A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend the preview night for Warner Bros.’ Halloween Studio Tour, “Horror Made Here: A Halloween Screening and Twilight Tour.” The event, a two night limited run October 28 and 29, offers guests a look into some of the exterior sets and stages of horror’s most iconic movies such as, “The Exoricst,” “The Lost Boys,” “Gremlins,” “House of Wax,” “Monster Squad,” and much, much more. As someone who lives and breathes horror, as well as the style and design that goes into their sets, I was beyond ecstatic to be able to catch a glimpse of this movie magic in person.
To kick off the evening, we were escorted to the Stage 48: Script to Screen area that showcased props from “The Exorcist,” “The Conjuring,” “Interview with the Vampire,” “Gremlins” and more. It was incredible to see these props up close and personal and to hear the stories and legends that surrounded them. Most notably on display was the notorious Annabelle doll (seen in “The Conjuring” and the spin-off film “Annabelle”), encased in a glass box with the words DANGER – Do Not Touch. Though this isn’t the actual doll from the famed experience of ghost-hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren, this prop still has managed to conjure up (see what I did there??) it’s own reputation. Employees swear that it’s haunted and that the class enclosure bears scratch marks from this terrifying doll. Hearing their stories were spine chilling and whether or not you believe it, there seems to be conviction from those who have encountered this supposedly demonic doll on those dark and spooky nights. I really enjoyed being immersed in this environment and seeing such iconic props from some of my favorite horror films. During this portion of the tour, I also had the chance to meet famed composer, Joseph Bishara. You may recognize him as the Lipstick-Face Demon from “Insidious” or the nightmarish witch Bathsheba from “The Conjuring” but he’s also the genius behind scores of such films as “The Conjuring” and “Insidious: Chapter 2” as well as producing the soundtracks of such cult films as “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “The Devil’s Carnival.” He was incredibly kind and very talkative to fans that approached him and it was such a pleasure to finally meet the man behind some of the greatest compositions of modern horror films.
After partaking in some devilish treats and ghoulish drinks, we headed outside and boarded our designated trams for the studio lot portion of the tour. This was my first being at Warner Bros. studio and I was looking forward to seeing what the tour had to offer – I’m happy to report I was not disappointed. Our knowledgeable tour guide took us around and filled our heads with some of the more sordid and creepy stories surrounding the history of Warner Bros. Studios. We also had the chance to see exterior sets such as the church from “Lost Boys”, the Chinese shop where the Mogwai was sold in “Gremlins” and the downtown area seen in “Monster Squad.” My only gripe with the tour was I wish we could have exited the tram and walked around a bit to really take in the sets, but other than that, I absolutely loved everything from the designs, to the stories and the rich history of this famed production company. One area that we did get to explore was the prop’s department. As I have mentioned many times in my reviews, I’m an Interior Designer by day, so having the chance to explore the biggest prop department of any production company was a dream come true. I could have spent hours combing those hallways of items from the past and present and it’s an experience that will stick with me for years to come.
After walking through the prop department, we boarded our trams once again and were taken to the notoriously haunted Sound Stage 4 where “The Conjuring” was directed. Waiting for us was the team from Ghost Watch Paranormal who have spent time on the Warner Bros. lot investigating the many ghost sightings and stories. They presented us with some EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) recordings as well as photographs from their many adventures in the ghost hunting world as well as personal stories from some of their own experiences. For a Halloween event, this segment was a great added touch as it gave the experience an overall feeling of creepiness. These people at Ghost Watch Paranormal are incredibly passionate about what they do and I loved seeing the footage that they were able to uncover during their investigation.
If you are on the fence about what to do this Halloween weekend, I urge you to get tickets for Warner Bros. “Horror Made Here: A Halloween Screening and Twilight Tour.” Not only will you be experiencing everything I mentioned in this article, but guests will have the chance to watch a special screening of the supernatural thriller film, “The Conjuring” (Friday, Oct. 28) and “The Conjuring 2” (Saturday, Oct. 29) along with movie-themed refreshments and treats. Also, there will be a spooky photo opportunity where guests can take the ultimate “head shot” resulting in a hilarious effect that is achieved by a mirror illusion. Who doesn’t want to see their head on a platter?
Tickets are now on sale and are $75 per person (price includes the tour, screening, and movie-themed treats) and parking is available onsite for $10 per vehicle. “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2” are rated R, so guests under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or over and valid ID will be required upon entry of the tour.
I had an amazing time at the “Horror Made Here: A Halloween Screening and Twilight Tour” and it’s one of the most unique and fun things I’ve done this Halloween season. If you are looking for something different than just a party or a haunted house, this is the event to go to. You will learn incredible history, see where some of your favorite films were shot, get up close and personal with props, and learn of the ghosts that still haunt Warner Bros. Studio. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.wbstudiotour.com/horror-made-here and have a wonderful Halloween weekend!