First event in a long time that I got to go with some newbies. Forgot how much fun it is to be with people who have no idea what to expect. Put a smile on my face that didn’t go away until we left, awesome time.
Heartstoppers holds a special place in my heart because of it’s location. It’s located in Rancho Cordova where the old Mine Shaft Mini Golf place use to be. It’s a great location. In the old days, you started downstairs for the first couple of holes then you went up and out to finish the course. A great environment and I’m sad to see it sitting there not being used…well, until the haunt season.
I went two years ago, and missing this year was the old guy who would walk up and down the line in his happy, freaky way entertaining the crowd. This year there was a zombie gold minor with a bullet hole in his forehead. He was helpful, but not really the nicest guy of the bunch. There was also a huge puppet like creature walking around, something I had seen at Dark Harbor. Again, I get so into these events I forget to take pictures, kicking myself.
Before we begin, be aware that we did get the fancy pants tickets which got us front of the line access. There weren’t too many people in lines so we probably could have done without for most of it, but they were nice to have. Kept Amy and Aunt Nikki on their toes <evil laugh>.
Before entering, there is this cool window into the building. Now I’m not sure if it’s a video wall, or just a window that shows shadows from the other side, which I think it was because I never saw the same thing twice. There’s a guy with a hook who starts attacking another figure, then the figure falls on the glass/video screen smearing blood all over the place. Very cool to watch. And sometimes when people would take a picture in front of it, the people on the other side would seem to react.
So the dead have risen to exact their revenge on their killer. How cool is that right? You started the maze by walking through a long hallway with candles on both sides. Very cool. We had a lady follow us the whole way without us realizing it. She let us enter and we walked pass a jail cell with a guy following us making as much noise as possible. Walked into a bar where “the shots were on him” and he shot an air gun at us. The best room, well for me, was the spider room. At this point Amy was tangled up in my jacket and either pushing me forward, or pulling me back. As she saw the huge spider on our left, she pulled me back revealing a switch on the ground. So of course, I stepped on it and the spider came running forward. So Amy pushed me forward, and that’s when we saw another spider up on the shelf running towards us. Fun room, for those that aren’t scared of spiders that is.
The exit to this one wasn’t as memorable, but there was a guy sitting in a chair waiting to pounce which sent you out and into the line for the next maze.
TOMB OF SHADOWS
First off, this is the BEST blackout maze I’ve ever been through. The maze was pitched black with a little bit of light showing above. You felt the walls for guidance, but the walls were either just plain wood panels, furry walls, or rubbery walls. Sometimes there would be fabric hanging from the ceiling, so you weren’t sure what was hitting your face. Then from above, there would be actors whispering. Unfortunately, I had no idea what they were whispering, but it was creepy.
At two points, the strobe light would come on and some kind of devil would come screaming at you. These scenes, while simple, really added to the creepiness of the maze. And the strobe light wasn’t so intense that you left with a headache. Very well done.
BLOOD ON THE BAYOU
The problem with this maze is it’s outside and there’s a lot of space to fill, so it doesn’t surprise me that it isn’t filled with scare after scare. It was kind of a casual walk through the old golf courses. There were some ladies in white who liked to scream, some lightning bugs hovering over a stream, and some guy who hung himself. My favorite part of this maze was the witch doctor on the far side. You couldn’t get too close to him, but he would hit his staff against the ground and a flash of light would come from the tree above you with the sound of thunder. Very awesome.
The last scene of the walk through was an indoor room which I thought was a cool idea. Had a small voodoo scene and then you were out again. Not my favorite voodoo maze of the year, but that witch doctor scene was pretty powerful.
DR. LASH’S SIDESHOW
Probably the worst maze of the bunch, and not because my Aunt was terrified by clowns either. It seriously felt like we entered the Sideshow, then left shortly after. The only room I really remember was the last room which two clowns were in. You had to push buttons and pull down levers to get out. That room depended greatly on the scareactors to be interesting, and the two we had weren’t very exciting.
A couple of things do come to mind in that maze like the bearded lady, a lady on a bed of nails, and a couple of things that could be clowns? I just remember short…too short.
Sadly, the last maze because I wanted more. You enter the Asylum and a lady is at the desk asking for your name. Then she yells your name for the whole maze to hear…but nothing is ever done with it. You go from room to room full of patients getting tested on and then the doctor, or whoever will come at you with whatever device he is holding, either a saw or an air gun mechanism. At one point I was following a deranged patient crawling telling me not to pass him. Then he enters a room, lies down and does nothing. Very strange.
Asylum had a lot of potential, but lacks the theming that Deadlands had. Hopefully they will keep adding more money into it and make this even better.
I must have enjoyed myself because I didn’t really want it to end. I wish there were either more mazes or the shorter ones were longer. Hanging out with Aunt Nikki and the very terrified Ms. Amy was fantastic and a fun experience. While I don’t think it’s as good as Cemetarium, which is a labor of love, Heartstoppers is up there. And hopefully with continued work and funds, it could be another great haunt for the Sacramento area.