As Halloween started to come to a close, I found myself trying to squeeze in as much creepy stuff as I could before the month was over. Thankfully, the Elks Lodge in El Cajon California debuted their community haunt just in time for prime spook season. The El Cajon Elks Lodge 1812 teamed up with Scareventures to present a THE HAUNTED LODGE, a maze that takes you through some eerie woods where you encounter some interesting characters.
The haunt starts off with a facade whose windows look oddly similar to a certain house in Amityville. We are walked into a small living room with a fireplace, couch and coffee table with a bell on it. We then are asked to ring the bell once we’re ready for the experience to begin. For some reason, that part gave me anxiety because I didn’t know what to expect once I rang it. It was so quiet that the ringing seemed loud. There was a few seconds of anticipation then, “BOOM” some strange guy pops out and introduces himself and leads us to the woods.
Once outside, a hysterical lady ask us to join her around this creepy campfire and begs us to find a missing kid. She hands me a flashlight and tells us to go and find her. Throughout this maze, we are scared and followed by angry campers. Some got so close that it made my boyfriend nervous. Each scene got more and more elaborate and not one of the scare actors broke character. The addition of the flashlight somehow made you feel more involved with the story and made you focus on certain parts while they scared you from another angle. Some of the scenes were more elaborate than others but that didn’t take you out of the story.
I would recommend this haunt for the less experienced or younger haunt enthusiasts out there. THE HAUNTED LODGE opened just in time for Halloween and all proceeds went towards children’s charities as a part of their annual “Purple Pig” (or CHEMPI) and “Youth Charities” fundraising efforts.