Three years ago, I took a drive to Las Vegas on the suggestions of friends to visit a haunt known as Freakling Bros. and ever since my life has been changed. Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror has become a must-do event for me during the haunt season and that’s because they are one of the best haunters in the country.
Last week, I had the chance to attend the media preview of Warner Bros. Studios Horror Made Here. This being my third year attending, I was optimistic that Warner Bros would pull out all the stops to make this year’s Horror Made Here the best. Situated on the backlot of the studio, guests would have the opportunity to experience a slew of haunted mazes situated around a horror-themed carnival exploding with evil clowns, demonic entities, ghastly spirits, and everything in-between. To give you an idea of what you can expect by attending Horror Made Here this year, the following is a recap of all the mazes and an overview of the entire experience for all you haunt fanatics out there.
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!
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.
A few weekends ago I had the chance to travel up to Valencia, CA for Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest. Though I wasn’t overly impressed with last year’s event, I went in hoping that this year’s haunts would wow me and convince me that Fright Fest should not be missed. Though there were some bumps along the way, Fright Fest definitely proved that they are on the right track and are making the changes needed to become one of the go-to haunted attractions of the season. The following is my review of each of the haunts and scare zones in the order that I went through.
Last night, I had the chance to preview the new pop-up haunt, THE IT EXPERIENCE, located in the heart of Hollywood, in anticipation of Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema's upcoming IT film. Situated on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, this two-story home was designed to mimic the look of the infamous Neibolt House where It lives. Guests are guided through each room by little Georgie, where they get to experience fully immersive set designs, unique props, and surprising scares.
My last haunt of the year ended up being one of my favorite haunts of the Halloween season; Motel 6 Feet Under, which I personally think is one of the best independent haunts in all of Southern California. This is one of those rare haunts that has the best of everything - heart and soul, passion and drive, impeccable set design and quality scares. Last year was their inaugural year and I unfortunately I did not get the chance to stop by, but I made it a point to get there this year and it was well worth it.
Last year, one of the first haunts I heard about in Southern California was Field of Screams The Haunted Stadium, and ever since going to their event I've had a soft spot in my heart for them. I was really looking forward to experiencing their haunt this year because it's clear that the people putting this on love the haunt community and work hard at making the best haunts that they can; however, this year was a lot different than last year. Putting aside the fact that when I went it was right at closing time, resulting in not as many scare actors around, I felt like the overall tone of the event was much somber than the previous year and it was missing a lot of the fun and over-the-top, spooky shenanigans I had become familiar with. Pushing those feelings to the side, I went into each maze with a clean slate hoping for the best. In the end, though this event fell short for, I at least got to experience a few mazes that left me grinning and spooked.
I've been a fan of the Bloodshed Brothers, Zachary and Jeromy Ball, since I attended their joint haunt along with Twisted Scare at Lake Elsinore's Haunted Stadium last year. However, this year the Bloodshed Brothers branched off, and what seemed like a last minute decision, decided to put together their own haunt in Temecula, CA. Initially I was pretty bummed that they weren't going to be with the Haunted Stadium anymore, but I knew these twin brothers had talent and I wanted to make it a point to check out their latest endeavor. I'm happy to report, that even with a short time span to make everything come together, they ended up putting together one hell of a haunted attraction.
There is something to be said about a haunt that combines terror, gore, and hot men and women. For some reason, it seems to just go together, like two puzzle pieces meant to fit into each other perfectly. When I first heard about GORLESQUE! I was attending Monsterpalooza and was very intrigued with their marketing. In front of me stood a large cage, around 8 ft tall, which housed a dancer scantily clad and looking a bit worse for wear. The reason being is that she's not exactly alive, but that didn't stop the hordes of men (and women) from taking selfies with her as she tried to make all those that got near her into a little snack. Fast forward a few months to Midsummer Scream and guests had the chance to experience their mini version of what they would be offering come Halloween time. Having had the chance to go through their mini experience and come face to face with the world of Dr. Weltschmerz, I can say with certainty, that this was one of the haunts I was looking forward to the most.
