Category: Haunt News (page 1 of 20)

SLAUGHTER SINEMA PREMIERES THIS FALL at HHN Orlando

Universal Orlando has announced Slaughter Sinema as the next original house for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.

The Slaughter Sinema theme involves 80’s monster movies and the die… drive-in movie theaters experience. The monsters and creatures that will be featured in this house will include werewolf bikers, deadly barbers, and a “ravenous swamp Yeti”  (oh yeah!).

We’re taking 80s B-movie monsters and creatures and putting them into one frightening experience—Slaughter Sinema. This new house joins the line-up of original storylines you’ll brave at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 28. It’s showtime at the local drive-in. As you approach, you’ll see movie trailers of what you’re about to witness, filling you with dread as you make your way inside. The smell of popcorn will be first to hit your senses as you find yourself in a movie theater snack bar. But from there, it’s all downhill for this double-feature.

In one film, you’ll be hunted by werewolf bikers. In another, you’ll come across a bloody, gut-strewn pumpkin patch. And did I mention deadly barbers? You’ll find yourself screaming through this sinister sinema as you try to avoid becoming the snack of alien cannibals, creatures with tons of teeth and a ravenous swamp yeti. Yes, you read that right.

Here are a few movie posters of the fearsome flicks you’ll see.

This year’s HHN event is going to be so intense with more houses than ever, terrifying scare zones and a powerhouse show.  The event will run from Sept. 14 to Nov. 3.  Vist HERE for more details and tickets.

A New Era of Terror for Howl-O-Scream’s 20th Anniversary at Busch Gardens (VA)

A new Era of Terror is coming for the 20th anniversary of Busch Gardens® Howl-O-Scream®. Fear abounds within the park’s collection of elaborate haunted houses, immersive themed scare zones, challenging escape rooms and darkly entertaining live shows. This means more scares are in store for unsuspecting guests during the popular fall event.

With so many new Howl-O-Scream attractions on tap, Busch Gardens will reveal new scares on the 20th day of each month through Aug. 20 until the full line-up is announced. Details can be uncovered at HOWLOSCREAM.COM/VA

Here are the June reveals:

New Haunted House: Demented Dimensions™

Guests will enter Sterling Manor – a haunted house built on top of a dimensional vortex. The energies of the vortex have opened portals to other realms where humans are hunted by monsters, where aliens are in control and the virtual has become reality.

 

New Terror-tory™: Fools’ Court™

Guests will experience Jester characters in Fools’ Court scare zone, where chaos reigns supreme. When the Motley Fools hit the streets, the joke always will be on you.

 

New scares coming in 2018 include:

3 Haunted Houses – 7 total

3 Bars – 5 total

2 Terror-tories™- 6 total

2 Party Zones

1 No Escape (Escape Room Experience) – 2 total

Plus more frightening fun

July 20 Reveal – Another haunted house, a second Terror-tory and the No Escape Room

August 20 Reveal – A third haunted house, party zones, bars and other frightening features

Howl-O-Scream opens Sept. 15 and will run on select days through Oct. 28.

The best way to enjoy Howl-O-Scream and other events all year long is through the Busch Gardens Williamsburg Membership Program. Get unlimited visits to Busch Gardens, Water Country USA®, Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town™ for as little as $12 per month. Plus, exclusive discounts and monthly Member Rewards valued at over $250. For more information, visit buschgardens.com/joinBGW.

MIDSUMMER SCREAM’s HALL OF SHADOWS BIGGER-THAN-EVER

More than 20,000 fans of all things macabre are expected to make their annual pilgrimage to the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California for the third annual Midsummer Scream, as the Hall of Shadows attraction expands to occupy 80,000 terrifying square feet of the world’s largest Halloween and horror convention.

 Photo Courtesy: Albert Lam

Photo Courtesy: Albert Lam

“Hall of Shadows is a Halloween theme park set up within the convention center where brave guests can step into the darkness and find themselves surrounded by swirling fog and terrifying monsters,” explains Rick West, Creative Director, Midsummer Scream. “Here, visitors will experience over a dozen haunted attractions, live entertainment, and check out exhibitors who are right at home in this dimly-lit environment. Hall of Shadows is a virtual commercial for Halloween in Southern California, and has become a huge, unique feature of Midsummer Scream that isn’t replicated anywhere else.”

