Haunt Season 2014 - Event #4 - The Haunted Hotel (San Diego)
Another haunt in the books, oh yeah!! First local haunt, which is fantastic. Nice to go to a new city, new haunt, and a new group of victims to hang out with.
First, I was to go alone. Then Emily said she would go, the Steph said she would go, and last but not least, my little bro decided "well, if everybody else is going, I will too." Life is good my friends, life is good.
BEFORE THE HAUNT
So all the other haunts I have ever gone to usually has a build up. The outside is decorated with the right theming, creepy music, and scareactors are everywhere. When we came up to the Haunted Hotel, I didn't even realize it until we were right next to the open door with a sign above the entrance. It was bizarre. We did see one scareactor outside and she talked to us for a little bit, apparently Emily smelled good and the lady wanted Em's eyes. Also surprising, no line. It opened at 7, we were there at 8:30 and there was no line. All very bizarre. What was I getting into right?
Then they led us into a room where we lined up in lines. We were given the rules, no touching the characters, no touching the props, blah blah blah, you know the rules. RESPECT THEM!! Then we walked down the stairs and there we lined up again. Very bizarre. Then a scareactor got a small group of us and we were on our way.
INTO THE HAUNT
First up, we entered an elevator. Kind of similar to the elevator I experienced in Trapped last year, but without the video monitoring, and I think this elevator actually went down...maybe not?? Who knows? Got a couple of good scares, the doors open, and I find myself in the lead with my little brother right behind me.
The maze for me was really well themed, but kind of disjointed. No real storyline, just different scenes. For me, a name like "Haunted Hotel", I was expecting more of a haunt through a, well, haunted hotel. And that's not what this was. I'm actually having a hard time remembering some of the scenes in order, so I'm just going to talk quickly about the ones I remember, and enjoyed.
There was a voodoo like area where we walked on boardwalks and there were candles. There were butcher rooms full of guys with knives chasing us. There were some corridors that were completely dark. Luckily, I've done enough of these to kind of figure out where to go. I remember hearing Steph or Em asking "How does Jer know where to go?" Lol, because I'm the bomb ladies ;-).
The best scene I remember is the clown subway. First there's a subway car that jumps out at you, kind of like the subway in the Universal Haunt "An American Werewolf in London." Then you round a corner and you find yourself in a subway car with a whole bunch of clowns. Now the subway is actually moving a little bit, which I thought was a great trick that they didn't need to do, but doing it was so much better. As always, there were dummies in there and maybe to scareactors, so which one was real? Then one jumped out at me and said dance boy dance, so I danced. And I danced, and danced, Jay was laughing like crazy, fun time.
Then there was the diner with a girl in one of the booths. I thought she looked human so I tried to point her out to Jay, but she freaked them out anyways. Poor Haunt Virgins, lol. Then the final room there were people with chainsaws that would chase you out of the maze and up the stairs. Then at the top of the stairs, there was the guy from the Saw movies on a little tricycle. People were flying up those stairs and down the street, that part was freakin awesome.
New for me: there was a room with multiple air bag like devices. Now usually, it's a walkway that you have to push between these two large air bubble things. Well this room had 6 different directions you could go through. And I think it was so the group could get mixed up and the person in front could end up the person in the back. I tried left, dead end. I followed a scareactor forward, dead end. Went to the right, and we were on our way again, with me in the lead. It was a cool way to mess things up.
Jay enjoyed his time at the maze. He says following me made it a lot easier. I thought the haunt was a really good local haunt with tons of great environments. But when you push an award like "named by Haunt World Magazine as one of the top 13 haunted houses in America" you need to be awesome. And I think they were close, but no storyline and no hotel part made it kind of weird. I would have loved to have gone through a hotel, room by room, with interesting and crazy things going on in each room. But damn, that subway was good stuff. While in San Diego, check this maze out, good stuff. Wish I had a chance to go through a second time so my memory was a little better.
That's it for So Cal for me. Heading up to Disneyland for their Halloween Party tonight then I'll be heading home. Got a couple more haunts on my list so I'll be back shortly. I'll probably do a quick write up of the Disneyland Party, but don't expect too much.
And I'm pretty sure I'm going to be asked what's the best haunt event down in So Cal? In all honesty, I can't tell you. Knott's is always my favorite, mostly because you can just hang out there and be in the environment. Dark Harbor has real history and real life scares. And Universal Studios has the best environments to explore. So flip a coin, or go to all three :-).