After being evicted from the Queen Mary, Shipwreck Productions migrated to an out-of-the way location in Simi Valley, California, that hopefully no one could find them in. Unfortunately for us, we did. Not using our better judgment, and since we were already planning to visit some haunts in Ventura County, we decided that we’d check out 13 Nights of Terror. Given our previous experience with Shipwreck Productions, weren’t sure if it was worth attending, but after some contemplation, we went with the naive hope that maybe a new location would mean a new experience and that they might be able to offer a better haunt in a smaller location. Our Scare Zone photographer knew better and decided to sit this one out. So sorry, no pictures. Although there wasn’t anything to take pictures of anyway.
On our way there, we became more hopeful, as the setting was somewhat eerie in a desolate location down a dark and foggy road, just past a neighborhood that looked like the set from Poltergeist (and actually, Poltergeist was filmed very close to this area). However, as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, our hope started to fade, as there were just two families waiting outside the gate, both with very young children. The Web site said that they opened at 6 p.m., but when we arrived at 6:50, they said they “weren’t ready yet.” When they finally opened the gate, they let the families in. We were stopped by some low-budget-rent-a-racist-cop “security” to check our purses and thoroughly frisk down the only person of color within a 20-mile radius. The pat down was so through we were expecting a tip from the security guy afterward. We didn’t really pay attention to the family in front of us, so maybe they were checked too (we doubt it). A few minutes later, another group of adults arrived who were of the “non-ethnic” variety, and they just strolled right into the gates. This was infuriating! We debated leaving right then, but we decided that we’d stay just to see how bad the situation was at this place.
By 7:15 ,the haunted house still wasn’t open, and the few vendors they had were still setting themselves up. There was a “DJ” who was having his own private party, as no one else could care less about him. We were on the verge of walking out and asking for a refund when they told us they had just decided to change some things around in the haunted house and that they would be opening “in a couple more minutes.” The families with the kids asked for refunds and left. When they finally opened the doors, we were the first ones in line, all of 8 people. Terror Tip – never be the first one to go into a haunt when it opens.
We entered the maze, and this is the shortest part of the report, as there’s nothing to see here. Once again, Shipwreck Productions (which is a apropos name) delivered a low-budget maze with mediocore talent and no scares. Terror Tip – don’t go to a maze that has “looking for volunteers” posted on their Web site. It’s sad that they are charging an entrance fee for this “attraction” but still try to take advanatge of young local kids by getting them to “volunteer.” [EDITORS’ NOTE: According to the organizers, some of the actors in the maze are paid, and some are volunteers.] You get what you pay for, and the talent in this place is the worse we’ve seen in any haunt this season.
Essentially, the maze is just a stack of plywood walls with some blacklight paintings and random props scattered about. We’ve seen Halloween stores with better displays. It’s obvious that they’re trying to take advantage of being in a local community, perhaps in an attempt to get money from locals who don’t know any better and who don’t know what to expect from a decent haunt experience. Then again, the locals might know, as there were probably fewer than 20 people in attendance.
Overall, we found this haunt to be nothing short of a scam and a big waste of time and money, from their racist security practices to the below-amateur-level haunted house.
Our rating: BURIED SKULL (this is below our scale of 1-5 skulls). YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!