Voodoo and Special Ops: Infected are Winners for Knott’s Scary Farm

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September 28, 2014


The haunt industry continues to get more saturated and competitive which means the original and still biggest, Knott’s Halloween Haunt has been trying new things to stay ahead of the pack. Two years was the debut of “Trapped: Lock and Key. This year it was the choose-your-own-adventure maze Voodoo and the zombie shooting attraction Special Ops: Infected.

Once again they brought in Elvira who is featured in “Elvira’s Big Top”. She’s the host for the show which features a guy who swallows swords as well as a contortionist. In between acts, Elvira played to the audience and told some pretty funny jokes.


Special Ops: Infected is situated in the Camp Snoopy area of the park where those with a special card are either part of Team Alpha or Team Bravo. The scenario is that people have been taken hostage by zombies during an infection outbreak and teams of up to twelve are there to help rescue them. They are given a laser gun and told to shoot the zombies in the head.


One of the two new mazes this year is “Tooth Fairy”. The premise is that the good tooth fairy has been captured by the evil tooth fairy. The evil tooth fairy visits the children at night who have teeth under their pillow and takes them to the dental chair where all kinds of cruel and painful dental work will be done. This maze is very gory and tells the story well.


The other new maze is “Voodoo” which had one of the longest lines. This maze sends visitors deep into the swamps of Cajun Country where voodoo priests and priestesses roam along with zombies. Depending on which path you take, you’ll either experience an exorcism or a sacrifice. This is one of the best mazes we’ve seen in a long time. We heard a lot of people talking about how well attention was paid to detail and how effective the lighting was.


Of course there are returning mazes such as The Gunslinger’s Grave, , Pinocchio Unstrung, Black Magic and Dominion of the Damned. The hanging was really good and funny this year, parodying everyone from mayor Rob Ford to Beyonce and of course Disney properties such as those from “Frozen”. This year this is actually a double hanging which we won’t comment on since we want everyone to have the experience of discovering it for themselves.

We really enjoyed Knott’s this year. The old mazes got some fresh detail added to them and Special Ops: Infected is a cool military/zombie attraction that we think should stay for a long while. Maybe next year they can add more of a specialized theme to it. “The Tooth Fairy” was a lot of fun. The lighting in it and “Voodoo” were really effective. The maze was well laid out and seemed as realistic as can be. “Voodoo” also had a realistic feel and a great Skeleton Key added attraction.


Universal Halloween Horror Nights Photo Review

September 21, 2014

We here at Golden State Haunts and Events were very impressed with the mazes at Horror Nights this year.  The special effects, make-up, costumes, actors and sets were overall the best we’ve ever seen here.  We felt the best maze was the true-to-the-movie “An American Werewolf in London”,but it could have just as easily been the “Aliens Vs. Predator” maze which was amazing and had us feel like we were really on the spaceship in-between the galactic battle.  The most fun we had in a maze was the “Clowns 3-D featuring Slash”.  The light on scares, heavy in campy humor reminded us of another long-running clown maze at another local theme park.







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Shriekfest announces Premieres!

September 7, 2014


(Los Angeles, CA) For Immediate release! Shriekfest Film Festival’s 2014 lineup includes such recognizable names as Brian Krause in the WORLD PREMIERE of “House of Purgatory”, Joe Adler in it’s WORLD PREMIERE “Kill Game”, Joanna Cassidy in it’s U.S PREMIERE “Zugzwang”, Ed Gale in it’s WORLD PREMIERE “Honey”, and Michael Berryman in “One Please”. The roster encompasses 42 films, 30 screenplay finalists, and 8 original song finalists.. Awards will be awarded in many categories, including an award for the Best Feature Film and Best Feature screenplay. Festival Director Denise Gossett oversees Shriekfest, now in it’s 14th year. For more information http://www.shriekfest.com (http://shriekfest.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=130b717886&id=0176c547cc&e=2bd524adc1) http://shriekfest.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=130b717886&id=c679cf4b63&e=2bd524adc1 www.denisegosstt.com (http://shriekfest.us6.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=130b717886&id=1a5091b6d0&e=2bd524adc1) Shriekfest alumni include such indie icons as Travis Betz, Gregg Bishop, Kevin Greutert (Saw VI), Kenneth J. Hall, Olatunde Osunsanmi (The Fourth Kind), Tammi Sutton, Darin Scott, and many more!


Universal Studios Hollywood Invites Fans to Attend Coveted “Eyegore Awards”

September 7, 2014


Universal City, CA – Universal Studios Hollywood sets the stage for the eagerly-awaited arrival of Halloween Horror Nights on Friday, September 19, with the annual “Eyegore Awards,” honoring influential entertainment professionals for bringing the horror genre to life within the movie, television and music industries. And, for the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood is offering 500 Halloween Horror Nights fans a chance to attend the coveted “Eyegore Awards,” which will feature a roster of today’s leading Hollywood horror icons.

The 2014 “Eyegore Award” recipients include multiple Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker and Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead,” “Galyntine,” “ Sin City:  A Dame to Kill For,” “Breaking Bad,” “Pain & Gain,” “Django Unchained,” “Predators,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Piranha 3D”), with the award presented by Chris Hardwick, comedian and host of AMC’s “Talking Dead” and Robert Kirkman, Creator and Executive Producer of “The Walking Dead” and “Outcast.”

Versatile, award-winning filmmaker and Founder & Chairman of El Rey Network, Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City,” “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Machete,” “Grindhouse”), will accept the award, presented by prolific actor, producer and last year’s “Eyegore Award” recipient, Danny Trejo (“From Dusk ‘Till Dawn,” “Heat,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Machete,” “Machete Kills”).

