Check In To Ward 13


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Upon arriving at Raymond Hill Sanitarium you’re given instructions by the one of the asylum guards which include not to look into the patients eyes as they may take it as a sign of aggression.  As you walk down a hallway an emergency occurs which the guards aren’t too sure of.  After being put into a pitch black safety zone you’re let out only to be thrust right into the Sanitarium.

Inside you’ll find patients, nurses and doctors who you’ll interact with as you journey through Raymond Hill.  Each scene is a different room in the asylum and you may find yourself in a patient’s room showing you her artwork or taking a pill at the dispensary.  The patients though aren’t the only ones you’ll have to worry about.

You’ll crawl through dark passage ways, some of which are in unsuspecting locations, or find yourself getting your own shock therapy.  There’s one really cool experience where you’ll find yourself “taking a ride” in the outdoor rec yard.  All hell breaks loose at this point and the only way to escape is to go through the notorious Ward 13 which you’re warned is dangerous and high security.

Ward 13 in a way is an addendum to the first part of the maze at it’s in here where the patients are even more out of control than you even could imagine.  It’s in Ward 13 where you’ll find the doctors and nurses taking care of the most aggressive.  You’ll find a nurse giving a rather extreme lobotomy, but not before administering a giant needle which might contain a surprise.  One lucky visitor might actually be asked to administer shock therapy.  Oh ya, there’s also the possibility that one or more of the patients might actually be possessed.

We’ve gone to every experience Evil Twin Studios (the parent company of the haunt) have put on and have loved every one.  There’s always unique concepts you won’t find in any other haunt and this is no exception.  You might be “absorbed” in a painting or have to “hide” under a bed.  The children’s ward is especially creepy and uses actual children who by playing childhood games in this type of setting, some might actually find scary.  Like Raymond Hill Mortuary, there is no cohesive story other than to become a part of the actually setting.  The sanitarium, with all of its different rooms is very lifelike and makes you actually feel like you’re in and out-of-control and maybe even haunted asylum (we don’t want to give anything away).

The haunt ends next weekend so we definitely recommend you try to make some time to visit.  It’s a great value and the experience lasts about twenty minutes (depending on how fast you can escape).

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Exclusive Investigation of The Yost Theater AND Ritz Hotel as Seen On Ghost Adventures

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This Wednesday in time for Halloween.  Join Valley Investigators of the Paranormal and Golden State Haunts and Events for a VERY exclusive investigation of the Yost Theater and Ritz Hotel as seen on Ghost Adventures for this special Halloween investigation.  This is a very rary opportunity to investigate the oldest theater in Orange County and one of the most haunted locations on the West Coast.  Many famous performers have performed here and Ernest Ball “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” died in the dressing room while on tour.  The basement of the Yost actually used to be the first jail in Santa Ana.  The Yost does not allow investigations so this is a very rare opportunity.  VIP and GAC were the only groups to ever investigate this paranormal hot spot.  In the Ritz Hotel, VIP founder Erik Vanlier and the former head of security saw a “creeper” in one of the old hotel rooms which was portrayed on the Yost Theater episode of Ghost Adventures.  On that same investigation there were many paranormal experiences and tons of Class-A EVPs.  Recently Erik was back at the Yost with another investigator during an event and they were in the basement with an employee of the Yost.  All three saw a shadow person in the basement.  One of the people (a grown man) walked up it and was immediately grabbed on the bicep and brought to his knees.  Both the Yost and the Ritz have all types of spirits from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.  This event is for thirty brave souls only and tickets will go fast.

For Tickets please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/investigate-the-yost-theater-and-ritz-hotel-as-seen-on-ghost-adventures-tickets-19268181650

Will You Survive The Bunker Experience

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On Saturday night we had an opportunity to check out The Bunker Experience.  We’re actually not the biggest fans of escape rooms because we’ve never been good with puzzles and those sorts of things, but we love the location (the same place where Old Town Haunt used to run) and the idea of trying to escape a post-apocalyptic war zone sounded exciting.

We originally were going to go through the experience alone but ran into some people actually looking for the previous haunt that used to be there and told them about the new one.  We definitely peaked there interest as they told us this was something they wanted to do.  We didn’t know them going in, but the experience bonds you with people you know or don’t as you work together to try to solve the different clues.

In the beginning you’re shown a video in what we assume is the briefing room where through a soldier’s helmet cam you learn that vandals are attacking the compound and there is an map to be found.  If you’re able to find the map then you survive and are able to do the next part of the experience which is an actual maze.

The room you’re led into looks the sleeping quarters of the soldier shown on the video.  The anxiety is heightened as the sounds of war and gunfire are heard while looking for the clues.  In order to solve the challenge you must not take anything for granted and use all the set pieces as you don’t know where you might find an important hint.

The location and set design are great and the actors inside definitely are on cue.  We found ourselves scrambling as we didn’t know when our time would run out as there is no countdown posted as in other similar experiences.  This actually works to build the suspense.  The Bunker Experience is great for moral building and can actually be beneficial to corporations as it requires communication, time management and most important teamwork.  We hope The Bunker Experience is here to stay for a long time.

