It’s already been four long months since we’ve be able to go through a haunt. Thankfully, Reign of Terror haunt, located in Thousand Oaks, CA, is hosting special event is tomorrow night (Saturday, March 4th). Doors will be open from 7:00pm – 11:00pm. Come out and enjoy a pre-springtime night of haunt stalking.
A FULL PRODUCTION special event on Saturday night, March 4, 2017.
Doors will open from 7PM – 11PM.
ALL 8 ATTRACTIONS with 95 ROOMS, ALL SPECIAL EFFECTS, and ALL CHARACTERS will be active.
Remember, all 8 attractions are interconnected. Once you leave one attraction, you immediately enter the next.
Sinister Pointe is spreading a little Christmas Fear to all you horror fiends with our 4th-ish annual “NOT So Merry Holiday Haunt”.
Sinister Pointe will revamp their current Halloween attraction to bring you a brand new “Choose your own adventure style”, interactive, Rude, Crude, comical and terrifying XMAS nightmare! Which includes plenty of inappropriate behavior, language and insults. If you are easily offended then this specific holiday event is NOT for you.
This Event is NOT for children!
This attraction breaks off at various points to give the guests a “Choose your own path” type of experience. Guests can experience all that the NOT so Merry attraction has to offer by venturing through the attraction 2 times as opposed to the 4 separate paths offered during our Halloween Event. This attraction is slightly longer than the Halloween experience and contains more INTERACTIVE elements.
And YES! Everyone will get to take their picture with a NOT So Merry SANTA! (Photo Sold Separately)
On a brisk October night—well, it was kind of warm, actually—we traveled into the dark of night guided by the light of a full moon, and the oncoming traffic headlights on the 5 freeway, to get to the far reaches of Griffith Park, where the L.A. Haunted Hayride resides. When we arrived at our destination in the dark side of town, there was a parking lot filled with cars and a long line of people waiting anxiously to get in. From the size of the crowd, it was obvious that the L.A. Haunted Hayride has managed to become one of the more popular haunts in L.A..
It’s been a while since we’ve come here, as the hayride experience had started to become redundant and not very scary to us after going for a couple years in a row. So we decided that this year it would be fun to go back and check it out, since they now have two additional mazes and a new walk-through segment during the hayride itself. They also happen to be only a few miles away from another haunt we really wanted to see, CreepLA.
The atmosphere across the grounds of the hayride, which they call “Purgatory,” feels like a Halloween festival with food vendors, roaming performers, a “Boutique,” pumpkin carving, light shows, psychic booths, and a “Sacry-Go-Round.” It’s all well organized and fun. You’ll really feel the spirit of the season after spending a little time here.
We were surprised that they didn’t take credit cards anywhere, not even at the ticket booths, and guests were forced to used portable ATMs in order to get cash if they didn’t bring any. This was a little annoying and inconvenient. It seems that they’re trying to make every last dollar they can by not paying credit card fees and getting kick backs from the rented ATMS. Another interesting thing is all the food served at the venue is vegan, which for us isn’t a problem. In fact, the pumpkin donut holes were delicious.
Of course, before we spent any more time in “Purgatory,” we hit up the hayride and the two mazes.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: Secret Society
This year’s hayride was promoted as being “brand new with the most innovative theme to date”. The story is we’re now part of a Secret Society of Halloween, and they’re going to take us, in our hay-filled cart, down a dark road where we’ll witness scenes of power and sacrifice, all to bring the night of Samhain to life. Before taking this journey, guests get rounded up like cattle in a chain-link fence holding pen and then corralled into the wagon. The wagon isn’t very comfortable, as instead of sitting on comfy bales of hay, you sit in a thin pile of hay that’s spread across the bed of the wagon.
We did notice a few minor changes in the hayride since we last visited but nothing that was truly “innovative”. Most notably is the section where you leave the hay wagon a few minutes into the ride and walk through an outdoor maze that has one or two startling moments. After the maze section, we were quickly crammed back into the wagon and continued on with the tour.
