of the third robber and another innocent girl.  The wife of one robber was present and beaten, but she survived. The third robber was not at the house at the time of the massacre, but he contacted police to turn in John Holmes and Eddie Nash.

A bloody handprint showed evidence that Holmes was at the Wonderland house, and the prosecution argued that Holmes was getting revenge because the robbers hadn’t given Holmes a fair cut of the money they had stolen from Nash.  Holmes’ defense argued that Holmes had been threatened and forced to be present at the massacre against his will.  John Holmes was eventually acquitted, and then he died of AIDS in 1988.

Wonderland Massacre

Wonderland Massacre

It wasn’t until 1990 when Eddie Nash and his bodyguard were charged with the Wonderland murders.  Nash paid off a juror, and ended up getting off on by a hung jury and then an acquittal.  Nash’s bodyguard died in 1995, and then Nash was arrested again in 2000 on charges for his other crimes, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.  Nash stands by his story that he ordered his people to enter the house to retrieve his stolen property, but he had nothing to due with the murders.

There are several books written about Holmes and the Wonderland murders story, and you can read more details on TruTV.

If you’ve never seen the Wonderland movie, Val Kilmer does an excellent job of portraying John Holmes, and the murder scene will make you cringe.  Kate Bosworth plays Holmes’ girlfriend in the movie, and Lisa Kudrow plays his wife.

|Share|Tweet|Pin

J ROCKS - I have seen the movie but it’s been a while, may have to check it out again. You rock, Heather!