Transitioning smoothly from a premium home haunt, Hauntington Beach Manor was personally our favorite independent pro haunt last year and a crowd favorite. As more and more smaller pro haunts look and feel better than Halloween theme parks, HBM has evolved to the next level this season, partnering with Prism Haunted House to out-perform the big guys. Prism has been a popular home haunt with an evolving story line with lots of tech. Though each walk-through is independently owned, we’ll review them together here because Hauntington Beach Manor is now a destination place with more than one thing to see or do.
Prism Haunted House 2022 Review:
If you’ve ever been to Prism Haunted House when it was at their private residence; prepare to freak out and geek out as the story continues with Dr. Sanguine’s nefarious experiments and activities. If you’ve never been, have no fear because you wouldn’t need to see any of Prism from past seasons to fully be immersed into the storyline and experience. Up until now, we’ve only been able to see glimpses of the full story since it was at a private residence and space was limited. Now, with a bigger canvas for Prism to produce their talent on, they can incorporate more into the story line and they’re not pressured to stop it prematurely and you won’t have to wait until next year to see what happens.
The outbreak is out of control. You are the reinforcements and you are here to save the world and rid away Dr. Sanguine’s sinister creations once and for all. Dr. Sanguine’s virus, Omega XZ has turned all of his lab assistants into very unsavory looking monsters. Your mission should you choose to accept, is to search and retrieve the antigen and help turn them all back to regular humans; otherwise an outbreak of epic proportions will happen and you will doom mankind. With details down to a soldier in full protective space-like gear and an armory full of weapons; we felt we were exalted recruits the moment we stepped in. This first year pro walk-through featured a ton of advanced tech, well-timed effects, jump scares and characters that really act out their roles. Will you have what it takes to save the world?
HBM: Midnight Shadows 2022 Review
Every time we see Hauntington Beach Manor, we have a hard time believing that we are not at some high-priced theme park haunt attraction. The haunt proprietor has a full time business that’s not related to anything in the haunt world; but somehow is able to churn out a production like this, a production in our opinion that is better than any maze we’ve seen this season at any theme park. Their asylum themed maze last year was like an asylum on crack. It remains the best asylum themed maze we’ve ever seen. They returned with an all new theme this year titled: Midnight Shadows.
Midnight Shadows is a story about a paranormal exploration group called The Midnight Society who has plans to tour The Little Hope orphanage that was mysteriously burned down from a kitchen fire. What makes it more spookier is that there are stories that the spirit of Lucy Gray; an orphan there, stayed behind to haunt these corridors and halls. The cast in the beginning featured an older woman receptionist and an older male Midnight Society member who led the tour for a bit before disappearing from the face of this earth. We always appreciate it and give credit when senior citizens get into the action and pour everything into their roles. In effort not to spoil too much of this haunt; we’ll sort of tell you the 3 things that stood out to us: 1.) The burnt-down kitchen looked realistic, that’s because it was burned with real fire and it’s a real kitchen. 2.) A recurring special effect is seen throughout the maze, the last time we saw this was inside “The Conjuring” maze at Warner Bros.’ Horror Made Here. 3.) The sewer tunnel. This attraction has got a bit of everything: interactive theatre, top-tier/theme-park like props, advanced tech and plenty of things that surprise you make you speechless but in the most pleasant way.
HBM and Prism 2022: Conclusion
This has been a recurring theme this year it seems: The little guys are giving the big boys a run for their money. Pro haunts that aren’t a theme park should not typically offer what Prism and Midnight Shadows gives you, but yet somehow these two walk-throughs are able to provide a good scare at the same time give you an experience that’s better than a theme park’s. This is movie studio quality stuff, in Orange County. This is definitely worth the drive to see, especially now that there are 2 walk-through attractions here and a pumpkin patch right next door.
Hollywood Gothique's rating of HAUNTington Beach Manor: Midnight Shadows and Prism Haunted House 2022
1 – Avoid
2 – Not All Bad
3 – Recommended
4 – Highly Recommended
5 – Must See
Great news! Hauntington Beach Manor’s location now offers an additional walk-through experience: Prism Haunted House. Both have done great work in the last 5 years we’ve visited. If you’re feeling squeamish, there’s a pumpkin patch in the parking lot to the right of these 2 haunts. Therefore, it makes it worth the drive and can be viewed as a destination.
Hauntington Beach Manor: Midnight Shadows and Prism Haunted House continues on select nights until October 31. Front of the line passes are available and parking is free. For more information, visit: https://hauntingtonbeachmanor.com/ and https://prismhauntedhouse.com/.
*Note: The author of this post is a close acquaintance of the creator(s) of this haunt. However, this review is still written from a haunt-goers perspective and from a purely objective point of view.