Halloween in the Inland Empire and Southern California provide plenty of haunted houses and mazes in 2012.
Riverside & San Bernardino counties provide plenty of options, but if you can’t get enough Halloween fright locally, some of the best events, mazes and Halloween attractions in the nation are found in Southern California. We’ve survived a few of these events to provide reviews for you. Listed below you will see all of our creepy haunted houses in the IE and Southern California.
Inland Empire Halloween Haunted Houses and Mazes
Coffin Creek – Corona – *TIED FOR BEST IN THE INLAND EMPIRE*
The legend started in 1938 when Southern California had 14 days of rain causing sever flooding. As the OC Register reported, “As the flood waters subside from 2 week of flooding, 13 coffins were discovered in the wooded area next to River Rd and Archibald Ave in the city of Corona.” Coffin Creek emerged as one of the Inland Empire’s premier spook-fests, where nighttime gives way to a hair-raising hauntsperience featuring five different scare stations, including:
- Chambers of the Mausoleum – Our Favorite!
- Scarecrow Trail
- Lone Hill Manor
- Shady Hallow Hayride
- Fear Tonight
Chambers of the Mausoleum features a horrifying story brought to life with live actors in theme park quality surroundings. You will be blown away by this haunt featuring interactive, scenario-based thrills and chills. They are now in their 8th terrifying year of operation! “Their compulsion to shock knows no limits!” says The Press Enterprise (check their full listing of press quotes). For more information, check out www.malformationz.com.
Local legend warns of a troublesome cacophony of mysterious sounds and foggy apparitions that await trespassers of the abandoned sepulchers and scattered remains left from the desolate Guatsi Cemetery at the frightful floodplain. Each strobe-lit step reveals elaborate props and a talented squad of professional scare-masters.
Better dig in your sofa cushions if you want to enjoy this event: One attraction will run you $13, two will run you $23, while all five are discounted to just $33. Opening weekend will also have many discounted tickets. The fun will run in the month of October only. Coffin Creek is located at Crossroads Riverview Park 14600 River Rd Corona, CA 92880. For more information, check out coffincreek.com and check out our Coffin Creek review!
Field of Screams – The Haunted Stadium – Lake Elsinore *TIED FOR BEST IN THE INLAND EMPIRE*
The Field of Screams Haunted Stadium at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore, CA opened six years back. They now claim to be the biggest and most extreme haunted attraction in the Inland Empire, featuring three terrifying movie quality haunted mazes, all in one location. We survived this attraction to provide a full account with pictures! Tickets are $15 and $20 for VIP front of the line passes. For more information, check out hauntedstadium.com.
Human Roast House – Downtown Riverside – RUNNER UP for BEST IN THE INLAND EMPIRE
Nightmare at Scareview Farms (Formerly Fearplex)- Pomona Fairplex
Pomona is home to its own Halloween theme park of sorts. Nightmare boasts 5 unique mazes, though our favorite was the (real) barn turned, well, you guessed it, haunted barn.
That being said, the fact that the Fairplex is not a year-round theme park limits the options, so don’t expect this to compare to the big budget setups at some of the more distant events featured in this article. Nonetheless, the location is close and the price is only $15 per person. Parking is extra. Find a comprehensive review here.
Calico Ghost Town – Ghost Haunt - Calico
In late October, the already haunted Calico Ghost Town will turn into a maze with ghosts and goblins and plenty of fun. The always spooky western backdrop of Calico will undoubtedly produce a good time for all who dare. View pictures from previous events in their photo album. Calico is about an hour north on the 15 from San Bernardino, just past Barstow where Interstate 15 and 40 meet.
Parkwil Manor – Indio (Coachella Valley)
Information is scarce for the 2012 event, but check here for a great review from last year’s event.
Haunted Catacombs - San Bernardino
The Haunted Catacombs adventure, where you never know what’s behind that spine-tingling scream or creepy crawlie shadow, will be set up outside the Sturges Center, weekends 6-10 p.m. in mid to late October. Tickets were $13 last year. Location: 780 N. E St., San Bernardino. We checked this out in 2011 and found a great experience, an exciting 20 minutes in the evening on the way to a party, a friend’s house or other fun. Check out our photos on Facebook!
Theatre 29 Haunt – Twentynine Palms
There is another haunted house run by the local community theatre going into their 8th year: Theatre 29 Haunt, run by a non-profit community theatre. The price is cheap: only $5! We’re told the folks there work very hard and put on a first class show that doesn’t break the bank! More info is available at theatre29.org.
