Most haunts advertise themselves in one way or another. Some events are word-of-mouth only, others use only FaceBook, or just Instagram, or are only found on Yelp, or use physical flyers and nothing more. On Sunday I got to attend a walk-through home haunt that not only doesn’t advertise, but is in fact invite only.
Grandma's Haunted Hollow, in south east Palmdale is a haunt that’s been going for several years specifically for locals involved with the Special Olympics. It’s not a fundraiser, it’s a haunt just for them, at least until now. Next year the creator, 15 year old Hudson Hawk Pritchard, will - if all goes as planned - have a new location and hopes to open his haunt to a wider audience. I was invited to take a look at the final year of the private haunt, and to give HollywoodGothique readers an exclusive look inside.
The fun starts in the yard with a bounce house for the kids and lots of decorations, both store-bought and hand-made. It’s a great mix of eerie and entertaining, with desiccated corpses crawling from the ground mixing perfectly with green skeletal workers mowing the lawn. Inside, the haunt itself is packed with decorations and costumed actors, plus a spooky soundtrack and startling effects. It’s about two minutes to walk though, making it longer than some of the home haunts that advertise online.
We were able to attend both the scary lights-off tour and the more kid - and camera - friendly lights-on tour to see the hundreds of decorations they use. Pritchard told us the story behind some of the props, such as creepy mannequin parts found abandoned in the desert, and a pool filter covered in melted plastic. Overall it’s quite eclectic, but each section of the haunt has a distinct theme. From dismembered body parts, through the pet cemetery, to the spider’s lair, past the witches coven, and into the pirate’s treasure room before emerging out into daylight again.
A lot of effort and heart went into this production, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the creator does with a whole new venue next year.