Category: Home Haunts

What Scares You II: 2018 Horror Trends

In just a little over a week, the gates of haunts across the country will begin to creak open. For frequent haunt stalkers, we’ve seen just about it all when it comes to the array of haunt themes, characters, and storylines. We’ve also shared many of the popular haunt themes here on The Scare Zone over the years, which includes the mainstay characters such as zombies and ghosts to slashers and vampires.

(PRNewsfoto/America Haunts)

This year, America Haunts, an association of the most successful U.S. haunted attractions, has announced their top 3 scare trends for Halloween 2018. De-mystifying what it takes to heighten fear is second nature for America Haunts’ members, given their decades in the business offering high-caliber fear attractions. This year’s AH trends incorporate the mystic, the innately frightful, and raises the undead from cemeteries from another century. Their 2018 trends include:

  • Dragons Magical and mythical. Fiery dragons come to life with technology that makes realistic fire-breathing, and roaring sounds – appearing from the depths of dark, fantasy storytelling.”Dragons will definitely have a big presence this year and do their job to create fear,” said Amber Arnett-Bequeaith, Queen of America Haunts. “They are spell-binding and attack from above while breathing fire that can burn you alive. They’re terrifying.”
  • Killer Bees & the Creepy Crawly Killer bees, spiders and creepy insects tap into our phobias. Inside haunts, the scare is amplified when these creatures touch visitors. “The old days of haunted attractions with scary sets visitors view from behind glass are gone,” Arnett-Bequeaith explained. “Today, all senses are activated. It’s 4D. See, feel, hear and smell inside the haunts. Horror is big because horror is smarter. Guests may hear buzzing sounds and suddenly feel the sensation of killer bees swarming over their face, igniting the phobia of getting stung in a swarm of bees – then discover they are underneath giant hives with killer bee animatronics creating buzzworthy fear.”
  • Graveyards Resurrected Massive realistic graveyards within the haunt attractions create a perfect scene for screams. “It’s human nature to run from death,” said Duane Sandberg, 13th Gate in Baton Rouge. “A staple of the south, our New Orleans-style graveyard has elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums – creating an uneasiness that something is lurking behind the tombs. The smell of death leaches from the coffin and penetrates your nostrils.”

So there we have it America. Dragons, bees, and graveyards! These are very unique trends and we’ll have to keep our eyes out this season to see how many dragon bees in graveyards we encounter. Let us know if you see any too.

This Weekend ScareLA Launches A Pre-Halloween Pop-up Theme Park

ScareLA returns this weekend with a brand new creative direction and theme.

Set to thrill audiences this August 25 & 26 at the Los AngelesConvention Center, this year’s pre-Halloween convention will take place with the lights off. Revealing the world’s first summer Halloween pop-up theme park under the title “Descend Into Darkness.”

ScareLA continues to push the envelope of the horror genre and deliver on the ultimate fan experience. The con’s new format is an exciting departure into the world of themed entertainment and a first of its kind. Guests will explore the show floor in a low-lit environment immersed into the night of Halloween as soon as they cross the doorstep.

Established in 2012, ScareLA was the first fan convention dedicated to the Halloween season. The show has become known for its signature immersive and interactive format bringing together fans and famous from around the world to celebrate Halloween in the summer. This year ScareLA’s Founder and Executive Producer, Lora Ivanova, is taking her vision even further in a groundbreaking move to intensify the show’s experiential trademark.

“At ScareLA, we pride ourselves on truly pushing the boundaries of what a convention can and should be,” said Ivanova. “After quickly becoming the largest event of its kind, we are now setting our sights on a new goal – delivering the ultimate scare fan experience. What better way to do that than by truly embracing what Halloween is all about – complete immersion, engagement and dark fun! We cannot wait to welcome fans to our new summer Halloween pop-up theme park, it truly will be an experience unlike any other.”

As ScareLA prepares to celebrate its sixth anniversary, it promises to do so with thrills and chills for all ages – from full size haunts, experiences, and rides to original activations, panels and attendance from leaders in the haunt and horror world.

Situated in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, ScareLA spotlights the rich Southern California scare industry and community, from its iconic seasonal theme park events, to haunted attractions, home haunts, theater, film, escape rooms, AR, VR, interactive experiences and much more.