Midsummer Scream will feature vendors and exhibitors within the Hall, each one selected to be showcased in the dark due to their particular merchandise or product type. Guests will also enjoy a performance stage where they can watch horror-themed burlesque, magic, and much more throughout the weekend.

Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest will be represented this year in the form of a terrifying scare zone that acts as the gateway to the featured haunted attractions area within the Hall of Shadows; this year marks the first time a major Southern California theme park has participated in such a way at Midsummer Scream.

Three times daily, Midsummer Scream presents the Decayed Brigade within its Hall of Shadows – a high-energy monster performance team made up of some of the best “sliders” in the world. Returning for their third year at Midsummer Scream, the Decayed Brigade is set to wow guests of all ages with their dynamic showmanship, intense physical stunts, and thrilling feats of strength and agility on a runway that stretches more than 100 feet in length among the Hall’s many haunted attractions.

All attractions within the Hall of Shadows are free with paid admission to Midsummer Scream. Those guests with Gold Bat Weekend Passes will receive one-hour early admission each day at 10 a.m. to the vendor show floor as well as Hall of Shadows. During general operating hours, Gold Bat passholders will find Front of Line access available at each haunted attraction within the Hall of Shadows.

Midsummer Scream has established itself as the premier venue for artisans and vendors to sell spooky merchandise, theme parks and film studios to tease their fans with coming attractions, cosplayers to take a walk on the dark side, makeup artists to show off their terrifying talents, professional haunters and industry experts to present world-class panel discussions, seminars, and classes. In addition to the amazing haunted attractions, displays, and exhibitors in the Hall of Shadows, Midsummer Scream features many experiences throughout the entire show, from theatrical productions to escape rooms and other alternate reality entertainment.

More detailed information regarding Hall of Shadows can be found here, on the official Midsummer Scream website at MidsummerScream.org.

About Midsummer Scream

Midsummer Scream is presented by David Markland and Claire Dunlap of Black Cat Orange (formerly CreepyLA Productions), Gary Baker, Johanna Atilano, and Rick West of Theme Park Adventure. Its goal is to showcase the diversity of Southern California’s haunt and horror community as a welcoming beacon for fans around the world to converge on Los Angeles for a weekend of excitement, networking and non-stop spookery! Be sure to follow Midsummer Scream on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope for breaking updates and information.

 

Warner Bros. Studio Tour ‘Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights’ Returns

Universal Studios is no longer the only haunted movie studio in Hollywood. For a few years in a row, Warner Bros. Studios has been hosting their own Halloween horror movie event using their archive of movie properties. We like that they’re remaining committed to this event, which must mean it’s gaining popularity (and making money).

What we could be witnessing is the rise of an all-new annual Halloween haunt experience in Hollywood.Remember when HHN was rebooted in 2006 they only had two mazes, the terror tram. and some scare zones.  If WB Festival of Frights continues to build up, haunt stalkers could have an equally scary and fun alternative to the ever so popular (and crowded) HHN. Don’t get us wrong we’re not saying to pick one over the other but the two together, in such close proximity, could help alleviate the crowds and allow die-hard haunt stalkers to double down on two Haunted movie studio attractions. Plus, WB has Pennywise which probably means that HHN is S.O.L. in getting their own ‘It’ maze.

(PRNewsfoto/Warner Bros. Studio Tour)

This Halloween season, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood (WBSTH) will send chills down guests’ spines with the return of Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights. This year’s event will host even more dark mazes, scare zones, horror-themed activities, and plenty of food and drinks available throughout our creepy carnival on Warner Bros.’ legendary backlot.

The Neibolt House maze from New Line Cinema’s record-breaking 2017 film IT will return to Horror Made Here, where guests will experience the full wrath of Pennywise. This year’s reimagined maze will feature new scares and surprises with every twist and turn. Those daring enough to step into the Neibolt House must remember that “It knows what scares you” and beware of Pennywise, who may be lurking in the dark just around the corner.

From DC, fans will experience the iconic and unhinged characters from Batman: Arkham Asylum as the infamous Gotham City institution for the criminally insane is constructed, for the first time ever, on the Warner Bros. backlot. In this brand-new maze, guests must first face their judge, The Joker, who will decide their fate, leading to encounters with his fellow DC Super-Villains – including Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, and Two-Face, among others – as visitors are driven to the brink of madness while navigating the gruesome asylum.

