CreepLA Will Expose Your Deepest Fears

October 7, 2015


CreepLA is an all new Halloween attraction in LA developed by first time haunter Justin Fix.  It’s located in a 110-year old abandoned warehouse that’s really haunted.  We had the opportunity to investigate the location and were able to capture some compelling evidence.  We’ve investigated many other haunted locations where they’ve built a haunt and noticed that it only adds to the ambiance (Dark Harbor at Queen Mary, Old Town Haunt in Pasadena, etc.).  Appropriately enough, one of the inspirations for CreepLA was actually one of our all-time favorite movies, “Session 9”.  Needless to say we couldn’t wait until they let us through last night to go through the experience.  CreepLA is an immersive haunt that will peel away the layers of your emotions.

When you first enter you fill out a waiver and are told that if you can’t continue the safe word is “choke”.  That’s a reassuring word, right?  Then you’re given a number and told to sit in a row of seats in the number you’re given.  A character dressed in a suit with a Purge mask enters the room and walks by all the participants.  They let in groups of about five to six.  As he paces back and forth he stops to check everyone out, coming face-to-face and giving everyone a sniff.  He then grabs one person by the hand and takes him into the first room.  We think they see a scene the other people don’t because we heard a loud noise come from that area that we didn’t experience.  Then the guy comes back and has everyone hold hands and leads them into the first room.

The first room is sit up as a teenage girl’s bedroom.  Both girls are wearing Catholic School outfits.  One girl is sitting on the bed while her friend is sitting in a chair at a desk playing on her phone.  The lights go off and you’re briefly told about the haunt and reminded of the safe word.  The voice defines Creep as “to move slowly with the body close to the ground”.  The girls talk about Slender Man, hashtags and Bloody Mary.  The girl on the bed asks the other girl, “Bitch, have you ever even played Bloody Mary?”

The girls leave the room and the audience follows.  You’re now standing behind the mirror with the girls saying, “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary”.  Nothing happens.  Then they say it five times, the lights go out and that’s when the fun begins.

All of the other rooms have you as a participant.  There’s parts where you’ll actually get separated and others where you may temporarily lose your way.  The first part of the haunt has you hurrying on your way as you try to escape from “Him”.  We assume that they’re talking about Slender Man.  You come across a little girl who has you hide so that he won’t get you.  This was the most memorable and frightening part.  You’ll actually feel hunted as you experience claustrophobia and a certain sense of dread.

There were two other scenes that especially stood out.  In a trance like room you meet a lonely man who seems a little demented.  He’ll have you play ring-around-the-rosie and beam with glee as you all fall down.  Also, there’s a room where the people going through the maze will all experience something different.  We came across an ordinary man in a chair who told us to sit down.  He commenced to tell us how his brother would always get in trouble and how they could never have animals growing up because they would always be found dead.  He goes on to talk about how he found his parents tied up one day and his brother started to cut them slowly and then eat there flesh.  We’ll let you experience the haunt yourself to see what happens next.

CreepLA is innovative and atmospheric.  The talent sell the scenes well and are able to immerse you in the story.  Narrow walkways leading into large rooms will make you feel disoriented especially when you go into one room that’s brightly lit or one of the areas where you have to crawl.  There were a few points where we were actually somewhat scared, which is rare for us to experience from a haunt.  We loved CreepLA and suggest you put this on the top of your itinerary for things to do this Halloween.

We were invited back to conduct another investigation.  We have found that the energy created from the people going through a haunt and the fear they experience increases paranormal activity.  Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to join us.  If you dare!



Golden State Haunts Returns to The Empty Grave

October 5, 2015


After a few years of not visiting The Empty Grave we finally had a chance to this past Saturday.  Now located in the Laguna Hills Mill, it seems that they’re in a much better location than where they previously were which was the Anaheim Garden Walk.  It was hard to compete with Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.  When we were at the new Laguna Hills location we saw people lined up waiting to enter the haunt so it seems like the move has worked.

