Christmas at the Asylum afforded another opportunity to visit All Saints Lunatic Asylum, which we think of as "the little haunt that could, because it looks like an inauspicious little mom-and-pop attraction from outside but turns out to be quite wonderful inside. Taking place on December 13 and 14, the Christmas-themed event added a seasonal overlay to the haunted house's familiar scenes: Krampus lurked in the lobby; evil elves haunted narrow corridors; and a high-strung pair of female cooks offered a disgusting dinner in the kitchen, then wailed in mournful torment when we politely declined.
All Saints Lunatic Asylum operates on holidays throughout the year (Valentine's Day, Easter, and of course Halloween), along with Fridays the 13th whenever it arrives. Though the basic template remains the same, there is a fair amount of variation among the different presentations. Friday the 13th is perhaps the least distinctive, identified largely by the presence of Jason Voorhees. Most impressive of the non-Halloween events is the Easter Rotten Egg Hunt, during which visitors literally search for (plastic) eggs in the cobwebbed corners of the haunt.
Christmas at the Asylum falls somewhere in between. The decor and costumes definitely add a season feel, and there were oddball touches that would not fit into the Halloween presentation, such as comical elf telling bad jokes ("Who's an elf who can sing and dance? Elv-is!"). Still, the difference is largely a matter of adorning the sets in Christmas lights and dressing the cast up in Santa hats.
Perhaps the best thing about Christmas at the Asylum was that those who missed the Halloween 2019 show had a chance to see the changes made since last year. Some rooms have been omitted, altered, or added. We missed the old cemetery, but the new chapel is very nice. There is one old mechanical pop-scare that is not ideally situated - you're likely to miss it in the dark. But overall, the revised layout created a few surprises for those who have come to expect what's waiting around each corner.
Christmas at the Asylum was the last event for All Saints this year, but the attraction has revealed its 2020 schedule:
- Valentine's Day: February 14 & 15
- Friday the 13th: March 13
- Easter: April 3 & 4
- Halloween: October 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31
- Friday the 13th: November 13
- No dates for Christmas have been announced.
Update: The holiday events listed above have been cancelled or put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For Los Angeles haunt-seekers, the big advantage of All Saints Lunatic Asylum is distance: the haunt is located in Apple Valley. However, the long trip is worthwhile, especially if you can turn it into a double-header by visiting the High Desert Haunted House as well (which also runs during Halloween and Christmas). You can get more information at allsaintsasylum.com.
Christmas at the Asylum Rating
The seasonal overlay definitely distinguishes Christmas at the Asylum from other events at All Saints Lunatic Asylum, but when it comes to non-Halloween shows, we still prefer their Easter Rotten Egg Hunt.
All Saints Lunatic Asylum is located at 22521 Shawnee Rd, Apple Valley, CA 92307. During the off-season, they also offer Escape Room games.