“We’re not just a scare factory or a haunted house – as the creator of legendary horror films, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a party on the Warner Bros. backlot? We’re thrilled to welcome guests who are ready to brave their deepest nightmares,” said Gary Soloff, Director of Marketing, WBSTH. “Due to the overwhelming demand from last year’s event, we’ve extended our nights and hours and made this year’s festival, night tour, and mazes bigger, better, and scarier, so our guests can expect more pulse-pounding terror than ever before.”

Horror Made Here has been extended from six to 13 nights starting October 5, 2018, with more mazes and details to be announced this summer. Tickets go on sale beginning August 1, starting from $59 per person at horrormadehere.com. This year introduces the “VIP Fright Pass” to accommodate those looking to jump to the front of the line for each attraction and night tour, as well as providing free priority parking and two complimentary beverages.

Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights is a special ticketed event, held on October 5-6October 11-13October 18-21 and October 25-28, open from 7PM to 1AM. The event ticket includes access to the festival, all scare mazes, and the night tour. Visit horrormadehere.com for more information.

Sinister Pointe’s “SCARY PLACE”

We’ve really missed Sinister Pointe.  Their absence was fully noticed and felt out here in SoCal during haunt season. After a period of darkness, one of our top-rated Haunt events is making the most spectacular return with what’s billed to be the LARGEST MULTI-LEVEL, INDOOR HAUNT EXPERIENCE in California.

In past years the inventive Sinister Pointe Productions team has created some of our most memorable haunted experiences which includes the revival of Queen Mary’s ‘Dark Harbor and the special haunted nights at The Winchester Mystery House.  Through the years, they’ve also terrified us with Christmas and Valentine’s day haunts along with SeancesScavenger Hunts, VR Experiences, and haunted bars.

For fall 2018 they’re unleashing a brand new kind of Halloween event, Sinister Pointe’s Scary Place. Haunt lovers will be scared to death in three stories of unrelenting terror, covering over 150,000 square feet and featuring two all-new mazes and a brand new haunted dark ride. Yes, a ride!

The experience will begin as the brave and foolhardy alike cross the veil into the foggy realm known as the Scary Place. Two mazes and a new ride will await haunt goers in this murky realm of terror for a full night of Halloween fun including…

Evil on 2  (Walkthrough Attraction)

There is an evil that has taken over the second floor of this quaint little hotel and we need you to venture into this maze to investigate! Let’s just hope that the terror within hasn’t spread!

PHOBIAS  (Walkthrough Attraction)

Welcome to “PHOBIAS”. Step right up and see if you have what it takes when you’re put up against some of your greatest fears. A fully interactive maze experience that will test your abilities to cope with your worst nightmares. We hope for your sake, being alone isn’t one of them!

Boogeyman Express (Ride):

All aboard the boogeyman express. Rumor has it that the boogeyman and his evil minions roam these grounds hunting innocent bystanders! So I have an idea, let’s go see if the rumors are true! Please keep your hands and arms inside the carts at all times, for this here is the most hair-raising terror train in the wilderness!

Between the screams, horror fiends can feast on a variety of snack foods and check out the revolting entertainment including the main stage, wandering magicians, games, roaming packs of monsters, and the Sinister Pointe Dark Market where new merchandise from vicious vendors will be available for purchase.

“For 20 years I have been producing Haunted Attractions that many guests have traveled great distances just to experience a 15-minute attraction. I figured it’s time to give our fans an experience that will last an entire evening!” says Jeff Schiefelbein, the creative fiend behind Sinister Pointe.

Two types of tickets will be available, allowing guests to choose their fate. The All Night Pass will allow guests unlimited access to all entertainment, attractions, and vendors for a single price starting at $42 on select nights, and $52.00 on Friday and Saturday nights. The All Night VIP Access allows for front of the line access to all mazes and attractions, along with priority seating for shows and performances with prices starting at just $60.00 on select nights, and $70.00 on Friday and Saturday nights.

Tickets: https://ocevents.ticketspice.com/scaryplace18

Scary Place will take place at the Laguna Hills Mall located at 24155 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA, and will run on September 28-30 and October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31. Hours will be from 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. on Sundays – Thursdays.

