The Scare Zone introduces our new weekly survey to help KILL time as we wait for Haunt season. The polls open on Wednesday at Midnight and you can vote for a week until Midnight the following Tuesday. We’ve secured the survey to ensure the most fair and accurate results possible.

For our first survey of 2011, we take a look at the “major” Southern California haunts to see who you, our fellow haunt stalkers, think is the scariest.

So don’t lag behind and vote. Winner Kill All!


It was a close race and there were some “passionate” voters who kept on voting. As promised we analyzed IP addresses to ensure everyone only voted once (at least from the same computer). While the order of winners stayed the same it wasn’t a total massacre after extracting the frequent voters.

Now, without further ado, here’s the results from our first Scare Zone Survey. Out of 1,458 total votes, the top killer for SoCal’s Scariest Haunt is Los Angeles Haunted Hayride with 417 (28.6%) unique votes.

The other killer included Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights with 366 (25.1%) unique votes followed by Sinister Pointe with 242 (16.6%) unique votes. Knott’s Scary Farm and The Haunted Hotel round out the top 5.


Congrats to all our SoCal Haunts. There’s a great collection of scares for wherever one may go in Southern California. We now how a new season upon us and with Ghost Ship coming to port it will be interesting to see who will really scare us this year!


  1. The Haunted Hayride is, by far, the best haunt in southern California… But this year may change that with the introduction of Ghost Ship in Newport Beach

  2. By far the best haunt, possibly in the entire USA is Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. All those other Haunts are predictable .

  3. HAUNTED HOTEL The best. If u go then you have no idea what youre getting yourself into. lol

  4. los angeles hauted hay ride is sooooooooooooo friggen cool. and now they have that ghost ship one. all the other haunted houses are for little kids. Haunted hayride will make you crap yr pants and have nightmares.

  5. The Haunted Hayride was very cool when I went but not very scary. You’re with too many people so it’s hard to get individually scared.

  6. I may be way off but let’s see… Hmmmm… I would think SINISTER POINTE all the freakin’ way!!!! Absolutely No Comparison…. But hey , that’s just me…

  7. Hmmmmm out of 12 total responses.. Haunted Hayride had 9??? Is this accurate, or Are there a lot of employees voting for themselves?? Makes me wonder???…….

  8. Old Town Haunt Pasadena is the scariest but is only one long maze and that’s it. Knotts Scary Farm isn’t very scary but its fun, you get a lot of bang for your buck timewise with the numerous attractions. Universal doesn’t change things up enough and they only have a handful of mazes. The Haunted Hayride is too packed to get the full haunting experience since its the only one of two attractions on site. The Queen Mary is ok but has a crapload of exhausting stairs. However I am curious about and looking forward to this new Ghost Ship I keep hearing about. Someday Ill make it down to San Diego to try their haunts out.

  9. Queen Mary = weak
    Universal= crowded
    Knots= never changing
    Haunted hayride- original but kinda weak.
    Everything else never heard of. Wtf is sinister point? Looks like a back yard thing.

    I will go will go with haunted hayride. But I think this ghost ship is gonna be bad ass.

  10. Sinister Pointe is far from a backyard haunt and should be included in the poll. I am stoked to see their new permanent location in Brea.

  11. Sinister Pointe is one of the most original and one of the best “Customer Interactive” haunts there are… Really Hard to beat that. If you haven’t checked it out, you well, haven’t lived…..

  12. HAUNTED HOTEL BABY :D Those other haunts don’t even KNOW what they’re missing.
    You should come down to SD and find out for yourself!

  13. Reign of Terror is the best in all of California! best detail and use of lighting and smells

    • You are right. The Reign of terror is the most detailed and well thought out haunted house in Southern California. I have had the opportunity to work and help out while they were building and even with all the house lights on, it is still, by far, the scariest haunt. You won’t leave disappointed.

  14. Reign of Terror smell nice.. Cool, Because when I got to a haunt, I always walk in and say “Damn, It smells nice in here.”

    • Haha… Rollercoastergeek was refering to scents like burning flesh, rain forest, mold, etc… Not flowers and vanilla… Scents are lightly used to add to the total sensory experience.

  15. So some interesting numbers… Universal Halloween Horror nights = 60,000 plus fans on their facebook. They made official announcements regarding this voting… Haunted Hayride has 3,300 plus fans and also made an official announcement on their Facebook site… Knotts Scary Farm has around 8,000 fans on their facebook and made no announcement regarding the vote… Sinister Pointe had around 1,300 facebook fans and made official announcements. The Haunted Hotel has almost 3,000 fans and also made an official announcement of this survey. I did not find announcements on any of their websites so I am assumning this was a facebook campaign. I find it interesting that a place like Universal, with 60,000+ facebook fans, sells out almost every night with around 24,000 visitors, was beat out by Haunted Hayride which does not seem to have a total attendance that even equals one days worth of HHN’s attendance. Also interesting that many of the comments about Haunted Hayride seem to have some things in common…including writing style…. All I am saying is very interesting… RIGGED!!!! hahaah

  16. Thanks Mike for sharing your observation, that is some good research.

    The survey wasn’t rigged from the Scare Zone side. Voting was only on our site but promoted via Facebook, Twitter, and our affiliate sites. The Haunted Hayride seems to be the Haunt with the fans who took the poll the most seriously as they were sending out reminders nearly everyday.

    Having more followers doesn’t necessary correlate with actual page/site engagement. Perhaps the fans/followers of the larger ones (HHN, Knott’s) just expected they would win so they didn’t put out nearly as much effort as Hayride. Plus HHN fans are probably just focused on tweets/posts about what will the actual 2011 mazes (I know we are). It’s also possible that people do in fact tend to find the “smaller” haunts to be scarier than the commercial ones, just due to the more intimate crowd size they draw.

    We did catch that the Hayride had people voting over and over again so we extracted the IP addresses that had more than one vote. The others had some repeat offenders too. In fact, Hayride was originally up to 700+ votes but 300 were from the same IP address.

    Nonetheless, all’s fair in internet polling. We’re sure there will be another chance for the SoCal haunts to extract REVENGE when the 2011 season ends.

  17. Total Poor Sports! I doubt Universal, Knotts, etc…even care. If SZ is only counting one vote per IP address, there isn’t a way to rig it. Stop taking everything so seriously. It’s not the Presidential Election for crying out loud.

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