I’m Christine. I’m a gal obsessed with haunts, escape rooms and other oddities. That’s what this blog is dedicated to. Most of my entries will be about the west coast since that is where I live, however I also love to travel. Thanks for stopping by.
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Indy ScreamPark boasts big scares, but is it true?
I was pleasantly surprised to find such a large Halloween event while traveling through Indiana so early in the haunt season. I had seen billboards promoting the haunted attraction and everyone I asked locally seemed to have heard of them. I decided to make the drive to Anderson to find out for myself.
I could tell it was a large event as I pulled up into the large parking area. I didn’t have a lot of time due to my busy schedule and had gotten there very late in the evening. The box office was kind enough to send me through VIP so I would have the opportunity to see all of the haunts. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this seemingly pop-up Halloween fair.
There were 5 different mazes and a nice midway area. Most of the haunts were enclosed and at times even quite claustrophobic depending on whether or not you allowed the actors to make the experience interactive. The Backwoods haunt was much more open and a very different type of walk through than the others. It honestly was my least favorite style of haunt, but allows for the guests to have that dark alone time to get themselves in the mindset to be scared. It’s just not really the type of scare that works on me personally, I imagine many others find it terrifying. I enjoyed the interactive moments in the other attractions. I liked being pulled from the group and inserted into the storytelling and scenes. I loved the personalized moments the most. The actors did a wonderful job throughout the event. I found many of the scenes in the attractions to have impressive set design and props. I especially liked the use of electricity in one of the scenes that stood out the most to me.
Overall I found this to be a very well done event with great actors. Was I scared? A few times they really got me with the jump scares. Do I think the average person (that doesn’t travel the country going to haunted houses) would be scared? Yes. I recommend Indy Scream Park. I think you’ll have a great time.
THE SCREAM ZONE
The Scream Zone in Del Mar California is a fun fairground haunted attraction with two walk through mazes and a hayride. There are also food trucks, merchandise and a mini escape room. You can purchase each maze individually or as a combo.
My husband & I ended up here after attending two other events in the area on a Saturday night. Unfortunately due to heavy rains the hayride was closed. We had done the hayride here years ago and were looking forward to seeing if it had changed, but safety is always most important.
House of Horror is the larger of the two walk through mazes. Both are a fun time. There are a few really impressive moments with set decor and ideas, but overall the set, props, costumes and actors are just good. Neither really tell a story, but are rather a bunch of scenes thrown together. At least KarnEvil has strong theming throughout. They do a pretty good job of purging the lines. They put us through in a group of about 10 at a time in House of Horror and a bit smaller group for KarnEvil.
Overall it was fun. It is the perfect type of event for the location and crowds. It’s a professional fairground haunt worth checking out if you’re in the area.
The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures)
We were warned not to go in the woods for fear of a half man half elk creature…but we continued anyway and luckily lived to tell the tale.
My husband and I went to The Haunted Lodge last night while down in the San Diego area attending haunted attractions. This was our second stop of the evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it appeared to be a plywood maze built in the front yard of an Elk’s Lodge. However, I was quite impressed with the set design and attention to detail. The actors worked very hard. The costumes and make up looked good. It told a story and even had a couple of moments that were very in line with immersive theatre in the way they have you sit in the scene and become a character in the story. Overall we had a fun time.
I especially enjoyed the opening two scenes because they set up the story and tone for the adventure to come. Both actors in the beginning did a splendid job of communicating the story in a fun and creepy way. I also enjoyed the photo op (on my own phone) at the beginning because it fit in the scenario well and left us with a memory to post online.
After sitting around the campfire listening to the tale of the monster to come, we were given a red flashlight and sent on our way into the maze. We encountered many ghouls along our path.
We caught a scare from the anticipated ElkMan a little early on while in one of my favorite scenes. The set up was great and had us skeptical that we were really entering a safe homey cabin no matter how much the actors tried to convince us we were safe. It was wonderfully done.
I also really enjoyed the tent area. I’m sorry we couldn’t save you young man, we had to save ourselves!