Unfortunately, we didn’t experience anything else that was particularly scary on the rest of the hayride. There are some interesting and elaborate sets along the route and some talented performers who give it a theatrical edge, but we had a hard time following the storyline and understanding what was happening in some of the scenes. The overall theme was lost on us, as the ride begins with a giant Mayan statue telling us we’re doomed and then finishes in a tent where we get attacked by patriotic Purge-like goons.
All in all, the hayride is like a riding though an outdoor Halloween store, where you’ll see some cool costumes, makeup jobs, and props on display. It’s all fun, but we wouldn’t want to wait in a long line to check it out.
This is a true maze composed of black walls in almost complete darkness. From the name, it’s obvious that they’re promoting the new Ouija movie, so they also included a few rooms that feature scenes from the movie. These scenes are not at the same quality of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights mazes, but they still were fun. In the rest of the maze, you have to find your way through dark corridors with dead ends and monsters lurking in the shadows. This maze was actually pretty fun, and we found it to be a little scarier than the hayride. Overall, this was a fun attraction, but note that the line can get REALLY long. We suggest hitting this maze early in the night (before the hayride) to avoid the long lines.
This has to be one the best maze concepts we’ve experienced this season. This maze takes interactivity to another level, where guests have to walk through a spooky neighborhood and literally go trick-or-treating door to door. Each house has its own personality to match the forbidding residents inside. It’s suspenseful and fun when you walk up to a house and have to ring the doorbell or knock on the door, waiting for an encounter with what’s on the other side. If you’re lucky, the resident will award you with some candy before sending you on your way to your next frightful encounter.
This maze was so much fun. We liked the feeling of not being confined to a path and the ability to pick where were wanted to go to get scared. We also liked the different themed homes, which featured just about every kind of Halloween character you could imagine. Getting candy made the experience all that much more fun. For us grown-up haunt stalkers, this maze allowed us to re-create the nostalgic memory of going door to door on Halloween night and the nightmares we had afterward.
Halloween weekend is here Haunt Stalkers and there’s no better way to travel from party to party, haunt to haunt, or bar to haunt to party than in a Lyft.
If you’re haunt stalking in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami this weekend then you can also experience your five seconds of Horror fame. Lyft is offering to get you where you’re going and star in a horror movie — all with the tap of a button. From 2 – 11 PM on Saturday, October 29, you can request an in-car film crew. When your driver arrives, simply hop in and let the magic happen.
During the ride, you’ll work with a writer and director on your very own spooky script. When you arrive at your destination, you’ll film it. While you go off to celebrate, our editors will be working on your mini horror movie and we’ll share it with you later that night.
If you’re not in Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, or Miami, you can still count on Lyft for safe, reliable rides all ‘Halloweekend’ long. Plus, open the Lyft app to see mummies, monsters, and more roaming the streets.
Learn more about how you can request an in-car film crew on 10/29 to write, shoot, and produce your own mini horror film this Halloween HERE.
During its prime, Sinister Pointe ranked near the very top of our annual haunt ratings list. With themes ranging from Saw to Silent Hill, and an elaborate haunted house with annual Xmas and Valentine’s Day haunts, this was one of the premier haunted attractions in Southern California. The mazes were superbly designed with movie-quality sets, interactive elements, and suspenseful scares that had us screaming to go back year after year. In addition, the talented team behind Sinister Pointe were also the masterminds behind the creation of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and one of our favorite haunts at the Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights. So after they left their permanent location in 2014, we anxiously anticipated their return in 2016.
Earlier this year, Sinister Pointe had a Seance event that we found to be fun. With a few tweaks, it could have been a pretty epic experience. With that said, it seems that public opinion was that the Seance event was a waste of time and money. Making good on their commitment to customer satisfaction, Sinister Pointe sent out special invitations to all the Seance attendees, welcoming us all back as VIP guests to experience their new 2016 haunted maze.
