Review of Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights at the Warner Bros. backlots in Burbank. This Halloween season, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood dares you to enter their iconic backlot for an incredible Halloween party where evil clowns, demon nuns, super villains, possessed dolls and the devil himself will come to life. Be prepared to face your deepest fears and see what nightmares await you from the twisted minds that brought you IT, The Conjuring, Freddy vs. Jason, The Exorcist, and from WB Games, Batman: Arkham Asylum.Read More
A few Octobers ago we were driving through Anaheim on an adventure to discover new haunts. We saw a sign which led us to a haunted maze connected to a pumpkin patch. The setting was very DIY and filled with an authentic Halloween spirit. As we entered the maze, we were immediately taken by its beautiful Halloween color scheme. Details like the ripped flannel clothing of scare actors reminded us of haunts from our childhood. Throughout the maze we crawled around on the wet ground as child scare actors screamed at us and yanked at our feet. This maze truly was a family project, and our first experience at the Fleshyard Haunted Maze (@thefleshyard).
Since our initial encounter with the Fleshyard, we have witnessed their maze grow and expand in both creative content and technical prowess. This year is no exception. Adam and Kerry LeBlanc, owners and operators of the Fleshyard, have partnered with Bone Yard Effects, Inc. (@boneyardfx) to showcase the new incarnation of Fleshyard Haunted Maze as part of Horrorworld in the Puente Hills Mall.
This year’s Fleshyard is dark and brutal as you follow the story of possession and lost children. As you journey through the maze, you will be pulled into a world of nightmares in which religious entities attempt to save a child from possession as the scales tip to the side of evil. The shadowy hallways give you nowhere to escape to as you feel the Fleshyard’s wicked world closing in on you. (The climatic, claustrophobic hallway is an original twist on a classic idea, however we won’t spoil it by describing any details.)
The Fleshyard Haunted Maze has officially risen to new heights in the world of haunts. Adam and Kerry LeBlanc have finely tuned their ability to create and produce worlds of horror which will linger in your nightmares. We highly recommend you visit this suspenseful and horrific haunt to start off your Halloween season.
September 28, 2018
REVIEW: Into The Black
The deterioration we witness in the world touches upon our primal fears of death and decay, which we all have buried deep within ourselves. Exploring abandoned, crumbling buildings is something which fascinates us as we think about past worlds and our future expirations. What awaits us in death? A silent, emptiness? Or will we exist in a shadow world, accompanied by demons and the sounds of the damned? These fears may haunt us, but sometimes we are given the opportunity to directly confront what scares us the most. If you are ready for this journey, we invite you to step foot inside the tenebrous chambers of Into the Black: an otherworldly maze brought to you by the magnificent imaginations of Bone Yard Effects, Inc. (@boneyardfx).
Larry and Cheryl Bones, aka Bone Yard Effects, Inc., have been creating monsters and phantasmagoric worlds for years. They left Halloween Horror Nights to bring to life their own, unique maze: Into the Black. Premiering last year, Into the Black was birthed from Bone Yard’s film of the same title. This maze is a cinematic and immersive experience which will leave you with a sense of both awe and horror.
As you travel through the maze, suspense builds as darkness is slowly illuminated by muted and minimal light sources. Into the Black is a world of shadows which holds tenebrous creatures awaiting you in the corners of decomposing, Victorian styled rooms. As you journey through the maze you will hear distant droning sounds, interrupted by the footsteps and groans of demonic stalkers. (If you pay close enough attention, you will realize that the demons share a synchronized language of hellish vocalizations.) The tension which builds in this maze is created very deliberately, producing a much greater effect than any jump scares which have become very common in most haunts.
Into The Black brings your most frightening nightmares to life. Larry and Cheryl Bones have created a world in which craft and imagination operate on the highest level, leaving no stone unturned in creating a meticulously designed haunt. We highly suggest multiple visits to Into the Black, as each journey will reveal new details in what has now become one of our top favorite experiences of the Halloween season.
