Often brutal but always fun, The 17th Door is a top-notch haunted house in the heart of Fullerton.
Living in Los Angeles affords the connoisseur of immersive haunts a wealth of choices. On the one hand, you can choose among traditional, professionally designed scares from trustworthy establishments like Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and the Knott's Berry Farm Halloween Haunt. On the other hand (and at the other end of the Halloween spectrum), Los Angeles offers many independently crafted and often more extreme attractions, like Alone, Delusion Interactive Theatre, and Hurting.
The 17th Door combines these two worlds, crafting a traditional group walk-through maze with some extreme scare elements and truly impressive tech and design. The result is one of the scariest, brutal, and fun haunted houses I have yet experienced.
17th Door Haunted House Review: Set Up & Scares
The 17th Door’s conceit is to lead a group of up 6-8 people through a maze containing a number of doors (17 to be exact). The rooms beyond the doors rooms are clever; each contains an experience more intense than the last, and this haunt does a nice job of ramping up the feeling of impending dread.
The theme for this year’s 17th Door is that of a jail. Your group must navigate its innards from incarceration through the showers to solitary confinement to double executions of firing squad and gas chamber (which doesn’t really make a lot of sense in retrospect) to a welcome #metoo revenge moment with the warden and our female protagonist to an eventual Shawshank type escape.
The punishments and scares are well themed and meted out by a cast of overly enthusiastic guards and inmates. Highlights include a room on hydraulics that actually turns upside down like in that Billie Eilish video, a Stanford prison-type experiment moment in which the victim becomes the predator, and a climactic moment I don’t want to spoil, when a trip to the gas chamber becomes something so much more. Please note there are extreme elements at play here including live insects, claustrophobia, gross adult themes, and sometimes very painful electrical shocks. You can always bypass a room by saying a safe word; however, doing so will end the experience for you as well as everyone else in your group.
17th Door Haunted House Review: Conclusion
With tickets ranging from $25 to $40, the would-be prisoner receives a lot of quality haunt for a great value at The 17th Door. However, please be warned that you must be in excellent physical condition, and you would be well served to absolutely, positively wear long pants (trust me on this one).
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The 17th Door Halloween Haunted House Rating
The 17th Door is that Halloween rarity: a truly scary haunted house mixing extreme horror with truly impressive tech and design. You get a lot of bang for your buck: tickets range from $25 on off nights to a mere $40 for the most expensive VIP tickets on October 26. Highly recommended (though I could have done without some of the electric shocks).
The 17th Door continues on select nights through November 3. The address is 1851 W Orangethorpe Ave Fullerton, CA 92833. For more information, visit: the17thdoor.com.