We couldn’t wait to finally return to Sinister Pointe and see the next level of terror and fun they promoted. The maze is themed as a dark journey through a decrepit world where victims must choose different paths to get through four demonic dimensions. Unfortunately, the description is the most exciting part. The maze we went through (3 times) is mainly constructed from black painted plywood walls and hanging sheets. There were hardly any props and limited effects. There actually was one section of the maze where we got stuck with other guests because we thought that the path through a curtain was taking us out of the maze and behind the scenes. It looked like an emergency exit. However, an actor told us to keep going and called us idiots for not knowing that was the correct path. We’re sorry, but when going through a maze, we’re not used to going behind the walls and walking over light cords, fans, past stacked chairs, and behind the audio speakers. We couldn’t believe it was part of the maze. We all did feel like idiots for taking the time and paying to go through this maze.
We went through three times and didn’t find any of the paths to be significantly different. Every time we went through, none of the other people in the maze seemed to be impressed either. It was really disappointing to realize that Sinister Pointe has regressed into being nothing more than an overpriced junior high school haunted house. We think that this was the first time that a haunt has left us feeling depressed, as it had very little redeeming qualities about it.
What seems to have gone wrong is that the overall set design and talent has fallen far below the quality that Sinister Pointe has spoiled us with before. We give credit to a few scareactors who were giving it their all, but the rest seemed just as lost in the maze as we did. We understand that the haunt business is a tough one and requires haunters to make a big investment to produce a quality maze. Given their tenure and established name in the industry, we expected that Sinister Pointe would have both the creativity and resources to produce another high-end experience. Alas, all we got was a cleverly marketed but ill-conceived haunted house experience.
Our hope is that this year was just a fluke and due to circumstances beyond their control, they weren’t able to produce the haunt they had initially intended to make. However, we can’t make excuses here, and since they’re taking people’s money, we can’t in good conscience give them a good review. Sad to say that this a a first-class haunt that has gone all the way back to coach. Sinisterly Pointless, indeed.
Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Hollywood continues to put out the scares and pack in the crowds.
This year’s buzz about HHN has reached an all new high with a lineup of mazes featuring some of the most popular movie and TV franchises in horror history. It’s slashers gone wild in mazes featuring Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason, and Freddy. Demonic destruction in “The Exorcist” and “Krampus” mazes. You will also experience terror vision in mazes based on TV’s top rated horror series “American Horror Story” and “The Walking Dead”. Plus murderous clowns roam the backlot and Purgers have taken over the rest of the park. With all of this horror greatness we have to agree that Universal Studios Hollywood’s HHN is a blockbuster Theme Park Halloween event.
Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Walkers are probably some of the biggest draws that keeps people coming back year after year (along with all their friends and family). People truly love being able to see their favorite horror icons and experience their terrifying worlds. On the other hand, for us, there is also the desire to have new experiences. While Universal has created new story lines for some of the repeat horror franchises they’re presenting we have to wonder where can HHN go from here and how can they continue to raise the bar if they remain locked into producing mazes solely tied to movie and TV franchises?
Listen, to their credit, unlike Knott’s and other parks that usually run the exact same mazes for three to six years straight, Universal seems to operate under a plan where they rotate the themes in and out over the years; freshening them up with new layouts, sets and effects when they come back. This makes every year somewhat different (expect for Terror Tram) and also allows for horror fans to have ongoing experiences with their favorite horror movies. It’s not a coincidence that sequels and remakes are popular in the horror genre as the fans can never get enough. Nonetheless, as frequent haunt stalkers who have experienced HHN at Universal Orlando where they also have a few unique mazes every year, we think if Hollywood included more original concepts into their mix then they would have the perfect collection of mazes in one park.
Overall, HHN continues to reign as the scariest Theme Park haunt in Southern California. In comparison to Scary Farm and Dark Harbor, we still rank the mazes at HHN highest in overall design, theming, and scare factor. The other parks may just have an edge when it comes to the park wide experiences and value.
