Southern California is known for its abundance of haunted attractions, but they’re mostly concentrated in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Although Ventura County is home to Reign of Terror—one of the best haunts in the state, if not the country—that’s pretty much the only haunt of note in the area. We have long believed that Ventura County is prime territory for a new haunt to capture terror-hungry audiences in this sleepy little region. So we were very excited to hear that a new haunt will be debuting in the area this year, aptly named the “Ventura County Fear Grounds.”
Details first emerged during a presentation by the creators at last weekend’s Awaken the Spirits convention in Pasadena. The event will include three outdoor haunted attractions as well as an area containing food, a beer garden, entertainment, and scare zone. The site will be the Ventura County Fairgrounds, which is located right alongside the ocean in Ventura, about an hour north of Los Angeles.
Here, we break down the details given in the convention presentation.
Terror Trail is billed as the “centerpiece” of the Fear Grounds event. Covering a huge area of the Fairgrounds, it should take guests approximately 25 minutes to walk through (less if you tend to be a “runner” through these types of things). This trail will wind through some of the horse stables and in between fairground show buildings. The creators noted just how huge this trail will be. We’ve been to the Ventura County Fairgrounds many times ourselves, and we can definitely confirm that this will be a large and long trail.
The Cage is a “maze-like” walk-through attraction that will feature actors and plenty of scares. The concept art shows the actors will likely be positioned behind fences as guests proceed through the attraction. This definitely reminds us of two other “Cage” mazes we’ve been through in the past…a very sad one at Pierce College, which was nothing more than some chain-link fences and a few strobe lights, and another that we loved at Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Event that smartly used its fences to disorient and build suspense. Let’s hope this new “Cage” maze is closer in quality to the latter.
Not too many details were given about Fright Train. The creators promise that the attraction will be “why you want to visit the Fear Grounds,” but the actual mechanics of it remain mysterious. The event map shows the train going around a large portion of the fairground perimeter, and they did mention “getting on and off” the attraction, so it definitely sounds like a type of ride. We can’t wait to hear more about this intriguing concept.
The Dead End at Surfer’s Point LIVE
The Dead End will include food trucks, a beer garden, and more, with a scare zone type of environment. This area will be located in the parking lot right outside the entrance to the fairgrounds. The map even shows a Ferris wheel, although we’re not sure if there will actually be carnival-style rides here or not. No matter, this will be a great space to either build your courage in the beer garden for impending horror or wind down afterward.
You’ll be able to buy tickets to each attraction individually or an overall pass that gets you into all three attractions during the night. Early bird tickets for the Ventura County Fear Grounds will be on sale soon, with prices starting at just $13.99 per haunt. There will also be a limited-time offer of an “RIP Package” that includes all three haunts with front-of-the-line access for only $40, which is an amazing deal. We highly suggest signing up for the mailing list so that you can be notified when these early prices become available.
With the entire event being outdoors and the creators promising that all scare actors will be fully vaccinated, we expect this event will appeal to many who are still nervous about walking through traditional haunts this year, which usually have small hallways and actors screaming in your face. We definitely plan to add this new haunt to our growing list for 2021. Be sure to check back for our review this October!