Haunted Attractions

One area of themed entertainment that is near and dear to our hearts as fans has always been haunted attractions. Since 1994, Theme Park Adventure has devoted much of its time and energy on showcasing haunts, from yard displays to major theme park productions; we love it all, and always tell our readers that Halloween isn’t just a holiday for us – it’s a lifestyle…

Creep LA 2015 Brings Eerie Show Moments and Haunting Fun

CreepLA 2015 ExteriorI’m a creep, I’m a weirdo… What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here…

One of the new haunts in Southern California this year is Creep LA, which is making a name for itself in downtown Los Angeles. Theme Park Adventure attended the haunt’s premiere recently, and didn’t quite know what to expect – except that it is yet another “extreme” type of experience.

The creative vision for Creep LA comes from Justin Fix, who comes prepared with a theatrical background and intense love of all things Halloween. As a child, he grew up adoring every haunted house he could get to, and spent hours in costume stores looking at masks and spooky props – sound familiar, fellow haunters?

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Haunting of Corona 2014 a Fantastic Home Haunt Scaring for a Cure

Haunting Corona 2014-102071One of the unexpected groovy treats we found during the 2014 Halloween season was The Haunting of Corona, a really big home haunt attraction nestled in the Inland Empire on an unassuming street corner in Corona, California. We honestly had no idea what to expect when we arrived – and ended up incredibly surprised and very impressed by the scale of the haunt, and the enthusiasm as well as size of the team!

Founded in 2006 by Ray Galluccio, The Haunting of Corona has raised more than $10,000 while “Scaring for a Cure” to fight breast cancer – something the entire team should be very proud of; that’s quite an accomplishment for a home haunt, so our hats are off to them! The best part of the deal, is that guests have a fantastic time as well – because this home-made haunted house is completely legit!

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A Detailed Review of New Knott’s Scary Farm Mazes for 2015

Knotts Scary Farm 2015_5895Knott’s Scary Farm has evolved into such a massive Halloween event, that its lineup remains fairly intact from year to year, with the exception of a couple old mazes fading away, and a couple new ones cycled in to replace them and keep the haunt fresh and exciting for returning guests. Many of those returning guests are an army of hard core Knott’s fans, who wait almost year-round to learn what the new attractions at Scary Farm will be. They rush in to the Knott’s presentation at ScareLA to get the first news of what’s to come, and then gather at the park itself shortly thereafter to witness the annual full reveal event that is hosted in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. Just the unveiling of things to come at Knott’s Scary Farm has become a thing!

With the event being so multi-faceted these days, it’s impossible to cover Knott’s Scary Farm in one review or story here on the site as we do with most other haunted attractions during October. In order to get the new maze information out to the public and fans as quickly as possible, we’ve agreed with Knott’s to review all new attractions first, and then let the major Scary Farm review follow in the weeks to follow. That said, this year’s event featured two brand-new mazes and one haunted attraction, which we’re excited to discuss and share with you now!

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Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain Gets Twisted for 2015 Halloween Season

SFMM Fright Fest 2015_4496Six Flags Magic Mountain has transformed once again into Fright Fest, a large-scale Halloween event featuring 7 mazes, 7 scare zones, and several stage shows. Monsters lurk throughout the park once the sun goes down, showcasing the world-class makeup of Scott Ramp and his amazing team of artists that work to transform more than 100 men and women into terrors of the night.

We’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again (and again and again) – Fright Fest here in Southern California is a truly underrated event that always seems to linger in the shadows of other theme park haunts in the region. It shouldn’t, because what Magic Mountain does each Halloween season is truly great – and deserves to be on everyone’s To-Do list for October scare stops. This was our second year attending Fright Fest, and we had just as much fun this time around as we did in 2014 because of the scale of the event and the added fun of some world-class roller coasters thrown into the evening’s mix.

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Wicked Lit Illuminates Halloween 2015 With Stunning Production in Los Angeles

Kevin Dulude and Alan Abelew in “The System” – Photo by John Thvedt - Wicked Lit 2015Wicked Lit has done it again, stunning us with incredibly cool productions that play out among the dead in the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, California, just minutes from Burbank and Glendale here in Los Angeles. After seeing a Wicked Lit play during ScareLA 2013, we attended one of Unbound Productions’ full presentations last Halloween – and our heads melted from how fantastic it was! With great anticipation, we made the drive once again to Mountain View this season for another night of Wicked Lit – and once again, were completely blown away by how much fun we had at this incredibly unique theatrical production.

For those not in the know, Wicked Lit is a large-scale theatrical experience that is created each Halloween season by Unbound Productions. It takes place in the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery (at least it has for the past 7 years), throughout the incredible resting grounds found there. The mausoleum is incredible – ornate, grand, and beautiful. The cemetery grounds around the mausoleum also become a stage for Wicked Lit, something that is both haunting and wonderful at the same time, in a macabre sort of way. Each play is based on a well-known story – thus, literature becomes “lit”, and the art of storytelling this group has perfected is simply… wicked.