We think that park operations have also improved slightly this year with early maze openings and easier security and entrance procedures but it still gets uncomfortably crowded as the park has small walkways and its over a mile to walk from the front gate down to the back lot where most of the mazes are. We also believe that it will be nearly impossible to experience everything without paying the absorbent cost for a front of the line (FOL) pass. The sad reality is you are more likely to NOT have a have a good time if you don’t have a FOL but we also know that paying over $200 bucks for a haunt isn’t the reality for most people either. We think if they opened up the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and maybe even incorporated the Death Eater attack, like in Japan, then that would help further disperse the crowds. Of course we also would prefer if they would add at least two to three more mazes.
With a FOL we were able to see all the mazes and get on a few rides in just under 4 hours. We didn’t bother seeing the JabbaWockeez show as we still don’t get their connection to Halloween aside from wearing white masks and aren’t fans of watching shows when we can be going through mazes instead.
Now as Dr. Loomis said “It’s time, Michael” so let’s get to business and review all the mazes, Terror Tram, and Purge scare zone at HHN 2016 featuring videos from our friends at ThemeParkHD.
Based on the “scariest film of all time” this maze takes guests inside the MacNeil house, where we get to witness firsthand the violent battle of a demon trying to take the soul of a little girl. There are some cool animatronic and special effects used in this maze. The settings are redundant as the path just goes back and forth between dark corridors filled with demonic creatures to various recreations of the movie’s bedroom scene where we see lil Regan evolve into a demonic monster.
There are some pretty intense and startling scares in the maze but they pretty much stick to one scare tactic that gets used over and over again, though ever so effectively. We easily caught on to the rhythm of the maze a few rooms in. There was a noticeable similarities between this maze and last year’s “This is the End” maze that was in the same location and featured a demonic invasion using similar scare tactics.
The recreation of this movie is no easy feat and what they managed to do with The Exorcist was pretty impressive. We think that this is a not to be missed maze and is a good one to start with to get your heart pumping for the rest of the night at HHN.
As a movie Krampus may not be one of the scariest. It’s fun but not scary. However, as a maze, Krampus offers a real treat of elaborate set designs and unique scares. It’s an early Christmas present to haunt fans. This maze has the best looking facade at HHN and as soon as you step into this holiday house of horrors the sweet scents of spice, pine, and gingerbread cookies fills the air.
As guest make their way further into the home it doesn’t take too long for Krampus and his nasty little helpers to get into action attacking from every corner and angle imaginable. There are non-stop scares with the creatures coming out of the most unexpected places, above and below. This maze does a great job recreating the best scenes from the movie and it truly stands out as one of the best designed mazes in recent HHN history.
Nationally Recognized Haunted House Designer/Builder/Operator – Steelhead Events and Productions – returns with a unique Things To Do in Washington DC offering two terrifying haunted houses in 1 location. Over the summer, Steelhead continued to expand its high-end haunted house brand by opening Ocean City Screams Haunted House in Ocean City, Maryland.
Scream City Haunted House Washington, DC opens this weekend on October 7 with new terrifying scenes, props, animation and the introduction of a small compound of bon fires, smores and hot drinks for attendees. Scream City Haunted House is an indoor Halloween amusement with 2 major high end haunted houses with 28 rooms of terror – Exorcism Estate and Slaughter Factory. The experience starts by overwhelming customers’ senses with haunted detailed scenes, sounds, lighting, smells and experienced actors that know how to exploit every human fear. Both haunted house attractions are included in the one fee found at ScreamCity.com. Both haunted houses are Smoke and Alcohol-free and NO BAGS or BACKPACKS are allowed on the property.
Scream City Haunted House is quickly becoming a tradition for many in the Washington, DC area who have enjoyed Steelhead’s other events for 16 years and are aware of the quality of the experience their events bring. Steelhead Events and Productions are also the creators of Field of Screams Maryland known as one of the best Halloween Haunted Attractions in the country and is the largest, most popular, and most highly rated Scream Park in Maryland, Virginia, DC and Delaware. In addition to being the Winner of A&E’s National Haunted House Design/Build Competition in 2014 – it’s design and management company, Steelhead Events and Productions – has been recognized as a leader in high-level immersive haunt productions. Steelhead has an extensive offering of services in the haunt industry working with professional sports organizations and companies such as the Baltimore Ravens, Hard Rock Cafe, and A&E Network.