September 28, 2018
#horrorworld #horrorworld2018 #rowlandheights #inlandempire #ie #hauntsofla #haunts #hauntedmaze #hauntedhouse #losangeles #haunt #maze #house #intotheblack #boneyardefx #haunters #hhn2018
Review of Horrorworld featuring Into The Black and The Fleshyard, Psycho Sanitarium. Lcoated in Puente Hills Mall in Rowland Heights California. From the people who designed costumes for the last 10 years and Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios.Read More
ScareLA had another legendary run at the Los Angeles convention center. Bringing us a variety of pop up haunts, spooky booths and entertainment. As always, it was a lovely look at the upcoming haunt season (which is a mere one month away!) The curation was thoughtful and included a great performance by the infamous sliders, The Decayed Bridge, along with pop-ups from the Haunted Hayride, Hotel 6 Ft Under, and Reyes of El Serino. Spotted hanging out with fans was one of our favorite characters from The Victoria Manor: Stitchface. We also chatted with our youtube favorite: Adamthewoo!
The best booth was Kim Gottlieb Walker, who was John Carpenter’s personal on-set photographer. She was selling her amazing book of stills from Halloween and had on display her incredible pop-up photo gallery. I hope next year they incorporate more iconic booths like this (and maybe give her a panel!!!) We’d be lying if we didn’t say that the event was missing a lot Haunted L.A.’s finest such as Backwoods, Rotten Apple, or Sherwood. There might have been reasons they were left out of the convention's line-up, but the lackluster VR experience The Summoning (which was a hassle of downloading an app that didn't work) certainly didn’t make up for their absence.
Kudos to ScareLA for another AMAZING year. We are thankful for all of the work they do to give us a "halloween in the summer"! -JC
August 12, 2017
The Haunted Rose’s creator, Prolifx owner and special effects artist Ryan Banfield, has masterminded a hidden treasure in the suburban neighborhood of Whittier. When horror enthusiasts like Ryan create an elaborate yard haunt like this, their passion and expertise shine in the nightmarish details.
This terrifying yard maze sets the tone with the creepy mad scientist, Dr. Macabro, warning you of the doom to come. The lengthy, winding maze is filled with cinematic-like hallways which sets the tone for the perfectly situated and impeccably timed macabre costumed scarers. All of this is executed with lighting that you would think was done by a professional horror film crew.
Being Banfield’s first year at this location, it’s amazing he was able to pull of such an extraordinary, fearsome yard haunt. It’s worth the drive out to Whittier and with the price tag of donation only, why wouldn’t you check out this masterpiece.
DnT/ Haunts of LA
Review of Beware The Dark Realm:
One of the greatest parts of halloween is being able to visualize modern suburban neighborhoods become transformed from tiny mundane house boxes to Joe Blow's deep, twisted fantasy. You might see a suicide skeleton hanging from a brand new front yard tree or the hand of a demon coming out of the garden being hit by water from a sprinkler. Beware The Dark Realm is an oddity within the suburban midst of Santa Clarita. After parking you literally walk past all the neighbors hanging out in their garages- doors open- playing pool or ping pong while sipping a beer with the game on a widescreen tv.
The line is usually long and it takes about twenty minutes to get in. This short wait is impressive considering they let in one group at a time. The haunt is medieval theme and they really hit a home run with the amazing decor with this underworld kingdom type of vibe. You feel like you are stuck in a haunted castle, wrestling your way out as the amazing talent scares and disorients you.
Beware of the dark realm is put together with so much love and skill. We highly suggest the drive out to Santa Clarita as this is a guaranteed E ticket haunt.
October 30, 2016
#haunts #hauntedhouses #hauntedmaze #santaclarita #losangeles #hauntsofla
Review of Rotten Apple 907:
For 26 years Rotten Apple has lived in a world of its own. This maze has all the scares one could need. On top of that, the team who makes this front yard haunt possesses some of the most impressive talent we have witnessed. The theme of the haunt changes every year, ranging from sci-fi to western narratives. The challenges of creating a new theme every year are met with extraordinary success, leaving visitors astounded and more than satisfied.
This year’s theme is “The Not So Enchanted Forest”. As soon as you walk into the maze, you are surrounded by the a warped and fantastical world of haunted forests and twisted fairytales. The entire maze is breathtaking as it is beautifully lit and designed. Additionally, you are met by many creative characters and scares around every corner. Rotten Apple truly left all of us speechless and in awe as we stood outside in disbelief of this amazing maze.
