Halloween Haunt Odyssey: South Bay 2015

Very exhausted after after a long freeway drive south, first to Lakewood for Blackthorne Haunted House, then to Torrance for Revenge of the Ninja and The Haunted Shack. Would love to delve into details about how entertaining all of them are, but the Sandman beckons.

To be completed later…

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Well, we have yet to find enough time to delve into details, but with sundown fast approaching, we feel obligated to give you some idea of what lies in store for you if you take the trip to South Bay….

Blackthorne Haunted House
5503 Blackthorne Avenue, Lakewood, California

Blackthorne Haunt Logo 2This home haunt, which has been terrorizing neighbors since 2004, uses a strategy similar to Urban Death: Tour of Terror: visitors are allowed inside only in groups of twos, equipped with pinpoint flashlights that illuminate only a tiny circle within the confines of the dark maze. Many are the monsters lurking within, hiding in ways that will elude your pitiful attempts to find them with your tiny flashlight.

Most of the maze is fairly simple in construction (black walls), but there are a few more elaborate rooms, including an incredible library near the end – professional quality – with a giant monstrous head looming above. In a clever touch, this apparent climax just distracts you from the real scare around the next corner. Watch out!

Blackthorne Haunted House will be open tonight 7-10pm. The Website is: blackthornehaunt.wix.com

 

The Haunted Shack 2015
5112 Maricopa Street in Torrance

Haunted Shack Breast Cancer Donation LogoThe Haunted Shack offers one of the best walk-through mazes is in the Los Angeles area. This year, the home haunt has augmented its jump-scares with a puzzle-solving room at the beginning. If you can solve the clues in five minutes, you proceed to the rest of the maze; if not, they kick you out! Just fooling! If you fail, you have to walk back to the main entrance, but you do get to go through the rest of the maze, which features lots of clever gags.

There is also an extra added fun element on the front lawn: monitors that allow you to see the people inside, equipped with buttons so that these unsuspecting victims with jets of air or blind them with wafts of fog.

The Haunted Shack runs until 10pm tonight. Admission is free, but donations are accepted for charity. The website is here.

Revenge of the Ninja
The Way of the Shadow Martial Arts Academy
18727 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance CA 90504

Revenge of the Ninja 2013 neon glowWe have visited this ninja-themed maze twice before, always on Halloween night when it was running as part of a block party. We always found it to be a fun experience but we never thought it was as as frightening as others claimed. It turns out that the maze experience is more intense on nights when the block party is not running: crowds are smaller, so the ghost ninjas can give you more personal attention.

The Revenge of the Ninja Maze is open again tonight. The block party runs 6-9pm, , featuring a snack shack, carnival style games, prizes, drawings, and more. What truly distinguishes this Halloween event from others in Los Angeles is the community atmosphere, which provides an invitingly convivial opportunity for neighborhood families to hang out, even after braving the terrors of the ghostly ninja assassins.

The Block Party is free; suggested donation for the walk-through maze is $5 (and a bargain at the price). The website is: revengeoftheninja.com.

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A pirate skeleton at a Torrance yard haunt.
A pirate skeleton at a Torrance yard haunt.

After finishing with the scary walk-throughs, we drove to the nearby Pirate yard haunt in Torrance. Unfortunately, the lights were shut off by the time we got there; even so, the skeletal swashbucklers were worth the trip.

 

 

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.