This weekend we’re venturing out to Houston Texas y’all for our 2018 Haunt-cation. Houston has a pretty impressive number of haunts in and around the city and hopefully, we’ll get to see them all. For most, it’s opening weekend too so we’ll be able to share some all-new Haunt reviews for our Texas Haunt Stalkers. Follow us on IG, Twitter, and FB for live updates from our trip.
There is no better time to come face to face with your nightmares than this Halloween season at the Haunted Trails… When night falls and the monsters of these woods begin to howl, you’ll enter a realm of terror you could not have imagined. Acres of mortifying scenes and unnatural creatures await eagerly to quench their undying thirst for your screams. What lurks among these trees? What sinister beings have you in their sights? Come, DARE to walk among these Haunted Trails of Houston for THE most THRILLING outdoor adventure – of your LIFE!
Orlando has started to claim the title of the Halloween Vacation Capital. Orlando and the Central Florida area does offer a lineup of some of the nation’s top Halloween events. Orlando is one of our go-to Hauntcation locations but unfortunately, it won’t be one of our destinations this year. Nonetheless, we highly recommend it and while you’re there make the drive over to Tampa for Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream.
Starting as early as Aug. 17 and running through Nov. 3, there’s something for everyone, from mild and family-friendly to what we prefer, wild and terrifying. This year’s lineup includes a host of all-hallows events and attractions; themed hotel packages; and the return of the largest horror convention in the nation.
Universal Orlando Resort announced today that it’s adding a 10th haunted house to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event – giving guests more haunted houses and scares than ever before.
Visit Orlando, Orlando’s official visitor resource has created a special web page to help travelers plan a ghoulish getaway at VisitOrlando.com/Halloween. Follow #OrlandoHalloween for real-time updates and find a few haunted highlights below.
THEME PARK FRIGHTS
Halloween Horror Nights 28, Select Nights Sept. 14 – Nov. 3This year visitors can expect horrors inspired by the ’80s at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights, with a haunted house in the theme of Netflix’s mega-hit “Stranger Things,” as well as nine other haunted houses, for a total of 10 – the most ever in the event’s 28-year history. The event will also run for a total of 34 nights, tied for the longest run in its history.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Select Nights Aug. 17 – Oct. 31On select nights from Aug. 17 to Oct. 31, Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park, masquerade with costumed characters at the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a “Boo-tacular” fireworks show.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special ticket event and takes place on select nights each fall at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, Weekends Sept. 22 – Oct. 28It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” including trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, and the chance to mingle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more.
Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Select Nights Oct. 6 – 31Families will enjoy all the fun without the frights at LEGOLAND’s Brick or Treat this year. The event features trick-or-treating, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates’ Cove.
WINTER HAVEN, FL — October 11, 2014 — LEGOLAND ® Florida Resort celebrates Brick or Treat this Halloween with costume contests, model builds, character meet and greets, and more. (PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)
“BOO!” BEYOND THE PARKS
Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation returns to Orlando Oct. 26–29 at the Caribe Royale Orlando. This year’s lineup of celebrity guests includes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, and Kathy Najimy of Disney’s Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, with more to be announced. Other thrills and chills at the convention include a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
A Petrified Forest features two outdoor scare trails for small groups to venture through a haunted forest at night. On a few special Total Eclipse Nights – which require a signed waiver for anyone under 18 – monsters can eventouch the guests, and each small group is given only one glowstick to light their path, regardless if it is dropped or stolen by a creature. The event runs select nights, Oct. 5 – Nov. 3.
American Ghost Adventures offers a wide variety of year-round paranormal experiences, with tour options all over Orlando, from the haunted pub tour, “Spirits with Spirits” to the “Dining with the Departed” tour, complete with a meal in a haunted restaurant.
Zombie Outbreak challenges guests to see how long they could survive a zombie apocalypse. This Halloween season and all year long, the terrifically terrifying attraction puts guests in the middle of a military base overrun with the undead.
Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction at Old Town features year-round scares, with two spooky stories, state-of-the-art animatronics and live actors. Entry is just $15, making this a bargain sure to scare the living yell out of guests.
Maitland’s Historical Haunted Tours invite curious history buffs and ghost hunters to explore the haunted grounds of the Art & History Museum’s Maitland Art Center or the Waterhouse Residence Museum via two separate tours, available on select days in October. From ghost stories to creepy Victorian artifacts, guests will discover the chilling truth behind what is said to be one of the most paranormal places in Central Florida.
“Screamin’ Green Hauntoween atThe Crayola Experience invites guests to get “zombified” with all-new monster-ific crafts, dance parties, a themed scavenger and trick-or-treating every weekend, Sept. 22 – Oct. 31.
SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology brings the dead back to life, with over 40 exhibits featuring 500 REAL animal skeletons. Special adult-focused event nights get even spookier, like SKELETONS After Dark: Forensic Night, where guests examine human skeletons and learn how to read the cause of death.
The City of Orlando’s Moonlight Walking Tours take guests on a dark, historical stroll through Greenwood Cemetery. Trek four miles and visit nearly a hundred graves of notable individuals in Orlando’s history. The tour is free, but usually sponsored by rotating charities that will be accepting donations, so guests can feel philanthropic AND afraid.
Hilton Orlando is offering “A ROOM WITH A BOO” package, which includes daily breakfast, premium Wi-Fi and late checkout at 2:00 p.m.; perfect sleeping-in time for those “creatures of the night.” Use this link for booking.
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.
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.
Escape Room L.A., Southern California’s largest escape room experience, adds yet another adventure to their already exciting roster of four escape rooms with The Pyramid, inspired by the secrets and rituals of the ancient Mayans. The Pyramid offers participants a fully-immersive journey through a series of rooms as they solve puzzles, challenges, and even must offer sacrifices to the gods. Upon entering, players realize they have been summoned to save a Mayan civilization by restoring the mask of the jade warrior.
“This game is loosely based on histories and traditions within the Mayan culture. I started by researching the civilization and then taking a few creative liberties to give the game a well-rounded, fully-realized experience,” says creator and founder John Hennessey of Escape Room LA. “We’re combining new technology with ancient and authentic Mayan elements to create a thrilling game full of many surprises!”
The epic adventure takes participants on a journey into an undiscovered Mayan pyramid, where players solve puzzles involving cryptic Aztec calendars, battling the elements, and fighting indigenous creatures—to name a few. The mysteries deepen as players advance to the ultimate challenges in the final tomb. Unlike other puzzle-solving escape rooms, The Pyramid takes players through a multi-sensory journey. The set of the game was designed by Jeff McLaughlin, who has won numerous LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, accompanied by Industrial Designer Mazin Dajani and Construction Coordinator Kyle Rettinger.
The Scare Zone crew was able to preview the new experience and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The settings are reminiscent of being inside a live version of the the popular Uncharted Game or being able to walk through the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. The puzzles are challenging as this room is rated higher in difficulty. However, the intricate sets and mysterious atmosphere will keep you excited and actively involved throughout the adventure. There are also a few creepy moments inside the attraction with skeleton filled catacombs and the lingering threat of an unseen adversary that’ s in pursuit.
Located in Downtown LA, Escape Room L.A. brought over 25,000 people to the neighborhood last year, offering more than 80 games per week. Visitors range from escape room connoisseurs; corporate employees seeking unique team bonding experiences; celebrities like Billy Crystal, Conan O’Brien, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth McFarlane, and Emma Stone; and folks looking for unique and out of the box activities. Prospective players can try their luck at any of the five rooms Tuesday through Friday evenings (every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), and weekend afternoons and evenings (every 30 minutes from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.). Tickets range from $32 to $37, depending on the date and time. For bookings and additional information, visit www.escaperoomla.com, or call 213.689.3229.
Reign of Terror in Thousand Oaks prepares to kick-off on September 30th with made exciting changes and additions making their 18th season event the biggest ever!
Janss Marketplace announces the 2017 dates for the 13-night Reign of Terror Haunted House, one of the top ranked immersive haunt attractions in the U.S. Now entering its 18th-annual season, Reign of Terror, will be open to the public on September 30, October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 at Janss Marketplace, located off the 101 Freeway, at the intersection of Hillcrest Drive and Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks. Reign of Terror hours are 7 – 10 p.m. weekdays and 7 – 11 p.m. on Saturdays.
Each year, the annual haunted house at Janss Marketplace adds new exciting features. For the 2017 season, each of Reign of Terror’s 8 separate attractions has been expanded or updated to over 100 individual rooms. This makes Reign of Terror the largest indoor haunted attraction in all of Southern California. Covering over 23,000 sqare feet of indoor space, Reign of Terror is nearly 15 times as large as the average single family home in Southern California.
Ticket prices range from $15 to $25 for general admission and $25 to $35 for express entry admission. Tickets are available for purchase now online at http://www.rothauntedhouse.com/. The Reign of Terror ticket office will also be open starting 6:30 p.m each night, so tickets can be purchased at the event as well. Anyone in line for entrance prior to closing time each night is guaranteed entrance.
