Welcome back inmates for another thrilling year at The 17th Door in Fullerton, CA! Although our past couple attempts to escape Perpetuum Penitentiary alongside Paula have failed dramatically, we are once again reunited with our twisted protagonist in search of justice once and for all. Prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically as you traverse through the extensive and bleak grounds of Perpetuum in hopes of escaping such madness. However, remain vigilant, as Vixi Ward Lab officials have been granted special permission from the warden to implement the most finest and effective technological treatments known to mankind. Are you FEARLESS or will you succumb to the hands of the warden and the methods employed upon his prisoners this time around?
If you are unfamiliar with this attraction, 2019 marks The 17th Door’s fifth year running and continues to impress its annual audience. What initiated as a creative and ambitious project back in 2015 from the twisted minds of husband-and-wife team: Robbie and Heather Luther, The 17th Door strives and succeeds at raising the bar each and every year. In brief, this annual production has followed a narrative centralized around a young woman by the name of Paula Barclay, whom was originally attending Gluttire University for the 2015 and 2016 seasons in Tustin, CA. As attendees witnessed the maltreatment of Paula over the years (e.g., ranging from being bullied, sexually harassed, raped, and inflicting pain upon her self), we began to see Paula’s life crumble around her. For the conclusion of its 2nd year, Paula Barclay was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter toward her son, Lincoln Barclay, which ultimately lead her to being sentenced to 6 years in Perpetuum for the start of the 2017 season located in Fullerton, CA.
Tour Group Photo Featuring: Teresa Petty (Top Left), Amber Petty (Top Right), Scott Macias (2nd Row, Far Left), Amber Macias (2nd Row, Left), Ruby Petty (2nd Row, Right), Mike Petty (2nd Row, Far Right), and Kamarra Nichole (Bottom Row)
Fortunately, my mother, Amber, and I were lucky enough to have such an amazing group to experience this attraction with for our fifth year in a row. In our group of inmates, we were joined with the incredibly sweet Kamarra Nichole, and the hilarious Petty family, which were experiencing this haunted attraction for the very first time. Although we had just all met in line that night, all of us had an absolute blast sharing stories and trying to overcome the fear that was increasing drastically as we awaited to enter the gates of Perpetuum.
This attraction is NOT for the faint of heart. If you do not find theme park attractions to be frightening anymore, or wish to test your limits conquering fears, then this is surely the haunt constructed for you! If you plan on attending The 17th Door this year or for future shows, the biggest piece of advice that I can provide is to either go with friends that you can definitely have a great time with or befriend some other guests in line and pair up with them since you will most likely be traveling in groups between 6-8 prisoners.
As you can tell by the “Mercy” pendants worn by my mother and I, this was the first year that we truly had an unsettling dread that lingered up until the point of our walkthrough on Friday, September 27th, 2019. The idea of the mercy pendants is too allow guests to experience the attraction while protecting you in some instances. For a small fee of $5 apiece, guests can wear this pendant to avoid being shocked in two specific scenarios this year and avoid coming in direct contact with The 17th Door’s most delicate creatures! Once you find yourself standing outside of the prison and inspecting every warning sign provided this year, it is immediately noticeable how immense this list has grown over the years. The 17th Door truly lays all cards out on the table the minute you set foot on the premises. In other words, each and every guest knows exactly what they will be enduring once they sign their waivers and step foot inside the prison. TAKE HEED, this year contains a particular stunt involving the contact with a gigantic sheet of latex. IF you are highly allergic to latex, simply notify the actor/actress once you reach that particular door leading into the room and you will be placed off to the side to still witness the Vixi Lab contraption operate upon the prisoners.
First and foremost, I must admit without a doubt, that this has been one of the greatest years of Perpetuum Penitentiary. The moment you walk out of this attraction, you feel accomplished for overcoming all of the obstacles faced and satisfied with every aspect of this haunt in its entirety. In addition, this year completely returns focus back upon the main story and continues the growth of Paula’s character as a whole. Personally, I would love to give a huge kudos to the entire cast and crew working this year. The actor’s energy levels are high, their improv abilities were spot on, and the overall friendliness from the staff and security was incredibly welcoming. Furthermore, another aspect that I truly appreciated was the pure amount of creative thought and hard work that goes in to each and every elaborate room. The contraptions that are thought up mainly by Robbie Luther himself are incomparable to any other haunted attraction out there to date. This year in particular had three entirely new rooms that absolutely blew my mind. Without spoiling the rooms too much, I will say this, one of the three rooms does involve shocking, HOWEVER, it’s designed in such a unique way, that you may avoid being shocked altogether. The second room was by far one of my favorite stunts that I have ever experienced in my whole life. I honestly do not know how to describe the feeling and sensation you get from this room, but I wish I could personally come back and spend more time in this room. The last room that I truly appreciated for its simplicity and clever design is clearly crafted to take your breath away. Sure enough, this room had me legitimately panicking and I was truly thankful when the stunt was finished. On the bright side, I was proud that I did not say “Mercy” for this contraption.
In terms of storyline progression, it seems as if we may have one more year left with our beloved Paula, but I have no doubt in my mind that the grand finale is going to go out with a bang! If there are more stories left to unfold within The 17th Door, I would surely love to see what direction can be taken next and how much more innovative this haunt continues to grow! I would love to give a special thank you to the kind-hearted Heather Luther, for taking the time out of her busy schedule to provide HorrorBuzz with an in-depth look at all of the mechanical and electrical engineering that goes into each and every one of these captivating rooms.
In closing, whenever you decide that it is time to go through The 17th Door and show that you are FEARLESS,
clench on to your friends tight, but make sure to clench your boo-holes even tighter! You never know when someone just might drop the prison soap!