Renowned filmmaker John Landis, (“An American Werewolf in London,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “The Blues Brothers,” “Animal House”) will accept the award, presented by seven-time Academy Award®-winning Special Effects Make-Up Artist and previous “Eyegore Award” recipient, Rick Baker (“An American Werewolf in London,” “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Men in Black,” “The Nutty Professor,” “The Wolfman”).  

Celebrated Grammy® Award-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist SLASH will also accept the “Eyegore Award.” Hailed as one of the 10 best electric guitar players of all time by Time magazine SLASH will also release his new album “World on Fire—with his band featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators—on September 16. Read the rest of this entry »


Interview with The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride COO Melissa Meyer

September 7, 2014


GSHE: This is Erik Vanlier from Golden State Haunts and Events with Melissa Meyer and can you tell us your position with the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride?

MM:  I’m the COO of 1031 Productions.

GSHE:  Can you tell us where we’re at please?

MM:  Where we’re at right now?  We’re currently at the warehouse where we build and store most of our sets.

GSHE:  What can we expect this year as far as that goes?

MM:  As far as sets go?  Well we’re actually building two whole new sections of the Hayride; the Seven Sins Sideshow is one of them and the House of the Horseman is the second one.  So that’s going to be a completely new build and set that no one has ever seen, whose has frequented the  Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.

GSHE:  Can you tell us more about your position please?

MM:  So, I’m the Chief Operating Officer. I sit down on all the creative meetings and we have storyboarding with a team of us that work through the concepts and what we’re going to be doing for this upcoming year, all the way from the theme to the execution.  And then I’m still head of the special effects department and oversee the wardrobe department.  So, a lot of the choreographic elements of the show.  So just a few things.

GSHE:  How many people work at the warehouse?

MM:  Well the warehouse isn’t strictly for the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.  So, it’s not too interesting of a thing.    Our full time staff is about eight people that are on for the entire year.

GSHE: How is this year going to compare with last year?

MM:  This year it’s going to be bigger and better like always.  We’re coming in to our sixth season “Echoes from the Rift” so we’re doing all things Hell related.  It’s a lot of giant Leviathon creatures as well as Greek influences.  Anything, you know, everything Hell related.

GSHE: Last year a lot of the Haunt was themed to the paranormal.  Is that going to be the case this year?

MM:  So last year we worked on things based on actual events.  And one of the elements that we were utilizing was the creepiness of Griffith Park itself, which is one of the most paranormal sites.  So, we will always have paranormal elements because Griffith Park and the Old Zoo are one of the most active areas in all of California.  But our theme, we’re definitely sticking to a very “Echoes from the Rift”, everything from Hell this season.

GSHE:  And where did you get that name from?

MM: “Echoes from the Rift” was a group decision.  Our creative director came up with different variations of Hell, and the word Rift  and all together we grouped the words together and “Echoes from the Rift”.

MM:  One main thing to mention this we’re doing because we’re building the two new attractions we have our first time all-season  pass with zero blackout dates and it’s a hundred and forty nine dollars and it’s an automatic upgrade to VIP so you don’t have to wait in lines.  That’s a pretty new and exciting element.  As well as we’re making everything larger than life this season.


Six Flags Magic Mountain Announces Largest Expenditures in Fright Fest History

August 23, 2014


Six Flags Magic Mountain recently announced at a press conference that this year they are going to spend more on Fright Fest than any other year prior.  Those who attended had the opportunity to see some of the results of the increase in spending as there were two enormous props as well as improved costumes and make-up.  We’re interested in seeing what they do now with their advertising budget to target customers who may otherwise only go to the big three (Scary Farm, Horror Nights and Dark Harbor).

There will be seven scare zones including the new Ravenstitch and Voodoo Nights.  Also, there will be eight mazes.  Those will be Willoughby’s Resurrected, Chupacabra, Aftermath, Total Darkness and the new mazes Toyz of Terror 3-D, The Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness Vault 666 and Red’s Revenge.  Members of the press got a sneak preview of Vault 666 which looks like it’s going to be a huge maze that has a lot of elaborate sets.  Returning this year will be the Fright Feast (a buffet dinner) with an illusionist on stage and the new new VIP experience Monster Tour.

With the classic thrill rides and upgrades  in mazes, monsters, props, etc. Fright Fest looks like it will be a winner this year.


Dark Harbor Unveils Two Terrifying New Mazes “Soulmate” and “B340”

August 22, 2014


The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Tests Thresholds of Fear with an Exclusive Encounter Onboard the Haunted Ship

LONG BEACH, Calif., (August 21, 2014) –The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor will rise from the haunted bows of a rich, torrid history to scare all those who dare this Halloween season beginning October 2 through November 2. Dark Harbor is pleased to unveil two brand new mazes, Soulmate and B340, and an Exclusive Encounter unlike any other haunted experience onboard the infamous cruise liner.

Graceful Gale was the belle of The Queen Mary in the 1930s. As a beautiful first class passenger Gale charmed her way across the ship’s dance floor regularly until mysteriously disappearing on her final passage in 1939. The new Soulmate maze will take over the former location of the Containment maze and bring to life the haunted spirit of the frightful Graceful Gale. The story of Gale will unravel as her true spirit is revealed and those who dare will realize that Gale may not be as graceful as she appeared, but in fact is more monstrous than ever imagined. Gale will haunt The Queen Mary in order to lure suitors into her possession. Once she captures their hearts she will have her adoring minions cut them up and reassemble them to create her “perfect mate.” But Gale isn’t so easy to please and only a few creatures are suitable enough to be her dance partner. The rest of the rejects are doomed and outcast to haunt the Queen at night.

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