Last weekend I got the chance to attend opening night of Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest. I have never gotten the chance to visit this particular haunt before. Usually I had always either been busy running around being a monster somewhere or I was debating whether or not it was worth the trek. However, this was the year where nothing would stop me from experiencing its frights and spooky delights. And, in all honesty, I think the haunt has a lot of promise. With some further editing and fine tuning, I do think the event can get up there with the big baddies like Knott’s Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, and Dark Harbor.
This time last week I was preparing for the first haunt of the Halloween season, and one of the biggest events of the year, Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. This year promised an event unlike anything else and man oh man did it deliver! Guests could expect everything from their favorite slasher treatment to upholding the sacred traditions of Halloween, along with Universal Monsters, the NFFA, and everything in-between. What follows is a break down of each maze, in the order that I went through them, as well as accompanying highlight reel from the red carpet and our walkthrough of the Trick ‘r Treat maze and Poltergeist maze. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our recap of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights - Hollywood!
An unsuspecting white trailer peers behind a chain link fence with a sign ominously warning “Beware of dog”. Having the expectation that I would be encountering something strange, this setting seemed eerily familiar. This trailer park looked like any other. Brightly colored lawn chairs placed haphazardly in front of a dirt stained trailer shell. Headlights from a pickup truck reflected vibrant green blades of Astroturf.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the pleasure of attending THE 17th DOOR: HAUNTED HOLIDAY this year and figured I would offer up a few thoughts on the event for my fellow haunt enthusiasts. Just so everyone knows where I am coming from, I was able to attend their Halloween iteration this year so I already knew some of what was in store.
When it was announced last year that Larry and Cheryl Bones, of Bone Yards Effects, were going to be creating their own haunt, titled INTO THE BLACK, I was ecstatic. Having been familiar with their work from Halloween Horror Nights - Hollywood, I could only imagine what they would be capable of creating with limitless restrictions. Though INTO THE BLACK would prove to be a bit too advantageous for their first haunt, the Bones still managed to put together an experience that was unlike any other haunt in the area.
Last month I had the chance to check out LA’s Haunted Hayride, a haunt that I had been looking forward to attending since I first moved to California. Having grown up on the East Coast, I have always been a fan of the haunted hayride so I was looking forward to seeing how the West Coast executed an experience that I have a soft spot for. This year’s theme was centered around clowns, and though I’m pretty much over the clown haunts and scares, I was willing to see what LA’s Haunted Hayride would bring to the table. The following is a review of each of the experiences in the order that I went through, and unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of good things to say.
Ghost stories, especially those that are based on true stories, are one of my favorite things to hear. Having grown up on the East Coast, I was constantly surrounded by the legends and stories that encased the rich history of Boston and Salem, MA. Having now been living in California, I’ve come to learn that there are many places within this grand state that have their own urban legends and terrifying ghost stories, one of those places being The Queen Mary, located in Long Beach, CA. Last week I had the chance to revisit the infamous ship for the revival of their GHOST AND LEGENDS tour and let me tell you, it was definitely an experience I won’t soon forget.
Horror Rewind was one of the surprise hits of the Halloween season. Being that it was only a pop-up, the experience, located in Arts District of LA, ran for only three nights from Oct. 13 - Oct. 15. Put on by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for the release of 19 all-new blu-ray packaging designs from artist Orlando Arocena, and the masterminds behind Delusion, the experience allowed guests the opportunity to walk through four vignettes based on horror classics which included THE FLY, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, 28 DAYS LATER, and CARRIE.
When walking into the Frighthouse Station haunt you are immediately aware of the well thought out queue and design of the narrative, immersing you into the life of a corporate steward and his quest for immortal life. Pandora Labs CEO will stop at nothing to gain the limitless potential of eternal existence.
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.
Last weekend, I had the chance to visit one of the Bay Area’s longest running haunts; Pirates of Emerson, located in Pleasanton, California. As we got off the freeway and pulled up to the venue, the Alameda County Fairgrounds, I was a little unsure of what we were getting ourselves into.
FRIGHT DOME left me shook. I could really leave my review there, but allow me to expand further: Almost everything about FRIGHT DOME Circus Circus this year was fun, fabulous, and... frightful. There are six haunted houses, six scare zones, and whole host of other 4D and live performances, making FRIGHT DOME a one-stop shop for an evening out on the Las Vegas strip this Halloween season. And, naturally, it wouldn't be a Vegas attraction if you could not sniff out some alcohol once inside.
As Halloween winds to a close, people are trying to get their last minute haunt on. I’ve been to large scale haunts and amusement parks but the buildings dedicated to haunts have always passed me by. Whether it was the drive, the timing or the fact that no one would go with me and I’d be damned if my happy ass was going to show up at one of those places alone, I just never made it in.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the pleasure of attending Field of Screams: The Haunted Stadium and figured I would offer up my thoughts. Just so everyone knows where I am coming from, I have never attended this event in the past, though it has been on my radar for quite some time. Like my other reviews, I will be putting the houses in the order that I saw them with some random thoughts on the other going ons thrown in for good measure.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending the haunted attraction Night Shift and figured I would offer up my thoughts for fellow haunt enthusiasts. To best describe the plot at play, I will use my own story summary:
"We are pressed into service as the new overnight crew at a warehouse where mysterious goings on have occurred."
If you have been to Orlando, Tampa, or anywhere in between on I-4 in the last three years, you have surely seen their billboards. Scream-A-Geddon started delivering scares to Dade City in 2015. While the event has only been going here 3 years, the folks that run the event have also run an event in Indiana so they are no newcomers to the scare industry. The event features four mazes, a hayride and a midway. Adam Sala, manager at the event, told us that they wanted to create an environment that offered more than just going through the mazes and heading home, they want their guests to be able to spend an evening here. The midway features food, drinks, booths like caricature artists and 3D photos and fun diversions like Zombie Paintball and other games. Of course, the mazes are the stars of the shows, so let’s get to them!
MABLE'S 6 FEET UNDER brought its A-game in 2017. Not only did seasoned haunt visitors in our party absolutely quake in the presence of scare actors, but the maze itself was cohesively, beautifully crafted. Recommended for ages 12 and up, MABLE'S 6 FEET UNDER may be the best family-friendly haunt in Anaheim (if not all of Southern California).