ScareLA versus Midsummer Scream: Who Won the Convention War?

Earlier this year, when we heard Southern California would be getting a second haunt convention, and that it would be taking place just a week before the other one, our reaction, like that of many others, was, “WTF??” Does SoCal really need two haunt conventions back to back? Would there be a big difference between the two? Was it worth attending both, or would one be better than the other? Of course, we’re Scare Zone, so we made it our goal to find out and give you our report.

First of all, we’re still a bit “WTF” about what actually went on behind the scenes to cause two conventions. We’ve heard some crazy rumors about the situation, but we’re unable to independently confirm them.  Surely there’s an interesting story behind it all. At any rate, what really concerns us are two questions: Which convention is better? And is it worth attending both?

The Details

This is not a comprehensive list of all the offerings at the conventions, but we wanted to list the main details here.

midsummer screamMidsummer Scream

When: July 30 and 31, 2016

Where: Long Beach Convention Center

Cost: $30 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, $45 for the weekend.  Discounts available on various sites.

Saturday night entertainment: Oingo Boingo Dance Party

Panels/Guests/Presentations: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Six Flags Fright Fest, Knott’s Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, Winchester Mystery House, Delusion

Attractions/Experiences: decent sized scare zone, 9 mini-haunts, slider show, performances from Zombie Joe’s , other various offerings


scareLA logo


When: August 6 and 7, 2016

Where: Pasadena Convention Center

Cost: $35 Saturday, $30 Sunday, $50 weekend. Discounts available on various sites.

Saturday night entertainment: Costume party

Panels/Guests/Presentations: Convention hosted by Elvira. Knott’s Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, SyFy, Leigh Whannell, group presentation including Delusion, Creep Los Angeles, 17th Door

Attractions/Experiences: One medium-sized haunt, 6 mini-haunts, magic show, escape room, Alone, other various offerings

Head-to-Head Comparison


Location: Midsummer Scream wins this one, easily. The Long Beach Convention Center feels like a huge upgrade compared with the Pasadena venue. It’s bigger, with an open and airy feeling. The food inside the venue is better, and there were even 2 food trucks right outside the front doors. The only complaint we had about the Long Beach location was the parking. Many of the lots were already full by 11 am, and there weren’t a lot of great signs about where you could park. However, we did end up finding $5 parking pretty close by, so for this reason, we can’t complain too much.

Cost: This is a tie. The cost is pretty much same, especially if you use a discount code or find a discount on Goldstar, etc.

Tickets/Entrance: We bring this up as a category only because it was annoying to deal with at ScareLA. At Midsummer Scream, there were no issues getting into the convention. ScareLA was a different story. There were long lines outside the venue. There was one line to stand in for will call (whose computer system was down when we arrived). After that, you had to stand in another line to get a wrist band. After that, you moved into yet another line to enter the building. It was a confusing mess, and many people around us were angry at the process.

Saturday night entertainment: Midsummer Scream wins again. The  Oingo Boingo Dance Party convinced a lot of people we know (people who never attend the Saturday night parties) to buy a ticket. We did not actually attend either party, but from the people we talked to who attended both and the reactions we saw online, Midsummer Scream was by far the winner here.

Panels/Guests/Presentations: This is a hard comparison, but in the end, we give the victory to Midsummer Scream. Both conventions had packed schedules, but overall, Midsummer Scream had the more interesting and more essential lineup. ScareLA had several presentations that felt like “filler” (such as “the darkside of VR” and “the science of fear”) that were not close enough to Halloween or haunts for us. Overall, we were more excited about the presentations at Midsummer Scream.

Classes/DIY Workshops: This was another hard category to rate, and we have to call this a tie. We heard from some people that ScareLA had better classes, but then we heard from others that they liked the lineup at Midsummer Scream better. For us, it’s a toss-up. ScareLA does require that you purchase a “Scare Student” pass, which does get a bit pricey. Classes are free at Midsummer Scream, except for the workshops taught by SoCal Valley Haunters.

Attractions/Experiences: Again, we call Midsummer Scream the clear winners here. First of all, the area with the mini-haunts was much better themed. It was darker and filled with fog. The facades at the mini-haunts looked very professional. At ScareLA, light leaked in from the outside doors, and a couple of the mini-haunts had merely plastic/fabric walls that were easily visible because of the lighting. We also loved the scare zone at Midsummer Scream, which was a great transition between the showfloor and the mini-haunt area. It’s details like these that made MS really stand out for us this year.

