The Bloodshed Brothers and Clever Coven have returned this Halloween season with Temecula Terror an all-new, hair-raising, and terrifying haunt experience in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Dubbed an Indie-Style Haunt, Temecula Terror is located in Galway Downs, a unique outdoor experience located in the wild, shadowing hills of the Temecula Valley Wine Country.
We drove over 100 miles from LA to Temecula Terror but will soon discover it would be more than worth it. After exiting the 15 freeway onto the Temecula parkway, we rode past the track home-filled neighborhoods and suburban shopping centers. After a few miles, the road suddenly became narrow and darker. The night sky speckled with stars that filled the horizon as the feeling of anticipation started to grow. From our experience, we know that haunts located on the outskirts of town take their haunting seriously.
Traveling down the dark road, the GPS indicated we’d arrived, and we were relieved to be greeted by the parking attendants, who directed us to the parking lot. After a short walk through the dimly lit fields to the main entrance, getting our admission wristbands, and going through a quick security check, we ventured into the green-glowing fog-filled tunnel that transported us into the main hub of Temecula Terror.
On the other side of the tunnel, a full-fledged Halloween festival unfolded in front of us with music, lights, carnival games, a ride, and food vendors. There were people walking around with pumpkins they’d proudly picked from the patch and enjoying food from the local food trucks.
Just to the left of the hub is a foreboding facade with a smiling devil inviting those who dare to “enter at your own risk.” We took the dare and crossed the threshold into the center of a town setting, where the three haunted houses, two bars, and one VIP bar reside. After exploring the grounds, checking out the bar setups, and being stalked by some of the roaming scareactors, we headed into the mazes.
Butterfield Asylum: This maze is themed to an asylum that is haunted by the souls of convicts who have lost their minds while working in the hot Temecula sun to build a railroad. The set design and prop pieces are highly detailed and unique, making it stand out from the typical haunted asylum-themed maze. The maze also utilizes varying lighting effects that are disorienting and serve to set up some very unexpected scares from the enthusiastic yet tortured souls inside.
The Crypt: Walking past the town’s cemetery into an old mortuary, this haunt transcends beyond the gravestones, taking us deep below the ground into a twisted maze of dark catacombs. This was another maze that featured sophisticated lighting effects with one effect, in particular, that used fog and laser lights to create a suspenseful walk through a twisted labyrinth. We were vulnerable to The Crypt’s undead inhabitants who were always able to see us before we could see them. We think there could’ve been some more creeps lurking in this maze, but it did provide some good scares at the right moments.
301 Hyde Street: This is the “main attraction” at Temecula Terror and the ultimate Halloween fan’s maze. The story goes that Otis Hatcher is the self-proclaimed King of Halloween with a home filled with hoarded—uh, collected—Halloween decorations. However, with the new Halloween carnival in town, his festive efforts have been all but forgotten, which he’s not happy about at all. Now we show up as unlucky Trick-or-Treaters unknowingly entering into a game of cat and mouse with the depraved Halloween freaks residing inside of this dismal address. This maze is beautifully decorated, reminding us of the former Trick-or-Treat maze at Knott’s Scary Farm. The set pieces are filled with carefully curated Halloween artifacts and antiques. Just as we started to get caught up looking at the decor, the scares started coming and didn’t let up, until we somehow were able to (barely) make it back out to the carnival.
For a first-year haunt event, Temecula Terror operates with the sophistication and efficiency of any long-running haunt, even better than Universal’s HHN in some aspects. The crowd control was great, as we didn’t encounter any long conga lines inside of the mazes, allowing for each group to be fully immersed and scared inside the attractions. All of the talent was high energy and the settings well crafted. We know the Bloodshed Brothers and Clever Coven are inspired and passionate haunters, and their years of experience really shine inside all of the mazes and throughout the event grounds.
Temecula Terror is a great new local haunt, especially for Haunt Stalkers in the IE, OC, and San Diego. It is a farther drive from the LA area but not unreasonable and is worthwhile. You can combine the trip with some other local Halloween offerings in the area or on the drive back home. We’re looking forward to returning and hopefully see Temecula Terror grow with even more mazes as it becomes a staple Halloween attraction in the IE.
If pure terror isn’t quite your thing, Temecula Terror also offers something for haunt-lovers of all ages: Family Fright starts at 5:00 pm with a pumpkin patch, carnival games, trick-or-treating, food, and more. Then at 7:00 pm, the sinister scares begin as the monsters and ominous spirits are unleashed.
Tickets start at the beyond reasonable price of just $20 per adult (12+ years) and $10 for children (Family Fright). Visit www.TemeculaTerror.com for more information, to purchase tickets, and to stay up to date on Temecula Terror announcements, sales, and more.