Niagara Falls, Ontario has earned a bit of a reputation for being a tourist trap, but its native son Deadmau5 is willing to defend at least some of its attractions in his own caustic way. The international EDM star insists that the city's plethora of wax museums – which includes Movieland Wax Museum of the Stars, Rock Legends Wax Museums, Criminals Hall of Fame and a Louis Tussaud’s franchise, among others – really isn't that outlandish, all things considered.
"Fuck the wax museums. That's normal," Deadmau5, also known as Joel Zimmerman, tells HuffPost Canada Music. "You go to England, you go to London, you've got the wax museum. You go to Hollywood, you've got the wax museum."
The DJ is far more perplexed by one of his hometown's other claims to fame. "You know what blows my mind? The goddamned haunted houses. There's twenty of them. Year-round haunted houses. Castle Dracula. Castle Frankendrag, Castle Fucking Whatever. And then there's Fear Factory. You name it, there's a haunted house for it. Why is that? How is Niagara Falls synonymous with haunted shit?"
Niagara Falls does have its fair share of spooky goings on. The city boasts a "Screaming Tunnel" and a number of War of 1812-related hauntings. Even the original Maid of the Mist legend is a ghost story of sorts. As far as Deadmau5 is concerned, though, there’s nothing famous or notorious enough about the Falls' haunted past to justify 365 days of scares from the likes of Nightmare’s Fear Factory, Screamers, Dracula's Castle, The House of Frankenstein and The Haunted House.
"Salem I can understand warranting a year-round haunted house. Or Castle fucking Dracula, but the actual Castle fucking Dracula," he says. "Niagara Falls is just this weird anomaly. They were like 'People love haunted houses! Let's make more of them.'"
Although his hometown and its somewhat perplexing ghost and ghoul fixation can spark the occasional bemused rant from Deadmau5, the musician insists that's about as deep as the inspiration runs. When asked if growing up in a city whose tourist trade largely centers around wax museums, themed restaurants, shiny lights and an apparently disproportionate number of haunted houses had any impact or influence on his career as an EDM artist who wears a giant mouse head when he performs in front of elaborate light shows, Zimmerman simply shrugs.
"It got me the fuck out of there, that's for sure," he says. "It influenced me that, if I wanted to go anywhere with music, I'd have to go to Toronto. So that was Niagara Falls's contribution to my music right there: GTFO."
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