The Winner?? Midsummer Scream!

Hey, we’re glad there are two haunt conventions in Southern California. But do we really need two? No. If you have the money and time, sure—attend both. But you’ll see quite a bit of overlap in content. But if you can (or want to) attend only one, we definitely recommend Midsummer Scream. We felt that Midsummer Scream was a better run, with better content, vendors, and entertainment. Most importantly, Midsummer Scream was somehow able to capture more of the fun Halloween and haunt spirit.  You can tell that it’s run from a genuine appreciation and love of Halloween and haunted attractions. That goes a long way in making an event great. We can’t wait for next year!

Live Through American Horror Story’s Twisted Tales At Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Who’s ready for a haunt maze filled with bondage, killer clowns, and Lady Gaga? Now you can experience all three together as one of the most horrifying and wickedly gruesome shows in television history is bleeding off the screen and into Universal’s U.S. theme parks. For years HHN fans have been screaming  for “American Horror Story” to come to life at “Halloween Horror Nights”. Now the wait is over as American Horror Story is coming to HHN as the final theme to be announced for both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort.


1000031649_c23925a9-2ec4-45ce-81f6-7ada6ef33ea0ps-emmy-nominationsThe long question has been choosing which season would make a good haunt. Well the masterminds at HHN don’t think we need to pick just one as three chapters of “American Horror Story” will be featured in these new frightening mazes. Guests will embark on a terrifying journey to become the next doomed residents of Murder House from Installment 1, tortured performers in the disturbing and twisted Freak Show from Installment 4, and victims of the otherworldly, death-dealing Hotel from Installment 5.

For the first time ever, guests will venture through Ryan Murphy’s groundbreaking horror anthology, encountering a plethora of iconic scenes and memorable characters designed to jolt them to their very core.  Twisted scenes from Murder House will unleash the evil spirits that possess the Harmon estate, spiraling guests through decades of the tortured dead who previously resided there.  In Freak Show, guests will join a troupe of biological misfits in a sinister sideshow where they’ll be stalked by the murderous and deformed Twisty the Clown. Finally, guests will succumb to the warped desires of The Countess after checking in to the haunted Hotel Cortez, conceived from the beginning as a torture chamber for its customers.

tumblr_ne4838UGAE1tltaqwo1_500“‘American Horror Story’ is one of the most disturbing television shows ever produced, and with such perverse storylines unfolding with each installment, ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is undoubtedly the only place that could create a living version of the nightmares that Ryan Murphy dreams up,” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “Plus, as a fan favorite, ‘American Horror Story’ has been the number one requested maze from our guests and we’re excited to let them know that we listened to them and are bringing ‘American Horror Story’ to life.”

“‘American Horror Story’ is engaging for so many reasons, one of them being the fantastic way each installment of the series reveals completely new characters and stories for its viewers,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment Creative Development for Universal Orlando Resort. “It’s that constant evolution that makes this popular series a perfect fit for HalloweenHorror Nights – and we can’t wait for our guests to experience some of the horror they’ve seen on the show.”


Captivating – and shocking – viewers since its debut in 2011, “American Horror Story” has won 13 Emmys, two Golden Globes, four Critics’ Choice Awards and one People’s Choice Award. “American Horror Story” 6 begins September 14 on FX.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” in Orlando and Hollywood to become victims inside their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on anything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, visit

3 Houses and 5 Scare Zones Revealed for ‪#‎HHN26


Halloween Horror Nights Orlando has just revealed three original houses, five scare zones, and two shows for this year’s event. As expected, one house and scare zone will be themed after this year’s Icon, Chance. The other two houses will take on more adventurous themes within the respective settings of an Old West Ghost Town and an Ancient Egyptian Tomb. The remaining scare zones really stand on their own not being tied to any of the mazes but presenting a variety of horrifying scenarios such as apocalyptic hunters, 1950’s vampires, ancient creatures, and dead fishermen lurking in the fog (sounds familiar). For the shows, Bill and Ted continue their irreverent shenanigans for yet another year and the dancers from the Academy of Villains returns.

