HorrorWorld Offers a Multi-Haunt Experience for Halloween
Larry and Cheryl Bones, of last year’s Into the Black, have expanded from a single haunt to HorrorWorld – one location with three spooky mazes, a virtual-reality experience and a vendor show floor. Perfect for Halloween enthusiasts, HorrorWorld is a delightful addition to the haunt scene in Los Angeles.
The Psycho Sanitarium
In the main area of HorrorWorld, The Psycho Sanitarium is tucked away behind the merchandise counter, making the entrance slightly confusing (some kind of sign or greeter can easily fix this dilemma). Providing a good introduction to haunts, the Sanitarium is brightly lit, which created a more comedic and campy mood rather than creepy or scary. The Sanitarium incorporated a variety of detailed and interesting sets – from the asylum’s lobby to the restrooms to a padded cell to the kitchen – and incredibly strong actors who were clearly having a blast as their characters. I thought The Psycho Sanitarium was quite a charming and fun maze, with a few gruesome and gross inclusions to up the ante. (Good for 12yo +)
VKULT – Virtual Reality
The virtual-reality experience, VKULT, is also located in the main area of HorrorWorld. A solo VR haunt, VKULT straps brave guests to a rolling hand truck and fitted for a headset and headphones. Helpless, guests watch cult members track and murder a woman that screams for you to save her. Parts of the video were confusing, as they didn’t seem to relate to the plot, and the VR didn’t extend beyond the 180 degrees you see in front of you. But there’s a more exciting element to this experience than simply watching, and I’m not going to spoil it here – but waivers must be signed beforehand. Unfortunately, the wait for this one is long since it’s a solo 5-minute experience and you have to stay in line. I wish there was a sign-up sheet or time-based system so we could peruse the vendors while we waited.
The Fleshyard sits in its own storefront next to the creepy gaming area (not active at the time of our visit). Small groups of guests are welcomed to sit in pews facing an altar, and an actor gives a brief monologue about the events that have unfolded up to this point. The information was difficult to hear over the screams and noises coming from the haunt, so I didn’t get the full story. (This introductory scene went on slightly long for my taste, but it is probably useful in creating a nice gap between groups, to avoid a train-style line.) From what I gathered, a little girl wanted God to stop the slaughter of animals at her family’s farm. Given a Ouija board by her brother, she prayed, but God didn’t hear her – something else did. A possession story at its core, The Fleshyard had great house sets, interesting twists and turns that played with the space, and some surprising technical effects that left my group breathless. The actors were also strong in this maze, and provided guidance (in character) when needed. (Good for 13yo +)
Into the Black
HorrorWorld also brought back a smaller version of last year’s solo haunt Into the Black, which was my favorite of the bunch, hands down. The most intense of the three offerings, Into the Black has guests walking alone through the extremely dark, demon-infested Black house. While the darkness hid the amazing and intricate mansion sets (which I would have liked to have seen better), it provided ample shadows from which hidden demons could jump out at their unsuspecting and vulnerable victims. Into the Black skillfully oscillates between tight, claustrophobic hallways and wide-open rooms where unexpected and clever scares lurk; guests are constantly on edge. While some maze-goers might want more variety from their monsters, I enjoyed the detailed and full-bodied costumes of the demons as well as their interactions with me – some followed me down narrow hallways while some snarled in my ear making my hair stand on end. I loved this maze last year as its own experience, and I loved it here. (Good for brave 16yo +)
The main space of HorrorWorld included some fun vendors – from gruesomely decorated cupcakes and coffee treats to masks to artwork to props and make-up – but there weren’t enough to keep us there much longer than it took to go through all the mazes; a quick walk-around was enough. Several entertaining scare actors wandered the three designated areas of HorrorWorld, keeping guests laughing as well as spooked. As a whole, HorrorWorld is a fun, low-key haunt experience offering three mazes (and a VR experience) in one convenient location. Teens and adults alike will enjoy the mazes on offer, but I would not suggest it for children under 12 years old – think PG-13. A bit of a drive outside the immediate Los Angeles area, the charming HorrorWorld – with its fantastic sets and enthusiastic scare actors – is definitely worth a trip, especially if larger haunts like Fright Fest are out of your price range.