Insomniac puts on an impressive electronic music event for Halloween in downtown San Bernardino at NOS Fairgrounds. Check out our review of the 2011 Escape from Wonderland, with two impressive Halloween mazes in a makeshift adult Halloween theme-park. This is a blast, but you’re paying for more than just Halloween mazes, so be sure to save up.
Other events, haunted houses and mazes in the I.E.:
- Scandia in Ontario – Family friendly
- Castle Dark at Castle Park in Riverside – Family friendly
- Boo in the Zoo – Big Bear – Family friendly
- Longshadow Winery Halloween Extravaganza - a fun event worth checking out.
Apparently Closed Halloween Events/Mazes:
- Day 31 – Temecula
Inland Empire Halloween Events and Parties
Haunted Hangar- Ontario – October 27, 2012. Guardian Air Jet Hangar, 1150 South Vineyard Avenue, Ontario, CA 91767. Massive party with fashion show, acrobats, and much more! Tickets are $40, or $30 online before October 15.
Southern California Haunted Houses and Mazes
Within a short drive, you’ll be entering some of the region’s most famous Halloween events. If you’re looking for some impressive events and have a few bucks to spare, here are our recommendations, in no particular order:
** Tied for Best in Southern California **
Launched in 1997, Universal has quickly become the most highly regarded Halloween event in Southern California. Indeed, HHN was ranked #1 by ScareZone‘s Haunted House rankings in 2010. This is probably no surprise, as Universal Studios in Hollywood has long been the experts at fooling the public with impressive stage sets, costumes and acting. Translate the talent of Hollywood to Halloween and you have Halloween Horror Nights.
This year’s mazes will be:
- The Walking Dead: Dead Inside
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law
- Welcome to Silent Hill
- La Llorona: La Cazadora de los Niños (The Child Hunter)
- Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D
- Universal Monsters Remix
Notice they now have 6 mazes, unlike last year where there were only 5? Maybe this will translate into shorter lines and more fun for everyone!
- Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights – Courtesy lastheplace.com
- Expect all of the mazes to be R-rated (what else would we expect from Hollywood?)
- The one down side is that the popularity has lent itself to long lines, especially on dates close to Halloween. We recommend checking out Universal earlier in the season. The mazes are a bit short, but Universal clearly prides itself on the quality of its mazes, not the quantity of mazes or their length. Also, there is no alcohol in the park for those adults who prefer a drink to calm their nerves or just enjoy the night, so enjoy your last drink at dinner before hand on the Universal City Walk or elsewhere.
The 2012 season will run select nights from late September to Halloween. Substantially discounted tickets were available at Ralph’s last year, but check ahead of time as those tickets go quickly! Check out our full Halloween Horror Nights 2012 preview and review from last year!
Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt – Orange County
** Tied for Best in Southern California **
Knott’s is an a classic destination in Orange County and beyond for several reasons. First, the western setting that is Knott’s lends itself perfectly to the haunted theme. Second, Knott’s goes all out, with 12 mazes last year. When we say mazes, we’re not referred to a few rooms of some junk piled on a table. Rather, we’re referring to a lengthy, 5-10 minute adventure with cleverly disguised monsters around every corner in uniquely themed mazes that have scared fans for years. Third, Knott’s has some exhilarating and unique rides for guests of all ages. Certainly the crowd favorite was the Ghost Rider- the only ride with a significant wait on the night we attended. Fourth, the value at Knott’s might be the best in Southern California. For around $30-40 dollars, you’ll be scared all night long, and not just in the mazes, but also with well dressed actors around every corner and lurking the in the fog (don’t even try to figure out where- another one will scare you while you try!). Lastly, Knott’s is incredibly walkable, so you won’t want to collapse at the end of the night. While the set design in the mazes come in slightly behind Universal, Knott’s provides a well-rounded experience that has kept generations of Halloween revelers coming back year after year. Check out our full review of Knott’s Scary Farm 2012!
RUNNER UP for BEST IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
This well-renowned Halloween maze in Long Beach is known for its unforgettable and macabre makeover at the hands of fright masters long responsible for some of Southern California’s biggest scare-fests. More than 45,000 scares per hour await, along with 160 monsters and 20-foot tall flames. Three shipboard and two onshore mazes confuse and ensnare visitors. If that wasn’t enough, the food, drink and entertainment inside will keep everyone entertained the whole night.
Dark Harbor Nights was ranked #1 in Best Scare-Actors, Best Scare Zone, Most Unique Experience, Best New Maze for 2010 (The Cage) and #2 Overall by ScareZone‘s M. Leota in their 2010 rankings of haunted houses in Southern California. OC Weekly provides extensive photos from last year if you want to see the ghoulish fun you’ll be getting into.