Scandia Haunt Review: Ontario

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At Scandia Ontario you’ll find two haunted houses.  They’re Blackout (no relation to the extreme haunt) and The Wussmaker.  We were in the area last night so we decided to check them out.  Scandia is conveniently located right off of the 15 Freeway.  They have actually been putting haunts together for quite a while now, but they mostly cater to the local area, so living in the San Fernando Valley we haven’t heard about it since this year.  Both haunts are actually more intense than most haunts you’ll find elsewhere.

Blackout

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Blackout, as its name implies is basically a pitch black maze.  They only allow a few people in at a time (I, Erik, went in by myself).  The goal is to find your way out of the darkness.  Rather than relying on actors (although there was one in the maze), the haunt relies on some old-school gimmicks that we don’t want to give away.  But, I will say that i was startled on more than one occasion as the picture i received at the end can attest to.  Yes, what’s cool about this haunt is they have a night vision camera set up which takes pictures and you get a free one at the end if you can make it all the way through.  i was actually told by Alan, the director of haunt talent, that the area next to the maze is actually haunted, so I didn’t know what to expect as i often feel the energy going through a maze that’s at a haunted location.  I can tell you that i definitely did feel some strange energy once I was inside.  Of course, that only adds to the fun of the experience.

The Wussmaker

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The Wussmaker is your traditional haunted house, although it’s more extreme than most.  However, there are no waivers to sign and we weren’t touched by any of the actors while we were inside.  Right before we went in though, a group had “wussed” out and came back through the front entrance.  Their website has a running list of how many wusses there are up to date.  As of now it lists 10,219 which we can only assume means throughout the years.  This is a fun maze with some original characters as well as some you might recognize.  Their website also lists who you might expect to find inside.  Along with your clowns and butchers there’s also a Freddy Kreuger and Michael Myers.  The maze lasts about 15 minutes (for us it was a bit more as one of the clowns kept misdirecting us in the hall of mirrors and wouldn’t let us through).  The sets are really elaborate for this type of haunt and the actors all seemed to be enjoying what they do.  We actually found Blackout to be more scary, even though it was the simpler of the mazes.  While not touching you (we were actually told that occasionally they do) the actors in The Wussmaker do get up personal and in your face.  Our favorite scene was a gimmick where a dummy is being hanged that has an outcome you don’t expect.

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If you’re in the Inland Empire make sure to check out Scandia.  They also have 25 attractions including mini golf, an arcade and rides.

For more information visit http://www.scandiafun.com/ontario/haunt.php

Haunted Stadium: Field of Screams Review

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We’ve been meaning to get out to The Haunted Stadium in Lake Elsinore for around five years now.  Unfortunately, coming from the San Fernando Valley has been a little bit of a challenge with all the haunts we have to cover and the paranormal investigations we do.  Last night we finally had some free time to go visit and we had a great time at this local haunt.  Field of Screams is the creation of two young brothers (Zachary and Jeremy Ball) two haunt entrepreneurs who have a love for all things Halloween.  We want to thank them for inviting us out last night to check out their creation, which is an old school haunt experience that as someone growing up with Bob and Dave’s Spooky House can really appreciate.  One thing they told us they sometimes get complaints about is that a lot of the actors seem to be young.  We think this is a good thing, as it gives them a chance to experience Halloween and keeps them busy.

Holidays of Horror

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This is a really fun maze that takes a twisted view of the holidays.  All of them are included here, even The 4th of July, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day.  There’s one scene for The 4th of July featuring fireworks that we thought was really cool.  The leprechaun who jumped out at us for the St. Patrick’s Day scene was really cute and there’s even an opportunity to take a photo with a drunk Santa.

House of Nightmares

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This is more your traditional black wall haunt, but it has one element that’s really neat.  Before you enter you’re given a flashlight which lights up at each of the scenes.  In-between are dark walkways where you never know what’s right around the corner.  This maze tells the story of a young girl who seems to be having a recurring nightmare.  She’s stalked at night by the creatures that inhabit her bedroom.  The flashlight element gives this maze a really spooky feeling and for some reason you can feel energy (paranormal?) in this attraction that isn’t part of the haunt.

Roadkill Cafe

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Roadkill Cafe reminded us of the Slaughterhouse maze a few years back at Knott’s Scary Farm.  This is the Bloodshed Brothers own version though which is completely different.  A roadside diner has been taken over by cannibals and killers in this maze which features elaborate sets and some really good acting.  This was one of our favorite mazes of the night.

Exorcism Reborn

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You may have seen the main scene from this maze at this year’s ScareLA.  A lady in church is performing an exorcism when everything goes wrong.  This haunt features a lot of Satanic graffiti and scenes including characters who seem to be possessed.  Exorcism Reborn was a really fun maze for us as we love everything paranormal.  When something is really good, as journalists we have to state the cons as well.  The only thing that we noticed about this maze is that when we were waiting outside the actors broke character.  But, they’re young and only having fun so we can overlook that.

