The Haunted Rose, Whittier, CA
Our busy October means yet another #ShriekySunday, and this one comes from another home haunt we've visited. The Haunted Rose is a spectacularly elaborate residential haunted house in Whittier with legitimately professional quality sets and theming and some great actors to help the attraction really succeed. The brainchild of Ryan Banfield, a professional haunter with credits from Knott's Berry Farm (and Scary Farm), Disney, and Cirque du Soleil to his name, this H.P. Lovecraft-esque haunt burst onto the scene last year with an extremely detailed and meticulous creation and has continued that magnificent and impressive atmosphere into 2017.
We saw The Haunted Rose represented in the Hall of Shadows at Midsummer Scream, and it turns out that their mini-maze was actually incorporated into the full maze in Whittier this year. The maze layout runs through the side yard and backyard of corner lot property, exiting out the garage on the adjacent perpendicular street. It's a prominent site, and the front yard graveyard that completes the look appears quite creepy and dilapidated--which I supposed was the point!
Storyline-wise, The Haunted Rose is the home of Dr. Macabro, a disturbing and disturbed mortician whose scientific experiments with the dead seem to have conjured up some rather unpleasant results! Macabro's work has unleashed a slew of horrors--many of them apparently marine and arachnid themed--and they threaten to spill out into the public realm. You'd think that mad scientists would learn that their tests never go well, but then again, we wouldn't have mazes themed after that if such was the case.
Reality-wise, The Haunted Rose immediately stands out as a beautiful, photogenic, practically ornate maze that is fully on or beyond the level of professional haunts. Each room has a rich assortment of props and special walls and fun technology that makes it unique. There are also some fantastic actors throughout the maze who maintain some great timing in their scares and offer some very enjoyable character. I particularly enjoyed the gentleman greeting visitors of the fish house and declaring "FRESH CHUM" to monsters further down the line. Not only was he fully in character, he also took advantage of pass-through's for follow-up scares.
If the quality seems hard to believe coming from a home haunt, understand that Ryan is actually a professional haunter who does work with Knott's Scary Farm. In fact, he was working at Haunt last night when I visited. With that in mind, it becomes a little more understandable how The Haunted Rose could feature such lavish detail and beauty. The maze is a spare project--one he apparently began constructing for this year way back in June. But the effort has definitely paid off, because the result is an absolutely top-notch haunt that can compete with the very best of them--commercial or home. And though the themes seem to be a little disparate, the overall production quality is magnificent, and the walk-through brings a lot of thrills and fun!
The Haunted Rose continues its run tonight and also Halloween night. Since it is a home haunt, admission is free, but donations are highly encouraged. In my opinion, this "amateur" haunted house is too high quality to be open only three nights in October, and I hope they expand to two weekends next year. The quality of work and in-depth detail of the scenes is pretty amazing, and The Haunted Rose has quickly established itself as one of the finest home haunts in Southern California!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.