Visitors lined up outside the award-winning Beware the Dark Realm attraction, a house haunt riddled with eerie scenery and jump scares, Saturday night for a scary and exhilarating experience.
Beware the Dark Realm is a free nonprofit home haunt that uses the funds received to support the local Child & Family Center. There was a general line that was free and a fast pass line that costs $5. All money earned from the fast pass line went toward the center. Otherwise, the attraction is completely free, but donations are always welcome.
Volunteers like Christy Ferguson, case manager at Child & Family Center, help run the haunt as they collect money for the center. This is the center’s third year working with the haunted house, Ferguson said.
Inside the attraction, there were live actors, intricate set design and convincing special effects. This year, the set was designed to resemble a medieval castle. There were actors embedded into the walls, and especially in areas that haunt-goers would not expect. Because of this, everyone is left on their toes trying to anticipate the next scare.
“I go to a lot of haunts in the L.A. County, but this one is special because you can tell how much effort they put into the haunt even though they don’t receive the funds that other commercial haunts receive,” said Bellet Sarhad, a Dark Realm haunt-goer.
Scott Sively, owner of Beware the Dark Realm, has been doing house haunts since 1971. Once he moved with his wife to Santa Clarita in 1988, he began decorating his own haunt at his new home. Building a haunt that is fully funded by the owner is done differently than other commercial haunts.
“We build all year long, so whenever I get enough funds to build, I do,” said Sively.
In a previous year, Sively recalls a couple being so scared in his haunt that they left their child behind in the attraction. Every year Sively hopes to make the haunt scarier than the previous one. Overall, Sively wants the people who go through his attraction to be entertained and happy, he says.
Beware the Dark Realm is open Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. at 28621 Sugar Pine Way.