All Around SoCal
Post Labor Day means Halloween Season is officially and universally acceptably upon us! For the third year in a row, we're putting out our own spin on providing a directory for haunts in Southern California (which basically involves categorizing them by geography and providing basic information and descriptions directly below). This page also serves as an index of our reviews and coverage of any haunt we have visited or will stop by.
It's worth noting that this guide was inspired by Theme Park Adventure's listings, and we're saddened to learn of Rick's recent decision to retire his legendary and highly influential site after 24 long years. But we should point out that TPA's haunt coverage has played a huge role in motivating Westcoaster's efforts to branch further out and provide more in-depth and high quality reviews of as many of the fantastic haunted attractions around Southern California as we can. So to Rick, Johanna, and company, thank you.
Remember to check back to this page throughout the season as we update and add more listings as we find them. If you are a local haunt in the Southern California area and want to be added to this list (or need to update or correct any information listed), feel free to reply in the comments or send us a message. We'd love to help promote!
Without further ado, lets look at what's haunting this year!
Los Angeles County Area
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood
- Where: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
- When: Fri., Sep. 14 - Sat., Nov. 3 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of HHN Hollywood ]
Another year of IP mazes is upon us. New for 2018, Universal brings to life:
Stranger Things - covering season 1 of the hit Netflix series
Poltergeist - inspired by the classic 1982 horror film
The First Purge - another year, another Purge maze
Trick 'r Treat - based on the cult classic (that Murder House Productions did last year!)
The Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two - featuring Truth of Dare and Unfriended
Halloween 4: the Return of Michael Myers - it's an interesting year when this gets 6th billing
Universal Monsters - inspired by Universal's classic horror monsters, with music by Slash
The Walking Dead - the year-round haunted house is open for Horror Nights again
The Jabbawockeez return for another season of high energy dance shows, and this year, the Terror Tram returns a new chapter of an old original favorite in the form of Hollywood Harry's Dreadtime Storiez. The serial killer clown is back to hunt the backlot, and he's brought five different terrifying bedtime stories with him--only they'll be after your blood!
Less is more at Dark Harbor this year, although also, more is more, as the Queen Mary has enlisted former Knott's Scary Farm maze designer Jon Cooke to revamp and reimagine all of their mazes to realign a cohesive and consistent storyline and theme. This year will bring no new mazes and six total--down from last year--but all of them will be new to some extent!
Feast - the cannibalistic Chef has returned now serves the living to the dead
B340 - enter the deranged mind of the psychotic Samuel the Savage
Lullaby - Scary Mary just wants to play, forever and ever and ever
Deadrise - The Captain and Halfhatch Henry lead a crew of the undead against the living
Circus - the freaks come out at Dark Harbor in this carnival of carnage
Intrepid - The Ironmaster's pact for immortality drove him insane, and how he has a lust for new souls
Of course, there will be plenty of entertainment options, bars galore, and monsters and sliders lurking in the midway. Dark Harbor paints a new chapter this fall. Don't miss it!
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
- Where: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027
- When: Sat., Sep. 29 - Wed., Oct. 31 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of the L.A. Haunted Hayride ]
The L.A. Haunted Hayride celebrates its tenth year by bringing back classic Hayride themes and features of years' past! Remember the demon church of 'The Congregation'? Or the legions of psychopathic clowns from 'Though The Eyes Of A Child'? Maybe a ride back through 'The Rift' is on the wish list? This year's Hayride resurrects all of these, plus new surprises.
In addition, the House of Shadows maze and Trick-or-Treat maze/actual spooky trick or treating return, plus The Purgatory central gathering area and pseudo scare zone. The Theatre Macabre presents eerie entertainment, and the Scary Go Round will once again give guests a spirited spin!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour presents Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights
- Where: 3400 W. Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91505
- When: Fri., Oct. 5 - Sun., Oct. 28 (select nights)
This year marks a transformational year for Warner Bros. Studios, as they make their serious entry into the very busy Southern California haunt scene. Horror Made Here will actually be produced for its third season, but after what was mostly a film festival in year one and a small haunted attraction effort last year with the It House and a couple other haunted attractions, this year, Warner Bros. is bringing a more complete but still intimate horror experience! Brave three mazes this season:
It Knows What Scares You - based on the upcoming It sequel, Pennywise is back, and he wants to see you float in the Neibolt House!
