One of our favorite home haunts each year here in Southern California is Rotten Apple 907. Each season, this amazing group of home haunters puts on an extremely elaborate haunted attraction built entirely in their driveway that rivals many pro haunts, all in the name of Halloween fun and charity. This year, the Rotten Apple crew’s show was a return to last year’s haunted house (literally) theme, as they presented The Haunted Wilsley Manor II.
Spearheaded by popular SoCal haunters Diane and Preston Meyer, Rotten Apple 907 is a must-see family-friendly haunt in Burbank that is attended by fans and entertainment industry folks each year. The creativity and ingenuity that goes into this home haunt each season is absolutely mind blowing. The Meyers’ love and enthusiasm for Halloween is a major boon to the Burbank community. Not only is Rotten Apple a fantastic haunted attraction, it brings happiness to thousands of people each Halloween and more importantly, benefits a different charity each year that the Meyers choose to work with. Donations are accepted to enter the Rotten Apple haunts, and 100% of the proceeds go to the haunt’s chosen charity organization. Not one dime is kept by the Meyers to help cover the cost of building a brand new attraction each season or the costs involved; they do it because they love doing it. That is badass, pure and simple. For 2013, Rotten Apple 907 chose the Burbank Arts For All program, which aims to ensure that each student attending a public school in Burbank receives a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum, which Theme Park Adventure applauds wholeheartedly.
This year’s Rotten Apple treat was a return to last year’s literal haunted house theme with The Haunted Wilsley Manor II. Themed as a haunted mansion with multiple scary rooms, this special effects and awesome props-laden spook show featured many new scenes and elements for 2013, ensuring that the experience was fresh and exciting for all!
One of the returning highlights was an upside-down room; really cool visually, and this year, there was even an upside-down monster thrown in for good measure, which you can see in the video flow-through we shot this October! Great fun and very unexpected!
As you venture through Wilsley Manor, it’s hard to remember that it’s a home haunt, let alone set up in a driveway. The layout and use of space within a relatively small footprint is nothing short of genius, and even though we know what to expect length-wise each season, the sheer amount of Halloween goodness that the Meyers crams into every inch of the attraction is really stunning and inspiring. Sliding bookcases, a sinister seance and creepy nursery made up several of the rooms within the manor, which guests wandered through and escaped from via cobwebbed walkways between the walls! Ending the experience was a really large, well-designed greenhouse/garden, complete with its own thrills and chills!
Rotten Apple 907 uses a handful of volunteers each season, and as a result, there are some very young monsters found within the haunt every Halloween. For a pro haunt, we’d say no-go to this, but given what Rotten Apple 907 is and who they are, this is a family affair, and a hardworking group of people that come together to benefit others – so we think that monsters of all ages and sizes are just fine in this case, especially since there are a lot of small children also braving the darkened halls to experience this haunt themselves – a healthy mix of talent between adults and kids makes the whole thing easier for families to enjoy together.
TPA sends huge love and kudos to Diane and Preston, along with the rest of the Rotten Apple 907 gang. We adore what they do each year and hope that they’re already making napkin sketches for next year’s haunting fun!
If you’ve experienced Rotten Apple 907, we’d love to hear your thoughts as well below! Join in the conversation, TPAers!
– Rick West