Reign of Terror is an intense experience geared for horror and thrill seeking fans, but it can still be enjoyed by all ages. For families with younger children, Reign of Terror Lights On tours are offered two Saturday afternoons, October 21 and October 28 from 1 – 4 p.m. Lights On tours have no special effects, no darkness or scares in operation, but all regular lighting is on. Admission for the Lights On tour is $5 for children and adults.
Reign of Terror succeeds in providing more than a good scare by giving back to the community. Because Janss Marketplace hosts the event in over 23,000 square feet of indoor space, the haunted house is able to donate proceeds from entrance fees to the Conejo Recreation and Parks District.
It’s almost time to open the doors to Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Haunted House.
This year they’re bringing you a hotel infested with serial killers in The Sunset Lodge, 3-D clowns in Nocturnia 3-D, and even more diabolical demons in Infernal. Experience all three haunts Opening Weekend (September 15th & 16th) with special pricing starting at $15.99 per ticket!
ScareHouse opens each night at 7 PM. Free parking and shuttle at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Save time and money when you buy online. Must be 7 years old or older to enter the ScareHouse.
The Basement Returns With a Familiar Face!
Venture back down into The Basement with Maggie in a new immersive production. Must be 18 years old or older and sign a waiver to enter The Basement. No more than two people enter at a time. Purchase a single ticket to face the terror alone. Special opening weekend ticket pricing, $35.99 per pair or $24.99 for a single ticket. For more information about The Basement, click here.
Fright Haven, Connecticut’s largest indoor Halloween Haunted House, opened its doors last year to rave reviews, while raising funds for several charities, including support of Stratford PAL. It returns for its second season with new attractions and features. Opening night is Saturday, Sept. 23. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Housed in the old Bally’s building in the Stratford Square shopping plaza on 411 Barnum Avenue Cut-off across from Home Depot and next to L.A. Fitness & Ninety Nine Restaurant, with ample free parking, Fright Haven is the largest indoor haunted attraction in Connecticut. It occupies 20,000 square feet and contains several attractions under the same roof. Brand new features for Halloween 2018 include the Deadly Grounds, the Green Lagoon Swamp, the Tunnel of Terror, the Buried Alive coffin simulator ride and much more. (To sign up for Stratford breaking news alerts and more, click here.)
The property had been vacant for years, and the creative forces behind Fright Haven transformed the large cavernous building – which was previously Bally’s Gym and Showcase Cinemas – into a magical haunted attraction last Halloween, bringing thousands of guests to the plaza in its inaugural season. It had the distinction of being voted “Connecticut’s #1 ‘Must-See’ Attraction.” Visitors compared the experience to a theme park, or perhaps more specifically, a roller-coaster, where the scares are fun but you can return to stable ground after the ride. At Fright Haven, all the scares are intentional, rehearsed and well-choreographed, but guests can walk out the door at any time.
This year’s houses includes:
DEAD END MANOR: Dead End Manor is an ancient Gothic Victorian Mansion filled with beautiful Vampire sirens and the monsters who made them that way, all looking to add you to the collective commune of drinking blood.
Pitch Black Haunt: Achluophobia People are not actually afraid of the dark. They are afraid of what might be in the dark. The greater their imagination, the greater and more personalized the creature/madman/poltergeist/boogeyman that could be in the darkness will be. What are you afraid of? Chances are that whatever it is, you will come face to face with it in the Frightmare Pit.
CARNIVAL OF EVIL in 3D: A 3-Dimensional tribute of terror to Savin Rock Park, Palisades Park, Freedomland, Paragon Park, what’s left of Coney Island, and all the amusement parks torn down over the years. For some reason, people are afraid of clowns, and this attraction takes advantage of this fact with lots of crazed, demented clowns popping out from everywhere.
After an unfortunate robbery earlier this summer that resulted in the loss of over $10,000 worth of equipment and valuables, the creep show at Hundred Acres Manor in Bethel Park, PA will go on.
The popular and highly rated haunt will open for the 2017 season starting this Friday, September 8th.
This haunt not only take cares of haunt stalkers’ quest to be terrified, the nonprofit organization also provides charitable contributions to the organizations Animal Friends, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Ward Home Inc., the Scott Township-based provider of residences and services for at-risk youth.
We’re very glad to see them persevere with a very impressive lineup of mazes. Here’s the 2017 lineup.
The Host (NEW FOR 2017)
Journey through this turn of the century themed haunted attraction where you’re the new HOST of the plague and you have to figure out what is real and what are nightmares. Come face-to-face with serial killers, plague doctors, werewolves and the hellish creatures straight from London.