Escape from Arkham Asylum - the Joker and a host of DC supervillains await those who enter Gotham's most infamous institution
The Conjuring Universe - the terrifying film series is recreated on the Warner Bros. lot
Plus, check out a 4D cinematic "screaming" in The Exorcist: Forbidden Screening, and brave the grounds where Jason hunts in Nightmare on Crystal Lake, a dark, haunted tour across the Warner Bros. backlot. There will also be a creepy carnival with rides and live entertainment, a Tim Burton movie exhibit, an arcade, special effects / make-up demonstrations, and food and drinks.
Long Beach Zombie Fest
- Where: 400-403 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802
- When: Fri., Oct. 19 - Sun., Oct. 21
Want to be immersed in a festive and exciting zombie apocalypse? This three day event returns with a Zombie Walk on each day for the undead-in-training, plus a haunted maze, scavenger hunt, workshops, live music, flash mobs, movie sessions, and more. It's fun for the ghoul family at Long Beach's Rainbow Lagoon!
Last year, the Ghost Train made a triumphant return after a year off and came back better than ever. This year, this adorable and delightful family-friendly attraction will continue to entertain guests, and it will have a new, separately ticketed neighbor in Boney Island (see below)! This makes this a great, family-friendly duo to visit. Ghost Train itself takes guests on straddled model trains through a series of highly themed environments and is full of spooky charm and beautiful sets. It’s one of the best Halloween attractions locally—period.
Note that Boney Island and Ghost Train are each separate admission with separate tickets.
After being dark due to frivolous neighborhood and city politics, Burbank's Boney Island is returning in a new location practically next door to Ghost Train! Though the attraction will now be a $15 charge as opposed to free, the relocation allows the creators share their love of Halloween to the public. This incredible walk-through will be a great partner attraction to the similarly beloved Ghost Train!
Note that Boney Island and Ghost Train are each separate admission with separate tickets.
This fun, family-friendly event seems to take its cue from the old Rise of the Jack-O-Lantern events, providing a host of pretty pumpkin-themed lands, a fire show, pumpkin artist demonstrations, food trucks and treats, and activities for kids. It's located at Fairplex in Pomona, home of the L.A. County Fair, and it looks like a spectacular celebration of fun Halloween!
The sinisterly twisted and addictively depraved show that put Zombie Joe on the Halloween map returns for its sixth year! As part of Zombie Joe's Year of Urban Death, this condensed version of Zombie Joe's regular, full length show sees guests entering Zombie Joe's Underground Theater Group's small performance space through an extremely dimly lit maze portion to witness a shocking, sensual, eerie, and sometimes disturbing series of performances, loosely tied together. Then it's back out the maze, which has taken on a different appearance! Nudity is present, so the event is extremely recommended for adults only.
Wicked Lit returns for its tenth year with a few changes but the same eerie cemetery and mausoleum setting and high quality and enchanting production! This year brings two stories instead of three: Teig O'Kane and the Corpse and The Chimes: A Goblin Story. There are also two showings a night instead of one, reduced group sizes, and reduced prices. There's no pre-show performance either, but there will be a "museum" of past year's artifacts. Regardless of the adjustments, Wicked Lit is one of the top haunted theater attractions around, and definitely highly recommended.
Force of Nature Productions presents Fallen Saints: Dark
- Where: 1001 W Olive Ave Burbank, CA 91505
- When: Mon., Oct. 1, 8, 15
This annual favorite is providing encore showings on Mondays the first half of October. The latest chapter of the popular Fallen Saints series takes a psychological journey that explores the dark and creepy corners of one's mind.
- Where: 1600 S Azusa Ave, Rowland Heights, California 91748
- When: Fri., Sep. 28 - Wed., October 31 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Into the Black ]
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of The Fleshyard ]
Two different haunts from past years have merged into one, as Larry and Cheryl Bones of Boneyard Effects have partnered with Adam LeBlanc of The Fleshyard to produce a multi-haunt attraction that's located inside the Puente Hills Mall (one of two mall haunts this year--scroll to the OC section for the second). There will be three haunted mazes in total:
Into the Black - walk alone into the twisted history of the 19th century home belonging to the infamous, devil worshipping, and occult following Black family
The Psycho Sanitarium - enter the confines of a dark and destitute psychiatric facility, a crumbling reminder of humanity's ability to neglect and mistreat those deemed "unfit" for society...but what happens when the tormented fight back?
