Located across the street from the world-famous Pantry and just a few blocks from the bustling LA Live lies the Blumhouse of Horrors. It’s located in the haunted Variety Arts building built in 1923. The 1920′s art-deco building with it’s grand lobby and magnificent stage is the perfect setting to present the haunt’s dramatic story. If you’re on Figueroa and see a long line with ghouls scaring visitors and a cigarette girl in full costume passing out flyers you know you’re arrived at the right place.
We were blown away by the building and intrigued by its haunted history. The Variety Arts building has also been the home of the Los Angeles Playhouse and the Friday Morning Club. It takes you back in time when things were simple and elegant. Men and women dressed their best to come to the theater.
Before we even started our journey into the haunt we were impressed by the monsters outside and the card trick performing magician. Once inside the lobby we see that it’s themed perfectly with a band playing in the balcony and posters of the story’s protagonist, Magii “The Mysterious”.
Blumhouse of Horrors does an excellent job of combing the elements of a traditional haunted house complete with long hallways and pop-up scares, with a dramatic presentation performed by some of the finest actors. The backstory is that Magii, “one of the world’s most prolific dark-art magicians” many years ago performed a disappearing act that ended tragically for his assistant, Sadie. Sadie was the wife of the eccentric millionaire Victor Butterfield. We’re told that the theater is cursed and that all the characters we see inside are actually ghosts.
The haunt takes guests through all areas of the theater. You’ll go up and down elevators and stairs as you visit sets including the dressing rooms, the green room, the stage manager’s office, the main theater, backstage, the basement and event outdoors and the alley. Each scene is highly detailed and atmospheric with a combination of props and live actors. They use strobe lights, fog, pneumatics and mirrors to really immerse the guest and give a real-life presentation.
There were many unique things we’ve never seen in a haunt before. We don’t want to give too much away, but the acting and atmosphere really make you feel like part of the story. We actually felt a presence in the basement which added to the experience. When we were walking through we felt like we were being weighed down by some unknown energy. This real life paranormal encounter added to the ghostly story.
The whole haunt sticks to the story throughout, adding little details such as desperate writings on the stairway walls asking for help. Near the end the story climaxes with an interactive plot-twist that actually makes you feel like you’re one of the performers. Will you survive the demon who is one of the manifested entities stirred-up by the curse? Just when you think it’s over there may be one more huge surprise.
We absolutely loved Blumhouse of Horrors. The production quality was better than anything we had seen before. Although the ending scene was a little confusing and not what we expected, the combination of the acting, attention to detail and setting take you through a suspenseful horror movie in around 30 minutes. That is hard to do! When we finished we wanted to go through again because you can go through this maze multiple times and always find something new.
2013 Haunt Season Information
Dates: Sept 27th – Nov 2nd
Hours: 7:45pm – 10:15pm
Location: Variety Arts Theater, 940 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007