REVIEW: Sinister Pointe 2013

One of the greatest haunted attractions in Southern California is Sinister Pointe, located in Brea, just minutes away from Orange County attractions such as Disneyland Resort, Angel Stadium, and the Honda Center. Unlike most SoCal haunted attractions, Sinister Pointe is unique in that it is open periodically throughout the year, giving haunt enthusiasts their much-needed scare fixes every few months. However, each October, power tools, rock music and ghoulish laughter can be heard coming from the industrial warehouse that contains this incredible maze, as the crew preps the haunt for Halloween, reveling with delight at the horrors they’re creating for guests to experience throughout October…

For owner Jeff Schiefelbein, Sinister Pointe is a non-stop labor of love – and serious business. As you can imagine, the luxury of a year-round haunted attraction in Southern California comes with a high price; nowhere here is it cheap to lease such a large building, let alone one in Orange County; that comes with a hefty price tag. Luckily for Jeff, he is creatively involved in numerous haunted attractions and events elsewhere, which brings in the fuel to keep the Sinister Pointe fire raging 12 months a year here at home.

SINISTER_POINTE_2013_3949The theme of Sinister Pointe is simply that it is a creepy old house that is filled with inbreds eager to make your acquaintance – or to simply kill you. While the general idea of “scary hicks” isn’t really outside of the box or cutting-edge, the creativity and scope of Sinister Pointe combine to deliver a world-class attraction that is worthy of any Travel Channel special or Halloween haunt series you may find on television. The “wow” factor throughout Sinister Pointe is abundant as guests choose their own paths through the haunt, making for different experiences for each group to explore. Not only is the multiple path option fun for guests, it’s smart business, because people buy all night or return passes so that they can experience the other rooms and characters lurking within the haunt.

In addition to multiple paths for guests to take through Sinister Pointe, one of its most genius aspects are several group participation traps/puzzles that must be solved in order for the guests to continue. Interactivity in the maze is definitely a cornerstone that Jeff has built Sinister Pointe on over the years, which is absolutely one of the main things the haunt is known for by fans everywhere. Ranging from sticking your hand in a garbage disposal (who doesn’t love to do that) to feeling around in a box for a release button as hissing cockroaches scurry around your fingers, the traps that await guests within Sinister Pointe are jacked up, to say the least, and often are changed, so that regulars to the haunt have new terrifying experiences each season! Sinister Pointe’s interactivity set it apart in a huge way from other SoCal haunts, where competition for fan dollars is definitely stiff each Halloween season. 2013’s version of Sinister Pointe brought big new thrills and additions that were absolute plusses to an already great attraction, some of which you will see in our clip compilation video.

SINISTER_POINTE_2013_3965Jeff works closely with TPA’s friend Jon Autopsy to bring new musical tracks and soundscapes to the Sinister Pointe attraction all the time; tracks that can be heard at Halloween as well as during the attraction’s Not So Merry Holiday Haunt, which is open in December and is definitely adults-only in content! Jeff was one of the first haunt owners to give Jon Autopsy a shot years ago; that was a great step for the musician, who now supplies tracks to haunted attractions ranging from theme parks to stand-alone productions around the United States. We love this partnership between Sinister Pointe and Jon Autopsy – and we absolutely applaud Jeff for taking the custom track route. Not to downplay haunts that use pre-recorded tracks from groups like Midnight Syndicate; when an attraction takes that extra step to have something completely their own created soundtrack-wise, that’s a big deal, and Theme Park Adventure really appreciates that personal touch. Way to go, Jeff and Jon! We love this partnership!

While Sinister Pointe is badass in both design and soundscape, it takes people to truly deliver an incredible experience. And the team that runs as well as haunts Sinister Pointe is nothing short of fantastic. Comprised of a volunteer staff, Sinister Pointe’s talent is terrifying, always “on” and each of them are completely dedicated to the haunt, many members of the group returning each time the attraction is open to the public. That speaks volumes about this group – and Jeff as well, considering it’s his madhouse. A volunteer team that works so well together and returns time and again is special – and rare; kudos to each of them for all that they contribute to this awesome haunted attraction. We’re very excited and honored to say that most of the Sinister Pointe team are long-time TPAers as well, and they consistently show up to our mixers and special events, always representing and always thrilled to be part of the haunter community; we adore them all.

SINISTER_POINTE_2013_3976Sinister Pointe often has vendor booths as well as food trucks at their events; hell, they even host spooky “dark market” days as well as special movie nights at their facility. To say Sinister Pointe is just a haunted house doesn’t do it justice. It’s a multi-purpose attraction that Jeff opens to the public as often as the city of Brea will allow him to. And when those doors creak open, one thing is always certain – everyone is about to have a screaming good time!

Did you visit Sinister Pointe this Halloween? What do you think of the attraction, and if you’re a regular, what keeps you coming back for more each season? Share with other TPAers below! Sound off!

– Rick West

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