The Fleshyard - the spirits of the violently butchered Kearny family cannot rest and continue to haunt their land while they seek vengeance for their untimely demise
Horrorworld will also feature a variety of vendors that are bringing Horror and Halloween related products, plus a Blacklight Horror Themed Game Area where guests can win prizes.
Enjoy this site-specific interactive theater experience in West Hollywood! It’s 1942, and guests receive an invitation to the book launch of Señor Plummer: The Life and Laughter of an Old Californian, Eugenio Plummer’s (mostly) true account of his life in early Los Angeles. Guests arrive in the newly dedicated Plummer Park, only steps away from where Plummer himself has lived since 1877 - but the festivities stir up a merry band of ghosts and shadows who sweep you into a past filled with wild west duels, pirates, land-grabs, violent mobs, shark-riding, romances, epic court battles, and, of course, fiestas.
Drunken Devil presents Bacchanalia
- Where: Private Location, Los Angeles, CA
- When: Sat., Oct. 13
You might remember that a few years ago, the Drunken Devil tried its hand at a haunted attraction in the form of Sinner’s Soiree. While that didn’t quite work out as successfully as hoped, the happy byproduct is that the producers discovered that they’re pretty good at putting together gothic parties. This year, they return with another degenerate party paired with immersive theater.
This Halloween, experience the reign of one of the most infamous emperors in Roman history, Caligula, as you enjoy a wild party in his gleefully deranged and degenerate court. As guests sip on libations, an immersive theatrical narrative unfolds around them. Guests choose a path as they interact with various members of Caligula's court, but not all at this wild party is as it seems…
The Backwoods Maze
- Where: 1912 N. Pepper St., Burbank, CA 91505
- When: Fri., Oct. 12 - Wed., Oct. 31 (Fridays thru Sundays plus Halloween Night)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of The Backwoods ]
The magnitude and detail of this intense home haunt is utterly incredible, and it's amazing that this much detail and density can be crammed into a residential property. But The Backwoods does just that, creating elaborate and complex sets and sprawling ambiances that warrant repeat walk-throughs. Just come early. This very popular haunt always attracts a long line!
Rotten Apple 907 presents Killppetto's Toy Shop
- Where: 907 N. California St., Burbank, CA 91505
- When: Sat., Oct. 20 - Wed., Oct. 31 (Saturdays and Sundays plus Halloween Night)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Rotten Apple 907 ]
One of the longest-running and most well known home haunts brings yet another new theme this year. It seems Pinocchio's creator may not have been as benevolent as we all thought. This year's theme seems to bring another "fairy tale gone bad," and it will undoubtedly be a ton of spooky excellence and fun!
Note that the line may be cut off before the 10:00pm closing, as by city permit, Rotten Apple must be shut down by 10pm, not simply line-capped.
Opechee Haunt presents The Donnie Darko Experience
- Where: 1307 Opechee Way, Glendale, CA 91208
- When: Sat., Oct. 20 - Sun., Oct. 21 and Fri., Oct. 26 - Sun., Oct. 28
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Opechee Haunt ]
Sam Kellman may have started his haunt career being known for "the kid haunt," but he's deepened his creativity each year he's done Opechee, providing a new theme and story and presenting a evolution of attractions that have ranged from a traditional, multi-themed haunt to a haunt utilizing smart phone technology to add interactivity to a whole family-friendly, animatronic show. This year brings a tribute to a cult classic film, Donnie Darko, and Sam has taken painstaking steps to bring plenty of iconic and subtle movie details to life. Oh, and guests also have to traverse the maze alone. Good luck...
Forbidden Woods Cemetery
- Where: 11238 Califa St., North Hollywood, CA 91601
- When: Tue., Oct. 30 & Wed., Oct. 31
Formerly an elaborate yard display, this partial haunt embarks on its second year as something a little bigger. The scares are mostly family friendly, with a touch of more sinister spooks. But guests to this residence’s previous year’s productions know that the theming and detail is pretty meticulous, with plenty of fun props and animatronics and a delightfully spooky atmosphere.
Haunted by Memories Manor
- Where: 9914 Alesia St, South El Monte, CA, CA 91733
- When: T.B.A.
This traditional home haunt is a yard display this year. Its attention to detail creates some great environments, and it fundraises for a food drive to bring a charitable benefit to its work!