For more information visit www.scarela.com or follow ScareLA on social media at Facebook @ScareLAcon, Twitter and Instagram @scarelosangeles. Join the conversation using #ScareLA.

 

For tickets and more information visit their website: http://www.scarela.com

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.

 

Halloween Starts this Weekend at Midsummer Scream

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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.

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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 MidsummerScream.org.

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.

CreepyLA Announces the 2015 Cadavers (Southern California Haunt Awards)!

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Even with haunts extending their operation into the weekend after Halloween, this year’s haunt season seemed to have quickly past by. It also felt as if there were not nearly as many haunts operating this season in Southern California. Nonetheless, the mainstay theme parks continued to scare with their ever increasingly popular (and expensive) haunts. There also were some noteworthy newcomers like CreepLA and some others that failed miserably. Alas, for this year’s haunt offerings in L.A. it’s now time to reflect back and rate the best of the season.

For the first time, the haunt reviewers and fans of Southern California have come together to vote for the Cadavers: Southern California Halloween Attraction Awards. These awards were created and organized by our friends at CreepyLA and we’re glad to be able to contribute our votes.

Click their logo or keep reading after the jump to see the full coverage of the Cadavers Awards from CreepyLA. Also, check out their site for more year-round coverage of the supernatural, the scary, and anything Halloween related in the Los Angeles area.

creepyla_throne_header Continue reading

The Best Halloween Store Ever! Reopens 8/30/14

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Within the suburban outskirts of Los Angeles, in Thousand Oaks, CA; we’ve discovered The Best Halloween Store Ever!, which also happens to be it’s name. We’ve been to hundreds of Halloween stores and never have we shopped- make that experienced a Halloween store like this one.

The store is located in Thousand Oaks, CA, which is also the home to one of our favorite SoCal haunts, Reign of Terror. They’ve successfully transformed the former restaurant into a Haunters and Halloween fan’s ‘scaradise. The store  covers 3 levels and tens of rooms all fully themed and decorated with props, costumes, and masks. Inside you can explore a haunted graveyard, a witches den, and a zombie laboratory just to name a few.

The Best Halloween Store Ever! specializes in the most unique Halloween props, costumes, and decorations. They’re factory direct importers, which also means we were able to find some good savings. Many of their pieces are one-of-a-kind and can not be found in other stores along with a variety of sexy women’s, inappropriate men’s,  teen, and kids costumes.  There’s also all the necessary accessories to complete your Halloween outfit.

In addition to the costumes and props, they can help you set up your own haunt or Halloween party with one of our Halloween design experts. The store is family owned and very friendly. They assisted us in our haunt shopping and we found them to be very attentive and consultative.

 

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Now you may be asking why is Scare Zone raving about a Halloween Store. Well they are taking your Haunt Shopping a step further as their store will have scareactors and monsters lurking around on Friday and Saturday nights! With their already elaborately decorated settings it will be like shopping inside of a haunted house. Just don’t drop your merchandise as we’re not sure if they have a “you break it, you buy it policy” – lol. Nonetheless, we couldn’t imagine a better way to shop… malls across the country should start having roaming scaretaors during Halloween season.  So, if you’re in the SoCal area it’s worth the trip to Thousand Oaks and come on the weekend where you can double your horror by also visiting Reign Of Terror, just be sure to get your discount tickets at the store before.

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244 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks CA 91360
(805) 390-1501

TerrorVision: The American Scream

This weekend is both happy and mournful for all of us haunt stalkers and creators. Happy because we still have a good 5 nights of looking and behaving like monsters in public without being considered a disturbance to the peace. Sad because less than a week from now, the Haunt Season of 2012 will be nothing more another memory.

We won’t turn to despair yet as there’s still enough time to celebrate and “get your scare on”. In addition to going out to experience all the Open Haunts, you can also experience some of the most elaborate home haunts from the comforts of your living room with Chiller’s new documentary movie ‘The American Scream’. If you’re going to be out Haunt Stalking or early Trick O’ Treating this Sunday Night, as you should be, then be sure to set your DVR to Chiller at 8P ET.

 

From the same director/producer of the critically-acclaimed hit documentary Best Worst Movie, The American Scream is an unconventional look at the Halloween cultural phenomenon of homemade haunted houses and the enthusiasts behind the scenes. Filmed in the sleepy enclave of Fairhaven, MA, The American Scream follows the creative minds behind three local homemade haunts and their passionate – and sometimes harrowing – efforts in igniting their town’s Halloween spirit each year.   

