After being evicted from the Queen Mary, Shipwreck Productions migrated to an out-of-the way location in Simi Valley, California, that hopefully no one could find them in. Unfortunately for us, we did. Not using our better judgment, and since we were already planning to visit some haunts in Ventura County, we decided that we’d check out 13 Nights of Terror. Given our previous experience with Shipwreck Productions, weren’t sure if it was worth attending, but after some contemplation, we went with the naive hope that maybe a new location would mean a new experience and that they might be able to offer a better haunt in a smaller location. Our Scare Zone photographer knew better and decided to sit this one out. So sorry, no pictures. Although there wasn’t anything to take pictures of anyway.

On our way there, we became more hopeful, as the setting was somewhat eerie in a desolate location down a dark and foggy road, just past a neighborhood that looked like the set from Poltergeist (and actually, Poltergeist was filmed very close to this area). However, as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, our hope started to fade, as there were just two families waiting outside the gate, both with very young children. The Web site said that they opened at 6 p.m., but when we arrived at 6:50, they said they “weren’t ready yet.” When they finally opened the gate, they let the families in. We were stopped by some low-budget-rent-a-racist-cop “security” to check our purses and thoroughly frisk down the only person of color within a 20-mile radius. The pat down was so through we were expecting a tip from the security guy afterward. We didn’t really pay attention to the family in front of us, so maybe they were checked too (we doubt it). A few minutes later, another group of adults arrived who were of the “non-ethnic” variety, and they just strolled right into the gates. This was infuriating! We debated leaving right then, but we decided that we’d stay just to see how bad the situation was at this place.

By 7:15 ,the haunted house still wasn’t open, and the few vendors they had were still setting themselves up. There was a “DJ” who was having his own private party, as no one else could care less about him. We were on the verge of walking out and asking for a refund when they told us they had just decided to change some things around in the haunted house and that they would be opening “in a couple more minutes.” The families with the kids asked for refunds and left. When they finally opened the doors, we were the first ones in line, all of 8 people. Terror Tip never be the first one to go into a haunt when it opens.

We entered the maze, and this is the shortest part of the report, as there’s nothing to see here. Once again, Shipwreck Productions (which is a apropos name) delivered a low-budget maze with mediocore talent and no scares. Terror Tip – don’t go to a maze that has “looking for volunteers” posted on their Web site. It’s sad that they are charging an entrance fee for this “attraction” but still try to take advanatge of young local kids by getting them to “volunteer.” [EDITORS’ NOTE: According to the organizers, some of the actors in the maze are paid, and some are volunteers.] You get what you pay for, and the talent in this place is the worse we’ve seen in any haunt this season.

Essentially, the maze is just a stack of plywood walls with some blacklight paintings and random props scattered about. We’ve seen Halloween stores with better displays. It’s obvious that they’re trying to take advantage of being in a local community, perhaps in an attempt to get money from locals who don’t know any better and who don’t know what to expect from a decent haunt experience. Then again, the locals might know, as there were probably fewer than 20 people in attendance.

Overall, we found this haunt to be nothing short of a scam and a big waste of time and money, from their racist security practices to the below-amateur-level haunted house.

Our rating: BURIED SKULL (this is below our scale of 1-5 skulls). YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!


  1. I’m sorry to hear you had a bad time at our Haunt. I’d like to clear up a few things so you know the “whole story”.

    I’m one of the organizers of this Haunted House, from the nonprofit Gull Wings Children’s Museum. This Haunted House is a fundraiser for us, and our first attempt at a major regional Haunted House fundraiser and Halloween community event.

    I’d like to point out some items here for your consideration. Not that I am asking you to change your review. Your review is your opinion, and I will acknowledge that–at the time you arrived–we had some logistical issues to overcome that resulted in you having a poor experience at our event:

    1. We contacted Shipwreck Productions just 3 WEEKS prior to opening because another Haunted House producer was unable to follow through with their commitment to us. We are very proud of Shipwreck’s ability to pull together the Haunted House on almost no notice in order to save this event from being cancelled entirely. They have been honorable, fun to work with, and have followed through on every commitment they’ve made, knowing this is an event to raise money for a charity.

    2. While we are constantly seeking volunteers to assist us with our events, the actors within the Haunt are paid, unless they’ve chosen to volunteer to help us so that the nonprofit can provide educational services to thousands of children who can’t afford to have access to them otherwise.