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Boo at the L.A. Zoo Spooks up Good Family Fun in 2015

Boo at the LA Zoo 2015 (2)The Los Angeles Zoo is a great place to visit with your family (or with friends, a date, etc.) this month as they celebrate Boo at the L.A. Zoo every day this month through Halloween! On weekends, there are added activities to enhance the event, but any day is a great day to check out one of Los Angeles’ only truly family-friendly haunts!

We recently visited Boo at the L.A. Zoo 2015 to check it out first-hand, and had a wonderful time! The weather was cooler here in Southern California than it’s been the past few weeks, and arriving before the zoo opened, we found relatively light crowds (which I would assume, will grow larger each day/weekend as we get closer to Halloween). Making the rounds takes no more than a couple hours – but obviously, there is a day’s-worth of sights to see at the L.A. Zoo!

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Fear is What We Learned Here 2015

FIWWLH 2015 (3)Let me tell you about one of the most unique and surreal experiences I’ve ever had. When there is a new haunt or some sort of “experience” in Los Angeles, word travels fast. I started getting messages from multiple friends asking if I’ve heard of this new immersive experience called Fear is What We Learned Here, and was told that multiple Blackout fans (also known as Blackout survivors) were suddenly being followed by a mysterious account that had been created on Instagram.

I hadn’t heard about this experience and began to look through their Instagram photos and ponder, who’s behind this attraction/event/whatever it is? Do we know them? They seem to know who their target audience is by following Blackout fans – I guess it was safe to assume it’d be a similar experience? Looking through their photos, I found primarily black and white images of random objects or environments – most of them with quotes about the feeling of fear and dreams.

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Ghoulmaster’s Haunted Playhouse a Fun Adult Halloween Production

Ghoulmaster's Haunted Playhouse 2015  Photo Credit: Ahmad ElatabIf you live on the East Coast, and attend Halloween events there such as Six Flags Fright Fest at Great Adventure, chances are, you have heard of the unique performer known only as the Ghoulmaster. Here in Los Angeles, I admit that we’d never heard of him until he was cast as part of the entertainment lineup for ScareLA 2015, which we co-produce each summer. That said, we’re glad we did get to know more about this guy – because his new production in Hollywood this Halloween season is absolutely a fantastic night out on the town with friends!

Known among the living as Pete Carter, his Ghoulmaster persona is a mash-up of Marilyn Manson, Michael Jackson, and Elvira. With piercing white-iris eyes, garish costumes, and dance moves evocative of the King of Pop, Ghoulmaster takes to the stage wherever he plays and entertains fans of all ages, through music and off-color humor. For fans of Fright Fest at Great Adventure in New Jersey, the Ghoulmaster has become a local pop culture icon during the park’s annual Halloween event; rightfully so – he’s truly entertaining!

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Knott’s Scary Farm Opens Strong for Halloween 2015

Knotts_Scary_Farm_2015_3920It’s a tradition going back to 1973 here in Southern California; the sun flickers and drowns over the horizon, nightfall creeps across the land, and fog billows from Ghost Town and other areas of the theme park as it writhes in pain, transforming from Knott’s Berry Farm into the world-famous Knott’s Scary Farm!

Okay – perhaps it’s not so dramatic; and to be honest, fans get just as excited reading that makeup and wardrobe operations have commenced in the early afternoon hours backstage in the fabled Warehouse P at Knott’s, and techs are making last-minute checks on fog machine juice and lighting inside the mazes and scare zones as media assembles for the opening night of Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park! That’s exactly what transpired on the evening of September 24th; for Theme Park Adventure, it continued our 21st year covering the granddaddy of all Halloween events (the first event being the 2015 Scary Farm preview in August).

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What Lies Beyond The 17th Door – A Preview of Orange County’s Newest Haunted Attraction

17th_Door_Preview_5439This weekend marks the opening of Orange County’s newest – and most anticipated – haunted attraction, The 17th Door. Located in the Tustin Marketplace, just about 10 minutes south of Disneyland off the 5 Freeway in Tustin, this new haunt has been the topic of much discussion – and speculation – among fans for the past several months.

The amount of enthusiasm and curiosity within and outside of the Southern California haunt community has been unprecedented in the past months, as word spread of a husband and wife team who aren’t established haunters, creating a stunning, high-quality attraction in Orange County, unlike any other. When we first learned about Robbie and Heather Luther, we were equally intrigued as everyone else; the couple went to TransWorld Halloween & Attractions Show in St. Louis earlier in the year and walked the floor, visited local haunted houses, and discussed the business with professional haunters. Back here on the West Coast, rumors were flying that this mystery couple was preparing to launch themselves head-first into the SoCal haunt community and make a resounding impact with their first endeavor, The 17th Door.

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