I’m an October baby, so every year for my birthday, I like to celebrate by hitting up a few Halloween haunts. I just had a weekend full of spooky fun and want to share it with you all!
To kick off the festivities, I went to Warner Bros. Studios: Horror Made Here. This was my first time, so I was especially excited to it check out. For VIP treatment, my group and I did the Losers’ Club pass, which included front-of-the-line entry to each maze, hassle-free parking, a free “IT” photo op and two complimentary adult beverages.
When I attended the Horror Made Here panel at Midsummer Scream, the creators emphasized two key points: intimacy of the mazes and no huge crowds. Although Horror Made Here offered fewer mazes compared to bigger haunts, such as Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, it was evident that more attention was given to making them more interactive and not just walk-through experiences. The Conjuring Universe was my favorite. People entered in small groups where you were greeted by a guide that led you through the house. We encountered paranormal activity in each room and met with different characters along the way. The maze had a sense of theatrical immersion to it.
For Nightmare on Camp Crystal Lake, we boarded a tram that toured filming spots for movies such as “House of Wax” and “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.” We were then transported to an obscure part of the lot that resembled a forbidden forest that we had to walk through. We even encountered Jason!
A highlight for me was the Tim Burton exhibit (I have an obsession with this man’s work). It contained costumes and set pieces from iconic films, such as “Beetlejuice,” “Sweeney Todd” and “The Corpse Bride.” I also got an up-close look at the costumes Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt wore in “Interview with the Vampire!”
Speaking of the undead, I absolutely fell in love with the Fangtasia bar inspired by the TV show “True Blood.” At the entrance was a go-go dancing vampire. Inside was bathed in red velvet with black wood furniture and elegant decorative accents. On a platform, a spotlight shone down on a black throne of a chair. It was a popular spot for photo shoots throughout the night.
Overall, I enjoyed my first time at Horror Made Here. There were elements that offered something new and different from other haunts I have attended. I do wish there were more scares throughout the lot. Although it was a plus to not be pushed around or trapped in a throng, the lot felt empty at times and I found myself wishing there were more ghouls and monsters hiding around dark corners to surprise me.
I also attended Halloween Horror Nights this year. There were several mazes, but my favorite was Universal Monsters, which was based on classic horror characters from Dracula to The Wolfman. This was also the first year Universal Studios served alcohol in the park, which was nice because sometimes those mazes make you thirsty for a cocktail (wink, wink). Although I didn’t capture many photos, I managed to snag a couple.
Less scary, but still fun was Disneyland. The “Happiest Place on Earth” captured the Halloween spirit in a family-friendly way. I love to ride the Haunted Mansion during this time of year because of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theme. The roller coaster Space Mountain transformed into Ghost Galaxy for the season and was a thrill to ride.
Overall, I enjoyed the haunts I visited and if you’re in the Los Angeles area try to check them out. They make for a Halloween well spent. And if you want to learn about more haunts you can visit in this neck of the woods, take a look at my list of the Top Los Angeles Halloween Haunts .