    3. We had lined up 12 other vendors who were no-shows or bailed the day before (hence the last minute reconfiguring of the event when you arrived). I want to point out that every vendor claimed to have a legitimate reason, but it makes me wonder about how bad the economy really is if these vendors could all bail so easily after they had committed in writing to being there.

    4. We had also lined up several other attractions, and during the last week prior to opening, the companies provided those attractions cancelled (we went through three different companies that provide mobile climbing walls and other attractions in just 8 days).

    5. The family that arrived before you received a refund, even though it was not our policy to provide one, as a courtesy and an effort to provide exceptional customer service. Additionally, we made it very clear to them that the attraction was not appropriate for very young children in advance of them buying tickets, but they still bought them and then complained.

    6. The security guards searched every guest. And, yes, we discussed with them the need to “rein it in” and not be so aggressive with their searches. I apologize if you felt this was invasive. It was corrected very early that night once we saw that it was an issue.

    7. The Haunted House opened on Friday night, and Saturday night we had to rework a few items to improve the attraction. And we will continue to improve it every day.

    8. We have had several hundred people through the Haunted House, and, quite honestly, we have heard only three negative comments plus yours. On the contrary, our post-Haunt surveys with departing guests have been overwhelmingly positive, with many guests saying it is one of the most fun, scariest haunted houses they have been to in years.

    So, while I appreciate that you personally did not have a good experience, 98% of the visitors to our Haunt love their experience, have provided positive reviews to us and their friends, and many of which are creating Facebook events to invite their friends to return for a night of dancing, scares, and fun. In fact, on only our third night open, well over half of our visitors reported hearing about the Haunted House from a friend who recommended it to them. One person even brought three carloads of his friends back to the Haunt the next night because he enjoyed his experience so much.

    Tonight, we videotaped (with permission) many of the guests as they experienced the Haunt and will be posting their unedited reactions within the next day or so on our website. These videos are of regular people visiting the Haunt, and not actors, to provide potential visitors with a glimpse inside the Haunted House before they come, so they can make an informed decision.

    I appreciate you taking the time to visit our Haunt. I hope you’ll return, at our expense, to visit again during the next weekend to see if we have improved the experience. I also hope you’ll post my comments so your readers have the organizers’ side of the story. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Steven! We appreciate that you took the time to respond. Unfortunately, we did not have a good time, but we have been to a lot of haunts, and we have a lot to compare to, and we felt it just didn’t live up to its $13 entrance fee. I’m sure other people will find some value in it. As for the security, we didn’t notice them search the adults who entered in front of us, but we weren’t completely sure about that, so we we purposely watched the groups who entered after us. We observed multiple groups enter without getting searched at all. The security was indeed polite enough with us, but the pat-down search was particularly invasive and much more than we experience at larger attractions. And it is just a fact that they were not searching everyone that evening, at least not while we were there.

    We also applaud your work with the nonprofit organization, and we hope that you are successful in raising money for them. However, our job here is to let people know our opinion of the quality of the haunted attraction and the event so that they can determine if it is worth attending.

    Thanks again, and happy haunting!

    • The reason the security was not as “invasive” with patrons after you is because I specifically told them to stop doing that after I saw them do that to you and the group in front of you (who they had searched prior to your arrival). And, yes, they had already searched that group. Also, some of the groups entering were employees or vendors with passes who the security officers already knew.

      In terms of Haunts in our area, our admission price is already $2 lower than every Haunt within a 30 minute drive, and those other Haunts include only a single Haunted House, no dancing or other activities. For anyone under 18, there are no places they can go to dance on a Friday or Saturday night, and for those between 18 and 21, they are extremely limited as well. For a $13 cover charge, people are able to dance and go through the Haunted House, which we believe to be a great bargain at a price comparable to a movie ticket.

      Perhaps because you go through so many Haunted Houses, you have become desensitized to them and are expecting much more than the average person would expect when going to one of these. I challenge you to ask average people who go through our Haunt–as evidenced by the video we posted on Monday on youtube and on our website (–average people seemed to be genuinely scared and enjoy the Haunt very much.

      Out of the hundreds of people who’ve gone through our Haunt during the first weekend, we’ve received only 4 complaints, including yours, and 3 of those were because elements of the Haunt weren’t operating correctly. Those elements have been corrected, and new 8 new scares have been added to the Haunt already with new ones being added before we open again this Thursday 10/21.

      Thank you again for joining us at 13 Nights Of Terror Halloween Haunt in Simi Valley!

