Halloween Odyssey 2021: Orange County Yard Haunts
Here is a running list of Home Haunts and Yard Displays we have visited in Orange County. This list may continue to grow as we make more home haunt visits:
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Orange
The Pirate’s Cave: Curse of Calico Jack
6351 Semillon Place, Rancho Cucamonga, 91737
October 16, 17, 22-24, 29-31, 7-9PM Sun., 7-10PM
The Larson’s return with an even more impressive maze that triples the size of their last walk-through effort in 2019. As you may remember from our past review, we were impressed with the gadgets and electronics implemented at this home haunt. The bridge with the Kraken took their game to the next level. Well, that’s true until you experience their walk-through this year.
For the first time ever, Larson Mining Co. is giving free mine tours! You are invited to help mine for gold, silver and other hidden treasures. The walk-through started off with us walking through a dimly lit mineshaft. It was the right amount of light paired with the mixture of fog that gave it the right ambience We then got into a hellavator with an animated screen to simulate the feeling of going down. The elevator ride started out pretty smooth before things got rocky. The hanging light on top was swinging and we were barely able to maintain our balance. What was impressive was each floor had its own name, programmed into the LED display that simulated a window.
We survived the plunge and then were met with a miner who directed us where to continue. We were met with 2 miners on an observation deck, one told us we weren’t supposed to be here. They ended up opening the treasure chest anyway and unleased the curse and spirit of Calico Jack. At this point, we have to run like hell and escape. We continued down “another” mine shaft; this time being lit differently with fire and jump scares. If you survive this, you have to survive the Kraken once again before you resurface and taste freedom.
With enough special effects, well-timed scares and lighting; this is a pro haunt in somebody’s backyard. This would be a haunt you pay to see at a commercial property or inside a mall. Word of advice, pay very attention to the corridors you walk-through; only then you’ll realize how impressive this build is. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Mission Viejo
24465 Chamalea Dr, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
October 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30: 7-9PM, 31: 6-10pm
MicroLab4 tells the story of a big evil laboratory corporation that likes to franchise labs out to home scientists. Without any regulation or way to track these home scientists, things of course go awry. In this short but sweet mini walk-through attraction; Prism continues their storyline for the 4th straight year. Returning fans are familiar with the theme and would know what to expect. For the newcomers; Prism offers theme park quality props and gadgets for a scare at a bargain price: Free. Does it sound too good to be true? Maybe it is. It must be this evil lab corporation trying to recruit you for their experiments. Guests walk through a quarantine tunnel of sorts to see this home-made lab. The place is a mess and there are cables everywhere along with toxic radioactive bins you got to walk around; definitely not something you would find at a professional lab. Since it’s a home lab with likely no safety requirements, just be careful where you tread or you might end up looking like the infected that you encounter.
With a combination of jump scares, drop windows and professional-grade effects and props; Prism is definitely worth the drive to Mission Viejo. What makes Prism unique is that each year they are telling different parts of the main story and with each year, it’s a different layout and different experience. A head ups, you must have tickets to enter the maze; so be sure to visit their website to secure a spot on the day you plan to visit.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Villa Park
Phantom Hollow Holidays
3161 Nutmeg Drive, Corona, 92882
Nightly until October 31, 7-10PM
Phantom Hollow Holidays is a yard display and then some. Drawing inspiration from Disney’s The Haunted Mansion; you’ll see the pillars and a few other props that remind you of the ride. But that’s not all; if you walk just left of their driveway; there is a sound and effects show that runs automatically. As a bonus; the entire street is decorated with decorations. We have a feeling we know who started all this.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Adjacent Yard Haunts: Norwalk
The Grey Phantom
14338 Funston Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650
October 15-17, 22-24, 29, 30, 7-9PM
We visited The Grey Phantom last year when it was only offered as a yard display because of the pandemic. This season, you get to hop on aboard the vessel. The proprietor, who did extensive work for Queen Mary, was heavily influenced by her to build his own ship. Utilizing much of last year’s facade, The Grey Phantom offers a haunted walk-through attraction for this year. In a short but sweet walk-through, The Grey Phantom makes you feel as if you are trapped in the hull of a ship with it’s creative decoration and set. With the right colors and even a steam-room set; you would’ve probably thought you were inside the Queen Mary or some haunted ship if we were to kidnap you and just dump you in the middle of the maze.