Where do you go when you close your eyes? Sinister Pointe wants to send you to your Scary Place.

Trick ‘r Treat (Finally) Comes to Halloween Horror Nights

Ever since the movie Trick ‘r Treat came out in 2007, HHN fans have been desperately begging Universal to bring the cult Halloween classic to life. It’s one of the maze themes that is speculated, asked for, and discussed on #HHN social media every single year. Last year, HHN Orlando featured a Trick ‘r Treat Scare Zone, which was considered to be one of the most popular. So after a successful test run, both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will get complete Trick ‘r Treat mazes this year.

For those who don’t know about the movie (why are you even on this site) Trick ‘r Treat is a 2007 anthology black comedy horror film written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The film centers on four Halloween-related horror stories. One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious child trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange footie pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, who makes an appearance in all the stories whenever a character breaks Halloween traditions. He’s the keeper of the rules and the spirit of Halloween. He may look cute on the outside but you don’t want to get on his bad side… or the receiving end of his lollipop.

This theme is a no-brainer for HHN and should provide for some fun traditional Halloween scares. It also will be a great compliment to the Halloween (Michael Myers) maze that we’re highly confident will be featured at HHN.

The Trick ‘r Treat maze will transport guests to Warren Valley, Ohio on Halloween night to celebrate the holiday’s dark traditions and daring them to live by the rules or suffer the consequences. Recreating some of the anthology’s most iconic scenes, the disturbing new maze invites brave thrill-seekers to become entwined within the secrets of this sleepy suburban town encountering all the grisly scenes and demented characters. They will meander through Mr. Kreeg’s infamous house, watch as college students viciously transform into bloodthirsty werewolves and dismember the town, as well as come face-to-face with Sam – the spirit of Halloween – who readies to punish those who break the holiday’s tradition. These guardians of Halloween will teach you the traditions of the holiday as you find out first hand the consequences of breaking those rules. With monsters around every turn, you need to pay attention…or suffer the ultimate fate.

 

The Year of Urban Death Begins This Spring

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group proudly presents Urban Death: Spring, their fun n’ freaky horror production that dives deep into a snake pit of inexplicable horrors, unfathomable monstrosities, and the disturbing spirits that walk among us.

Urban Death: Spring will open May 4th and run at 11:00pm Friday and Saturday evenings, May 4th and 5th thru June 8th and 9th.

“2018 will give us Urban Death: Spring, Urban Death: Midsummer Scream, Urban Death: Edinburgh Fringe AND Urban Death: Tour of Terror,” explains Zombie Joe (the man!), wiping sweat off his brow and smiling large at the (demon) baby he and co-director Jana Wimer hath unleashed upon the world. “We’re invigorated and thrilled to bring our signature show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August,” says Zombie Joe, “and first we’re going to kick out the jams with our spring run!.”

Urban Death: Spring will act as a kick off point to bring Urban Death to the 71st Annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest theatre festival in the world. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group has set up a fundraiser at GoFundMe.com/UrbanDeath where fans and supporters can donate to the campaign to get Urban Death to the Edinburgh Fringe, but Zombie Joe emphasizes that coming out and supporting the Spring show is paramount to their success in Edinburgh. “We can’t go to Edinburgh without the love and support of our fans coming out and seeing our shows. Please donate to our campaign, but please support us by seeing what we’re doing. Our audience is the lifeblood of the theatre, and without you there is no Urban Death.”

Urban Death: Spring opens Friday, May 4th at 11:00 pm.

You’ve been warned.

DETAILS: Urban Death: Spring Haunted Theater Attraction, ages 16 and up.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday Evenings 11:00 pm, MAY 4 thru JUNE 9, 2018. The show runs approx one hour.

WHERE: Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

BACKSTORY: Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group aka Z.J.U. was born in August of 1992 in a small industrial garage in Northridge, California. The Underground continues to push the limits of live progressive theater as a vital experimental art form in honor of the famous Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and George Lucas.

Urban Death created in 2005 by Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer, with Music by Christopher Reiner

TICKETS: $15, can be purchased at the door, online at: zombiejoes.tix.com, or by calling 818-202-4120

*(NOTE: Due to the popularity of the show, we highly recommend purchasing tickets early)

WEBSITES: www.urbandeath.com and www.zombiejoes.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ZJUTheater/

TWITTER: twitter.com/urbandeath_zju

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/_urbandeath_

GOFUNDME: www.gofundme.com/urbandeath

Things will be Stranger at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018

For Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights first announcement of 2018, “Stranger Things” will be making its maze/house debut at Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore.