  3. i went through this haunt, and frankly i have no idea what anyone is complaining about. i went thru with 3 other friends and we had a BLAST! My hoodie was stretched out about 3 times in size from my friend grabbing my hood. i have no idea about if the monsters are volunteers or not, but they were EVERYWHERE! From very cool masked beasties to some pretty hot chicks in bustiers with very realistic gore and burn make up. They hit every opportunity to scare us with misdirection, surprise and very creepy behavior. This place had it all, crazy soundtrack, cool sets (uh, not stacks of plywood by any count), and also cool lighting effects. That’s another thing – many of the haunts I’ve gone to (and there have been quite a few) are mostly dark, you can’t see anything, and then something jumps out and says boo. This place had cool lighting so you could see all the creepy details. It was very much like being in a horror movie. Well, I guess some people just like to complain about anything. Also, the security checked my bags thoroughly, but I do not ever mind that. They are there to keep me safe. and I’d rather they be thorough than just let anybody stroll in carrying who knows what – especially since this has young people at it. Well, that’s MY opinion, and my friends too, and I think almost anybody would have alot of fun at this haunt.

  4. I went through the haunted house myself, and almost peed myself. I don’t know what kind of experience these reviewers are
    expecting, but if I wanted a Universal Studios experience, I would pay Universal Studios prices. And a family with little kids came? And then they complained? Well, that just shows that some truly dumb people exist in this world – the website is VERY CLEAR that it’s not for kids. That’s why I didn’t bring my sister with me.

    There is nothing to do in Simi, and I am so glad these folks are providing something, even if only for a couple of weekends. I love that they have music & everything else too. I think the rainy weather really hurt them last weekend, but I am coming back with friends this weekend & the weather should be good so we plan to stay all night.

    Don’t listen to these reviewers they must hate these shipwreck guys for some reason. And I didn’t realize it was for a kid’s museum now I am totally pissed that they slammed it so hard.

  5. Wow.. do u guys something against SHIPWRECK PRODUCTIONS? Our group went through this haunt sunday night and really had fun. The location was scary with the clouds and natural fog, there’s a DJ and even fortune tellers. For the $13 price we had a haunt plus entertainment to boot. They must have made some changes from when you attended because we had a great time. Beer and Sliders plus a DJ, we were dancing in the rain and it was great. Going back FRIDAY night with a group of about 20, will be there for the music and fun. Too bad, but I think you are basing your opinion on a prior problem with the production company. Sorry… we had a great time for $13!

  6. What’s with the hatred towards Shipwreck Productions?? Seems like you had it out for them from the start! Your review clearly points that out! Such a shame as this event sounds cool and my group plans on attending Halloween weekend. I do know that Shipwreck Productions paved the way for the Queen Mary and created the Halloween scene for them. I worked for Shipwreck for the past 11 years and have enjoyed every year working for them. They are a great group to work for and I don’t understand the hate you have for them. What a shame! Maybe you should have talked to the organizers of this new event to rectify the problems you had. Although I doubt that would have changed your opinion. This is a charity event trying to do some good and your negativity is very unfortunate. If you had it out for Shipwreck Productions, perhaps you should take it up with them. Like I said before, I know that Shipwreck Productions created Shipwreck at the Queen Mary back in 1995 and brought it up to what the event is at the Queen Mary today. They did not get evicted, they got screwed! They have a lawsuit pending and the Queen Mary will loose in the end! The new Queen Mary event, Dark Harbor would not be there or what it is without Shipwreck Productions. Shipwreck built the foundation with 14 years of hard work and a great family relationship of employees. I have now had to relocate and get a job scaring at another haunt do to all the crap and am sad to see this all go down over the years. Your opinion is just that. But before you attack someone with bad intentions and misinformation, you should do your homework or take it up with the person you have a problem with. Don’t hate!! That’s what’s wrong with the world! Thanks, Former Shipwreck Monster (11 years)

  7. Geez Scare-Zone, whats up the haterade your unloading on Shipwreck Productions??? From start to finish your “review” shows that you obviously have a personal beef against them.

  8. “Haterade” LOL. It’s what we drink before all haunts. But be careful–it can “desensitize” you to scares!

  9. Notice to our readers: We have been advised that some of the comments in this thread might be not be legitimate. In fact, examination of the IP addresses of the “commenters” (except for Stephen) indicate that nearly all are coming from Orange County, which is a considerable distance from Simi Valley (approximately 80 miles). We find it very unlikely that regular guests are driving 80 miles to this small haunt. Therefore, because of this, and the fact that this post receives very few readers but a steady stream of comments (and comments addressing only Shipwreck Productions without providing any details of the maze), we are locking this thread.

Comments are closed.