REVIEW: Chambers of the Mausoleum 2012

One of our favorite haunted attractions can be found within the Coffin Creek complex each year: Chambers of the Mausoleum. Created by the same group that produce Labyrinth of Lost Relics (also located at Coffin Creek), Chambers is easily one of Southern California’s most innovative and creative haunts.

Chambers of the Mausoleum takes guests through subterranean catacombs and tombs, as well as through a swamp and old church filled with menacing monsters and creatures lurking at every turn! Many of the haunt’s creatures are handmade robotics and sculpted props; the folks that create this attraction are part of the Garner Holt Productions crew out of the Inland Empire, the world’s leader in animatronic figures. Oozing talent, this team calls itself Malformationz, and is also responsible for the enthusiast group Figment Foundry, where anyone with the desire is invited to come learn tricks of the trade while creating their own pieces with other fans; it’s truly an incredible group with mind-blowing talent.

Chambers of the Mausoleum 2012 Corona, CA

For the last few years, Chambers of the Mausoleum has proven to be the leading attraction at Coffin Creek; quite honestly, it has been the only aspect of that attraction that we have recommended to our readers. The attention to detail is startling, and the most refreshing aspect of this haunted attraction is that they build practically everything from scratch – props, scenic elements, figures; everything is handmade and so, it doesn’t look like any other haunted house out there.

Chambers of the Mausoleum is a very ambitious undertaking, and is a massive maze, which requires a fairly large crew to operate it properly. They utilize volunteers for this haunt, so they are at the mercy of people to show up – or not. When everyone is there, Chambers of the Mausoleum is a beast of a machine, and it is beautiful. When they are thin on staff, it is painfully obvious; one of the pitfalls of a non-paid haunt crew. It’s a very real risk that most haunters take; luckily for them, the Chambers crew is one of the most dedicated groups of individuals we’ve ever met, so rarely are they stuck without enough people to be effective.

Chambers of the Mausoleum 2012 Corona, CAIt’s no secret that Theme Park Adventure is very friendly and close with this team. They respect our opinions of their work and in turn, we are awed by theirs. The team also knows we call out areas where we hope to see them strengthen their haunt each season. The biggest thing that Chambers needs to work on maze-wide at this point is their sound system and soundtrack(s). Most large-scale haunted attractions have very definite musical scores that accompany guests throughout the entire attraction. Chambers of the Mausoleum has a bunch of small ones throughout, but no defining, driving track. This would be a very welcome addition to this haunt, and I’ve suggested it to the team in detail since visiting in October. The entire haunt could use new speakers and an audio overhaul; the truth of the matter is, they are spending so much time (and money) on adding to the haunt as well as growing their second maze at Coffin Creek, Labyrinth of Lost Relics, the audio wish list will likely have to wait a while. It would be great to have for the 2013 season, but I’m not honestly holding my breath; these guys and gals are already knee-deep in projects for both mazes, so I know at least other aspects of Chambers are moving ahead at full steam! And that’s awesome!

The team that makes of the Chambers of the Mausoleum crew is amazing. They are mostly seasoned haunters and absolutely know how to bring it hard. They are in love with scaring the daylights out of people and it’s very evident. Even the younger people in the group really have a strong sense of showmanship, and that’s fantastic. The team holds each member to a very high level of standards, and it’s working for them extremely well.

Chambers of the Mausoleum 2012 Corona, CA2012 saw little in the way of change to Chambers of the Mausoleum as the team admittedly focused a huge amount of time and resources to Labyrinth; the new “baby” in their family. With a relatively core crew working on both haunts year-round each with their own day jobs, the amount of new things this group comes up with each season is beyond impressive. And we love that about these guys; they are hungry for more and never satisfied with what they’ve done. That’s a badass attitude and one that means we can only expect bigger and better things for Halloween 2013!

Figment Foundry, their other side project, is always looking for new members and is incredibly welcoming to new faces; if you at all have an interest in creature creation or a group-based artistic outlet, we highly recommend checking into attending one of their gatherings!

The line for Chambers of the Mausoleum can get rather long on busy nights and during peak times; this is a guided haunted attraction, so as to avoid the much-hated “Conga line” of guests streaming through the maze. We strongly suggest getting to Coffin Creek early and making a beeline for this particular maze (it’s the closest to the entrance of the property, making it easily accessible). Tickets can be purchased directly at the maze, so grab them and get in line early in the evening or simply be aware that there will be a sizable queue to wait in.

Kudos and much love to the Chambers of the Mausoleum crew; they are incredible and we are in love with what they do each Halloween in Southern California!

– Rick West

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