Dark Harbor Nights will be held throughout October. General admission tickets started at $24.00 online and $29.00 at the door last year. Check out our full preview and review here.
Mickey’s Halloween Party – Disneyland
Disney will stage an extra-charge nighttime Halloween event, Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland, that will include live music, trick-or-treat stations, craft-making, activities, and other mildly spooky fun for tykes, as well as selected rides and attractions, and a Halloween Screams fireworks show featuring Jack Skellington from “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.” This event seems best for the younger folks or those not looking for anything too scary. The 2012 dates will likely be in late September and on the weekends in October. The cost was $59-$64 last year. This event requires a separate ticket and is not included with daily admission to Disneyland. Discounted advance tickets are available online for certain dates. Check out Mickey’s Halloween Party official page for more information. Disneyland is also decked out for Halloween at no extra charge. Check here for more info.
Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest – Valencia
Information on the 2011 Fright Fest is scarce at this point, so check out some reviews from the 2010 season here and here. Six Flags is best known for their serious rides, which are a real bonus for their Halloween event. The park charges just $5 for mazes, in addition to the regular ticket price of $59.99 last year, which allows you access to the park the entire day. Fight Fest will begin in early October and continue on Friday, Saturday and Sundays through Halloween. We’ll keep you posted when more information comes out.
Old Town Haunt - Pasadena
The heavily talked about haunted mansion maze has received rave reviews from various TV stations and bloggers alike. The reviews online suggest this may be one of the few stand alone Halloween haunts worth traveling for. Tickets are around $15, or $20 for VIP to enter with no wait. The haunt will start in late September or early October and continue until Halloween. For more information, check out oldtownhaunt.com or call (626) 248-7652.
2nd Annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at LA’s Old Abandoned Zoo
The Haunted Hayride will take you on a bumpy, dark ride through the abandoned cages and habitats of the Old Zoo from the 1930′s in the woods at Griffith Park, populated with all kinds of scare creatures. This attraction moved from King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas a few years back. The attraction also includes a hay maze.
At only $25 for the hayride and $35 with the maze included las year, this is affordable fun. $5 Off Discount coupons were available with your purchase of any Dr Pepper product at all Southern California G&M Food Marts and Vallarta Supermarkets.
The hayrides begin in early October and continue until Halloween night. Check out a full review on Hollywood Gothique. Go on opening night for plenty of star sightings! This event is at the Old Abandoned Zoo from the 1930′s, not to be confused with the modern L.A. Zoo. Check out the Yelp! review of this L.A. treasure and check out some picturesas well!
The creators of the LA Haunted Hayride have entered the OC in style with a large cruise ship. A haunted cruise ship! The ship promises three levels of horror.
The gut of the ship will bring the poor souls through the abandoned hallways of what once was the treatment deck for those in need of Electro Shock Therapy, Hydrotherapy, and Sleep Disorder Rehabilitation as well as the old examination rooms and even morgue.
The middle floor will appear to provide a moment of calm where patrons can grab a cocktail and take in the old ballroom vibe of the 1930′s. However, appearances can be incredibly deceiving. Don’t let your guard down too much while you sip on your cocktail because it just may end up on your lap.
The top deck will bring gluttons for punishment through an interactive execution experience that just may make them wonder “who” is actually getting executed.
The ship sails on Friday & Saturday nights in mid to late October. Tickets were $59 for each 75 minute cruise, with three cruises departing each night three different times. Get more info online at ghostship.com.
Ever feel a bit of “Paranoia” on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica? The occasional chills, the hair standing up on the back of your neck…it could be one of Hollywoods rich and famous! One who’s been dead 80 years. Things were low during the Great Depression, but murder was at an all-time high, and some of those victims never left. Read our full review of Paranoia Halloween Santa Monica.
This is a new one for 2012 on this page! Check out our full preview online, with a 21+ bar and numerous mazes.
Other haunted houses and mazes in Southern California
- Reign of Terror – Thousand Oaks – highly rated!
- Paranoia - Santa Monica
- The Empty Grave - Anaheim
- Brick or Treats at Legoland – Carlsbad
- Haunted Hotel / Scream Zone / Haunted Trail at Balboa Park – San Diego – highly rated!
- Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball (adults only) - Las Vegas - not quite a haunted house, but quite famous indeed!
- List of reportedly haunted place is California
If there are any haunted houses that you think we should include, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.