Since we were last at The Empty Grave there seem to have been a lot of improvements.  It still retains the old school feel and has the unique costumes and masks that have been a staple of the haunt.  But, this year the story is much more solid, the sets have better detail and the actors seem to really enjoy giving a scare.

From our impression, we perceived the story as being that you’re a new employee at a coffin factory.  When you first enter you’re given a time card that you’ll carry with you through the whole haunt and after hearing a back story on the speakers you’re met by one of the talent who shows you how to clock-in.  The haunt actually makes you feel like you’re going through orientation at a new job and takes you through all of the scenes.  Some parts are actually interactive and one that we really liked was the “electrical” room.  There is also the chance that in one of the scenes you may get a little wet.

We’re glad we had the opportunity to once again check out The Empty Grave.  We like what owner Mike Talarico does with it.  It’s a nice break from the commercialization of some of the other haunts.  We miss the original stand-alone haunts like Bob and Dave’s Spooky House which used to be located in the San Fernando Valley and visiting The Empty Grave lets us feel a little nostalgic.  That’s a good thing.


Interior Movie Review

October 5, 2015


Writer and Director Zachary Beckler’s Interior which was shot an impressive budget of around $12,000 is a terrifying new look into the paranormal.

When a letter is found in a Florida house, Sam (first time actor Christopher Carullo) is assigned with the task of staying at the house alone while homeowner Allison (Piper Rae Patterson) is away.  It turns out that Allison’s daughter Danyl (Autumn Rae Shannon) has been seeing and playing with a child spirit named Emily.  Sam, a struggling filmmaker takes on the duty of capturing the paranormal activity to earn some extra money.

We find out that Emily isn’t a child spirit, but rather a non-human entity that was summoned during a seance by the previous owners of the house.  Things start to go wrong as the paranormal activity increases and the entity becomes more and more aggressive.  The first half of the film builds slow as it climaxes in a exciting ending.

The film is lightly inspired by the Paranormal Activity movies and one long scene might remind you of Insidious, but Zachary tells us that he wrote the movie before that film came out.  The special effects are impressive, especially considering the micro budget and the scares, when they come, are creepy and at times extreme.  The reaction of the audience at the Q&A session was impressive, with many people saying it was the scariest movie they have seen in a long time.


Zachary Beckler’s Interior Wins Grand Jury Prize for Best Horror Film at Shriekfest

October 5, 2015


We’re happy to hear that Interior won the Grand Prize Jury Award for the Best Horror Film at Shriekfest.  We were impressed with the movie which was filmed with a budget of only around $12,000.  The audience reaction was great and they actually said in the Q&A that it was one of the scariest movies they have seen in a long time.

Shriekfest, the Los Angeles International Film Festival & Screenplay Competiton was a huge success! Denise Gossett, festival director, once again hosted Shriekfest Oct 1-4th at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. Shriekfest screened 45 films and had 30 screenplay finalists.

“Interior” directed by Zachary Beckler took the Grand Jury prize for Best Horror Feature Film, “Clinger” directed by Michael Steves took the Best Horror Comedy Feature Film Award, “The Answer” directed by Iqbal Ahmed took the Best SciFi Feature Film Award, and “Landmine Goes Click” directed by Levan Bakhia took the Best Thriller Feature Film Award.

“The Peripheral” directed by J.T Seaton took the Best Horror Short Film Award, “The Stowaway” directed by Rpin Suwannath won the Best SciFi Short Film Award and “The Smiling Man”  directed by A.J Briones took the best Super Short Film Award.

The winner of the Best Horror/Thriller Feature Screenplay went to “Jakob’s Wife”  written by Mark Steensland and the winner of the Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Feature Screenplay goes to “Knights of the Valiant Heart”  written by Edward Santiago. For a complete list of all of the winners please go to http://www.shriekfest.com (http://shriekfest.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=130b717886&id=338d126f8d&e=2bd524adc1) .


Demons Lurk Behind the 17th Door

October 5, 2015


The 17th Door is a brand new haunt in Tustin, California just south of Disneyland created by first time haunters Robbie and Heather Luther.  They had the idea for a haunt for over a decade but finally decided to make it happen one night while on a date at a sushi restaurant.  Word spread about The 17th Door through social media and haunt websites.


