Halloween has come and gone once again, which means many of the people in the suspension community have spent the last several weeks taking hooks, pulling, hanging, and otherwise being their normal crazy selves for the entertainment of the audiences at the many events taking place around the world this time of year. The first one we are featuring, Theatre Bizarre, is much more than just a typical haunted Halloween attraction. It is a world all its own, grown in an abandoned and decaying neighborhood in northern Detroit. Over a decade of blood sweat and tears have gone into making it known as “the city’s most famous and infamous underground party, the greatest masquerade on Earth.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the history of the event, last year Bradde Hamman took the time to tell us about the city’s attempt to shut down Theatre Bizarre because of the code violations they found. It was a devastating blow to the creators of this spectacular event, and looked like the possible end to what had become a Halloween tradition for many people. Luckily, they were able to team up with the Masonic Temple in Detroit to host the event. The venue looks like it was made for this; the combination of elegant yet wonderfully dark design adds to the atmosphere surrounding Theatre Bizarre as it is transformed into seven stories of Halloween fun.

This year featured suspensions by Escape Suspensions, which showcased their talent for incredible costuming and display as they appeared in the Odditorium throughout the night. Meanwhile, Murcury Suspensions stunned the crowds with multiple performances throughout the night, including their Devil’s Tightrope act with Flec Mindscape. I have seen photos from this act before, but it always amazes me to see. There are several elements to entertain the crown, and for those of us in the suspension community is the added impressiveness of not only doing a pull to hold up another person, but holding it steady enough to allow for a tightrope walk by a performer who is simultaneously doing a fire act. It’s a fantastic combination of talents that makes for a stunning visual.

Along with the suspendees who were hard at work that night, Theatre Bizarre hosted over 40 acts that graced the stages from dusk til dawn to keep the party moving, including sideshow, music, burlesque, fire acts, and so much more. When you consider the timeframe of this party, that is over 40 acts setting up and performing in around 8 hours! What’s even more impressive is the year of work that precedes this each time around to make that chaotic world that the audience steps into all come together so perfectly. They really do deserve some huge credit for the work they do. It is an immense investment of time, labor, and money to create one night of something magical.

Keep checking back for more Halloween followups. Rumor has it we’ll be seeing Mike Coons in a studded cod piece, suspension cutdown frontflips, and maybe even a second post about Theatre Bizarre with video from Mercury Suspensions!

These fantastic photos are by Trever Long and Megan Church!