“New York’s most horrifying Haunted House” will have a new theme for 2011 and they’re looking for you to share your repressed childhood memories to make it even scarier.
Last year they terrified guest with Superstitions. For this year’s theme we’ll have to endure the terror of Children’s Stories, the dark, twisted ones of course. Or the original tales of what you know as family friendly ones that actually started out scary and murderous. According to Timothy Haskell, Creative Director for NYC Nightmare, the haunt won’t actually be called CHILDREN’S STORIES, but he is thinking either NIGHTMARE: FABLES or NIGHTMARE: FAIRY TALES. Which do you like?
He’s also offering haunt stalkers a chance to participate in deciding which stories will be incorporated into the haunt. So break out those old Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Aesop’s Fables, etc. and let Tim know which fairy tales you would like to see turned into rooms at their haunted house. He wants to know “the creepiest, ickiest, scariest children’s story you have ever read”. He’ll also consider the sweetest and perhaps flip it so that it’s dark and scary instead.
Children are creepy, and children’s stories are creepier. We can’t wait to return to NYC this October to check out what Nightmares Tim and his team will churn out.
If you’re like us, when you hear the words “Ghost Ship,” you immediately think of this (fast forward to about 3:00):
It was one of the most gruesome scenes in any horror movie, and after watching it, we thought, “This movie is gonna be great!” Unfortunately, a great opening scene and interesting concept did not carry through, and the rest of the movie is pretty much forgettable. Let’s hope that’s not the case when the creators of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride bring us the new terror experience “Ghost Ship“!
You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t there already a haunt on a ship?” Yes, but Queen Mary stays docked. Ghost Ship actually sets sail. . . in the dark. It may be the first full-fledged haunt to take place out in the open ocean. We’ve heard of “haunt cruises” before, but we don’t know of anything that sounds quite like this.
Here’s the back story: In the 1930s, there were criminals (residents of “Psych Ward 7″) so dangerous that California decided the best idea was to house them on a boat 100 miles off shore. The boat became the first “floating asylum.” One night, the ship disappeared. But it’s been found in 2011, and now you can check it out–for a fee of course.
Ghost Ship departs from Newport Beach for a 75-minute voyage. The ship will contain 3 floors of “highly interactive content.” The main floor will house a maze that takes you through the “treatment deck” (you’ll visit the shock therapy room, hydrotherapy room, sleep disorder clinic, examination rooms, and the morgue). The middle floor is a place a get a drink and some food in a “1930s” setting, but Ghost Ship warns you not to let your guard down while on this deck. Finally, the top deck is home to something they’re calling “an interactive execution experience.”
Ghost Ship sets sail Friday and Saturday nights from October 14 to 29. There are three departures each evening, and tickets are $59 per person (which does not include any drinks or food). Tickets are limited to 400 per voyage, so you might want to think about buying in advance. Tickets go on sale July 15. For more information, go to Ghost Ship’s Web site.
Scare Zone is definitely going to check out this new haunt. The creators of L.A. Haunted Hayride are bringing unique haunt ideas to Southern California, and we can’t wait to see what this creepy cruise entails.
* PER RECENT COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THIS ATTRACTION, SCARE ZONE DOES NOT ENDORSE NOR WORK DIRECTLY WITH GHOST SHIP. WE REVIEW HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS FOR OUR READERS. WE DO HAVE PLANS TO VISIT THIS ATTRACTION TO PROVIDE OUR OWN REVIEW, GOOD OR BAD. VISIT AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION*
A few months ago, we reported that the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, was going to get its very first maze, brought to you by the folks at Sinister Pointe.
Now, details of just what this Halloween event will entail have been posted on the Mystery House’s Web site. And we’d like to be the first to say that it looks awesome!
They’re calling the event “Fright Nights,” and it will be open weekends and selected weeknights September 30 through October 31. The event will include one maze, the haunted flashlight tour of the mansion, roaming “scare performers,” and “nightmare-inducing tales.”
They’ve had the flashlight tour in the past, so the addition of the maze is the real news here. And they’re not messing around: Sarah Winchester herself is the star of the maze. They’re digging up her bizarre life story and turning it into a haunted attraction for our amusement. Everybody wins! Well, except for respect of the memory of the real Sarah Winchester, of course. Anyway, on to the description!
For a lifetime, Sarah Winchester built and built and rebuilt her house to avoid this treacherous curse and escape her husband’s legacy of damnation. But this Halloween, a portal, a gateway between Heaven and Hell, has been irretrievably opened. Those who perished long ago are seeking revenge, now ready to sacrifice souls before midnight strikes.
Guests find themselves trapped inside a mansion empowered by the undead, traveling through the Corn Fields of Winchester Mystery House, into the haunted ruins of the family Graveyard and ultimately, a showdown with Sarah herself in the middle of one of her infamous séances.