Robbie has his hands in many things including construction, which came in useful as he oversaw the design of the 17th Door while wife Heather has a business background and handles that aspect of the haunt.  Many of the sets were built at a warehouse in Santa Ana where Robbie has spent up to 120 hours a week working on it since April.  Originally he wanted a much more extreme, controversial attraction but had concerns about it being accepted in the community.


The 17th Door is extreme, but not as hardcore as some haunt such as McKamey Manor or Blackout.  Still, you need to sign a waiver and the monsters can touch you.  If you can’t handle it then you can scream “Mercy” to get out.  It’s good to know that each door you progress through becomes more scary than the last.


The premise is that you’re following the story of Paula who is transitioning from high school to pre-med at Gluttire University.  The haunt explores Paula’s demons such as eating disorders, bullying, drunk driving and suicide.  Sometimes you’ll experience things through the mind of Paula while other times she’ll be in the room with you.


The haunt starts in the classroom where a strict looking teacher explains the rules and has you hand in a waiver.  There are 17 rooms, each lasting about a minute.  To go through the whole haunt takes about thirty minutes.  When the light above each door is red you stop, when it’s green you enter the next room.  In between the rooms are transitions, some of them having a 20-second video delay where you can see what happened to you and others in the room before.  The transitions also help with crowd control and are effective for some up-close and personal scares with the monsters.  Throughout the maze you’ll encounter demonic pigs which represent Paula’s inner demons.


We saw things in the 17th Door that we’ve never seen anywhere before.  It has to rank up there with one of if not the most innovative haunts we’ve ever been through.  The sets are movie set quality and rival anything from Universal Halloween Horror Nights.  There’s around fifty actors throughout the 15,000 square feet and each of them has a part to play.  There not just there to scare you, but to progress the story.


The 17th Door is interactive and you might get wet from a toilet shooting water, a game of Russian Roulette or one of the pig demons actually licking you.  There is one part where each person goes through a dark passage which has a shocking ending.  If you’re lucky (or unlucky) you might actually have to eat something or come in contact with roaches.

One of the scenes that really impressed us was the meat locker room which was actually thirty degrees and had pig carcasses hanging from the ceiling.  There’s also a tightly constricted room called “Buried Alive” which is a brand new concept we’ve never seen anywhere else that actually had us feel like we were drowning.  The hospital morgue scene contains mild nudity, a rank smell and a room full or roaches.


There were other rooms that we really liked such as the drunk driving scene and the scene where you actually enter Paula’s head after she experiences a drug overdose.  This might be the most controversial scene for religious zealots as you see something not so Christ like hanging from a cross.  But the most screams we heard came from a scene called “Solitary Confinement” which is much longer than any of the other scenes.  We’ll let you try to figure out what happens in this scene.

Overall, we were very impress with The 17th Door and definitely suggest you add it to your Halloween itinerary.  In our opinion, this first year haunt should already be considered a destination attraction.  When we were there for media night the line was snaking out the door as soon as they opened at 7pm.  We think The 17th Door will be successful for years to come and can’t wait to see what they do next year.  We’re actually going back on October 11th with Theme Park Adventure.


The Boogeyman Will Get You at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

October 5, 2015


The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is back this year with The Boogeyman being the theme.  A screen showing a video while you wait in line for the ride explores different legends and myths about the title character from the Medieval days up the present.  Such themes as Witchcraft to Skinwalkers to serial killers are explored.  Besides the hay ride there is also the In-Between Maze, this year filled with clowns as well as a Trick-or-Treat attraction and the House of Shadows.

The In-Between Maze


This year The In-Between Maze seems to have more talent than ever before.  Once again you’re given an electric lantern and need to find your way out of the pitch-black maze that has dead-ends.  Standing in your path are twisted clowns of all shapes and sizes strategically placed in the maze to torment you.