We often have always found the original houses to be some of the scariest and best designed at HHN and think these three nicely round out the exciting slate of houses for #HHN26. Here’s more details on the houses, scare zones, and shows.


HHN26_Lunatics Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance
While Jack’s away, Chance has unleashed the horrors of her imagination. Her twisted delusions and reality are continuously blurred in a 3D playground of carnage. When the music box plays, the world shifts to her sinister theatre of the mind. But when the alarm starts ringing, Chance is thrown back into the brutal reality of her incarceration.


HHN26_GhostTownGhost Town – The Curse of Lightning Gulch
When lightning strikes, the curse of Lightning Gulch comes to life and this ghostly town appears. These doomed souls—who once went searching for gold—found death and destruction. And now they seek others to join them. As thunder cracks, flashes of lightning will lead your way through this treacherous wild west nightmare. Good luck!

HHN26_TombTomb of the Ancients
An ancient evil has surfaced and immortal beings from the past have returned to rule mankind. It was only a matter of time until “The Ancient Ones” were unearthed. Now these makers of chaos are loose from the pits of hell—and the whole world will pay.


Survive or Die – A global catastrophe has ruined Earth’s atmosphere. One group of survivors secured a machine that provides clean air. The two other surviving groups are on the hunt to gain control of the machine and are recruiting new members to help them. You can either join them or feed their staving ranks. Which will you choose?
Banshee’s Lair – Travel deep into the forest where evil spirits and horrific creatures of the ancient world roam free. Mother Nature’s magical barrier of vines has been torn away and the modern world has found the entrance to this corrupted grave.
Dead Man’s Wharf – When a fishing vessel named Annabel Lee never returned to the harbor and was lost forever, the wharf was left uninhabited as a memorial to her. Now, a strange fog has rolled into the village. And the long-lost fishermen’s spirits seek to punish the town that left them.
Vamp 1955 – Welcome to Hollywood High School’s 1955 Homecoming Parade. Everything is in place, until the greasers roll into town with fangs instead of switchblades. It’s a procession of chaos with vampires ready to take a bite out of anyone in sight.
A Chance In Hell – Get ready for the audition of a lifetime. Chance may be locked away, but that hasn’t stopped her. As the alarms ring and the bloody remains of those who tried to stop her lie around, she’s busy recruiting cellmates to join her biggest act yet. (I hope I get chosen!)


Academy of Villains: House of Fear – Join this high energy performance troupe of inmates in an explosion of insanity that will thrust you into a realm of mayhem and maniacal terror featuring dance and specialty acts. The Show Must Go On!
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure – No Halloween Horror Nights would be complete with these “excellent” dudes! The Wyld Stallyns return with an all-new Halloween adventure.

There’s more information with a behind scenes look available on the HHN26 website.

Happy Haunts Materialize for The Haunted Mansion’s Birthday


Today we wish Disneyland’s original ‘The Haunted Mansion’ a Happy Birthday. The Haunted Mansion truly showcases the darker side of Disney’s imagination with an attraction that has made getting scared so much fun. Sadly, this would be the last attraction which Walt personally oversaw the designs for and he didn’t live to see the Haunted Mansion come to life, but many believe that his own ghost resides among the 999 ghost inside, who are always celebrating with a “swinging wake”.

While not considered to be particularly scary (for most adults), the Haunted Mansion has endured for over 45 years and offers a unique mix of Gothic horror, frighting fantasy, and creepy fun. The Haunted Mansion’s kooky and creepy ghostly inhabitants have upgraded the place to keep it in perfectly downgraded condition where candelabras can freely float down cobwebbed halls and portraits change with a flash of lightning. As children, this attraction left many lasting impressions on us and we’re sure many others. We simply found it to be “delightfully frightening”. In spite of being scared, we also had fun as our Doombuggy floated through the dark hallways filled with stretching doors and creaky old crypts, past musical seances, through the ballroom’s swinging wake, into the attic and finally out into the graveyard filled with “grim grinning ghost”. This is probably the one attraction responsible for making us here at Scare Zone (and many of you) addicted to haunts.