Even though the line is always long for this one (you might wait a few hours) - it is always worth it. Rotten Apple is like the most intricate sand castle lying on the edge of a rising tide, you wish it was always there to visit, but it will soon be gone to never be built again. We cannot emphasize how important it is to go and see this temporary work of art for yourself.
October 28, 2016
#rottenapple907 #hauntedhouse #hauntedmaze #haunts #halloween #burbank #losangeles #hauntsofla
Our short review of Haunted Adventure at Starlight bowl.
I almost didn’t visit this haunt after being so disappointed with last year’s event. To me, it seems like very little effort was made at this unique location. Pretty sure they just grabbed a cart at CVS and filled it with markers, poster board and whatever they had in the Halloween aisle. With a more creative and passionate team, this location could become an unbelievable event.
That said, this year’s haunt was a major improvement. Instead of 8 and under scarers, they had teenagers, which brought the experience up a notch in the scare factor. The typical chainsaw scene was inserted in the middle rather than at the end, which worked well. The lighting and scenery was nailed, giving the spooky vibe which already exists at this abandoned amphitheater. They included some terrifying scenes in the shut down kiosks as you leave, one being of two mad doctors lobotomizing a kid with a crying baby mask.
I realize this a community event for kids and family but find it shame to waste this perfect setting. Maybe they can collaborate with Big Worms Sherwood scare since they have been on hiatus the last couple years. That would be amazing.
October 27, 2016
#hauntedhouse #hauntedmaze #haunts #halloween #losangeles #burbank #pasadena #starlightbowl #hauntedadventure #hauntsofla
Our review of The Haunted Maze On Ambrose:
The Haunted Maze On Ambrose is perhaps the only LA yard haunt this season. In a world on the brink of extinction its appropriate that this years maze is bluntly titled "apocalyptic wasteland". As you wait to enter there is a young girl behind the glass of a ticket counter, in proper spooky makeup, emotionless. Silently she spooked all the neighborhood kids waiting in line with only a blank stare.
The haunt itself wraps around the family home, mostly made of nothing more than dark black tarps. I have been to this one for a few years and its gotten a lot better, which makes sense considering it was started when the head of the haunt was only 12 years old at the time. This is worth checking out this season. Get out and support a very talented set of young kids putting on a fun maze in your own backyard.
October 26, 2016
Our review of Queen Marys Dark Harbor:
Every Halloween season the Queen Mary transforms from an old school tourist trap into a completely insane set of mazes. They take advantage of what comes naturally to the space - creepiness. The rundown, creepy environment perfectly complements the 7 immersive mazes throughout its vast property.
To start off with a gripe: a few years ago they cleaned house with some of the creative designers and technical directors. Since then they still haven’t caught up to how great the production once was. Long gone is the spooky entrance that was once a riveting set-up of smoke, lights, and characters as it has been replaced by vendors. Additionally, the “wristband” they try to make your group wear is exclusively for purchasing a group photo at the end of the night. Worth passing on as the whole debacle just waste everyones time.
There are four haunts on land - two are located in the Dome (Circus Big Top Terror and Intrepid), and two stand alone, Deadrise and Sideshow. However, it’s worth noting that the train sound which causes the vibration in the floor during the intro of Intrepid is amazing, but it quickly devolves into a steampunk hell hole. Deadrise, which is the one in the middle of the grounds, is an improvement on what was there last year. It feels tighter with better lighting and placement of its characters. Sideshow’s white-out room blinded you as if it was pitch black with white lights, white smoke, white walls and white monsters, pretty cool.