This should be an interesting new HHN experience as the series itself isn’t really scary (in our opinion) but the supernatural settings and creatures tied with 80’s nostalgia could make for some very cool maze designs.  We’re not very surprised by this announcement as “Stranger Things” is currently one of the most popular Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy series and we wouldn’t expect Universal to pass up to the opportunity to capitalize on this hot property.  It also offers the potential to be a returning maze in future years as more seasons come out, just like we’ve seen with American Horror Story and The Walking Dead (who seem like they will never die).

Here’ s more details about the mazes from Universal —

Fans of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ will be able to confront the supernatural and brave the “Upside Down” in these all-new HHN mazes. The Upside Down is a parallel universe that terrorized the small town of Hawkins, Indiana in the ‘Stranger Things.’ In these all-new mazes Halloween Horror Nights guests will encounter scenes and characters from ‘Stranger Things’ including the Demogorgon, a large flesh-eating creature with a mouth as a face that stalks the Upside Down and is unleashed by experimenters at Hawkins National Laboratory.

The Horror Nights teams are working closely with Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer and producer Shawn Levy, who say they will authentically recreate the series’s first season storylines “from the menacing Hawkins National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy, to the Byers home adorned with an erratic display of flashing Christmas lights, and the eerie Upside Down woods oozing a shower of floating orb-like spores”. The chilling new mazes promise surprising twists and unexpected turns around every corner.

Halloween Horror Nights returns in September, only five months away!  In the meanwhile, you can catch up or rewatch the first and second seasons of “Stranger Things” as you impatiently wait to venture into the Upside Down in real life and to watch the new third season, which doesn’t have an announced return date yet.

Halloween Horror Nights Dates:

Hollywood: TBA

Orlando: Sept 14- Nov 3

Singapore: Sept 28- Oct 31

 

HAUNT REVIEW: Knott’s Scary Farm 2017

With some chaos Knott’s Scary Farm‘s 45th Halloween Haunt brings back many popular mazes, revamps others, introduces a couple new ones, and gives a final send off to the first Mistress of Haunt.

Well, we decided to forego the early season visit (and our own advice) and went to Knott’s Scary Farm on a mid-October Saturday night. You know, a night when everyone else in Southern California typically visits. Actually we just couldn’t find another time to go this season as we’ve been prioritizing haunts that are offering newer experiences. We also wanted to mix it up a little and report on what it’s like for real-everyday guests (with Fright Lane) and not a press media outlet that has the red carpet rolled out for them,  to which there’s a significant difference in the experiences.

So after 45 years one would think that Knott’s would have it’s haunt operations running smoothly but sadly chaos ensued from the moment we arrived at the front gates. We lucked out a little on parking but even that was a mess (so was our car after paying $20 to park in a dusty lot). The process to get through the turnstile, using their mobile tickets, and getting a Fright Lane wristband was frustratingly slow. It makes no sense as to why they don’t just hand out the fright lane wrist bands to guest who’ve purchased them as they enter the park as the system for the getting the passes at designated stations within the park is aggravatingly slow and disorganized. It completely diminishes  the value of the Fright Lane’s triple admission price and causes a big crowd of confused and angry people form right inside the park’s front gates.

In addition, many employees we encountered seemed clueless as to what they were doing, where things were, and what was going on in general. Line control and crowd flow was confusing and chaotic all over the park. These things matter just as much as having good mazes. The fun spirit of the evening can be quickly killed for guests if they have to endure what seems to be unnecessary frustrations. It nearly killed it for us. Being “sold out” is not an excuse for guests to have a shitty experience.

Perhaps they need to reduce the cap on the number of nightly admissions. Or maybe they need to hire more operations employees and if they’re hiring a lot of seasonal help during haunt they should take the time to properly train ALL of them. This would really make a difference on how efficient everything is ran inside the park. Compared to Universal, Magic Mountain, and Queen Mary,  Knott’s lands in last place for its operations this year… a solid buried skull. Just go onto social media to see the never ending guest rants about this year’s operations.