Sinister Pointe has always been one of those places I couldn't wait to visit. Not only do they have events all year round, but I've been told that they have crafted some of the best haunt experiences in Southern California. As Halloween started to creep closer, many of us wanted to know if Sinister Pointe would be putting on a haunt for the season, and though there were rumblings that it may not have happened, the haunt community was delighted when the creators announced it's return. For me, this would be my first time attending any of their events, so I was excited to see what everyone had been raving about. This year, their haunt, aptly called FEAR THE MARK, would allow guests the chance to travel through one or all four of the portals leading into different dimensions of terror.
The weekend before Halloween, I had the chance to drive up to Las Vegas and experience one of Sin City’s most well known haunted attractions, the Fright Dome. The Adventuredome at Circus Circus houses this mega haunted attraction that features 6 mazes, 5 scarezones, a 4D experience of the top kills in Friday the 13th, 2 live shows, and much much more! It’s a sight to behold and an experience that must take forever to create. When speaking with creator Jason Egan, he mentioned that they have already begun work on next year’s show and I don’t blame him, the amount of preparation and dedication to creating such an event is mind-boggling. This year’s festivities brought 3 new experiences featuring Krampus, the deadly animatronics from Five Nights at Freddy’s, and a solo experience through an insane asylum in Ouija. Something that I have never seen in any haunt before was the use of a “guide” who led you throughout each maze. At first I was taken aback but I soon realized how much of an added benefit that was. These guides could signal to the scare actors when guests were coming through as well as join in on the antics taking place. It was such a great added element that I wish more large scale haunted attraction would consider doing as it really helps with crowd control and pulsing the line. With all that said, I’m sure you are curious as to what I thought of Fright Dome, so without further ado, here are my reviews of all 6 haunted mazes!
Most people aren't willing to drive four hours out of their way for a haunted house, but I don't consider myself to be like most people. For the past few years, I've been hearing about a haunt, located in Las Vegas, that was considered to be one of the best in the country. This haunt, THE TRILOGY OF TERROR, presented by the Freakling Bros. Horror Show offered guests three houses of fear. This past weekend, I made the trek to Las Vegas to experience what Freakling Bros. had to offer and see if I could push my limits by entering their R-rated, waiver signing experience, "The Gates of Hell."
I’ve been going to haunts since I was a kid, so now at the ripe age of 33 I have a pretty good idea of what to expect when attending haunted attractions. When you go to as many haunts as I do, you start to become desensitized and I could tell that this was beginning to happen to me. At the urging of a friend, I was told to go to a new haunt that had just opened last year called, THE 17TH DOOR, located in Tustin, CA. From the exterior, it’s quite clear that looks can be deceiving, you would never imagine the horrors awaiting inside as it’s located at the bustling Marketplace, a popular outdoor shopping plaza.
One event that we were looking forward to the most this year was the return of Queen Mary's Dark Harbor. This season, a lot of the fan's favorite haunts would be returning, along with their beloved spirits - Scary Mary, Graceful Gale, and Samuel the Savage; however, a new icon was introduced to mix things up, the commanding Iron Master, along with a new maze, INTREPID, that would give guests a glimpse into the world of their new master. As with last year, Dark Harbor impressed us with their characters, their attractions, their immersive elements, and some of their scares. They know their fans love them and it's apparent that they love their fans. This is a place that has passion and drive in not only their designs but in wanting to please and impress their guests as much as possible. So without further ado, lets take a closer look at their haunted mazes this season!
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest. It has probably been over two decades since I've been to a Fright Fest, last one being on the East Coast, so I was interested in seeing what Magic Mountain had to offer. My first impressions were positive as this event was a massive undertaking that spanned the entire theme park and I could tell that the people putting it on were very passionate about making Fright Fest into what it is. First up, we go into the details of each of the mazes followed by the scare zones we got to experience. Although there was only one new maze this year, AFTERMATH 2: CHAOS RISING, this was Nightmarish Conjurings first time going so each maze was new to us. Without further ado...