For unknown reasons they are missing what has always been a highlight: Village Of The Damned, the maze that took place within that old shopping complex near the entrance. That was always a fun, scary one with great production value but alas it has been replaced by another vendor: a bar. Now the only fright that remains is when you see your tab at the end of the night. Now to the highlight: The Queen Mary herself. There are 3 mazes (Soulmate, B340, and Lullaby) in the same locations as years past. Soulmate takes place down in the engine room giving a chilly feeling throughout the maze. I’m into the haunted nautical vibe, it’s a must have, with it being on a ship and all. B340 was again great and incorporates a lot of the same props from last year but with an upgrade. This one is always a highlight as it brings you into the guts of the boat including the boiler room. While I don’t want to spoil too much for you, I can say that this one lacked a few of the mechanics from last year but I’m happy to hint that the boiler room “drop” is working again. Lullaby was easily our favorite this year. Scary Mary is now the official mascot of this maze and the lighting and art direction in all of the rooms were really great, containing lots of water and dead children. The characters were timed really well and were doing great considering how over-trafficked with drunk people this maze was. My only critique is that I wish they would do more with the pool room (e.g. the previous team would at least fill it with smoke). I highly suggest that you get to the Queen Mary early in order to avoid really long waits. Like Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, the Queen Mary is completely packed every single night. If you are pressed for time, I would suggest steering clear of any inland haunts and just going straight to the boat as the Queen Mary herself is far more superior to everything else on land. The ship’s environment is so creepy that it lends itself easily to these three extremely unique and spooky haunts. It is definitely worth a visit as they have become an institution for southern California Halloween culture rivaling their competitors Universal and Knotts.
What did you think?
JD /// HAUNTSOFLA.COM /// OCTOBER 12, 2016
Our review of the Haunted Hayride:
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has the most premium real estate for a haunt. Located in the abandoned zoo within Griffith Park, this haunt contains 3 premium mazes, which surround a Halloween carnival filled with activities and spooky characters. You can get tarot card readings along with astrological chart work, ride a scary-go-round made up of metal horse skeletons, and eat delicious vegan food. You can also hang out with some of the numerous strange characters lurking about in the pumpkin colored shadows within the park.
This year they have one less attraction leaving us with these three- the Hayride, House of Shadows, and Trick or Treat.
The Hayride itself isn’t on its best year. For one thing, you get off the hayride soon after it starts in order to go through a maze. This really breaks up the pace enjoyed on rides of past years where you are comfortably sitting and moving along the amazing sets. After the maze, we had to wait a while to get back on the hayride again which just felt like being in line again. I imagine this is even worse on a busier evening than the one we attended. The Hayride doesn’t have as many cool sets this year, or surprises. Long gone are the trees coming alive, bird men on stilts coming down at you, and the old woman pushing a baby cradle through a creepy cemetery.
While in line for the mazes, I was thinking about how I hope The Haunted Hayride has a long term contract for the park with the city. The reason being is that they are now in competition with larger events like Halloween Horror Nights. I was curious about whether Universal has tried to buy them out, or even worse take the park from them. My suspicions seemed reasonable once we got to the second maze, The House of Shadows, and noticed it is now a maze advert for Universal’s horrible film: Ouija. The House of Shadows was better this year though, because they were able to build a house in the center of the dark maze with the money from promoting Ouija. I understand that these types of events cost millions to operate. However, I hope that the Haunted Hayride doesn’t slowly sell their mazes to franchises every season, as this is the downfall of Halloween Horror Nights.
The biggest surprise of all was the usually lackluster Trick or Treat maze. They really stepped it up this year as you now walk through a mini village full of fun and unique characters. This one may have been everyone’s favorite for the evening.
I would like to add that the hay being used this year seemed to be different than the hay used in previous years. Everyone in our group was sneezing and having allergic reactions to the hay. Remember to take allergy medicine before you go!
The Haunted Hayride is undoubtedly on its way to becoming a very legendary Los Angeles Halloween attraction. I just hope that with their financial growth they can stay focused on what initially made them amazing: their creativity.
October 25, 2016
Our review of Coffin Creek
Coffin Creek is probably the most suspenseful set of mazes for this season. To begin with, you are literally in the middle of the woods with little (and sometimes no) light. Secondly, all characters are strategically placed throughout Coffin Creek’s three mazes, including the haunted trail through the woods, making it consistently frightening throughout each journey.
Our favorite of the three mazes was “Catacombs”. It is beautifully done and feels like you are in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth - if it were filmed in the ruins of catacombs. As you walk through areas that at times feel like being underground and at other times feel like being inside of a pyramid, you are greeted by random characters that have no restraint. The lighting was eerily aquatic, and along with the Gregorian chants playing in the background, created a very chilling atmosphere.
At times these mazes feel like there is no regard to building code, which is a great way to keep things unhinged. Looking at the detail put into most of the physical mazes it seems pretty obvious that they have had a lot of time put into their building- I'd imagine years. The set designs are incredible and executed with great skill, which makes me curious about who the talent is behind Coffin Creek.