Attendees should prepare for the fright of their lives by wearing sturdy shoes that are good to run in. In addition to scaring the life out of the attendees year after year, the hauntrepreneurs at Steelhead Events and Productions are longtime supporters of the areas they operate in giving back to local charity. A leader in the haunted house ‘Business of Screams’, these attractions create hundreds of area jobs each year providing valuable financial support to the local economies it operates in. Tickets for Scream City Haunted House are ON SALE NOW at http://www.ScreamCity.com
This year marks our 24th year of attending Knott’s Scary Farm, which adds up to a lot of monsters, mazes, and Elvira shows we’ve experienced along with miles upon miles of walking (running) in the fog.
When we first went to Knott’s Scary Farm we were young, naive, and easily scared teenagers. Everything about Scary Farm was terrifying, fresh, exciting and new to us. Now as “adults” we sometimes ask ourselves “is there really anything more that they can do that will really wow and scare us after all these years?”. I mean, we’ve pretty much perfected our haunt POV to the point we can easily detect where all the monsters are hiding in the mazes or predict what they’ll try to do to scare us in the scare zones. Plus we’ve toured the country and have expereinced all the different types of haunt scenarios you could imagine.
There even was a period when Knott’s had become the dated “granddaddy” haunt that held a nostalgic value but very little else; especially when compared to the new renaissance of high production, ultra suspenseful, and personalized haunt experiences that have emerged within the past ten years. Add in Universal who got very serious about its Horror Nights events in the mid-2000’s and we saw the bar for theme park and local haunts get raised so high it seemed that Knott’s should just do like they do in Calico Square and hang it up.
However, when you’re an originator that created the game you can redefine the rules. So not being unaware of the competitive changes, a few years ago the creative team at Knott’s Scary Farm embarked on a pleasantly dark path where they wouldn’t necessarily try to compete with what everyone is doing but instead move to further perfect what they’ve started. With this came the emergence of some incredible new maze themes and concepts that are designed the capture the imaginations and fears of today’s teenagers (and adults). In recent years we’ve watched as each season they’ve created unique maze themes and haunt concepts that showcase just about every frighting and fun aspect of Halloween. What Knott’s uniquely possess in comparison to other haunts is the soul of the Halloween Season.
To us they may no longer be the scariest haunt in town but for others, especially the new generation of haunt goers, they could easily hold the terror crown. We believe that it’s the wide variety of themes and enhanced story-telling that brings Knott’s Halloween Haunt to life. Where else can can you go Trick Or Treating in a witch’s house, investigate Paranormal activity inside a haunted hospital, battle zombies with laser guns in a post apocolyptic city, and try to escape from demonic Samurais or gun sling with cowboys and werewolves? It’s all pure Halloween season fun.
This year we continued our tradition of visiting the Scary Farm and like Elvira it still hasn’t gotten old. This was the first year we’ve attended on their opening night. Usually we like to wait for a week or two to give the monsters and performers a chance to perfect their scares. While it was noticeable in some areas that they could improve over time, overall we are impressed by how well managed and produced this year’s Halloween Haunt is. The tagline for this year is “Whatever, you’re imagining is here” and trust us, there was a lot of imagination put into this year’s show.
Halloween is one of the most successful horror franchises of all time and has grossed nearly $400 million worldwide. Since the original “Halloween” film, nine additional Halloween sequels have been created. It’s actually crazy to see all the directions they took this franchise just based on that that low budget 1978 movie. You can see it all in a special box set with all ten Michael Myers films in full blu-ray, featuring never-before-seen and behind the scenes content. Michael is also sharpening his blade to return to the big screen.
Now it’s time to catch up on everything Michael Myers so you’ll know what to expect if you unluckily encounter him this Halloween season. Here’s a comprehensive look at the life and crimes of the pure evil that is Michael Myers.