Now on to the good stuff. While most of it is the same things we’ve all seen and loved before at Knott’s Scary Farm, part of the charm is the Halloween tradition that carries on year-after-year at the park. The new maze themes and the traditional Halloween ambiance that’s showcased across the foggy landscape is actually even more captivating this year with top notch park decorations along with high caliber and some truly scary maze designs. What distinguishes Knott’s in the Southern California theme park market is the originality of their mazes that are not confined to structured movie themes like Universal’s.

In particular, the new Dark Ride maze is probably one of the best themed and designed mazes we’ve ever experienced at  Scary Farm in our past 25 years of visiting! Paranormal Inc. also continues its reign as the most terrifying maze at KSF with Shadowlands, Pumpkin Eater, and Trick or Treat: Lights Out rounding out the slate of our top mazes this year. We’re very happy that they brought back an overlay to the Timber Mountain Log Ride, even if it’s just “family friendly”. Now we hope they can get the Calico Mine Train back on board. Finally, rounding out the festivities, the anything but family friendly Elvira goes out with a (double) bang for her final season at Knott’s… sad so sad.

Now here’s our full Knott’s Scary Farm maze reviews featuring some incredible full maze videos from our friends at Theme Park HD.

 New Mazes and Attractions

DARK RIDE

Journey through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel characters still linger in the shadows in the NEW maze, Dark Ride. The carnival attraction has become a refuge for sideshow freaks and now those shunned performers have created an ominous world where they plan to unleash terror on those who enter.

This is the Scary Farm maze everyone has been screaming for! Dark Ride looked spectacular and is probably one of the most imaginative and well designed mazes we’ve ever seen at Knott’s. Paying tribute to the old school carnival haunted – fun houses, Dark Ride takes guests on a twisted pathway through and behind the scenes of one of the most elaborate mazes in the history of Scary Farm. There are some fun scares but this maze is more about the story and design. It’s almost ironic how a maze based on a simplistic carnival haunted house ride features the most incredible special effects we’ve seen featured in a KSF maze. The scale of the sets, use of animatronics, music, and craftsmanship is definitely Knott’s warning shot back at HHN and others who have tried to run off with the  haunt  maze blueprint that they originated.  A few more scares might have made this maze beyond perfect but we’re almost glad it wasn’t any scarier as we may have then missed seeing the full glory of this awesome maze by trying to cover our eyes (lol). All in all this maze definitely earns the trophy for haunt theme of the year and for the first time in our Knott’s Scary Farm history, it earns our top 666 skull rating for Haunt Design.

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PUMPKIN EATER

Daring guests will attempt to survive the wrath of the murderous 7-foot tall creature that haunts the old woods surrounding The Hollow in this year’s NEW MAZE, Pumpkin Eater. The notorious creature is on the prowl, hidden within the dark confines of the haunted town he once terrorized. To escape the sinister Pumpkin Eater’s wrath all who enter must go on a quest through the silent town of victims, face a cave of crawling insects and solve the labyrinth of thorns that blocks the only way out.

The nursery rhyme of Peter Peter Pumpkin eater is brought to life (and death) in this very imaginative maze concept.  It reminded us of a mix of 1992’s Mother Noose and the more recent Cornstalkers mazes. Just like Dark Ride, Pumpkin Eater demonstrates that Knott’s has really graduated up into a new level of immersive maze theming, storytelling, and design. This maze also had quite a few good scares throughout with a high energy cast that really knows how to work within the maze’s long layout. The makeup and costuming were also well done with monstrous  pumpkins and people with carved faces lurking about. There’s also some grotesque scenes but nothing that’s over the top like in the the Red Barn maze. The spiraling journey through the rotted pumpkins that requires guests to push through dripping wet passageways was a highlight of the maze. Due to many of the outdoor sections this maze is much scarier at night but all in all it really is a fun and fright inducing Halloween maze adventure.

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TRICK OR TREAT: LIGHTS OUT

Are you afraid of the dark? You will be. Armed with only a faulty flashlight, explore the creepy house at the end of the street, in the upgraded Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out maze. Face the terrors  of the house in complete darkness as your interactive flashlight reveals the horrors hiding in the shadows.  Featuring new state-of-the-art effects, unexpected scares and other eerie surprises, Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out will terrorize you like never before.