We highly suggest you make the visit to Corona because Coffin Creek is not to be missed. 3 Mazes for $25. All done with amazing settings and really fun actors.
October 21, 2016
#haunts #hauntedmaze #coffincreek #halloween #corona #losangeles #spooky #scares #hauntedhouse #hauntsofla
Our review of The High Desert Haunted House (AKA Victoria Manor)
Far from LA way up in the mountains of Apple Valley, lies a haunt shrouded in mystery: The High Desert Haunted House. Last year, after a random google search, we drove out to try it and loved it. It was immediately clear to us that this is one of the best haunts in southern California.
As we slowly drove up the dirt trail, surrounded by only Joshua Trees and cacti, we were completely encompassed by the darkness. There were no lights except the ones blinking from miles away in the valley. Once we parked, the mood was immediately set as we noticed monsters- like Jason or a Scarecrow- randomly pulling in and out of the shadows. Once in line the cold air was dominated heavily by the scent of chainsaw exhaust. While we waited, the sound of the screams from unsuspecting patrons within the maze mixed perfectly with the blown out speakers playing Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba”. The exterior, which is made up of pieces of junk and scrap randomly put together, is surrounded by structures that have slowly decomposed over time. The maze is built like Mad Max’s vehicles as they exploit scrap and garbage to create something spectacular. The haunt, like the film, emphasizes the feeling of an apocalyptic desert wasteland - encompassing perfectly the determination of do it yourself, while taking advantage of its own natural setting.
There are the three mazes contained within: The Victoria Manor, Clown Town, and The Asylum. Additionally, you will be assigned a guide for a tour of ‘the manor’. Both years we have had extremely talented children actors lead us, which is amazing when you consider both of our visits have been around midnight. Last year we had a girl, probably around 5 years old, as a guide. Once we were in the maze, there were multiple men with chainsaws that were actually touching us, as she kept softly repeating “you are all going to die”. This year we had an incredible manic thirteen year old young man swinging a real lead pipe mumbling some very confusing and frightening things (we don’t want to spoil)! Cont. Below..The plot is that they are trying to find a monster they made, who is played perfectly by a really amazing one armed gentlemen. The monster's outfit is Frankenstein like, put together in pieces, like the maze itself. His timing was impeccable, as he popped out of the many trap doors in the maze at just the right time.
At another point, we were cornered by a character with a chainsaw who was closing in on us - leaving us screaming and unable to move any further within the maze. The High Desert Haunt is the most lawless of any other we have visited, as you really feel like anything can happen.
The family and friends behind this had a vision and executed it exquisitely with the most limited resources. The magic of the desert is felt every time we visit this impressive haunt, making it a permanent resident in our top 5. All haunt fans from Los Angeles are highly encouraged to make the very worthwhile trek out to the desert to experience this extraordinary haunt (also while you are there All Saints Lunatic Asylum and Freak Farm!)
October 19, 2016
#hauntedhouse #haunts #maze #hauntedmaze #applevalley #victorville #losangeles #halloween #hauntsofla
Our review of The 17th Door:
To be extremely blunt- I have no idea what the motivation is behind the 17th Door. Within the maze they constantly electrocute you, they show off a dead baby pig, and you also have to watch a pregnant woman get kicked to death. It's like a group of spoiled teenagers, who haven’t learned how to socialize with women, decided to blow their trust fund on a haunt. It lacked a fundamental necessity: entertainment. Its lack of scares or thought just comes across as boneheaded, unfocused and boring.
At one moment within the maze a character approached the women within our group to ask if they ever had an abortion- this is interesting because if they are trying to be offensive it would be assuming that, in 2016, abortion is a taboo subject, or even an offensive thing for one to do. The idea that they actually spent their time and finances developing this warped reality that either looks at women like shit, or at its very least proposes the fantasy to treat them as such, is baffling. This very mentality is so prevalent throughout the whole maze that it ended up feeling very parallel to my previous experiences with christian hell houses in the south.
Throughout all of the child molestation and rape references there is one redeeming moment when we entered a room full of aquariums and specimen containers. The character within the room took two people from within our group and placed them into human sized tanks. The containers quickly throw them backwards out of the room and into the next. This trick reveals their potential to make 17th Door awesome. Considering this it is frustrating that they instead opted for the route of juvenile ideas.