The event we’ve all been waiting for this year is just about here! The original Halloween Haunt, Knott’s Scary Farm, returns for the 44th year starting on Thursday, September 22nd with more than 1,000 monsters roaming the park and lurking in the fog.
We consider Knott’s Scary Farm to the best theme park Halloween celebration with a park completely blanketed in fog and crawling with monsters. There’s multiple scare zones, mazes, new virtual reality experiences, shows, rides, and Elvira, “the most popular ride in the park”.
As the terrors of Scary Farm inches closer we think that now is the perfect time for us to take a first peek in the fog to see what they have in store for 2016. As they say “Whatever you’re imagining, It’s here…”
Haunted Attractions (New for 2016)
Four all-new nightmarish haunted attractions will debut this year; each featuring unearthly surprises, ghoulish monsters and frightening legends that come to life as you step inside:
Black Ops: Infected: Armed with cutting edge laser guns, brave guests will face off against hordes of zombies in the groundbreaking all-new Black Ops: Infected interactive maze. Small units of guests will battle the zombie apocalypse through blood soaked city streets and an underground sewer system crawling with nearly one hundred ravenous zombies. The high tech innovative experience thrusts guests into the middle of a live-action video game complete with live actors, real time scoring system, kill streak rewards system and interactive targets, including a juggernaut boss zombie. The new attraction is one of the largest mazes ever created in Knott’s Scary Farm history so form your squad and put your zombie apocalypse survival skills to the test in this action packed, one-of-a-kind experience
Shadow Lands: A fulfilling life ensures a soul safe passage into eternity, but what happens to the souls of soldiers slain in battle? Enter the hair-raising Shadow Lands maze and fight off demon samurais whose souls are cursed to rot within the depths of purgatory. Guests will embark on a quest through a sacred shrine, an ancient Japanese temple and into the midst of the shadow lands.
Red Barn: Take a trip to a blood-soaked barn filled with carnivorous animals seeking to prey on human flesh in the Red Barn gore maze. Legend has it the farmer who owns the barn was transformed into a heinous creature that sends his sadistic sons to ensure his legacy. None dare enter the barn, for those who enter never escape.
The Hollow: From within the fog, the legendary Headless Horseman and his army of the undead are ready to unleash a reign of terror in the new scare zone, The Hollow. Guests entering the frightful 6-acre area will be terrorized by the souls of fallen soldiers and local farmers that have escaped their shallow graves.
FearVR: 5150: New for 2016, enter the mysterious Meadowbrook Institute and witness the abnormal case of a terrifyingly unusual patient named Katie in the groundbreaking virtual reality horror experience Fear VR: 5150. Using Samsung GearVR powered by Oculus and strapped to a hospital wheelchair, come face- to-face with the deadly chaos unraveling around you. Disturbingly vivid sights and sounds invade all of your senses. Encounter the darkness that has taken over the medical staff during your fully immersive hospital stay. Patients beware; it is easier to check in than out.
Standalone Skeleton Key Rooms (New for 2016):
For the first time, Knott’s Scary Farm will feature standalone Skeleton Key Rooms that are independent from mazes. The four Skeleton Key Rooms will each feature a unique story and theme delivering unparalleled scares, interactive secrets and terrifying surprises:
Slasher: Guests are invited to step into an 80s’ slasher horror film. The masked Angel Maker Killer is on the loose. Every lead has run cold and that’s when you step into the picture. Will you become his next victim?
Prey:Navigate a hay maze full of dead ends with only a faulty lantern as your guide. You are not alone. Mutant beasts are lurking around every corner.
Visions: Guests must investigate the Green Witch Museum in Ghost Town where it is not the building that is haunted, but the various items contained within. Using a Phantom Finder augmented reality device, guests will be able to identify and witness paranormal activity connected to items from the Sarah Marshall Witch Trial.
ZOZO: People from all over the world claim to have been visited by the demon ZOZO after a spirit board session. Is the demonic entity known as ZOZO real or are spirit boards just a myth?