South Pasadena, CA
For this #FlashbackFrightday, we start dipping into new territory--great haunts from 2015 that are, unfortunately, not returning for 2016. There are many reasons why this may happen. Sometimes, it's a matter of funds and financial success. Other times, the owners literally move away (case in point: The Empty Grave this year). Still other times, there are personal matters affecting the designers or producers that preclude a return.
In the case of Evil Twin Studios, highly acclaimed producers of the Theater of Terror, Raymond Hill Mortuary, and last year's Ward 13 attractions, the problem was securing a location for the haunt. Haunted houses don't just spring up out of nowhere. There is far-ahead planning that must occur to negotiate the rental and use of a commercial space, factoring in build time, production, and deconstruction, and for haunts that do not have permanent locations, this can derail a season if not adequately addressed in advanced enough time.
So it was with ETS, who hope to come back in 2017 with an even scarier production. But for now, we look back at their offering last year--an exploration of an old asylum where cruel and unspeakable experiments were performed on already deranged and lunatic beings. But among those at the Raymond Hill Sanitarium, even the most hardened feared Ward 13, the laboratory housing the most secret and vile of horrors. Lets take a look!
Ward 13 provided a haunt that was fun, thrilling, unpredictable, and immersive. The volunteer talent excelled in their roles and really owned their characters, while the theming and props were impressive, gory, and charming (in a horrifying way). Clearly, the folks at Evil Twin Studios love what they do, and that is reflected in their haunt. Plus, some of the innovative or uncommon elements of the maze, such as the fun psycho wheelchair ride, the dark shock walls, and the non-eye-level scares and crawl-throughs amped up the excitement, entertainment, and apprehension factor. The intimacy of Ward 13 really set it apart from many professional haunts, and even later on in the Halloween season, this attraction repeatedly came up in discussions with my fellow haunt enthusiast friends as an example of a breakout hit haunted house for October.
Proceeds from Ward 13 also benefited the South Pasadena Education Foundation, a private fundraising organization that supports educational programs and after school development to assist at need children and anyone looking to further their academic progress. It's another example of scaring for a good cause, and Ward 13 certainly did a lot of that!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.