Rosehill Haunt presents The Final Celebration
- Where: 11560 Acama St, Studio City, California 91604
- When: Fri., Oct. 26 - Sun., Oct. 28, Wed., Oct. 31
This home haunt in Studio City takes a different theme every year. This year, it's an original tale: the dark sorcerer Macabre has decided to overthrow Rosehill Haunt's typical happy haunts with dark spirits. It’s up to guests to find the spell book and reverse the curse! Rosehill Haunt features talking skeletons, talking pumpkins, and other interactive show elements.
Orange County Area
The grandaddy of them all is back for a 46th year, with two new mazes and a new scare zone, plus an increase on the entertainment and more commitment to providing a fully immersive environment with no escape! On the maze front, there are nine total:
Dark Entities - a mysterious creature is attacking a desolate space station
The Depths - disappeared miners and a notorious sea creature punctuate this H.P. Lovecraft-inspired maze
Dark Ride - last year's instant-classic returns with its murderous carnies
Paranormal Inc. - join a ghost hunting documentary crew at a haunted hospital
Pumpkin Eater - the monstrous villain of fairy tale lore searches for new victims
Shadowlands - enter a world haunted by the bloody life of the samurai
Special Ops: Infected - "zombie laser tag" is back with more action and surpries
The Red Barn - a clan of murderous hicks needs more blood for its fiendish sacrifices
Trick or Treat: Lights Out - Haunt's oldest maze returns for another experience in the dark
Foresaken Lake joins the scare zone line-up that includes the familiar Ghost Town Streets, Carnevil, and The Hollow. And Haunt will have 4 shows this year! The Hanging is back for yet another year of lampooning. Awaken the Dead is a dance party in Fiesta Village. Conjure brings intimate magic and comedy to the Bird Cage Theatre. And Hacks! Cutting Room Floor brings improv hilarity to the Charles M. Schulz Theater!
Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland
- Where: 1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA 92802
- When: Wed., Sep. 19 - Wed., Oct. 31 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Mickey's Halloween Party ]
Most of the events in this list are geared toward people who want to be scared, but for those who want to take younger tykes or dress up or get candy or a combination, there is Disneyland's Halloween event. In addition to wearing costumes, meeting villains, trick-or-treating, and riding Disneyland rides in shorter lines, guests can be entertained by the fantastic Halloween Screams fireworks show, the Cadaver Dans undead a capella troupe, and the returning Frightfully Fun Parade!
Sinister Pointe's The Scary Place
- Where: 24100 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
- When: Fri., Sep. 28 - Wed., Oct. 31 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Sinister Pointe ]
The haunt community was saddened when Sinister Pointe seemed to step away from haunts after 2016. Last year, they put together a spooky themed social event instead. But old habits certainly die hard, and we're ecstatic to see Sinister Pointe return this year with a three-maze haunted attractions occupying three floors of the mall complex!
Phobias - this fully interactive maze tests your fears and your worst nightmares
Evil on 2 - guests check into a haunted hotel and hope the evil spirits don't target them
The Boogeyman Express - this terror train the wilderness brings victims to the Boogeyman
There will also be scream zones, magic and entertainment, food, drink, and craft vendors, and games and exhibits. It's practically a haunted expo! A scary place for an expo...
Last year, The 17th Door moved to a new location in Fullerton and brought a prison theme to poor Paula's tragic story--no-longer-innocent Paula, sentenced to jail time after convicted of murdering her infant baby at Gluttire University. The move meant that the traditional detail wasn't quite up to year 1 and year 2 standards, but with a full year in that site to build, year 4 promises to be more intense, detailed, and insane than ever. The Luthers have had a full year to dream up and implement their twisted conjurings into real life, and there is sure to be plenty of new triggers that will have guests screaming the safe word: MERCY!
Haunt at Heritage Hill
- Where: 25151 Serrano Rd., Lake Forest, CA 92630
- When: Fri., Oct. 12 & Sat., Oct. 13
This teen and adult-oriented haunted attraction takes place a couple of weekends before Halloween and isn't particularly elaborate or intense, but it does offer a fun haunt that supports the local community and carries a bit of a more casual flair.
Pageant of the Monsters
- Where: 650 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA
- When: Fri., Oct. 26 - Sun., Oct. 28, Wed., Oct. 31
This family friendly invitation to the backstage of Laguna Beach's famed Pageant of the Masters seems to only manifest every five years or so, and this year falls under that cycle! Resurrecting an event from years past, the Pageant’s backstage will transform into a haunted house with an artistic twist. The Festival of Arts grounds will be filled with ghoulish tricks and treats including art activities, live music, wandering zombies and other “spook-tacular” surprises.