The influence from the Haunted Mansion can also be found in many haunted attractions across the world today. Whether it be the changing portraits, the ghostly holograms, or the singing ghosts; during haunt season, you can find various haunts that recreate these scenes to pay homage to the venerable attraction. Even some of the several prominent ghosts who have retired here from creepy old crypts from all over the world can often be found in reincarnations outside of the mansion. Especially Madame Leota and the three hitchhiking ghost.


Speaking of the mansion’s popular residents, one thing we find especially fascinating is that through the years the infamous bride has managed to keep changing her ravishing looks but still has not been able to keep her groom, at least all of him that is. Guess, he’s hanging around the mansion somewhere.


We can can go on and on about our love for this classic attraction but to learn more about the Haunted Mansion’s legacy and it’s various reincarnations around the world visit our friends at . They have every single inch of the Mansion’s grounds covered and uncovered.


Six Flags Magic Mountain: Suicide Squad Headlines a Bigger and Badder Fright Fest


Six Flags Magic Mountain’s 24th season of Fright Fest® will be the biggest and scariest in the Park’s history. The exciting line-up of new haunted attractions includes a new scare zone themed after the Warner Bros. Pictures highly anticipated film, Suicide Squad, and the largest outdoor maze in the Park’s history, Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. The expansion also includes more roving “scare-actors” than ever before and an additional Fright Fest weekend, bringing the total to 19 event days.


Six Flags Magic Mountain leaves no tombstone unturned to deliver what guests want most…an all-out terrifying experience. Fright Fest will include a total of seven electrifying mazes, seven dare-to-enter scare zones, and roaming zombies around every corner. If that’s not enough, Six Flags Magic Mountain will add a sinister element to some of the theme park’s monster coasters by turning off the lights, leaving riders to face their fears in total darkness – literally.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-04-at-18.03.11This year’s stunning new scare zone, Suicide Squad: The Six Flags Fright Fest Experience will transform the Park’s DC UNIVERSE area into DC’s Midway City, where some of the “Worst Heroes Ever” from the highly-anticipated film Suicide Squad will be roaming the streets. Darkness and chaos will reign as some of DC Comics’ most famous supervillains will be found among the mass destruction from the film. State-of-the-art digital imagery and fiery special effects will create an inferno as buildings burst into flames and creatures attack from every angle. “It feels good to be bad” at Suicide Squad: The Six Flags Fright Fest Experience.

The Park’s largest outdoor maze ever built, Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising, debuts in 2016 in a brand new location. Covering more than 40,000 square feet, this massive maze will strike terror into the brave souls entering a post-apocalyptic city inhabited by nomad warriors who rule with bone-crushing iron fists and the dead stalk the living. Larger-than-life props, fire, fog and other special effects make this a must-experience maze.

Back by popular demand haunted scare zones include TERRORtory Twisted, located in the Screampunk District, which is Magic Mountain’s biggest scare zone and features steam-spewing mechanical beasts relentlessly hunting down their victims. Beware of the terrifying giant spider looming at the entrance.

Fright-Fest---Main-Gate-PlazaComing back for the third year, three popular mazes incorporate state-of-the-art props, Hollywood-quality make-up, and story lines not meant for the faint-of-heart. Enter the world of Red’s Revenge…over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house you go, but in this fairytale, guests and the wolf are hunted by Red and her demonic minions. Vault 666 is an old abandoned research facility where genetic experiments crossing humans with animals were once conducted and just recently the frightening secrets have been unearthed, exposing terror and mayhem from deep within the unsecured vault. Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness, a dense labyrinth of man-eating plants and evil apparitions, is inhabited by Innocence, the Willoughby’s youngest daughter, who is always looking for a ghostly playmate…so keep loved ones close.

Also returning is the demented 3D twist, Toyz of Terror 3D, the defunct toy factory haunted by wicked windups, freakish furries and deranged dolls…and if that’s not enough to scare the wits out of even the bravest, guests are now forced to experience the madness in 3D terror. Willoughby’s Resurrected is a reincarnation of the Willoughby family’s beloved haunted mansion that includes hair-raising horror down long harrowing hallways and around each nightmarish-turn. Don’t miss Chupacabra, where guests come face to face with this elusive blood-thirsty creature as it petrifies the local Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival.