Cannibal Island 3D

This maze features the haunted elevator that Field of Screams has used in the past.  We don’t know why there would be an elevator that leads you into the jungle/rain forest, but we haven’t been in one them for a long time and it was kind of fun.  This is the traditional 3D maze, however we weren’t donning the glasses so we didn’t get the full effect.  Cannibal Island has some pretty cool costumes and makeup as well as a couple of fun bridges to cross over.  There was one actor inside really on point who actually gave us a pretty decent jump scare.

For more information visit: http://www.hauntedstadium.com/

Alone: Absorption – A Review of the Final Unweave the Rainbow Installment

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We’ve completed the Unweave the Rainbow series that Alone has created with its final installment called Absorption.  During this journey we have been immersed in a surreal experience where we learned about ourselves and the properties of light.  Absorption is the interception of radiant energy or sound waves.  This is a much darker experience that takes you even deeper into your self.

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The event takes place at a facility that was once used for film processing and the location is used to perfection.  Alone centers itself with the locations it uses.  Through the 45 minute experience you’ll go through the different rooms and passageways of the building seeing a different scene.  Some of them were scary while others were slightly disturbing or even funny.

From what we got out of our experience is that you become an employee of Alone or bigger yet, The Enola Foundation.  We won’t give anything away, but you’re put to different tests, shown a few clips that talk about being alone and the properties of light, then receive a company mission statement.  Like Alone experiences in the past, most of the characters within aren’t even in makeup or costume, but there are some that have taken on a rather mysterious persona including being dressed as corporate employees.

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This is a much darker experience than the past few Alone installments and you will be touched, grabbed, pushed around and even danced with.  They’ve incorporated some really cool elements which include an interaction with an unseen voice and the creative use of a chair.

This was one of our favorite experiences at Alone, only being beat out by the first year.  But maybe that’s because we got a chance to do a paranormal investigation at the location it was held at before we went through.  This location as well has a weird vibe and sorry to use the pun, but at times when there’s no one else around you’ll actually feel like you’re not alone.

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Before you even go through Absorption you have the chance to unlock a clue that will take you into another room.  The acting in the scene is incredible, as is all the acting in Alone.  Although at times creepy, the experience is absolutely beautiful and spellbinding.  Not only is it a haunt, but rather a living art piece that explores the human element.  You have one more week to check it out and we say that it is must!  We can’t wait to see what they have in store next time around.

Interview With Filmmaker James Cullen Bressack

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At only 23, James Cullen Bressack already has a ton of credits to his name including as a director, producer, actor and other titles.  Those films have won him seventeen awards in the horror industry and he already has a lot of projects he’s assigned to for 2016.  One of his most famous films is the controversial “Hate Crime” which has been banned in a few countries.  You can read our review here: http://goldenstatehauntsandevents.com/2012/11/04/hate-crime-reminds-you-to-lock-your-doors/.  Recently we sat down with James to ask him a few questions.

GSHE: Is there anything you’re currently working on?

JCB: I’m wrapping up post on both “Bethany” and “Limelight”.

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GSHE: Can you talk a little bit about those films?

JCB: “Bethany” is about a girl who inherits her childhood home from her recently decease mother only to find that her imaginary friend still lives there.  It’s like a cerebral horror film.  “Limelight” is about a young would-be actor who moves to Hollywood from a small town hoping to become famous.

GSHE: Where have you gotten some of your inspirations from?

JCB; I’m just heavily inspired by the movies I watch and really i just try to make movies that I think I would enjoy because I’m an avid film watcher and an avid film fan.  i just try to make movies where I would say, “Hey!  That’s something that I’d want to see”.

GShE; We noticed that your film “Pernicious” has a paranormal theme.  Have you ever experienced anything paranormal yourself?

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JCB: Actually fairly recently I feel like I did, but I’m not sure.  There’s these woods near my house and somebody walked out of the woods at 3 in the morning, stood in the middle of the street for like thirty minutes and then disappeared.  That tripped me out so i told my roommate about it and he was like, “Oh ya, ten years to this day somebody was murdered in the woods with a shotgun”.  The story solidly meshed together with what I had just seen.

GSHE: One of our favorite movies of yours is “Hate Crime”.  Has there been anything else you’ve released that’s been as controversial since that movie came out?

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JCB: I haven’t really been as controversial.  That movie got banned in certain countries, but I definitely appreciate the support for the film.  But, I’ve been moving more to elevated genres.  Stuff that is more paranormal and that people would see in a movie theater.

GSHE: Do you prefer directing or producing?

JCB: I prefer writing and directing, but I tend to work as a producer because I just like to be involved with film.

GSHE: What is the main thing you hope people watching your movies get out of them?

JCB: I hope that they get entertainment really.  I think films are made to make you think, but they’re also made to entertain.  Ultimately I hope i just make stuff people enjoy watching.