So my luck hasn’t been excellent in visiting haunted houses. They have always been on the small side, and seemingly created upon the premise that loud noises and copious amounts of fake blood are actually scary. Maybe these are the people who watch slasher movies and then explain "they’re not scary, though". But my Halloween spirit is unstoppable and demanded that I try again and go to a "really scary" haunted attraction.

Spooky House entranceEnter Spooky House. On 10/17/04 I went with Sean, his dad, little sister, and her friend. From Long Beach to Woodland Hills (Ventura County, who knew?) we clocked just under an hour driving time. Admission was $18.50 to their 3 attractions, and we had buy 1 get 1 free coupons (from the Entertainment book for Long Beach/South Bay) so it was cheap city. The only real downside was the on/off rain, since they did not plan for it. The attractions were flooded in some spots and there was no shelter from the rain while we waited in line. The lines were also really long, and since we didn’t buy VIP tickets, we did a lot of waiting.

Blood Bath & Beyond haunted houseOther than that, it was great! The 3 attractions are themed as such… Starting with the lamest, Blood Bath and Beyond is an old hospital that has been taken over by zombies that have killed patients and staff alike. Good premise, huh? Unfortunately this was pretty short, not many memorable things happened, and the theme was barely carried out at all. Next, there was a maze that was actually really cool, but you could tell that as the night wore on and the rain started to turn everything to mud, the actors started getting restless. There were a lot of hiding places that were empty, so it was mostly a walk through a very elaborate graveyard. There were huge statues, a Frank the bunny, and a very flexible vampire draped backwards over a wall. Despite the tons of blank spots in that attraction, it really was cool to see all the work that went into it. Dead & Breakfast haunted houseFinally, the Dead and Breakfast is a haunted hotel. Holy crap did they deck that place out. There was a hydraulic elevator, a freezer full of clear body bags hanging from the ceiling, and a mad doctor who talked shit on us. It’s really not fair because they have their lines all planned out and we’re wondering if something is going to sneak up behind us, so we really didn’t have any snappy comebacks. Ah well, a perk of being a haunt actor: always having the last word.

Haunted houses make me chompy!Amid the long lines outside there were also actors walking and sliding around on their kneepads "Knott’s Scary Farm" style. One zombie kid in particular was so cute because he was convincingly emaciated and had good stagger. There were actually a lot of younger actors who were more adorable than scary. As usual, I didn’t get messed with much, probably because I’m a sizable 5’7", and wasn’t attached to Sean’s hand the whole time. The shorter and seemingly more frightened girls were pounced upon. The worst I got was the mad doctor who got within inches of my face, literally sniffing and insinuating. Younger cast members tried the "I’m going to jump out then try to stay as close to your face as possible until you freak out" routine, but got bored quickly because I hold their stare with a stoic smirk. I can’t help it! I adore the idea that in that environment I am allowed to play such games with strangers. Where else can you have a non-verbal agreement with everyone in the room to be creepy and space-invading, without being groped or hit on? Only in haunted houses! Anyway, that was my trip, and everyone involved had a fantastic time. If you’re in the southern California/LA area, then I recommend heading to Spooky House.