- The haunt ends with a room where the pregnant female character, who is present throughout the maze, is having a miscarriage. We were forced to reach into her vagina and, instead of a human baby, pull out a dead pig. This is not scary nor shocking, but just a pathetic finale to one of the saddest mazes we had ever experienced (outside of Hell Houses). As we exited none of us were talking about what we had just experienced, instead the strangers within our group were talking about how they wanted to go vegetarian after seeing a baby animal carcass.
The main feeling we left with is how 17th Door was a waste of time. The people behind this haunt used very rudimentary shock and awe tactics that lacked any imagination and consequently did not achieve any goals of scaring or delighting us as their visitors. Historically, if your goal is to outrage your audience, the threshold is extremely high. The 17th Door is so desperate to be disgusting and shocking that they completely miss the purpose of entertaining altogether. It would be in their benefit to go back thirty years to a GG Allin show and learn something. This maze is a far cry from a naked, adult man punching out the audience and throwing his feces at them. You are not left with excitement but instead realizing you just paid to witness a vague and high budget mess.
What did you think?
October 18, 2016
#the17thdoor #hauntedhouse#halloween #horror #haunt #haunted#orangecounty #losangeles #ggallin#maze #hauntedmaze #hellhouse#hauntsofla
Upon arriving “All Saints Lunatic Asylum”, we come across a long line of local Apple Valley residents wrapping around the desolate mountain view plaza strip mall . This is the third year at this location after having to move it from the former residential home because of the large crowds they attracted. While in line, you are immediately transported into the high desert culture and community. The crowd seemed to be filled with haunt enthusiasts that are mostly repeat customers.
Unlike big attractions, like Universal and Knotts, ASLA has a limited budget and resources, but still delivers far beyond the big name haunts. Their unique technique of dark lighting, strobes and animatronics will literally leave attendees shaken and disoriented. The organic butcher shop, chapel, and cemetery are a few rooms haunters will travel trough while being constantly tormented by the asylums demented patients and creepy staff. All the actors are volunteers from the community, and deliver their own adaptations of terrifying, improvised performances, in some instances, almost comical but more twisted then the best psychological thrillers.
We felt the deep passion and enthusiasm given by the haunt creators while the spectator receives a 5-star terror experience valued way beyond the small $8 cover charge.
D n T
October 17, 2016
#diy #diyhaunts #universal #knotts #hhn #hideserthaunt #haunt #hauntedhouse #hauntedmaze #maze #halloween #applevalley #victorville #losangeles #allsaintslunaticasylum #hauntsofla
Since the late 90’s Sinister Pointe has been hired to create some extremely quintessential mazes for historic institutions like Universal and the Queen Mary. After years of doing their own haunt at multiple locations they have now landed behind a strip mall in Fullerton.
This maze itself has all the pulls and feels that makes up a classic. Considering their history it's no wonder that they nailed all the crazy black lighting, dark walls, and serious scares. Within the maze itself you are assigned a destination wheras within a visit you can potentially do 4 separate mazes within the structure itself. This multiple set of themes within a larger maze is a cool and original idea that I haven’t seen done before.
The entrance fee for one maze is $25 versus a few more dollars to do all four. If you make it out I would suggest getting your money's worth with the up ticket. Please go and see for yourself as Sinister Pointe is a beautiful peep into Cal haunt history.
October 15, 2016
@sinisterpointe #sinisterpointe #hauntedhouses #haunts #losangeles #scares #maze #hauntedmaze #halloween #hhn #queenmary #universal #hauntsofla
Every now and then you experience something that is executed with such perfection that you don’t have the words to describe it- be it a great meal, live band, or a classic film. Motel 6 Feet Under is the Haunted House which evokes this type of feeling.
Across the street from Disneyland lies this amazing haunt. This is a very appropriate location since it feels like Walt himself hired the crew of House of Shock (the historical New Orleans maze) to go completely nuts inside of a suburban shopping complex. The heart and soul that has been poured into this maze oozes within every corner. Each turn in this haunt is timed perfectly and is unbelievably precise with both the delivery of the actors and the VERY INSANE custom built mechanisms. The constant activity that is appropriately calculated is not only captivating but makes curiosity build with each step. There is a sense of disorientation that works precisely to heighten the intensity of the maze. Additionally the lights and sets are very well done and full of character - never coming across as overstated.
