While many may scoff, thinking that it is too early for anyone to think about Halloween this year, think again! Those of us who live/eat/breathe for the sake of the scare take little time off when it comes to plans for the coming scare season. Of course, the big Southern California three (Universal, Knott’s, and Six Flags) are already running their countdown clocks and have been (as far as we’ve heard) since the end of last season, but what about the locals?

Now, unlike the big theme parks, local haunts begin to happen beneath everyone else’s radar and the advertisements crop up just as soon as your local Halloween store opens or you start to notice the pumpkin-flavored-everything penetrating every corner of the world. But what makes local haunts different from the big parks is not just bigger budgets and well-known figures in haunted pop-culture, but that the local guys are building from things like local legends or haunted spaces. The local haunts are families that have been putting on a little show for Halloween in their yards until they grew beyond the garage and picket fences.

Reign of Terror

My ticket from last year’s event. At the end, your number could be included in a raffle for prizes!

ROT House

Last year, we visited the Reign of Terror Haunted House in Thousand Oaks, CA. Mr. Horror and I experienced this award-winning haunt last year and were more than just impressed with their wonderful work. In 2015, we hope to be able to experience it multiple times, as it is an event very local to us, but one that also benefits their local community. The ROT House operates as a non-profit and the proceeds help to support the community teen center. This year, we are looking forward to highlighting more of this as the season begins to develop.

Raymond Hill Mortuary

© 2014-2015 Evil Twin Studios

Raymond Hill Mortuary

In south Pasadena, CA, horror prop and FX company, Evil Twin Studios brings Raymond Hill Mortuary to a creepy, disturbing life during the haunt season, but only for a few short nights through the latter half of October. While the actual mortuary has a nefarious history, this event is fantastic and like the ROT House, their proceeds help to benefit their local community. This year we hope to bring more information and take a look into what has made this event such a local treasure.

fear station

Fear Station

Another haunt we are looking forward to is the Fear Station. Beginning as a father and son home haunt over ten years ago, this growing attraction in Stanton, CA is becoming quite the fan favorite. We hope to get down there this year and see what the buzz is about.

Coffin Creek's historical flooding.

Coffin Creek’s historical flooding.

Coffin Creek

The Asylum at Coffin Creek in 2014 had 5 haunted experiences in Corona, CA with two of those haunts as guided tours. This is another event we hope to attend this year and see just how this history of this graveyard flooding inspired this haunted attraction.

However, not all haunts are limited to these kind of haunted spaces, houses, or mazes. This last weekend, ALONE [an existential haunting] finished their haunt event.

We don’t know much about this, except that those who attended, really enjoyed what they went through. ALONE comes from the growing trend of haunts that take the haunt experience to the “extreme.” Although there is some well placed criticism for haunts that may take it too far, experiences like ALONE are some of the new total immersions that seem to be doing it right and doing it right outside of the “normal” haunting season. If that is not something to be excited about (or scared), then we don’t know what is!