New scares, same flair at Pontiac haunt

Natalie Broda
Oakland Press

Pontiac — Changes are on the horizon for Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac as the complex prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary in business next year.

In August, Erebus announced a three-year plan to revamp the 113,000-square-foot haunt, run by brothers and co-owners Edward and James Terebus. More than 200 scare-actors were trained for this season at the hands of long-time industry professionals in hopes of enhancing the next level.

Erebus is looking to change how the show is run. By next year, about 40 percent of the haunt’s interior will be new.

As for what will be different exactly, Edward Terebus said he isn’t giving away any clues.

“I’d like to keep that top secret. We have so many haunts in this market and we want to make sure we launch this with a blast of glory,” Terebus said. “The story of the haunt will be the same, but we’ll be changing time zones within the story. We’re also playing with new technology to see what we could incorporate.”

The tale of Erebus follows a mad-scientist obsessed with time travel. When his research funding is cut, he devises a plan to lure participants into his time travel experiments by disguising his time machine as a haunted house.

“We’re looking for more reliable animatronic puppetry to work simultaneously with our scare actors to amplify everything, making the whole show better. This is a big learning curve right now for my guys and the new acting crew,” Terebus said.

New at Erebus this season is a display of lost and found items left by guests of the haunt: shoes, hats, wallets and other clothing items — and the occasional cellphone or pair of dentures. The items in the cases are at least 2 years old.

At the Erebus Escape Complex down the road from the haunt, Terebus is hoping to open two new rooms for its busy season in late fall and winter.