Top five scariest Halloween 2011 attractions

Ron Rokhy

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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights offers several blood curdling mazes, rides and scare zones that mix spine-chilling thrills with popular films. The attractions include six mazes, three rides, and four scare zones.

The mazes are based on the movies: The Thing, Hostel, House of 1000 Corpses, and The Wolfman. Two other non-movie related mazes are influenced by shock-rocker Alice Cooper’s twisted mind and “La Llorona,” an urban legend about a mother who drowned her children then killed herself.

The three rides, which are based on The Simpsons, The Mummy Returns and Jurassic Park, will be operating with no lights to build anxiety.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
100 Universal City Plaza
University City, CA 91608
Dates available: Oct. 27 – 31
Prices: $47 – 57 (online), $62 (at the door)

The Queen Mary Halloween Dark Harbor
Long Beach’s retired ocean liner is transformed into a haunted palace for the 17th year in a row, complete with five frightening mazes: three on the ship, and two on land. The festival also boasts live music performances, food, cocktails and an outdoor dance zone.

Dark Harbor’s most striking features are its three themed mazes that offer authentic scares aboard a desolate ship. The first maze “Submerged” emulates a shipwreck, the second one “Containment” takes event-goers through a mental ward, and the last maze “Hellfire,” a place inhabited by damned sailors.

The Queen Mary Halloween Dark Harbor

1126 Queens Highway

Long Beach, CA 90802

Dates available: Oct. 27 – 31
Prices: $34 (online), $39 (at the door)

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
The 2011 Haunted Hayride has a unique theme this year; it plans to delve audiences into the minds of The Clifton Twins, the daughters of zookeepers who were said to have had nightmares so severe they were being treated for sleep disorders. The twins kept a journal chronicling their nighttime phantasms, and the Haunted Hayride plans to recreate them all.

The event features a 25 minute hayride that takes riders through a heart-pumping fantasy world filled with ghouls and killer clowns, then takes audiences through a pitch-black maze filled with monsters carrying nothing but a low-voltage lantern, meaning they can’t see, but can be seen themselves.

Other than these two attractions, the Haunted Hayride also offers black magic shows, psychics, and demonic stilt-walkers as side entertainment.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Griffith Park (Old Zoo)
4730 Crystal Springs Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Dates available: Oct. 27 – 31
Prices: $25 (hayride only), $35 (hayride and maze)

Six Flag Magic Mountain Fright Fest
Magic Mountain is converted into a macabre scare zone featuring altered rides, ghastly shows and spooky mazes. Some of the theme park’s iconic rides, such as Viper, Goliath and Riddler’s Revenge will have their lights turned off to enhance the thrill of the ride.  The ride, Colossus goes backwards adding an extra dimension to maximize terror. The park also has Demonic Dining, which is an all-you-can-eat buffet filled with cadaverous entrees.

Fright Fest also features three new mazes, bringing its total to eight. The first, dubbed “Cursed,” is a place with eternal moonshine populated by gypsies and werewolves out for blood. “Chupacabra,” also new, is a maze where people come face to face with the fabled cryptid, who’s haunting a local Dia de los Muertos festival. The last new maze, “The Aftermath,” is a post-apocalyptic city where the dead stalk the living.

Six Flag Magic Mountain Fright Fest
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
Dates available: Oct. 27 – 31
Prices: $39.99 (online), $61.99 (at the door), $8 – 10 (additional for maze pass)

Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt
Knott’s Berry Farm Halloween Haunt is the first amusement park in history to have a Halloween event. The park has been offering Halloween thrills since 1979, and this year is no different as its comprised of four scare zones, seven creepy shows and 13 different mazes, three of them brand new.

The scare zones offer hundreds of free-roaming monsters looking to unexpectedly spook bystanders, while the shows and mazes look to attract thrill-seekers looking for higher forms of dread. The three new mazes include “Delirium,” where maze-goers experience their own psychotic dementia, “Invasion Beneath,” where the Calico Mine Ride becomes invaded, and “ENDGAMES: Warriors of the Apocalypse,” in which the rich take advantage of others and use them as slaves for bloodsport in an end-of-world setting.

Since it’s inception, Halloween Haunt has had over 8 million people in attendance, making it the most popular Halloween theme park event.

Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
Dates available: Oct. 27 – 31
Prices: $34 – 51 (online, depends on day), $57 (at the door)


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