Every so often, a haunt comes around that completely blows your mind, and that haunt was Ward 13. Out of all the haunted attractions I attended this year, including both Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood and Halloween Horror Nights Orlando, nothing was as creative or as frightening or as fun as Ward 13.
Ward 13 was created by the geniuses over at Evil Twin Studios. The haunt is a fully immersive, interactive, walk-through haunt. It’s not extreme to the point where you have to sign a waiver or be concerned that someone will touch you, but it definitely flirts with that line. The concept of the haunt is pretty straight forward, as it deals with insane patients from Raymond Hill Sanitarium. You are there for a tour of the grounds, but before you get far you are notified by security that the patients have escaped. For your safety, the security guard brings you to a shipping container and locks you inside to keep you safe – with the promise to come back and get you. And then you hear it… the screams outside and the banging all around you, then a door slowly opens and beckons you forward…
That beginning had me sold. To be trapped in an unfamiliar space with no light is horrifying in and of itself. I had no idea if there was someone else in there with and that notion made my imagination run completely wild – and the fun doesn’t stop there! The haunt lasts about 20-25 minutes depending on your speed. Besides getting scared out of your mind, you also end up having to deal with a few obstacles. There were times where we had to crawl through openings in the wall to get to the next space and even at one point crawl underneath a bed through a tunnel. But the best surprise of all was the wheelchair ride…
After you have successfully escaped the underground tunnel you are guided by horrific looking creatures to a room filled with wheelchairs. They have you sit and then lock you into straps. If you don’t like being confined then this is not for you. Next thing you know the creature (or one of the patients) grabs your chair and you are outside being taken on a ride through absolute mayhem and chaos as the patients have taken control of the entire hospital. This was so unexpected and a bit frightening cause you had no control over what was happening. I have never experienced something like this in all the haunts that I have gone to and though at first I was scared, those screams of fear turned into screams of joy and laughter.
What Ward 13 does so well is not only have a cohesive story throughout the entire maze, but there is always something new. As haunt enthusiasts we get bored of the same thing time and time again; however, Ward 13 is a breath of fresh air. Whether it was crawling through a space, being scared by patients and creatures, going on a crazy wheelchair ride, of walking through such narrow hallways that the walls would actually electrocute you, there was always something and you never knew what to expect around the corner. I was on my guard the whole entire time and I loved every minute of it. Ward 13 is what haunts should be like nowadays. They don’t push the limit to the point where you are in danger but they give you shocks (pun intended) around every corner and they are not afraid to push the boundaries of what we are comfortable with. Whatever they are doing, they are doing it right because the night I was there they had over a 2 hour wait time to get in. I commend Ward 13 on their creativity and different elements of distractions to scare us. Thank you for blowing my mind and scaring me to the point where I couldn’t even scream I was so terrified. To all the readers out there who live in Pasadena or in the California area – let me be the first to tell you that this haunt is the haunt to go to next year.
For more information on Evil Twin Studios visit their website www.eviltwinstudios.com.