However the maze kept going and seemed to go a little off track from the tale at times. It was fun, but lost that beautiful storytelling from the beginning as we progressed through the attraction. I did enjoy that the haunt staple “monster with chainsaw” fit into the scene in this attraction. So many times it’s random, but they made it work well. Great job to all of the designers and actors.
Overall it was a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to experience this attraction. I recommend checking them out if you are in the El Cajon (San Diego) area.
*More photos from this event on Instagram @TheHauntGirl
9/15 Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest – CA
9/16 Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights – CA
9/21 Stillwell Manor – IN
9/21 Indy Screampark – IN
9/22 Dungeon of Doom – IL
9/22 Abandoned Haunted House Complex – WI
9/23 Six Flags Great America Fright Fest – IL
9/27 Haunted Jail in Colombia City – IN
9/29 Midnight Terror Haunt – IL
9/29 Dead Rising – IL
9/29 Undead Acres – IL
10/4 Sinister Pointe Scary Place – CA
10/5 HorrorWorld – CA
10/6 WB Horror Made Here – CA
10/7 Reality X Immersive Escape Experience – CA
10/12 Reign of Terror – CA
10/13 Haunted Amusement Park – Ca
10/13 The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures) – CA
10/13 The Scream Zone – CA
10/14 Haunted Hayride – CA
10/20 Long Beach Zombie Fest – CA
10/27 Dia De Los Muertas at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – CA
11/16 Delusion – CA
Knott’s Scary Farm – CA
My current schedule is changing drastically this season. I was planning on Florida this weekend but due to weather changed plans last minute.
Message me on Instagram with your suggestions of other Haunts I need to see this year!!!
I had the pleasure of checking out Vault Escape while in Chicago for the weekend. I didn’t plan ahead, so I was happy to book the small one player game in the front window of the location. It was a really clever idea and use of space. I like circuses so I quite enjoyed the theme. There aren’t as many puzzles as the hour long games and you don’t get hints on this one. I had a bit of trouble with some of the tech malfunctioning. Luckily one of the game masters realized it and stepped in to help. It’s a fun little game in the storefront. I had the opportunity to peak into one of the other games and that looked well done. Unfortunately I didn’t have time in my schedule to play any of the full length games at the location.
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest
I love Six Flags Fright Fest in my home park of Magic Mountain, so I figured I’d attend Fright Fest at Great America while visiting the Chicago-land area. I was sorely disappointed. It’s nearly impossible not to try and compare the two parks, but they are so drastically different that they can’t really be compared. I came to Great America with the expectation of seeing professional haunted attractions like their sister park and what I found were teenagers running around in plywood mazes decorated with cheap props and hardly any set pieces. The Hell Fest maze was one of the best overall, it had a few visually impressive scenes. All of the mazed lacked scares. The actors didn’t seem to grasp the concept of setups for scares. The cast also seemed to lack motivation to remain actively in character. Almost all of the characters seemed to specifically avoid my camera while trying to catch them in action in the scare zones for social media and my youtube channel. The one stand-out exception is the Ring Master. The Ring Master seemed like a very well trained, talented performer among a cast that overall appeared like they didn’t even want to be there. I also noticed one female chainsaw actor that was working very hard in a scare zone while everyone else trudged along looking like overworked lumberjacks. I honestly can’t remember most of the mazes now as I write this only a few days later because they were that forgettable. I do remember the price tag…$50 for front of the line fright fest pass on top of park admission. I have an annual pass that allows me access to the park, but even so this event isn’t worth the general line cost of $35 unless you are a local that plans to attend multiple nights and just wants something to do in the evenings that’s Halloween related for the month of October. I made it through all of the mazes, but didn’t have the opportunity to see any of the shows. It does appear that there are some fun live performances on the schedule. Thank you to the Ring Master that turned around my night right at the end as I was leaving.
I also want to take a moment to point out that the guests at this Six Flags theme park seemed much less respectful than all other Six Flags parks I’ve visited. I saw kids in the mazes playing on a set piece, kicking walls, grabbing props and all around being jerks whether they were in groups with friends or with their parents. I imagine being part of the cast at this park can be especially difficult at times.
Overall I can’t really recommend Great America Fright Fest 2018, but want to reiterate that every Six Flags Fright Fest is unique so this doesn’t reflect my opinion of Fright Fests across the country.