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San Diego Halloween Itinerary: Scream Zone, Balboa Park Haunted Trail & The Disturbance

San Diego has something you don’t much see in Los Angeles anymore: popup Halloween mazes and rides set up in parking lots, fairgrounds, and parks. In fact, there are three entertaining haunts worth visiting if you live nearby or don’t mind the two-hour drive south from L.A.: Scream Zone, The Disturbance (formerly The Haunted Hotel), and The Balboa Park Haunted Trail.

San Diego Halloween Haunts: Scream Zone

Scream Zone offers three attractions: The Haunted Hayride, The House of Horror, and The Chamber. It is open through November 2 at the Del Mar “Scaregrounds.” Their website is here.

San Diego Halloween Haunts: The Disturbance

The Disturbance: Formerly situated in an actual hotel, this year’s version is set up in a mall parking lot, which frees up enough space to divide the attraction into three separate walk-throughs: The Haunted Hotel, 3D Freak Fest, and Blood Bayou. Get more info here.

San Diego Halloween Haunts: Balboa Park Haunted Trail

The Balboa Park Haunted Trail is a single attraction, but like the Reign of Terror Haunted House, it contains multiple environments, beginning with The Experiment Maze before sending visitors on the mile-long trail. The walk is mostly outdoors, but there are several indoor settings. The cumulative experience is quite impressive. Learn more here.

San Diego Haunts: Directions

Scream Zone, The Disturbance, and The Balboa Park Haunted Trail are within a half-hour’s drive of each other. If you start with Scream Zone at opening time and work you way south, it is possible to enjoy all the haunted houses, rides, and trails before closing time, assuming you pay for a fast pass at each establishment. Strategically, it may make more sense to start with Balboa Haunted Trail and end with Scream Zone, which stays open later than the other two Halloween attractions. All three San Diego Haunts remain open Tuesdays through Sundays until November 2 (except Scream Zone, which is not open Tuesday, October 22).

Check out the route on Google Maps below, or click here.

San Diego Halloween Haunt 2019 Ratings
  • 93%
    The Haunted Hotel's Disturbance - 93%
  • 90%
    Balboa Park Haunted Trail - 90%
  • 82%
    Scream Zone - 82%


The Disturbance, formerly one long maze known as The Haunted Hotel, benefits from splitting into three separate mazes with distinct themes.

The Balboa Haunted Trail is a half-hour hike with enough frights to fill half a dozen indoor mazes.

Scream Zone’s three attractions – two mazes and a haunted hayride – vary in quality, but they add up to a satisfying number of screams.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.