February 21, 2024

The scariest local theme parks to visit during this fall season. 

The options are endless for horrific movie-themed mazes, scarily decorated theme parks and frightful haunted hayrides during the Halloween season in Southern California.

Halloween is often thought to be the best time of year to get thrilled and scared, but as amusement parks decorate for the holidays, the prices go up, leaving students to wonder which attractions will give them the best scare for their price.

• The Ghost Walk Riverside is an event put on by California Riverside Ballet for only $15, Oct. 27 and 28.

Local high schools join together to create different shows in the form of a tour.

There are four tours varying in “scare levels.” Along with the spooky performances, the Ghost Walk offers food vendors, live entertainment, boutiques and more.

“I will probably go (to the Ghost Walk Riverside) because if I were in high school, I’d appreciate someone coming to support me putting on a performance,” said Erin Gilmore, freshman liberal arts major.

Courtney Velvo, volunteer coordinator for the Ghost Walk 2017, in a Facebook announcement video, said: “This is Riverside’s biggest Halloween event of the year, and we could not do it without all of our amazing volunteers.”

• Famous for the popular movie-themed mazes and wide array of scare zones, Universal Studios Hollywood is well-known for its scare attraction, Halloween Horror Nights. Halloween Horror Nights offer eight mazes based on horror movies and shows such as “Saw” (2004), “Insidious” (2011), “American Horror Story: Roanoke” (2016), “The Shining” (1980) and more.

Universal Studios also made three scare zones positioned in marked off places throughout the park that have costumed employees chasing and scaring anyone who sets foot in their designated boundaries.

The Terror Tram is a ride with a Halloween twist that features Chucky from “Child’s Play” (1988) as its honorary host to take over the classic backlot tour ride to give the riders a scare. Ticket prices range from $75-$95, depending on the night.

“I loved Halloween Horror Nights,” said Najeem Nawabi, freshman undeclared major, “It was really scary and even after going for the third time in a row, it did not disappoint.”

• Another option is Knott’s Scary Farm, where Knott’s Berry Farm takes on a Halloween themed scare attraction. The theme park offers nine mazes, four scare zones and three shows.

Fog covers the park as spooky characters emerge out of what seems like nowhere to scare the unsuspecting bystanders.

It is the largest scare attraction in the area and prices start as low as $40.

• Six Flags Fright Fest also offers five mazes that are an additional cost to the ticket price. Fright Fest is often thought to be a mild scare and possibly a good starter attraction.

• Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor offers seven spooky mazes. The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is often considered a favorite attraction because of the lower prices, with tickets as little as $30, when compared to Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm. The Dark Harbor features monsters in the lines of the mazes to add another element of scary entertainment.

Southern California has an abundance of spooky attractions with a wide variety of frightening mazes and spine-chilling scare zones. Located near the entertainment capital of America, CBU students are able to access some of the most scary attractions that the country has to offer within just a short drive.

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