In addition to the two new haunted attractions this year, five additional scare zones around the park leave guests nowhere to hide and screaming to get out alive. After entering Fright Fest through the gates of Demon’s Door, face the undead in Zombie Xing. In Nightmares – A Twisted Fantasy, childhood fears and favorite bedtime stories take on a perverse twist, freak out on Exile Hill when unimaginable sinister souls appear without warning, and throughout the Wasteland, barbarian humanoids dare guests to enter the carnage of Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising.

Beginning each night at 7 p.m. and traveling throughout the park are the crazed comic-like characters who will run amuck through unsuspecting guests.

Spooktacular shows include the hypnotists, who put park guests in compromising scenarios in their hilarious stage show located in Golden Bear Theater, and the very popular VooDoo Nights, where Ghoul Rock has gone pop with a musical spectacular sure to entertain. Be sure to dust off your thriller moves and join in the fun in the Full Throttle Plaza.

For the little monsters, a Trick or Treat Trail and Halloween Crafts round out the activities during the day.

Fright Fest Operating Hours and Days:
10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.: September 17, 24, 30, October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.: September 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

For more information on Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest, visit our website at

Six Flags Magic Mountain Season Passes are on sale. For just $10 more than a one day ticket, you’ll get unlimited visits now through the end of the 2016 season with no blackout dates. Purchase four or more Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor or Combo Passes and you’ll get one FREE parking pass. Additional Season Pass perks include free tickets for friends, park admission to Fright Fest, Holiday in the Park and more. Season Passes can be purchased at the main gate ticket booths or online at Online Pass purchases are eligible for low monthly payments through the Membership program.


Season Passholders may also take advantage of our best value in Dining by purchasing a 2016 Season Dining Pass. For one low price you can enjoy a variety of meal options on each visit. Dining passes may be purchased at the park or online at

Save time and money. Buy and print your tickets at home and go straight to the gate. Plan ahead and save up to $25 on Six Flags Magic Mountain general admission when you purchase your tickets in advance of your visit date. Get more details and buy now at

Six Flags Magic Mountain, the undisputed thrill capital of the world, is located at 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, north of Los Angeles off Interstate 5 at the Magic Mountain Parkway exit. The Park is currently open daily. For information call (661) 255-4111 or visit

Krampus is Coming to Halloween Horror Nights



CpIq7ccUAAAn_s5First there was Halloween and Friday the 13th, and now Christmas joins the holiday horror party at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights with an all new KRAMPUS maze based on the 2015 movie. We suspected that this would be one of the new mazes based upon pictures we saw of a facade being built on Hollywood’s backlot that looked identical to the home featured in the movie. This will be another shared property that will be featured at both the Hollywood and Orlando parks.

We’ve loved the Dark Christmas scare zone that was featured at HHN Hollywood the last two years. It seems that similar to what they did with La Llorona, the theme was tested as a scare zone before they fully committed to giving it it’s own maze.  This should be wicked fun as the Krampus movie features some terrifyingly bizarre holiday creatures and monsters that are sure to be as scary as a family Christmas dinner when they’re brought to life by the Universal HHN teams.



The legend of Krampus was also used for a maze theme at least year’s ScareHouse. That maze provided guests with the rare opportunity to admire actual props, costumes, and practical creatures from the film before entering a highly immersive attraction that followed the legacy of Krampus, the iconic figure of dark folklore as old as Christmas itself.

Rsz_screencapture-www-hdmovieswatch-net-bluray-krampus-2015-movie-online-hdm-1457483878672At the Universal parks, the mazes will place guests right in the scenes of the holiday horror movie. The dead of winter will set the stage for the terror that unfolds one cold, dank and dreary Christmas Eve when the fabled anthropomorphic “half-goat, half-demon” horned creature emerges to terrorize those devoid of holiday spirit. In scenes lifted from the film, guests will navigate the dysfunctional Engel family home to encounter the evil ancient spirit of Krampus – the dark shadow of Saint Nicholas – and his band of Dark Elves and sinister Gingerbread Men, who cause the family to fight to see the light of day.