An Orange County classic for nearly two decades, Boot Hill has delighted visitors with a rich and elaborate yard display and partial walk-through featuring intricate props, splashy projections, beautiful lighting, and a few monsters to keep guests on the edge. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone visiting, especially in concert with other nearby haunts. Note that Boot Hill will once again not be open Halloween night this year.
Always among the goriest of home haunts, Perdition packs a lot of punch in a small residential layout. Last year, Perdition unleashed their "Brujeria maze" to the public--an expanded version of their 2016 last minute mini-haunt they constructed almost for fun. This year's theme is unannounced, but you can expect the same bloody carnage and unrelenting scares!
This South County classic is literally a dark ride inside of someone's home. Done in the style of the classic spooky house carnival rides, this labor of love is a neighborhood favorite and an impressively charming Halloween attraction!
Ventura County, The Valley, and North of Los Angeles
Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Where: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia, CA 91355
- When: Sat., Sep. 15 - Sun., Oct. 28 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Magic Mountain's Fright Fest ]
This year's Fright Fest brings three new mazes this year and a total of six:
Sewer of Souls - dare to enter a foul-smelling wretched wasteland
Condemned: Forever Damned - explore the recently abandoned home of a habitual collector of things
Hell Fest - from the new movie, Hell Fest, where all of your screams come true
Red's Revenge - not your grandma's Red Riding Hood, this maze upends the classic tale
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising - a mysterious agent is infected Ash Valley with a horrific virus
Willoughby's Resurrected - Fright Fest's classic haunted house returns for more fear
In the scare zone department, Fright Fest also brings a trio of debuts: the massive Witches Lair in the Metropolis area, The Shadows over by Roaring Rapids, and City Under Siege in the DC Universe area. Returning are perennial favorites, Demon's Door, Exile Hill, TERRORtory Twisted, and Frightmares: A Twisted Fantasy.
For years, RoT has terrified guests with its massively long layout packed with detailed, high quality props and decorations that are movie studio quality. Reign of Terror is eight haunted houses rolled into one, with each one transitioning into the next with unrelenting vigor. The Haunted House, Miner's Revenge, Casa Blood, Quarantine, The Asylum, Infected, Backwoods, and Fun House... there's bound to be a theme in here that will hit a nerve in someone!
Included in the updates for 2018 is an entirely new attraction, called “Inbred”, which features a group of strange and creepy family members living in a ramshackle shack in a forgotten corner of the countryside. Also new for 2018 is “The White-Out Experience”, located inside Reign of Terror’s Fun House attraction. The “White-Out Experience” gives visitors a uniquely unsettling sense of time and place. In addition, on November 3, Reign of Terror will host its first-ever “Lights OUT” event. Visitors to “Lights OUT” will walk through all 105 rooms of the maze in total darkness, lit only by one small glow stick per person. This will allow guests to experience Reign of Terror like never before.
Hop on board a train through a zombie infested wasteland. Armed with paintball guns, guests can shoot up all the zombies they want, and they won't face any repercussions.
Boccali's Haunted Hayrides
- Where: 3277 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023
- When: Closed This Year
Unfortunately, due to this year’s Thomas Fire, Boccali’s Haunted Hayrides will not be operating this season.
Beware the Dark Realm
- Where: 28621 Sugar Pine Way, Santa Clarita, CA 91390
- When: Sat., Oct. 13, and Fri. & Sat., Oct. 19-20 & 26-27
Another impressive home haunt with a medieval torturous theme, Beware the Dark Realm is back for its sixth year. It features creative design from people with four and half decades of amateur and professional haunt experience. Definitely worth checking out for anyone nearby or passing through!
A past Scare L.A. and Midsummer Scream staple, Spooky Hollows is a great home haunt with some fantastic props, special effects, and fun scares built in. This year, Spooky Hollows explores the terrifying history of the now drained swampland surrounding the Sepulveda Basin. A mysterious figure, thin and hairless, has been glimpsed lurking in the marshy areas around the LA River. Is this a SoCal Slender Man? The answer lies in the valley this Halloween...
Restless Souls Manor
- Where: 38143 52nd St. E., Palmdale, CA 93552
- When: Sat., Oct. 27 & Wed., Oct. 31
For those in the high desert, Restless Soul Manor is another super well done haunt that has garnered critical acclaim from haunters and high marks from guests. It's a classic haunted house theme, but everything is done marvelously and with a clear passion from the creators. Operating hours this year are 7:00 - 9:30 both nights.