We really can’t recommend this one enough. If you want to experience the beginning of what is for sure to become a haunt of legends our advice would be to make this a priority stop this haunt season.
October 14, 2016
#hauntedhouse #hauntedmaze #haunts#disneyland #disney #waltdisney#houseofshock #motel6ftunder#losangeles #anaheim #halloween #hhn#queenmary #spooky #imagineers
Located in a very plain North Hollywood strip mall lies a well kept secret: the Urban Death Tour of Terror. To begin everyone loves a good, scary queue during Halloween as it helps establish the pace and theme. In this particular case they work with the opposite, using the power of an unassuming line, to surprise you with the unnerving world that awaits once inside.
Upon entering, you are handed a small flashlight and sent inside by small groups. The maze is small and confined. The lack of wiggle room creates immediate tension as you can’t see anything except where you point your small source of light. In the darkness all that you can hear are a plethora of chilling sounds, made by living beings, which are more realistic and enjoyable than the trend of prerecorded audio being looped through a speaker (like Queen Mary or Universal, for example). These actors are excellent at their craft and successfully make you feel unnerved, as you turn every dark corner and are confronted face to face with very disturbing and fantastical beings.
The maze stops once you enter (and are locked) inside of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater wherein you witness a play made up of various vignettes performed by a frightening cast of characters. It’s worth noting that their minimal use of bare bones methods (only light, sound, and acting) are very successful in creating a deeply distressed atmosphere. Since this play is extremely special and untraditional in its own right, I don’t want to spoil it with too many details, but after being to Urban Death every year since its initiation, I was happy to see that audience members are now extremely responsive to the actors. They scream, laugh, and clap – unlike previous years in which audience members just sat in shock. The actors seemed to reciprocate the audience’s engagement as the energy level rose with each consecutive performance.
As the the performance ends they line you up to exit through the maze. This time there is a new set of characters who are equally as entertaining as the previous cast.
After visiting hundreds of similar events, nothing compares to this one as it truly stands in a league of its own. Urban Death: Tour of Terror combines aspects of horror, taboo, art, and disgust that legitimately tap into a level of discomfort that other haunts might be too self-conscious to touch. The passion, dedication and imagination behind this show make it a truly original and horrific experience; which make it light years beyond mammoth attractions like Universal (who are completely constricted by their own financing and size). Tour of Terror is a truly creative horror experience and is a must visit haunt every Halloween season.
What did you think?
October 10, 2016
Our review of this years Reign Of Terror:
Deep in a Thousand Oaks shopping mall behind the Stone Cold Creamery and Subway, underneath the blinding white lights of the plaza, lies a very unassuming haunted maze aptly titled “Reign Of Terror”. This maze began 16 years ago as a legit back yard attraction that exploded so quickly with popularity that the mayor himself helped them relocate to their modern home inside the Janss shopping plaza.
The maze begins in what has to be one of the most impressive queues of all time. There are tons of classic references - hitchhiking ghosts, haunted bars, and creepy old men. There is even a running water mill! During the wait the mechanics are timed to happen less often than not, including lightning. The sparseness of these tricks are done with such great respect for the audience because the timing is executed in a manner which is more special than predicable.
Reign of Terror adds a tremendous set of rooms every year and 2016 is no exception. They now have an impressive set of 95 rooms (adding 13 since last year). The attention to detail is breathtaking as everything from the set design to the mechanics to the use of fog is so realistic that you truly become immersed. The passion behind this is apparent as this feels as close as you can get to a DIY maze rivaling some of the best attractions at Disneyland.
Reign Of Terror doesn’t overuse scares or their characters - which is a definite advantage for this experience as it maintains a very healthy balance. Additionally, they have the forethought to keep your group in one piece throughout the maze. During multiple points the actors reunite everyone in your group in order to maintain how personal this experience is. I love this so much because the amount of thought and care is made so evident.
In conclusion there are no complaints for this year’s Reign Of Terror. This is a MUST DO classic for any haunt fan this season!
What did you think of it?
October 06, 2016