Say no more! We can’t wait to experience this maze. We really feel that this is shaping up to be one of the best years for HHN yet. Now we’re speculating as to what the remaining maze and Terror Tram themes for Hollywood will be. Our guess are attractions based on Universal’s The Purge Election Year, which will be releasing on DVD around that time, and Rob Zombie’s 31, which comes out in theaters this fall.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit


Pittsburgh Haunted House Team Builds First Haunted Attraction in Dubai


When it comes to designing haunted houses, Extreme Fear Design & Production knows what it takes to scare tens-of-thousands of patrons every Halloween season. The Extreme Fear team are the creative minds behind the nationally acclaimed Hundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they have now taken their talent and expertise to the other side of the world to create the first haunted house inside the famous Dubai Mall.
Dubai’s first haunted attraction designed and built by Pittsburgh, PA based team, Extreme Fear Design & Production. Who is best known for their work on one of the nations top haunted houses, Hundred Acres Manor in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dubai’s first haunted attraction designed and built by Pittsburgh, PA based team, Extreme Fear Design & Production. Who is best known for their work on one of the nations top haunted houses, Hundred Acres Manor in Pittsburgh, PA. Hundred Acres Manor, created by Extreme Fear Design & Production, has been seen on the Travel Channel, USA Today, LA Times, Forbes and dozens of other national and local news networks. They are known as one of the “Scariest Halloween Attractions” and one of the top haunted houses in America. Now they have taken their talents abroad to be seen by local residents and tourists from all around the world who find themselves visiting The Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates.

The manor themed haunted attraction known as Hysteria, will allow the forty-two million annual mall visitors the opportunity to immersive themselves in an experience full of zombies, creatures and special effects that send chills up your spine. Christopher Gilgour, project manager, explains “The haunted house industry has grown from seasonal walk-thru attractions to year-round establishments like we have created in Dubai. Creations such as Universal’s “The Walking Dead Attraction” and our own horror themed escape rooms known as The Enigma Project, show that fans of horror don’t want to wait until October to come face-to-face with these experiences.” Creative designer, Dejah Gilgour, who teaches at Douglas Education Center in the Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program adds “Halloween has no boundaries. While this is the first haunted attraction in Dubai, horror is not new to them. Some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters have had great success in Dubai and we cannot wait to immerse them into a haunted house.”

screen shot 2016-06-09 at 115419 pm-crop-u21397

Joining Christopher and Dejah Gilgour on the project was Thaddeus Sobek, President and CEO of Hundred Acres Manor and Extreme Fear Design & Production and design talent Aaron Parkus, Stephanie Raap, Tyler Kozar and Tomak Baksik from Nethercraft Creations.

However, you need not worry if you cannot make it to Dubai. The Extreme Fear team has all new attractions coming to Hundred Acres Manor this fall.

For photos and more information on the project, contact For more information on Extreme Fear Design & Production and their services including building escape rooms, haunted attractions or event theming visit

scary-haunted-houseHundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction has been named “Pittsburgh’s Best Haunted House” by and year after year they prove why they are one of the top haunted attractions in the nation. Hundred Acres Manor is a non-profit haunted house that has donated over $1.5 million to Homeless Children’s Education Fund and Animal Friends. For more information on Hundred Acres Manor, visit

SOURCE Hundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the Spirit of IRON MASTER


This past weekend at Midsummer Scream we attended the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor panel. It was a lively presentation from the haunt’s creative team with many of the characters such as the Captain and Dead Deckhands making appearances. The audience was very excited and from everything they shared we know that this will be another frightfully exciting year.

In addition to announcing that there’ll be libations available for sale in every line and the return of the swings from Neverland Ranch (Shamone!), they also revealed their wicked plans for 2016’s new maze. The Queen Mary’s cruise into the Dark Harbor will now include a train ride to hell with the New Maze INTREPID. This maze will feature the disturbing journey of the ship’s builder Ivan aka Iron Master.

LONG BEACH, Calif., (August 1, 2016) – The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has a new cantankerous resident spirit, Iron Master. His torrid legend is brought to life through Intrepid. The new maze transports guests aboard a steamin’ locomotive, back to the birthplace of the Golden Era of Travel –Scotland’s storied shipyard of Clydebank. Blazing down the Iron Master’s death-defying tracks, guests will bear witness on his cursed journey to save The R.M.S. Queen Mary from her predecessor’s Titanic peril. All who dare will swelter and drip with fear as they traverse and crawl to their final destination: Iron Hell. The Iron Master has crossed oceans of time to reclaim his beloved Queen Mary. How far will you go?

