- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Ed Terebus added a new item last week to Erebus Haunted Attraction’s lost-and-found display case: dentures.

The false teeth join wallets, belts, cellphones, eyeglasses, complete pairs of shoes and even hairpieces left in the wake of tens of thousands of customers, according to The Oakland Press (https://bit.ly/1r3CdOy ).

“Somebody screamed so loud they lost their teeth,” said Terebus, who owns the sprawling haunted house with his brother, Jim. “That makes you smile. But somebody’s not smiling so good.”

The path of snarling creatures, morgues, a bottomless pit, a ‘buried alive’ segment, a 1.5 million-volt Tesla coil, aliens and more extends for a half-mile at the haunted house, which opened for the Halloween season on Friday. Erebus employs about 250 people during the fall, with roughly 100 actors working on a given night both in costume and working behind the scenes on animatronics and other effects.

Eight employees work year-round to prepare for the Halloween season.

It takes customers anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes to make it through Erebus, “depending on how fast they’re running,” Terebus said with a smile.

An electronic “Wimp Board” in the lobby tracks those who didn’t make it: 6,738 “wimps” and 890 “wetters” to date.

Erebus opened for three days in July for the “Summer Scream.” Terebus said there was one confirmed wetter during the summer stretch.

The haunted house, which opened in 2000 in a building constructed in 1928, held the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest walk-through haunted attraction for five seasons, from 2005 to 2009.

The Terebus brothers, who have worked in the haunted house industry since 1981, also own the former Salvation Army building at Saginaw and Lafayette on downtown’s north end. They said they’ll likely announce their plans for the building in 2015.

A charity program at Erebus allows nonprofits to obtain a promotional code that gives a $3 discount to customers who purchase tickets using the code and a $5 contribution to the participating charity.

The brothers also donate their time to “Don’t Be A Monster,” a national anti-bullying campaign organized by haunted house operators. The two visit local junior high schools with a Frankenstein character who is bullied because he’s different, and have set a goal of visiting 9,000 students this year.

Customers have traveled from as far as Germany to visit Erebus, recognizable for its namesake horned, red-faced mascot.

Cloudy skies, dropping temperatures and falling leaves mean it’s screaming season again, Terebus said.

“It’s Erebus time.”

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Information from: The Oakland Press, https://www.theoaklandpress.com

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