When we first heard about this maze we thought that it was going to just be the same old Trick or Treat maze where all they’ve done now is shut off the lights so that they could promote it as something new. While this is somewhat true, it works really well with the result being more than just a gimmick. ‘Trick or Treat’ actually has never really been a scary maze to us but the “lights out” element adds a new layer of suspense and scariness to the maze this year. Each guest has their own flashlight so the rooms and settings are somewhat illuminated as the groups walk through but now the ghouls and monsters have the full advantage of seeing  you before you get to see them. They also added some fantastic looking new characters and set redresses. Trick or Treat has established itself as one of the most popular Scary Farm mazes that doesn’t seem to get old. With the new lights out Trick we expect it continue to be treating guests for more years to come.

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TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY

This season the Timber Mountain Log Ride becomes the Halloween Hootenanny. This is a family friendly Halloween overlay to our classic Timber Mountain Log Ride. This attraction will be open every day during the Halloween season and features a brand new original song sung by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.

After a hiatus that lasted for a few years, it’s so good to finally have the haunted log ride back at Scary Farm. For us this was always one of the quintessential and unique haunt experiences. This new version isn’t designed to be an overly scary experience but the upgraded props, effects and soundtrack make it one of the funnest things to do at Scary Farm and a nice break from walking around. We also appreciate that in spite of the stricter OSHA regulations they still managed to get a handful of live monsters to lurk about in the dark corners around the flume.

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Returning Mazes

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HAUNT REVIEW: CREEP LA’s LORE

Creep LA, the masters of haunt experiences in LA, have teamed up with Amazon Prime Video to create a truly unique immersive theater experience this Halloween season.

Past Creep LA experiences have been highly rated  here on The  Scare Zone and this year continues the tradition of the well produced interactive theatrical haunt experience.  Unlike the previous years  (“Creep Los Angeles”, “The Willows”) , this year’s CreepLA is closely tied to an intellectual property. Derived from Aaron Mahnke’s popular podcast, Lore is  an Amazon Prime Exclusive’s new six-episode anthology series that presents the frightening and often disturbing tales based on real people and events that have led to our modern-day myths and legends. Celebrating the origins of the horror genre, Lore explores the real-life tales behind pop culture’s most legendary horror myths, such as vampires, changelings, werewolves, séances and possessed dolls.

Creep LA: Lore takes small groups of eight inside an imagined universe where they’ll travel through a fully engaging, multi-sensory, 1-hour walk-thru experience. At Creep LA: Lore, everyone is part of the experience whether they intend to be or not. To be clear this is not one of those torture and humiliation haunt concepts.  Guests may get touched (or kissed) but it’s all within boundaries.

This year’s show has definitely taken the production to a new level (having the corporate partnership is always a good thing). The size and scope of the venue is huge and each scene is  intricately  designed. The settings create dynamic and diverse environments. The talent is also top notch. Some of the highlighted performances include the nurse that recites a spooky bedtime story to the group and room of disturbed orphans, a woman looking for her son that has disappeared with a rather creepy looking doll,  and a lobotomy doctor with his disembodied assistants.

One of the challenges of performing a haunt show is that the actors do have to rely on the audience actively participating, which can lead to some unpredictable outcomes from show to show. We strongly suggest that you don’t try to hide or act too smug as you will then be the person who is picked on. During the show everyone can expect to be separated from the group at some point.

Being honest, there were a few WTF moments in the show as some of the scenes didn’t seem to flow smoothly or provide a satisfactory finale. Perhaps it’s because we weren’t fully familiar with Lore yet. We remember the previous years having more suspense and scares built into the experiences. Nonetheless, this year’s show is able to compensate with it’s overall higher quality of production and is a high caliber Halloween theatrical haunt experience. Plus, with the themed bar at the end, it’s setup as the perfect Halloween season date, friends, or all to yourself night out.

Scare Zone Rating

DETAILS

Creep LA: Lore is taking place at Mag1ic Box LA in Downtown LA on select dates from October  5th  through November 12th. Creep LA has continuously sold out their previous event series almost immediately upon going on sale. So be sure to get yours quickly or you may just end up reading about it here on The Scare Zone.

Tickets for Creep LA: Lore are for ADULTS ONLY. Ticket prices start at $65. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.CreepLA.com.

Engage with and follow Creep LA on social media at: #creepla @creeplosangeles

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