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Plaid Truth

The student news site of Royal High School

Plaid Truth

The student news site of Royal High School

Plaid Truth

The horrors & haunts in SoCal

Ian Cervantes
The dark and foreboding entrance to the Reign Of Terror.

The phrase “Less is more,” is clearly something that southern California has never heard when it comes to horror attractions this year. It is Halloween time, and every theme park and haunt in SoCal is open on the weekends of late September to early November. Between every park, there are more actors and actresses, sliders, mazes, decorations, scares, and guests than ever. Some parks are even celebrating important milestone anniversaries, which caused them to go completely all out. 

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park celebrates the scary season by hosting “Knott’s Scary Farm,” and has done so since 1973. This year the event has turned 50 years old. Inside the park, you will find multiple themed scare zones. As soon as you enter, you will likely be bombarded with old wild western scenery and scarers clad in undead cowboy, hangman, and rancher outfits. In the very back of the park, you’ll discover that the section has been renamed to “Carnevil,” and it is completely overrun by bloodthirsty clowns. They like to get in your face or slide up to you, sparking the ground as they do. The clowns may seem scary, but in reality they often enjoy a casual conversation. In the northern area of the park, undead knights, priests, jesters, and other medieval creatures can be found skulking inside the fog. These ones will try to ambush you, and scare you right as you let your guard down. Almost every light in this area has been cut, and the darkness can be incredibly difficult to traverse through. The mazes at Knott’s are quite creative, and fortunately the lines move strangely fast. The Cinema Slasher maze involves going through a movie theater screen, and once you enter, the horror begins. It simulates you actually entering and being inside a horror movie. However, those who wish to attend Knott’s Scary Farm should be warned – their bag requirements are very strict, and you should not expect to enter if you have a bag larger than a clutch purse. Thankfully though, you can buy one of their approved bags which, along with being clear and quite spacious, will grant you entry.

A little ways northeast of Simi Valley is Six Flags Magic Mountain, in the city of Santa Clarita. At this time, their respective scary event is named “Fright Fest,” and this year it commemorates 30 years of business. To everyone’s delight, admission is free if you possess a season pass. But on the contrary, the mazes will cost you. Rest assured though, Fright Fest is still a blast even if you do not go through a maze. This year, Fright Fest hosts a SAW themed maze, a Conjuring maze, and other original ones. Their scare zones are extremely embellished, to the point where you could look in any direction, (sometimes even up) and see complete myriads of scarers and props. The most popular zone is called “City Under Siege,” and it truly does live up to the name. Jesters, clowns, and other jokesters have totally dominated the area. Out of all the haunts, Fright Fest has the most interactive and amiable scarers. They love to sit down at tables with you, slide and pop up right in front of you, and greet themselves. Additionally, all of the rides at Magic Mountain do operate during Fright Fest hours. Junior student Dylan Bell said, “The clowns sliding up at you in City Under Siege is definitely the coolest part.”

Down in the Janss Marketplace of Thousand Oaks lies a haunt attraction called Reign of Terror. Since 1999, Reign of Terror has been in the business and only grows and grows each year. This year they have undergone a huge upgrade. They proudly feature a gorey presentation of 138 rooms that include over 28,000 square feet of pure terror, along with a fresh new “darkly disturbing” forest area. Unlike Scary Farm, Fright Fest, etc,. the Reign Of Terror maze takes place indoors, inside a large building. The tightness of the maze, and the close proximity of the scarers has the potential to make you a bit claustrophobic. Thankfully, Reign of Terror is very accommodative to their victims, and if the experience gets too intense, each and every room is equipped with a safety exit for you to use. Every single room, costume, effect, and prop is masterfully handmade and detailed to perfect detail in order to maximize the thrill. Parts of the mazes are split into themes. The themes include Haunted House, Hallowed Ground, Casa Blood, Containment, Quarantine, Asylum, Infected, Inbred, Funhouse, and Miner’s Revenge. If you wish to endure the ultimate fright of Reign of Terror, there is a “Lights Out” tour at the very final day of the season, where the lights to the whole building are cut, and you must navigate total darkness with nothing more than dwindling hope and a single, dim glow stick. Senior student and veteran maze goer Jordan Hernandez claims, “This year was without a doubt their best one.”

Last but not least, and arguably the most popular haunt of SoCal is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. And for good reason. Senior student Tatiana Bedolla praised the work and dedication that Horror Nights brings to their guests. “With every scare zone and theme, you can really appreciate the work they put into all the makeup, clothing, designing, etc. While you’re there, there’s always stuff to look at, and it will keep you entertained the entire time,” Bedolla said. Universal Studios has had a drastic increase in popularity this year, and it is believed that the themes of their mazes have caused it. Some of the most crowded and popular mazes include Stranger Things maze, a Last Of Us maze, Child’s Play maze, and an Evil Dead maze. Most people who have attended advise that you purchase an express pass, as the line to each maze has surpassed waits of three hours. On some nights, the line to even enter the park outstretches the limits of Universal Studios. Sometimes the queue can reach areas of City Walk. Please be wary if you choose Horror Nights as your source of scares. 

Southern California has many haunts for you to attend, and regardless of which you choose you’re bound to have a great time. Just be ready for intense and heart pounding encounters.

A fire spinner lighting up the stage at Scary Farm. (Ian Cervantes)
An Scary Farm actor riling up the crowd. (Ian Cervantes)
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About the Contributor
Ian Cervantes, Reporter
I am Ian Cervantes, a senior, and this is my first year of journalism. For a few years I have had an interest in writing, and journalism allows me to write about current events going on. I am wildly interested in horror movies, Halloween, and other scary stuff. My dream job is to be a scare actor and work at a horror attraction, and I plan to do so after I graduate. I enjoy listening to music, chatting with people, and walking around town. I am looking forward to conducting interviews and getting to know people.

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