As the tale is told, Ivan was the ship builder and original iron forger of the majestic R.M.S. Queen Mary. In the early 1930s, Ivan’s shipyard was commissioned by Cunard to build the storied Scottish vessel. Eager to rise to the challenge, he scoured the world in search of a flawless crew and devoted his life to what would be come the most famous shipyard in history. The R.M.S. Queen Mary set sail in 1936 with Captain at the helm and unknowingly, Ivan in the hull.

One fateful night, a mysterious steam engine rolled into his shipyard rail station and beckoned Ivan. Before he realized it, he had boarded the deadly train and was barreling toward darkness. By the end of the dark journey, he realized he had been transformed into a terrifying creature – part metal, part monster. Over the century, his corpse decaying, Ivan was forced to replace pieces of his rotted flesh with cast iron – the same from which he forged his beloved ship. A slave to his craft in life, so too, would he become in death. Cursed for eternity as protector of the Queen Mary, Ivan is now…Iron Master.

Through the best of storms and worst of wars, the R.M.S. Queen Mary remained the fastest ship on the seas until she was laid in her eternal resting place here in Long Beach. Befittingly dubbed “The Grey Ghost”, she eerily hovers in the harbor, marking her 80th year afloat.

It is said that the spirit of Ivan – the Iron Master has grown restless and the Ringmaster’s circus freaks have overstayed their welcome. Now more than ever, he is heard banging his iron clad limbs as he trudges the ship’s hull. Called upon by the Captain, Iron Master has disembarked to restore order to the steely shipyard in the dark harbor.

Twenty-two terrifying nights of Dark Harbor tell the truly haunting tales of Queen Mary, offering the most authentically frightening experience around. The evil eight spirits: Iron Master, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess, Ringmaster, plus hundreds of their horrific henchmen; await to tempt your fate.

darkharbor2015-41Signature mazes Circus, Lullaby, Deadrise, Soulmate, B340 return to offer glimpses into the ship’s sordid past. Other spirited attractions Hex Paintball Gallery, Panic 4-D, Sideshow, Neverland Ranch’s Sinister Swings, Voodoo House Bar & Tasting Room, R.I.P. Lounge, Big Top Bar, demonic DJ’s and other main stage mayhem make for a freakishly good time.

The annual haunt opens its gates on September 29 and continues to scare those who dare through October 31. General admission ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright upgrades, VIP R.I.P. Lounge access, Creepy Cabanarentals, and historic hotel packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit

Halloween Starts this Weekend at Midsummer Scream


Get ready Haunt Stalkers! Halloween season begins this weekend at Midsummer Scream: Halloween Festival in Long Beach.

From the creative minds of CreepyLA and Theme Park Adventure, comes an all-new chapter in terror: Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival. This weekend-long celebration of everything Halloween, haunts and horror makes its debut this weekend (July 30-31) at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

Midsummer Scream features more than 100,000 square feet of event space that will showcase vendors, makeup demonstrations, stage presentations, live entertainment, a screening room, haunted attraction experiences and more.

Already confirmed for Midsummer Scream include Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, Six Flags Fright Fest, Dread Central, Sinister Pointe, Scott Ramp/The Scream Team, SoCal Valley Haunters, Drunken Devil, Decayed Brigade slider team, Motel 6 Feet Under, Season Pass Podcast, Spooky Hollows, Rotten Apple 907, Fear Station, Figment Foundry, magic of Jimmy H./Mudd the Magnificent, Screenshot Productions, The Empty Grave, Cross Roads Escape Games, Higgins Manor, Dark House Entertainment (The Basement), Girls and Corpses, Evil Twin Studios, and Garner Holt Productions. The full list of partners is updated on the Midsummer Scream website.


A highlight of Midsummer Scream will be its main stage auditorium, which will accommodate more than 1,000 horror fans gathering to witness a world-class lineup of panels and presentations, which will include exciting reveals looking forward to the 2016 Halloween season in Southern California.

hall-of-shadowsGuests looking for additional thrills and chills may venture into the Hall of Shadows, a large “scare zone”, with monsters lurking in the dark, and a 9 haunted attraction previews/experiences that will soothe your Halloween cravings. Bone Yard Effects, Inc. led by Larry Bones will bring terrifying creatures to life throughout the day via makeup demonstrations on the show floor, and release them into the Hall of Shadows to wreak havoc on terrified fans.