Board a century old elevator to take you to the depths of the Acres family estate and experience a hellish ride to the bowels of the horror within the manor. The first of its kind in Pittsburgh, Dead Lift will send you whipping around and begging for mercy. Discovered during excavation of the estate; the Dead Lift elevators were originally used to transport guests and staff from the families quarters to the manors deepest secrets hidden within the basement.
Take a tour of Hundred Acre Manor’s Torture Tank and try before you buy. Witness what our clients call a truly explorative experience. Clients of torture tank are allowed to select their scenarios, costuming, set designs and are provided with an innocent human. Our contracts are discrete and totally legal as long as you keep your mouth shut!
Take a tour through the deep south where the spirits of the bayou beckon you. The Stitchers want your bodies, The Priestess wants your souls and the bodies of the damned look upon you. Do your best to keep your skin in tact as you run from man and beast alike through the Louisiana swamps.
Enter “Project Argos” the space-bound research facility, once pushing the limits of genetic testing, that has gotten out of hand. The creatures they were studying have been released, they have taken over, and now you have to escape. Be cautious as you pass through as there are dangers everywhere and these creatures from another void are awaiting your dismay. Can you breach the Arg
A tribute to classic Halloween monsters, creatures and superstitions. Some stories are best untold, but some legends refuse to die.
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.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando has just revealed three original houses, five scare zones, and two shows for this year’s event. As expected, one house and scare zone will be themed after this year’s Icon, Chance. The other two houses will take on more adventurous themes within the respective settings of an Old West Ghost Town and an Ancient Egyptian Tomb. The remaining scare zones really stand on their own not being tied to any of the mazes but presenting a variety of horrifying scenarios such as apocalyptic hunters, 1950’s vampires, ancient creatures, and dead fishermen lurking in the fog (sounds familiar). For the shows, Bill and Ted continue their irreverent shenanigans for yet another year and the dancers from the Academy of Villains returns.
We often have always found the original houses to be some of the scariest and best designed at HHN and think these three nicely round out the exciting slate of houses for #HHN26. Here’s more details on the houses, scare zones, and shows.
Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance
While Jack’s away, Chance has unleashed the horrors of her imagination. Her twisted delusions and reality are continuously blurred in a 3D playground of carnage. When the music box plays, the world shifts to her sinister theatre of the mind. But when the alarm starts ringing, Chance is thrown back into the brutal reality of her incarceration.
Ghost Town – The Curse of Lightning Gulch
When lightning strikes, the curse of Lightning Gulch comes to life and this ghostly town appears. These doomed souls—who once went searching for gold—found death and destruction. And now they seek others to join them. As thunder cracks, flashes of lightning will lead your way through this treacherous wild west nightmare. Good luck!
Tomb of the Ancients
An ancient evil has surfaced and immortal beings from the past have returned to rule mankind. It was only a matter of time until “The Ancient Ones” were unearthed. Now these makers of chaos are loose from the pits of hell—and the whole world will pay.
• Survive or Die – A global catastrophe has ruined Earth’s atmosphere. One group of survivors secured a machine that provides clean air. The two other surviving groups are on the hunt to gain control of the machine and are recruiting new members to help them. You can either join them or feed their staving ranks. Which will you choose?
• Banshee’s Lair – Travel deep into the forest where evil spirits and horrific creatures of the ancient world roam free. Mother Nature’s magical barrier of vines has been torn away and the modern world has found the entrance to this corrupted grave.
• Dead Man’s Wharf – When a fishing vessel named Annabel Lee never returned to the harbor and was lost forever, the wharf was left uninhabited as a memorial to her. Now, a strange fog has rolled into the village. And the long-lost fishermen’s spirits seek to punish the town that left them.
• Vamp 1955 – Welcome to Hollywood High School’s 1955 Homecoming Parade. Everything is in place, until the greasers roll into town with fangs instead of switchblades. It’s a procession of chaos with vampires ready to take a bite out of anyone in sight.
• A Chance In Hell – Get ready for the audition of a lifetime. Chance may be locked away, but that hasn’t stopped her. As the alarms ring and the bloody remains of those who tried to stop her lie around, she’s busy recruiting cellmates to join her biggest act yet. (I hope I get chosen!)
• Academy of Villains: House of Fear – Join this high energy performance troupe of inmates in an explosion of insanity that will thrust you into a realm of mayhem and maniacal terror featuring dance and specialty acts. The Show Must Go On!
• Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure – No Halloween Horror Nights would be complete with these “excellent” dudes! The Wyld Stallyns return with an all-new Halloween adventure.
There’s more information with a behind scenes look available on the HHN26 website.