Not quite scary, Spooky House features well decorated rooms

Daily Sundial

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Spooky House haunted theme park moved from its previous location on Topanga Canyon Boulevard to a new location at Tampa Avenue and Parthenia Avenue for the 2005 Halloween season. The Spooky House will be open through Oct. 31 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays startting at 7 p.m.

The theme park consists of three different mazes: Turbidite Manor, Spooky House 16 and Bloodshed Medical Center, each created within what was formerly the Pacific Theaters.

Make your way to the ticket window; formerly the movie theater’s ticket window, and you have a few choices: $15 to explore a single attraction and $20 to see all four.

You can also purchase a VIP ticket for $26 that allows you to avoid lines at the entrance to each attraction.

The fourth attraction is what is called a “5D movie,” which is misleading since I assumed it would include human beings in costume attempting to scare the crowd. This happened only once.

The movie is an hour long and will have you sitting on plastic folding chairs in a former theater looking up at a tattered screen hanging from the ceiling.

The plot of the movie focuses on a sort of murder mystery featuring, as its main characters, some scantly clad teenage girls running around in a haunted theatre.

When it comes to the mazes, they are short, far too quiet and lack the necessary human characters to make them extra scary, but the scenery is nice and the sets are well constructed. Unless you are scared easily, the mazes will not do much to get you running and screaming.

The Bloodshed Medical Center maze begins with a simulated elevator ride that truly tests your balance. Throughout the rest of the maze you will encounter the kitchen of the hospital, a joke-telling zombie, a crazy doctor ,and some unstable patients fighting it out with crutches and other various hospital paraphernalia. This maze seemed to be the shortest of the three, but the zombie’s jokes were truly enjoyable.

Turbidite Manor is created to resemble a house as the name suggests. The interior of the house features different rooms that are ornately decorated; the fear factor; however, is lacking.

One cool feature of this maze is its red light-green light system. Red lighting around the edge of a doorway indicates that you are to stop and look around. When the light goes green you are allowed to proceed to the next stop.

The Spooky House maze is the one out of the three that made me nervous.

The effective use of lighting in certain areas and a lack of lighting in others created a truly spooky feeling.

Certain portions reminded me of being in a cave, both because of the lack of lighting and because of the feel of the cool air moving through the maze.

There were also more human creatures meant to scare, something that was lacking in Turbidite Manor.

It might be that on opening weekend the costumed actors were warming up for better performances in the future, but I just did not get the feeling that they were truly into the business of being spooky.

In addition, the whole parking lot, movie theatre setting lacks the necessary atmosphere to get you nervous about venturing inside. There is no eerie music, no sound effects, and nothing to really draw one inside.

The crowds of kids I encountered may be an indication of the target audience. This might be the type of haunted house that families would like to take their younger kids to.

Check out the website at spookyhouse.com for more information.

Michael Salseda can be reached at michael.salseda@gmail.com.