Filled with personality, humor, trouble and triumph, The American Scream offers a moving, real-life look into the lives of people for whom horror is much more than just a hobby.

Home Haunts in the Los Angeles Area: 2012

Although Scare Zone reviews only professional haunted attractions, we still love the home haunters out there. In fact, many of these home haunters go to such extremes that the quality of their haunts sometimes surpasses that of the commercial operations. Another fantastic thing about home haunts? Most of them are absolutely free! So as we approach the final week before Halloween, we present a list of some of the best home haunts in the Southern California area. If you know of a great home haunt we’ve omitted, let us know!

Boney Island

4602 Morse Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA

Dates and Times: October 20-October 31 (6-9 pm Sun-Thurs; 6-10 pm Fri and Sat)

Boney Island is a fun display of skeletons and is appropriate for all ages. The extent of the display can only be described as epic.

 The Backwoods Maze

1912 North Pepper Street, Burbank, CA

Dates and Times: October 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, and 31

This is an actual maze in a suburban backyard. The level of detail and amount of props and actors rivals any professional attraction. This year, Backwoods presents an all new theme: Apocalyptic Wasteland.

Rotten Apple 907

907 N. California St., Burbank, CA

Dates and Times: October 26, 27, 28, and 31 (7 pm -10 pm)

Every year, this house presents a new theme for their elaborate walk-through maze. For 2012, they are presenting “The Haunted Winsley Manor.” Lines can be long at this attraction, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

House of Restless Spirits

1008 Euclid St., Santa Monica, CA

Dates and Times: October 27 and October 31

This haunt has an ethereal Halloween feel and is Santa Monica’s best home haunt. 

Mourning Rose Manor

5250 Aurelia Street, Simi Valley, CA

Dates and Times: October1-31

This is a spooky yard display. Although there is no walk-through portion, the effects impressive.

The House at Haunted Hill

4400 Saltillo St., Woodland Hills, CA

Dates and Times: October 26-31 (7-10 pm Sun-Wed; 7-midnight Fri and Sat)

 Another great yard display full of Halloween fright. Skeletons, ghosts, and an appearance by the Haunted Mansion’s Madame Leota!

Haunted Hollow presents The Haunted Diary

603 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, CA

Dates and Times: October 27 and 31 (7:30 pm – 11:30 pm)

 This year, Haunted Hollow is presenting an all-new walk-through maze: The Haunted Diary.

Revenge of the Ninja

18727 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, CA

Dates and Times: October 27, 28, and 31 (6:30 – 10 pm)

This walk-through maze has a very unique theme (one we’ve never seen before): Ninjas, of course!

Friday Fright Links: December 2

 


Why are we afraid of clowns? A scientific explanation
– Scientific American

Girl accidentally hangs herself inside the Creepyworld haunt – IBTraveler

In-depth review of Knotts Scary Farm’s Slaughterhouse maze – Theme Park Adventure

Elvira releasing her own brand of wines – Shock Till You Drop

“Haunt Room” art installation (New York City) seeks to create feelings of fear – WSN News

Are you a home haunter? Haunt Forum is accepting submissions for their annual haunt DVD – HauntForum

Want to go to Transworld this March? It’s gonna cost you 50 bucks this year – HAA Show

Buying a house? Nearby ghosts could lower your property value! – Inquirer News

The legal horrors of Halloween – Insurance News

 

Friday Fright Links: August 19

Disneyland set to debut Halloween collectibles on September 17 – Disney Parks Blog

Go behind the scenes at the Pittsburgh Zombie Academy – YouTube

A good overview of all the scary doin’s at theme parks around southern California this Halloween – About.com

A video of the work in progress at HHN Hollywood shows a very large Mexican church, which could confirm our La Llorona maze rumor – Screamscape.com

‘Scream 4’ Taking Over The Backlot At HHN Hollywood – Bloody Disgusting

Busch Gardens Tampa Shows Off Official Howl-O-Scream Ad – Screamscape.com

Alice Copper will debut new tracks from “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” on his Friday Night “Nights with Alice Cooper” show! – AliceCooper.com

Greensboro’s Spookywoods receives bone-chilling business membership – examiner.com

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