The Huntington Haunt: 2015 Recap

Huntington Beach, CA

Welcome to another #FlashbackFrightday!  Today marks the start of the scary part of Halloween Season with the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, but for today, we're going to take another look at a haunted attraction that we visited last year.  Current feature: The Huntington Haunt, a first-year attraction put together by the Huntington Beach Rotary Club and several Knott's Scary Farm monster veterans to benefit the Club and fundraise for a new playground in the city that would be accessible for disabled children.  Set in and around the historic Newland House--the oldest residence in Huntington Beach, this spooky offering proved to be a highly entertaining hit with great reviews of the energy of the talent, unique storyline, immersive theatricality, mix of history, interactivity with puzzle-solving elements, and overall fun.

Atmosphere

The haunt was laid out around the Newland House, commencing in the garden after guests received a regular, candlelit tour of the home interior (with no scares due to the obvious concern of the historical condition of the house).  Guests then moved onto a sprawling maze layout sprawled over the entire lawn before moving into the barn for the climactic, matrimonial finale.

Outside the haunt, there were booths of vendors set up to sell their Halloween-related wares.  A few carnival games, a beer garden, and a live band were also on hand to provide additional entertainment.  This made for a festive Halloween carnival atmosphere that proved to be a charming showing for this rookie event.

The Haunt

Set over a hundred years ago, the story of the Huntington Haunt revolved around the wedding between two members of the Hauntingtons and Oldfields--two rival families with lifelong distaste for each other (think Hatfields and McCoys).  The Oldfields represented the agricultural history of the area and established wealth, while the Hauntingtons were the nouveau riche with their involvement in the burgeoning and booming oil history.  Each side featured an assortment of interesting characters--an curious uncle with an interest in skeletons and cadavers, a moody young nephew with a penchant for collecting dead animals, a vain sister envious of the attention being lavished at the bride...  And when the wedding day came to pass, deep and dark secrets were unearthed, along with horror!

So that's the Huntington Haunt in a nutshell!  An excellent event with great reviews, put together by multiple members of Knott's Scary Farm veterans.  Over its four day run, the haunt raised thousands of dollars for the Rotary Club, and word of mouth was quite high!

Unfortunately, due to logistical issues, the Huntington Haunt will not be able to return in 2016.  But the creative team is still on the project and hopes to present something next year.  Having attended this as both a guest and been involved behind the scenes with photographic and media services for use within and supporting the haunt, I certainly hope so as well.  The first year was a smash success, and it would be great to see that vision continue in the future!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.