December 3, 2022

Alex o'Loughlin

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Halloween all year long — Filmmaker envisions town of horror at Irish Hills’ Stagecoach Stop

When Monroe native and filmmaker Nate Thompson first walked around the Stagecoach Stop in Irish Hills, he pictured a horror-themed town.

One of Thompson’s short films, “The Dead Record,” was premiering when someone reached out to him about the site along US-12 in Onsted. He decided to visit, unaware of what would come next.

While checking out the western-themed buildings in a courtyard, the horror town idea came to mind. 

“It kind of just hit me right away, ‘Man this would be kind of perfect, flat black almost like the Salem Witch houses,” Thompson said.

This area of the Stagecoach Stop in Irish Hills is being transformed into a horror town. (Amber Ainsworth/FOX 2)

He found out that the space wasn’t being used. Now, he’s working to transform a chunk of the property that he’s leasing to create a spot where it’s Halloween all the time.

“They’ll get that little Halloween itch in May or June, and they’ll be able to come down and go through the year-round haunted house,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be the horror museum, the horror collectibles store, and then we’ll have a horror theater as well.”

While he is still planning which exhibits the Michigan Museum of Horror will have, he said the world’s tallest casket will be on display. There will also be a history of dolls and horror, ranging from voodoo dolls to porcelain dolls to Raggedy Ann dolls, and more.

The store will feature movie memorabilia, merchandise from the museum, and Halloween masks.

“One of my goals and visions with this is that people will be able to walk past the store and there’s kind of a, you know, multiple rows of Halloween masks right there in the window, and it really gives that feel of, this is a genuine horror town,” he said. 

Find more things to do here.

Thompson also wants to host events all year long.

“Kind of like an annual witches meet up,” he said. “The whole event would try to be tailored toward witches and witchcraft, in a lighthearted sense.”

In addition to creating his spooky town, Thompson wants to help bring some other aspects of the property back to life.

“I know people are going to come after 50 or 60 years of not being here, and it’ll be like a little, ‘Oh, I remember that, that’s awesome, I’m glad they brought that back,'” he said.

The Stagecoach Stop opened in 1965 and included western-themed attractions. Now, the property just a few miles east of Michigan International Speedway has an escape room, wedding venue, and hotel.

“I’m really working with them to kind of help their business as well,” he said. “I really want to put a lot of elbow grease into the rest of the place, especially for the older visitors. So, I would like to bring some of that old western stuff back…panning for gold, for example.”

Thompson, who is currently working on his debut feature film at Stagecoach Stop and in Monroe, is eyeing an opening date of Aug. 1.