“We are beyond thrilled to bring the Halloween and horror community together here in Southern California,” said Rick West, Creative Director of Midsummer Scream. “The entire team is fueled by the same fundamental passion for the holiday and the macabre; we met and became friends while covering various haunt events and have enjoyed strong personal and business relationships for the past several years as a direct result. Midsummer Scream is the festival this community deserves, and we cannot wait to unveil everything we’ve got planned.”

Get your tickets now!

Terror Tip: Check out GOLDSTAR for additional last minute deals from Midsummer Scream!

About Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages. More information can be found at

Fans can follow Theme Park Adventure via social media on Facebook, Instagram (search our posts with #ThemeParkAdventure), Twitter, and Periscope for live streams of our travels and special events! Our most popular and unique Periscope broadcasts are archived and may be viewed on our Katch channel.

It’s Slashers Gone Wild at Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights 2016!


Get ready for slashers gone wild at this year’s HHN! Today we got a triple threat of scares with the announcement of two more mazes, featuring 3 more classic movie slashers, joining the 2016 HHN Hollywood lineup. This is a 80’s horror fan’s best dream and worse nightmare come through! Check out the descriptions from the press release along with our take on these new haunt attractions.

“Freddy Krueger. Jason Voorhees. Leatherface. Michael Myers. The four most terrifying names in horror come together at this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood as the silver screen’s extreme serial killers bleed into a trio of all-new slasher-themed mazes, beginning Friday, September 16, 2016.”

“In “Freddy vs. Jason,” demented killer Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) returns to the scene of the crime, this time accompanied by notorious hockey mask killer Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) to inflict twice as much terror. Inspired by New Line Cinema’s 2003 film that brought together the biggest horror icons in history, this new experiential maze thrusts guests into an epic battle in which the fate of only one killer will survive.”

We loved this maze in Orlando and look forward to experiencing it with Hollywood’s new twists. Unlike Orlando’s, which more closely followed the narrative of the 2003 movie (has it been 13 years?!) , this maze will be “inspired” by the film taking some creative liberties to bring a new maze experience and scares for frequent Haunt Stalkers, like ourselves.  We hope they keep the element of switching up the winner at the end of maze like they did Orlando.

Next up is a maze theme we’ve seen quite a few versions of over the years at HHN, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Orlando is also getting TCM maze this year that is based  on the orginal movie. In Hollywood, instead of being based on a specific movie in the series, we’ll get a unique story line about the adventures of Leatherface and family as they run a BBQ restaurant for cannibals. Almost sounds like the premise of a sitcom spin off , but we expect there won’t be any laughs in this maze. We hope!

The unspeakable terror embroiled within “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers” maze, based on Tobe Hooper’s original film, will pit guests against the unsavory wrath of the demented killer, Leatherface, and his mentally unhinged brother, Chop Top, as they unite in misery to expand the family’s cannibalistic enterprise and slaughter a new generation of innocent victims. With the perverse duo at the helm of a grotesque BBQ restaurant staged inside a dilapidated roadside gas station, unwitting guests will soon realize that new terror awaits as the blood brothers continue their hedonistic prey on human flesh.

As was previously announced, the original masked killer, Michael Myers will also be in the mix as he would never miss a Halloween party.

Escaped mental patient Michael Myers makes a homecoming return in “Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield,” an all-new maze inspired by the second film in the classic “Halloween” horror franchise. Echoing the infamous words uttered by the film’s Dr. Sam Loomis, “You can’t kill the Boogeyman,” the twisted maze will shed new light on the terrifying lunacy of Michael Myers as he scours the streets of Haddonfield and stalks the halls of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital in ruthless pursuit of his victims.

“Halloween Horror Nights” 2016 at Universal Studios Hollywood kicks off on Friday, September 16, 2016. The popular event brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror. Featuring an all-new slate of unrivaled film production quality mazes, frightful scare zones and a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience uniquely themed to today’s most definitive horror properties, “Halloween Horror Nights” will taunt, terrorize and torment guests with spine-chilling haunted attractions as part of Southern California’s most extreme Halloween experience. The all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent attraction, based on AMC’s hit show will further enhance “Halloween Horror Night’s” terrifying lineup.

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