Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is literally a Halloween haunted hayride located in the middle of a huge metropolitan area, but somehow maintains the charm of an event you’d expect to find on a farm in the middle of nowhere. This unique event stands out for its creativity and fun factor. There are three main attractions at the event, two walk through haunts and the hayride. There is also a stage in the midway, roaming monsters, food, mini escape rooms and more. Both of the walk through haunts were filled with scares around every corner by actors that appeared to be having a wonderful time scaring the guests. The midway monsters were wonderful. They all had very strong personalities that made for fun interactions. The hayride was well done. There were several impressive scenes with larger than life effects such as giant animatronics, stunts, and impressive sets. I especially enjoyed the scene on the old zoo cages. I find the old zoo to be a bit unsettling and intriguing on any given day, so it’s even more fascinating during LA Haunted Hayride. I’d highly recommend this event and would like to thank LA Haunted Hayride for inviting me to their media event. Be aware that as the season gets closer to Halloween the lines can be very long and the weather can be a bit more chilly for LA. Also remember you will be sitting in a wagon filled with hay, so consider wearing long pants and close toed shoes or boots. Dress appropriately and consider upgrading on busy nights for the best experience.
On January 1st I was busy eating healthy food and celebrating #NewYearNewMe when I received an odd message from someone called Bl4ckM4ss. I had been specifically selected to experience a new reality? Respond with my interest? What does that mean?!?!?
So I responded.
I received a date, time and secret location with instructions to arrive alone wearing clothes I didn’t care about. Honestly I was a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing. Was this another immersive/ARG/extreme haunt…or was it some actual crazy cult group or psycho killer’s elaborate plan to torture and kill me? No-one seemed to have heard anything about this Bl4ckm4ss aside from their social media presence. So I did what any sane person would do and showed up alone.
I still don’t know who’s behind Bl4ckm4ss, but I survived to tell you about it. However, they specifically asked that I not give away too many details since it is an ongoing experience.
Bl4ckm4ss is a “new augmented reality” but the waiver and initial email reminded me of an extreme haunt. It is not as physical as an extreme haunt, which is good because I don’t really enjoy extreme haunts. I have a few lingering injuries that prevent me from attending anything too physical. I was easily able to do this event without injuring myself further. However it is quite intense at times.
Fear is such a personal experience. Everyone’s past is different and that shapes their fears. I personally found one section of Bl4ckm4ss especially terrifying because it triggered flashbacks to a traumatic experience I had a decade ago. I was actually quite impressed with myself for not calling out the safe word. I was also pleased with the choices I made. I left the event feeling overwhelmed with emotion. I was also a bit chilly. (I recommend dressing in layers if you get cold easily.)
I appreciate the invitation to step out of my comfort zone. It was a great way to begin the new year, a short journey in self discovery. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.
If you would like to experience Bl4ckm4ss for yourself read the information below:
Who is BL4KM4SS? We are augmented reality. We give guests a theatrical immersive experience.
Creators- We are BL4KM4SS. You ask, we provide.
Current Show- “a Prelude”- accepting applications for interested parties.
DATES: February/March – By invitation only.
March 15-17, 29-31, April 1-5 and April 5-7- By application only
Future dates: TBA
Contact Info- firstname.lastname@example.org for an application to be considered for future shows.
Cost?- “a Prelude” will be $50 per person, Approx 1 hour solo show.
Growing up in the midwest hayrides and tractors were a bit more commonplace, but the idea of a haunted hayride in the middle of Los Angeles is unique. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is located in Griffith Park near the old zoo area. The hayride, dark maze and trick or treat area are the three main haunted attractions at the event. There are also food vendors, psychics, entertainment and a creepy carousel.
LA Haunted Hayride is a fun event, however 2017 was not their strongest year. The clown theme was interesting enough, but not very original. I liked their use of the old zoo area and incorporating the animals. The oversized marionettes were fun. The guy on the motorcycle looked cool. Overall the hayride didn’t deliver those stunning staged scenes I have come to expect from this event. This year it seemed a bit lighter on actors and the scares seemed to be focussed primarily on jumping on the wagon or stalking guests a little too long along a sparsely decorated path.
The House of Shadows maze is a dark maze with a handful of actors that work very hard at jump scares. It’s a fun place to get lost with your friends. There are a few dimly lit scenes within and some writing on the walls to “help” you to the correct path. There was a half deflated airbag effect that was less than effective. It isn’t the scariest or prettiest maze I’ve seen, but the idea of getting lost in an actual maze is quite fun.
Trick or Treat was the only attraction that made me put away my camera specifically saying “no lights, photos, videos, snapchat, instagram, etc while inside”. I wondered if that was so the poor quality of the attraction wouldn’t get plastered all over social media. It was a lot of fun the last time I did it…actually one of my favorite things in Los Angeles because of the creativity of trick or treating at the homes of different creatures. This year the set looked like it needed some touchups, the actors weren’t behind their doors to answer the knocking and there was no candy for the trick or treaters. It was a series of awkward moments where we would knock on a door and wait, then an actor may or may not appear to try and do some sort of jump scare that we were literally standing around waiting for. It seems to have lost motivation for Trick or Treat when they removed the Trick or Treating element from the attraction.
Overall this year was disappointing, but I still look forward to seeing what they do next year. I hope it is a fun theme and they reignite that spark of creativity that I have enjoyed so much from them in the past years.
Stephen King’s IT comes to theatres September 8, 2017, but before you see the movie you can experience the house where IT lives.
The pop-up out of season haunted house is located in Hollywood, California and is open from 1p-11p daily. However, if you don’t have a ticket be sure to arrive early because they cut the line before 11pm.
Please note: I have seen this called an immersive experience online, but it is a walk through haunt. While you are immersed in the surroundings, this would not fall in the category of “immersive” such as Tension, Sleep No More, or Delusion.
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