Though there were a few jump and pop-up scares; we really enjoyed the lighting and the effects that The Grey Phantom has to offer. We added this capsule into our O.C. Haunt Odyssey because Norwalk is so far from L.A., it’s basically O.C. to us. They are close enough to many other great O.C. home attractions listed on this post as well. Also, The Grey Phantom is offering free tickets online. Make sure you register before going.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Buena Park
Twisted Dreams Haunt
5815 Panama Dr, Buena Park, CA 90620
October 29-31, 7-10PM
Twisted Dreams Haunt is back with a vengeance. We always enjoyed this old school but high quality home haunt. Housed in their backyard, Twisted Dreams Haunt seems to go on forever and forever. If you love a haunt with no magic tricks or animatronics; this haunt is for you. If there is movement, then it is definitely controlled by an actual person. We were amazed by the number of scare actors that were present. There seemed to be one at each turn and they come at you hard!
Guests must sign a waiver to gain entry because you may get scared. This haunt packs a load of blood, gore and violence and it is definitely not for the meek and the feeble. If we were newbies to haunts; this would easily be one of the scariest home haunts ever. Another must-stop on your trek to OC haunts.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Santa Ana
Santa Ana Haunt Presents: Shades of Hell
2309 W. Cubbon Santa Ana CA 92704
October 22,23,24,29,30,31, 7-11PM
Santa Ana Haunt Presents: Shades of Hell was a late addition on our list. Thanks to heavily favored reviews from our peers; we knew we just had to make a pit stop here. The home haunt had an impressive church/chapel prop with a functioning door. That is also where you enter the haunt at. We entered a short queue area and were asked to wait inside the chapel, just after the door. Of course, all hell then broke loose and then we had to find our escape. Shades of Hell feels like it shows you different variations of hell; utilizing different elements that are known to be spooky and scary during Halloween time: spider caves, killer clowns, grim reaper, a blackout maze and creepy witch who self-proclaimed herself the “Witch B*tch”!
This maze was also worth to drive out there if you were to go only for this attraction. The length of the wait can vary since there is a blackout/dark maze portion and you’ll have to find your way out. So prepare for that and prepare for ghouls or monsters in the blackout portion that won’t be very helpful either. We also like that this haunt is open until 11PM, a definite relief in logistical planning if you plan on hitting other home haunts.
Halloween 2021 Orange County Yard Haunts: Garden Grove
Ferris Haunt Presents: Garden Grove Research Institute
5332 Christal Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92845
October 29, 31, 6:30-10pm
Ferris Haunt Presents: GGRI (The Garden Grove Research Institute). As the story goes, GGRI has been known to conduct experiments that were borderline questionable. Subjects have been subject to testing for special abilities such as ESP. We were invited to take an elevator tour to one of the upper levels to marvel at these wonders. What could go wrong right? We reached the intended floor and soon found out things have gone wrong and out of control; as emergency lights were flashing and a cadaver who was cut open is lying on table. Even the scientists were missing; clearly some or all the experiments have gone wrong. It’s amazing we escaped unscathed.
The creator is known to put his haunts together late in the season but always comes through with something enjoyable. Ferris Haunt utilizes gadgets, buttons and lighting effects which makes the haunt more interactive than it seems from the outside. With no real push for publicizing the haunt; Liam with the help of his sons, do it solely for the spooky fun and to give his community a scare. The great thing is, there is rarely a long line here compared to other home haunts.
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