Los Angeles is a creative community filled with strange and unusual minds. Whether you’re a grandmother who decorates her porch with handmade tombstones or a teenager who intricately carves jack-o’-lanterns, Halloween is a great reminder of the imagination and talent that surrounds us in a city we sometimes take for granted. Every haunt season we witness new creative manifestations that develop into recurring haunt features. We’ve seen this in concepts like “birthing rooms”, which are hallways built out of inflated plastic walls that you have to push through to exit. We’ve also seen this with “elevators”, in which a simulated elevator experience is created when a haunt goer is in a box which bumps around, sometimes spinning in circles.
With the constant innovation that is found in world of haunts, we started thinking about what new concepts could be looming on the foggy horizon. At Midsummer Scream, we experienced an entirely new concept: the portable maze. This was something we hadn’t witnessed before, and were very happy to explore four portable mazes in the carefully curated “Hall Of Shadows”.
The first maze we traveled through was “DeadZone 805”, an “escape room on wheels”. Though we weren’t solving any puzzles, our attention was captivated by the twisted body movements of a tied-up ghoulish scientist who came to life amid the hydraulic jumps of the trailer. This maze was great in its tone, presentation and originality. We were therefore left wishing that there had been a little bit more within “Deadline 805” to explore.
The next three haunts were from a company named HallowEve Designs, inc. This company is at the forefront of “trailer haunts” and has been building mobile mazes and renting to private events every October. While one of their haunts was less impressive (it was made with bounce house like plastic walls), the other two haunts had customized interior temperatures and interesting themes, thereby creating a new and innovative haunt experience.
HallowEve’s first haunt, “Cold Storage”, was our favorite. It contained a maze inside of a trailer filled with chilled air. As we squeezed through the narrow and shadowy maze, we were surprised when we bumped into frozen army men. The maze conjured an experience similar to what it would feel like if you explored an abandoned Siberian military outpost in the middle of nowhere. There was even a birthing room at the end which we desperately squeezed out of as we escaped from the eerie frozen landscape.
The second haunt, “Black Bayou”, was similar to “Cold Storage”, except it was swamp themed. Filled with tenebrous swamp critters, low lying fog, and neon green lights, “Black Bayou” was really enjoyable.
Will portable haunts replace the classic stationary haunts built from the ground up? Probably not. However, portable haunts are a fun and contemporary way to bring interactive experiences to different locations during and after Halloween.
August 09, 2018