Trick-Or-Treat takes the place of last year’s Seven Deadly Sins.  It’s basically the same layout and idea with a different theme.  You go through different rooms each having a door with someone hiding behind it.  There’s a drunk lady, a creepy guy wearing a sack and a chainsaw weilding maniac along with other freaky characters.  Some of them actually give you candy.  You have to wait to hear a doorbell before you move into the next scene implying that you’re going from room-to-room trick-or-treating.

House of Shadows


This is the typical old-school haunted house.  The maze starts with a gypsy lady standing in front of a large Ouija board.  She tells you place your hands on the Planchette and help her raise the dead.  The Boogeyman jumps out and you’re on your way through the haunted house.  A character in a hallway asks, “Who invited you”? “I didn’t invite you”.  Half the maze you use an electric lantern, the rest is in the dark.  There were a few cool interactive scenes added in the haunt.

The Hayride


When we went on The Hayride they had technical difficulties so some of the riders went through more than once.  The maze has been completely redone but we noticed one or two characters and props from previous seasons.  A couple of the cool scenes were a masquerade party in a cemetery and a series of rooms decorated in the abandoned cages they replicated scenes from serial killers such as Jack the Ripper, Ed Gein and H.H. Holmes.  The Hayride was better the second time we went through.  We suggest you try to sit in the back so that you can see everything.  Added this year is a black canopy attached to the tractor that covers all the riders in a couple of scenes.


Dark Harbor Will Scare The Ship Out Of You

October 5, 2015


Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is back with six mazes including the all-new Lullaby featuring Scary Mary as well as the Anubis Paintball Adventure and the returning side show with an attached bar, lounge and performance area.  The five returning mazes have all been redone and this year there are more monsters than ever.  Returning are such favorites as The Ringmaster, The Captain and The Voodoo Priestess.  This year’s event also has more entertainment than ever before with nonstop magic and musical shows.



Enter the bayou of brutality! Protected by the Voodoo Priestess, the Voodoo Village has been overrun by the traveling gypsies of the Ringmaster’s Circus and they don’t like visitors. A nightmare of necromancy for all those who enter, Voodoo Village takes you through a maze of sinister spells, macabre ceremonies and evil spirits. Of course, even if you’re lucky enough to survive the gypsy’s sanctuary and the southern crypt of death, you’ll still need to get through the deadly swamp where gators are the last thing you’ll have to worry about

Voodoo is located in the Village shopping center and winds its way around all the buildings.  This maze is long and has you walking down many different paths.  The voodoo priestess has conjured the dead and you must find a way out of the altars and swamps.  In the beginning one of the dead says, “You must go through.  It is too late to turn back now”.   Voodoo has a heavy Cajun feel and depicts it perfectly.



Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and experience the world’s most horrifying circus! Face your greatest fears as you wander through a terrifying tent of terror inside the cavernous dome located next to the Queen Mary. Disorienting illusions, maniacal magic acts, and a cadre of sideshow freaks are certain to shock, stun, and startle even the bravest of souls

Circus is located in the huge dome.  After gazing upon a carnival/circus set you once again enter a giant clown’s mouth which leads you into the mirror room you may remember from last year.  After that everything is different.  This is probably the best circus themed maze we have ever seen.  While there are a few returning scenes such as the knife thrower, Dark Harbor spared no expense at reinventing this maze.  You’ll go through all the scenes of a circus including the dressing room.  Other areas are filled with funhouse effects.  There’s actually a room where you’ll have to crawl through plastic ball like you may have done in your childhood and a spin tunnel.  Waiting at the end is a demented clown.  This seems to be one of the more popular mazes.



Deadrise is a WWII escort ship that helped guide The Grey Ghost through enemy-infested waters. After a fatal crash during one of their dangerous voyages, Deadrise sank to the bottom and has been resting in her watery grave in the depths of the sea ever since. The wreckage of Deadrise has once again been called into service by the star of Dark Harbor, The Captain, to escort him and his armada of ghosts and monsters into a battle against the living to reclaim Dark Harbor

Deadrise features a prelude where a radio transmission is broadcasting that a crew has been lost at sea and now the sailors are back to take back the harbor.  Afterwards, a heavy wooden door opens and you’re let into the hull of the broken ship.  You walk through the sleeping quarters of the ship where the dead are there to install fear.  The maze takes you through all area of the ship, including the dock all the while flames shoot up from above you.  The maze is dark, foggy and wet giving it an authentic maritime feel.  There’s also a short part where you can actually choose which path you take.  Both paths eventually convene.  This maze features one of the best walk-over bridge effects we’ve ever seen.