Murder House Productions presents Resurrection
- Where: 2240 Ranch View Pl., Thousand Oaks, California 91362
- When: Wed., Oct. 24, Fri. - Sun., Oct. 26 - 28, Wed., Oct. 31
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Murder House Productions ]
Last year, Murder House Productions presented a home haunt done so well that Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights stole it for a maze in Hollywood. Okay, so maybe not literally, but MHP did craft a literally HHN-quality haunt that blew guests away with its integration of sound and lighting effects and excellent timing and immersive theming. This year, they present an original theme maze! In the quiet town of Southvale, Virginia, a local urban legend comes to life. Enter the dilapidated Milbury Farms barn, where slaughtered livestock return from the dead to take revenge on the living.
Seeing a cemetery spring forth in someone's front yard is not an unusual sight in most neighborhoods in Halloween. But the quality and technology at VanOaks Cemetery sets it apart from most yard displays. With richly textured tombstones, moving effects, and home-made projection scenes, this Sherman Oaks attraction is well worth a full stop to appreciate the effort that owner Derek Young pours into its creation each year! VanOaks Cemetery springs to life starting from sundown until 11:00pm on the dot each night.
Mourning Rose Manor
- Where: 5250 Aurelia St., Simi Valley, California, CA 93063
- When: Mon., Oct. 1 - Wed., Oct. 31
This richly detailed Simi Valley yard haunt is chalk full of elaborate details and sinister ambiance. The theming would rival that of a solid haunted house, if they ever chose to turn it into that. But in the meantime, guests can enjoy the macabre environment crafted in this eerie front yard!
The Inland Empire
Coffin Creek returns this year with five attractions:
The Haunted Asylum - the inmates have taken over, and they're looking for revenge
The Catacombs and the Raven Cult - a mysterious group haunts the old burial grounds, looking for sacrifices
The Prado Witch Trail - brave the dark woods, where supernatural forces conjure
Uncle Zeds Zombie Safari - take a wagon ride through undead-infested wilderness!
The Dark Realm - fantasy and horror intermingle as you look to fend off evil forces
Last year was a great rebound year after a largely unheralded return year in 2016. The talent in each maze was especially engaging, with each maintaining character in unnerving and unhinged ways. Excellent timing of startle scares and a genuine sense of creepy dilapidation added to the Asylum and Catacombs mazes, and the Prado Witch Trail provided the visceral feeling of vulnerability in the open, dark wilderness. This year's Zombie Safari replaces last year's haunted hayride, which was unfortunately lackluster. Meanwhile, The Dark Realm brought a unique fantasy role-playing feel to a haunt, mixing in "Dungeons and Dragons-esque" style. Also returning is the Dark Shadow Marketplace, where guests can shop a selection of ghoulish wares.
This Inland Empire haunt fixture is partnering with Sinister Valley this year to bring four all new terrifying mazes. Field of Screams literally takes place within the stadium of the Class A Lake Elsinore Storm minor league baseball team. Its cast is more on the volunteer side--many of them high schoolers or even junior high students enjoying the scares, but it's been a traditional fixture in the Riverside haunt scene. This year, the partnership with Sinister Valley promises a reboot of sorts, with newer and better immersive scares!
The Haunt at Scandia Fun Center Ontario
- Where: 1155 S. Wanamaker Ave, Ontario, CA 91761
- When: Fri., Sep. 28 - Sat., Oct. 27 (Fri. & Sat. only), Tue., Oct. 30, Wed., Oct. 31
Scandia has traditionally held a haunt every year, and it's one where the standard rules of professional haunt operations are a little bit slippery. It adds a sense of unpredictability to this haunt!
Enter the remnants of an asylum that was forced to close fifty years ago and left to deteriorate. Unfortunately, this mental hospital wasn't quite abandoned, for the patients and doctors who where there still roam the hallways, ready to wreck havoc onto any unsuspecting guests who dare enter!
Otis Thatcher was just a weird kid who loved Halloween who happened to have the misfortune of being orphaned by his father's untimely death and his mother's abandonment and grew up into a weird adult who kept alone and became a neighborhood outcast. But he just wanted to enjoy Halloween, and decorated his house every autumn. One Halloween night, however, after catching vandals destroying his decorations, he snapped and dragged them into his home, where unspeakable carnage and mutilation and torture was inflicted upon them. Otis was never captured for the crime, but every Halloween, his spirit returns to his house to re-enact the horror he once unleashed upon this otherwise quiet neighborhood!
