Huntington Haunt, at the historic Newland House (19820 Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach, CA), has some terrific frights in store for you. Designed, built, and run by volunteers (benefitting the Rotary Club), the ambitious haunt has a lot of work to do to be ready for its October 28th opening night, and I was able to visit their workspace recently to check out the progress.
Because of the historic nature of the Newland House, as well as its continued use as a wedding venue, construction of the haunt must take place off-site, building the rooms and effects separately from the structure, and then installed just two days prior to opening. Talk about a tight schedule!
Jodi McKay explained to me a little more about the unique event: from 4:00-6:00 the event hosts “Happy Hours,” a kid-friendly event, with a Halloween carnival, food, games, and other entertainment, as well as the opportunity to tour the house in its not-so-scary incarnation. Barefoot Wines, local craft breweries, and other vendors will also be there, so that parents can enjoy a more adult beverage, if they wish. The event has volunteers from many local haunts, with a collective 220 years of experience scaring the pants off of people, and will also use “timed ticketing” to help avoid delays.
From 6:00-7:00 every night the event undergoes a sinister transformation, and reopens at 7:00 to host “Haunting Hours,” where the house is now the scene of a wedding between the Hauntingtons and the Oldlands, rival families who have tried to put aside past grievances in order to honor the new married couple. However, things are not as calm as they might appear: guests have gone missing, restless spirits roam the halls, and in order to move about the haunt you must work together with your group to solve puzzles that will grant you access to the next room. And the next. And the next.
Jodi told me that this haunt is different than most others, not only for the dual kid-friendly/not-kid-friendly themes, but also that they are not using blood or gore, and are trying for a spookier “black-and-white movie” scare. I tried to get more information out of her about exactly what might be in the haunt, but she wanted the guests to be able to discover things on their own. Scott Smith, from the Rotary Club, added “There’s a lot of surprises along the way.”
Scott also wanted to emphasize the charitable aspect of this event: proceeds will benefit the Rotary Club and its newest project, a Universally Accessible Playground at the beach, where children of all abilities can enjoy themselves in a safe and fun environment.
Volunteers are still needed for this worthy project. If you would like to help build, paint, install, or perform in the haunt, feel free to contact Jodi McKay at 714-337-9176, or by email at email@example.com. Tickets are now on sale for the event, and more information can be found on their various social media outlets.
We here at HorrorBuzz are super excited by this new event, and can’t wait to experience it!
Doug Gahn: City has been quite helpful, tying Newland house into Haunt theme, giving it a “local feel.”