Gale has been haunting Dark Harbor looking for a soul mate since her mysterious disappearance. A meandering maze of mystery, Soulmate is where Graceful Gale lures potential suitors with her charm. Beware of her minions, whose job it is to chop up her suitors and reassemble them into the perfect man. Once you’ve been smitten by Graceful Gale, there is no escaping…even after death!

Graceful Gale is going to the masquerade, but first she has to create the perfect husband.  Soulmate features a pre-show showing a black and white video of Gale.  After the video you’re let in where the story takes you through different scenes featuring tailors, doctors, costumer designers and other characters helping Gale with her creation.  This maze is gory and has one room where there’s just blood covered flesh hanging from the walls.  The ending is all-new as there’s a giant heart hanging from the ceiling with arteries stretching to all areas of the room.  Graceful Gales dances around alone under the heart surrounded by mannequins dressed in black and white suits wearing masquerade masks.



What would drive a man to madness and murder? That’s the answer B340 attempts to answer as we take a schizophrenic sojourn into the psychotic mind of Samuel the Savage. Tight spaces, darkness mixed with flashing lights, and pulse-pounding noises would drive anyone to the brink of insanity. Beware the wrath of violence of Samuel the Savage and be careful not to lose your head or your mind!

In B340 you enter the demented mind of Samuel the Savage while his mom wanders the hallways talking about he’s a good boy.  B340 takes you from  Samuel’s past to his present including a scene from a Catholic school.  B340 is written all over the walls.  We always like walking over the bridge that takes you through the massive boiler room.



Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of nightmares. The new Lullaby maze takes the visitor on a spine-tingling trip through the story of little Scary Mary. Gone, but certainly not forgotten, Mary is looking for playmates to join her on the other side of hell. Will you succumb to the youngster’s pranks and tricks, or will you escape with your soul intact?

Lullaby is the new maze for this year and our favorite.  It tells the story of Scary Mary, based on who paranormal investigators know as Jackie.  It starts with a priest giving a eulogy while Mary lays in her open coffin.  The story goes that she was drowned in the first-class pool by her father and now she is back from the dead and wants someone to play with.  The setting, story and talent in this maze are excellent.  There are multiple Mary’s along the way who provide a great jump scare as she jumps out and says, “Wanna play”?  or “Are you my new friend”?  At other times she runs ahead of you and says, “Come find me”.  This maze reminds us of Submerged as there are water themes everywhere and props and walls covered in algae and seaweed.  As you enter the fog filled pool area where the inspiration for Mary supposedly drowned, you see Mary on a walkway across the pool asking people going through if they want to play.

Curse of Anubis Paintball Adventure


This is a theme park styled shooting gallery where you shoot paintball pellets and crossing zombies.  There is an additional $10 upcharge.



Freakshow returns for a $5 upcharge featuring a room with oddities such as the Fiji Mermaid.  After exiting the room there’s a wide-open outdoor area featuring a fully stocked bar and sitting area.  There’s also two mini haunts and a fortune teller.  The Freakshow stage is located here featuring such acts as Dangerous D and Mudd the Magnificent.  The Ringmaster also performs at times if you’re lucky enough to catch her.

Dark Harbor is always one of our favorite Halloween events as it’s located at the beautiful Queen Mary.  The Queen Mary is actually one of the most haunted places in the world and when we went through Soulmate (which takes you through where the infirmary used to be) we could actually feel the energy.  This was the best year ever for Dark Harbor and they cut no expenses.  The talent, maze design and entertainment are all excellent making this a must see for the Halloween season.


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