- Where: 3900 Bandini Ave., Riverside, CA 92506
- When: Fri., Oct. 26, Sat., Oct. 27, Tue., Oct. 30, and Wed., Oct. 31
The patients of Reichland Asylum have rotted in these long abandoned halls. And in the doctors’ absence, a devious Reverend has enslaved his fellow madmen to serve in his Church of The Damned. Once a year the doors open for the brave to take their chances exploring the asylum. Who will survive the terrors, and who will be broken like so many others?
What happens when a seance goes wrong and summons the types of spirits who angrily want to possess your soul, instead of just talking thing out like any regular, better etiquette ghosts? Find out at this Ontario-based home haunt, whose quality has given it a presence at Midsummer Scream the past two years!
San Diego County
Halloween Spooktacular at Sea World
- Where: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
- When: Sat., Sep. 22 - Sun. Oct. 28 (Sat. & Sun. only)
San Diego residents looking for a family-friendly attraction can visit Sea World with their children to dress up, go trick-or-treating, and see Halloween versions of their favorite live animal shows. It's all fun and no scares and a great alternative for those with younger Halloween fans.
Every year, the location of the San Diego County Fair operates a multi-haunt attraction with plenty of thrills to boot. House of Horror plunges guests into a manic abode of twisted killers. Haunted Hayride takes guests into the wilderness to encounter clowns, zombies, and possessed dolls. Karnevil brings murderous clowns to the table as well, in the form of a carnival full of the demented!
The Haunted Lodge & Camp Calavera Trick-Or-Treat Trail
- Where: 1400 E. Washington Ave. El Cajon, California 92019
- When: Fri., Oct. 5 - Wed., Oct. 31 (select nights)
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Scareventures ]
Scareventures presents another iteration of its Haunted Lodge--the darker manifestation of the El Cajon Elks Lodge, where fiendish characters pursue blood and victims inside a remote nature lodge. Trapped within its confines, guests must come face to face with these murderous mavens with a twisted slant on hospitality. Adjacent is the Camp Calavera, where "Light fright" trick-or-treating is offered from 5:00 - 6:30pm. From 7:00 - 10:00pm, the light goes down, and the frights go up for the full haunt!
Featured on the Travel Channel and rated as one of the scariest haunted attractions in the country, The Haunted Hotel is San Diego's longest-running haunted attractions. This will be their 26th year in operation, and they show no signs of letting up anytime soon!
By day, Balboa Park is a beautiful, verdant urban green space with pretty views and a serene ambiance. By night, during Halloween season, it becomes a terrifying trail of devious macabre and insatiable maniacs. This year features horror icons and strange manifestations, plus apparently lots and lots of chainsaws. That's always good--plus, they can double as tree trimming for park maintenance!
This year's Savage Productions haunted house deposits victims--er, guests into an environment of murderous hillbillies fixated on slaughtering trespassers. Savage House has always done a gory job of creating a horror movie atmosphere around guests, and this year promises another round of chills and thrills!
Immersive Theater and Escape Rooms
We're bringing back a list of immersive theater and escape room attractions that share a horror theme, after deferring to other sites last year. Here are a few options for horror that are a little beyond the traditional haunted house or show set-up!
(And for a more comprehensive listing of immersive experiences and escape rooms, we refer you to the fine folks at Haunting.net and Escape Authority for great listings and reviews of the best Southern California has to offer--many of them horror themed, but operating year-round!)
Delusion is back! Delusion is back! Delusion is back! After a year off, Jon Braver and his team that redefined haunted immersive theater have brought forth a new adventure ranging on the sci-fi end of things that takes place in commercial property for the first time.
Another pinnacle of haunted immersive theater, Creep L.A. is back for another autumn with a stirring, moving, deeply enveloping experience that explores the modicum of nightmares and how real they can become. The hour-long, multi-sensory experience makes guests at times observers and at times participants, and it has enthralled fans in its past three iterations. This is not a haunted house jump-scare experience. It's a deeper, more cerebral interaction with dread and tension, highlighted by stirring performances by an experienced company of actors who draw you into their world of creepy conjurings.