Survive it all, LIVE, only at Winchester Mystery House.
Maze Length: 15 Minutes
We can’t wait to see what a Sarah Winchester “scare performer” looks like! Maybe something like this?
Along the way, guests will also run into giant spiders, scary “pump house” workers, and a corridor of pumpkin heads (which looks particularly amazing).
Check out the web site to see more of the storyboards. The story and atmosphere of this haunt look first class, and we know that with Sinister Pointe at the helm, it will be as scary as hell.
Our readers know how much we love Halloween–and especially haunts. But you may not know how much we also love Disneyland. And how we sometimes fantasize about a true Halloween event at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Sure, Disneyland in California already has a Halloween event: Halloween Time. The park is decked out in orange flower arrangements, jack-o-lanterns, and purple lights. There’s even a Dia De Los Muertos display in Frontierland. The event’s main attractions are Haunted Mansion Holiday (a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay) and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
There’s a separate ticketed event for the kiddies: Mickey’s Halloween Party, which includes the (previously free, now not so much) Halloween fireworks.
But is Disneyland missing something? Something scary?
Imagine what Disneyland could pull off if they really wanted to create a fully immersive, fully themed scary haunt.
We don’t have to imagine it. They already have a scary Halloween event–in Hong Kong.
Starting in late September, Hong Kong Disneyland rolls out the Halloween events, including the “Glow in the Park” Halloween parade, “Nightmare in the Sky” pyrotechnics show behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and the Inferno Dance Party, plus all the usual Halloween decorations and special treats.
But what makes Hong Kong Disneyland stand out is its inclusion of scary walk-through attractions with live scare-actors.
Hong Kong Disneyland: Walk-Through Attractons
The Main Street Haunted Hotel (Main Street)
The Main Street Haunted Hotel is described as follows: “the scary Victoria Maxwell has filled her hotel with all-new traps to capture new and returning victims. Along with hoards of undead hotel occupants, Guests should expect spine tingling scares everywhere they look.”
Featuring a specially created storyline, elaborate sets and scenes, guests will find themselves lost on this frightful journey through an outpost built on a burial ground. Along with creative technology, brave adventurers should expect to experience some hair-raising illusions while finding their way out.
Alien Invasion (Featured in 2009)
The (Alien Intelligence) Agency has reported that a gigantic spaceship has landed inside Hong Kong Disneyland with signs of alien life detected onboard.
Ghost Town (Main Street)
“Ghosts from a forgotten era will roam aimlessly up and down the street, haunting all who pass by.” (Of course, that would never work in Disneyland Anaheim, considering the original “Ghost Town” is just a few miles up the 91 freeway, at Knott’s Scary Farm.)
Tribal Burial Ground (Adventureland)
Under the evil power of Maleficent, Adventureland will be transformed into a treacherous Tribal Burial Ground at night where demented zombies, deadly explorers, bedeviled tribal warriors and gatekeepers greet their guests unexpectedly.
Could It Work In California?
Hong Kong Disneyland’s Halloween event is still young, and with only a few really scary attractions, it’s certainly not a full-fledged theme park haunt, at least not by American standards. There are a few reasons why a similar event will probably never come to Disneyland in California, and the most obvious is the fact that there is already a LOT of Halloween competition. Knott’s Berry Farm, the progenitor of the haunted attraction concept, is only a few miles away. There’s also Halloween Horror Nights and the Queen Mary’s event. Plus, smaller Halloween attractions are also nearby: Sinister Pointe, the Empty Grave, Coffin Creek, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, and the list goes on.
Disneyland in California also seems to have found its clever niche in the haunt market: the family-friendly Halloween event. With haunts getting more and more extreme every year, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a popular–and lucrative–seasonal offering that brings in the tourists and forces annual passholders to open their wallets for the separate ticket. And even if you don’t want to pay extra for the Halloween Party, you can experience Halloween Time at the regular ticket price. Right now, Ghost Galaxy (originating from Hong Kong Disneyland, naturally) is the only “scary” attraction in the park.
While a haunt might not work in Disneyland, we think there could be a possibility for mazes or even scare zone-like areas at Disney California Adventure (DCA). If you look at the success DCA has had with Glow Fest and ElecTRONica in the Hollywood section of the park, we could definitely imagine a “scarier” Halloween offering taking over that area in the fall. The park already has the spaces that could host a couple of mazes (the old Millionaire theater and the Hollywood & Dine building). Plus, the streets are laid out perfectly for a scare zone-type atmosphere. They could keep the bars and the DJs.
We–as devoted, tight-fisted annual passholders–might even open our wallets up for such an event.