The Basement Escape Room
- Where: 12909 Foothill Blvd., Sylmar, CA 91342
- When: Year-Round
One of the first horror-themed escape rooms out there, this popular room remains a big hit because of its combination of active puzzles and terrifying environment. You are the victim of a deranged serial killer, Edward Tandy, who has a taste for human flesh but a penchant for giving his victims a sliver of a chance to escape his clutches, if they are proven worthy enough by solving his puzzles. The Basement itself is immaculately themed and detailed and even features a live actor to increase the intensity level. And it remains a constant barometer to which other escape rooms--horror or not--are compared. And if you like it enough, check out its companion escape rooms at the same venue: The Boiler Room and The Study!
The Bunker Experience
- Where: 20 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103
- When: Year-Round
It's a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi world at The Bunker, and teams must work together to avoid the vandals who threaten them. Taking advantage of its real-world settings to incorporate into an extremely immersive storyline, The Bunker Experience is actually two escape rooms--one a sequel of the first--that grip players from the opening moment all the way to the final moments.
The Hex Room is not specifically horror themed, but it does carry a horror inspiration in that guests who play are assigned a stereotypical character from a horror movie and then required to work together to escape the machinations of a mad serial killer who has trapped them individually in their own cells. Though the ambiance is more suspenseful than gory, there is an active threat constantly looming, and after escaping their own cells, teams also have to work together to escape the room as a whole. This is an expert level room, but it's a whole lot of fun!
Escapade Escape Rooms presents Zoe
- Where: 624 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92832
- When: Year-Round
Get trapped in this haunted house that has some possessing characteristics. Zoe is what happens when a nightmare becomes tangible. Guests are immersed into a world where reality and dreams blend together, and a crazy axe-wielding murder could be a figment of your imagination--if he wasn't so viscerally breathing down upon you. Zoe is one of the scariest escape rooms around, increasing the puzzle difficulty level through the adrenaline rush of fear. Plenty of groups have literally run out of the escape room and forfeited their game. Will you join them?
The Cromwell Estate
- Where: 1088 N. Tustin Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807
- When: Year-Round
Take a tour through the mind of Isaac Cromwell and live through his overarching story by solving his twisted, bone chilling puzzles. Can guests overcome their fears in his challenges and survive the night? This escape room has been thrilling guests for the past couple of years and shows no signs of letting up!
Dead Zone 80 transformed itself from a haunt to a mobile escape room last year. This means that the attraction can actually come to you (it's a little extra for visits outside of Ventura, though), and it's great for events and parties. Teams of up to six people have a limited amount of time to find the cure to a zombie outbreak before the infection spreads to the mass populace. Can you prevent zombie apocalypse in time?
Black Market Escape Rooms presents Murder CO: Hardcore
- Where: 1220 W 9th St. Upland, CA 91786
- When: October, dates T.B.A.
[ Click here for Westcoaster coverage of Black Market Escape Rooms. ]
The nation's first R-rated escape room promises an even more intense and extreme experience this fall with Murder CO: Hardcore. This immersive, horror-themed attraction is already full of intimate thrills and scares. What happens when the "artists" ratchet up their carnage even more? Murder CO: Hardcore offers an experience for those seeking a more intense interactive experience. In this version guests are subjected to being touched, separated from their groups, locked up in small spaces, and likely to end up a bloody mess. Do you dare enter?
The Curiosity Shop
- Where: 3466 Suite-B University Ave., Riverside, CA 92501
- When: Year-Round
Guests are trapped inside a strange shop with cursed souvenirs and a mysterious supernatural entity who might be bent on destroying said guests. With unearthly effects and plenty of clues and puzzles to solve, this escape room promises a fun, eerie time!
The Entrapment Escape Rooms presents Bloodmore Manor
- Where: 7990 Dagget St., Suite A-10, San Diego, CA, 92111
- When: October (select dates)
Normally Fogmore Manor, this has been transformed into a whole new escape room with new puzzles and frights! Enter a long abandoned manor during a growing storm in search of a missing business partner. But be careful, not all the spirits that inhabit the mystical antiques in this house are friendly!
If all of this isn't enough, you can find even more local haunted attractions (especially of the home haunt variety) over at the Southern California Haunt List. They started putting out a beautiful physical pamphlet last year that served as a great resource guide, and they're back at it again this year!
Again, we'll update this post throughout the season as we become aware of other haunts or receive more finalized information. But we hope this serves as a nice tool for you to plan your own haunted attraction explorations all across this SoCal land!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.