Get in the Spooky Spirit 

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By Michele E. Buttelman  

It’s the season of ghosts, ghouls and goblins. This is the time of year to “get your scare on” and enjoy all things that go “bump in the night.”  

Residents of the Santa Clarita Valley are lucky to have one of the premier spooky attractions in Southern California in our own backyard, Six Flags Fright Fest.  

Other area attractions include Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Halloween events at Disneyland and California Adventure.  

Don’t forget to include a trip to Knott’s Scary Farm which turns 50 this year.  

Six Flags Fright Fest 

Magic Mountain is celebrating 30 years of Fright Fest on select nights Thursdays through Sundays and on Halloween night. 

Six Flags Magic Mountain promises to leave “no tombstone unturned this haunt season.” 

Featuring eight bone-chilling haunted houses and seven dare-to-enter scare zones with nightmarish zombies lurking around every corner Six Flags Magic Mountain also adds a sinister element to some of the park’s monster coasters by turning off the lights, leaving riders to face their fears in total darkness. 

Admission to the haunted houses requires a separate ticket in addition to regular park admission.  

“We’re excited to be bringing an unparalleled experience of fear and excitement to Southern California in honor of our 30th Fright Fest anniversary,” said Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President Don McCoy. “We’re upping the scare factor with two new haunted mazes, eerie new ghouls and monsters and the expansion of one of the event’s most popular scare zones.” 

Highlights of the Fright Fest 30th Anniversary celebration include: 

  • The Conjuring – Inspired by the horror film “The Conjuring,” the Perron family farmhouse has been terrorized and plagued by sinister spirits; 
  • SAW X – Do you want to play a game? The return of Jigsaw inspired by the upcoming horror film release “SAW X.” 
  • Condemned House Party – Beware the souls of Sigma Phi Mu Mu trapped in this dilapidated old frat house.  
  • City Under Siege – The clowns have taken over in the expansion of the park’s most popular scare zones and running rampant through the streets. 

Popular returning haunted houses and mazes that incorporate state-of-the-art makeup, props and special effects include: 

Willoughby’s Resurrected, Truth or Dare, Vault 666 Unlocked and Sewer of Souls.  

Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising is the region’s largest outdoor maze, covering more than 40,000 square feet.  

Additional scare zones around the park include Devil’s Triangle, CarnivHELL, The Deadzone, TERRORtory Twisted, Nightmares – A Twisted Fantasy and Exile Hill.  

Kids Boo Fest offers a range of frightfully fun family activities during the day on Fridays through Sundays during Fright Fest.  

Enjoy a trick-or-treat trail in Bugs Bunny World, where you can collect sweet treats and encounter friendly characters along the way; two new spooktacular pint-sized mazes with ghoulish fun around every corner and 

a spooky ride aboard the Whistlestop train donned with festive décor. 

Universal Halloween Horror Nights 

The official theme of Halloween Horror Nights 2023 is “Never Go Alone.” 

Halloween Horror Nights runs Wednesdays through Sundays and Halloween night.  

The movie studio theme park will offer eight haunted houses including Holidayz in Hell, Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America, “Evil Dead: Rise,” Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count, “The Last of Us,” “Stranger Things 4,” 

“The Exorcist: Believer” and Universal Monsters: Unmasked.  

Scare zones and entertainment include: 

  • El Terror de las Momias unleashes an ancient army of mummies on visitors.  
  • Ghostz pits you versus chainsaw-wielding ghostz.  
  • Toyz features a maniacal toymaker using dark magic to bring evil toyz to life, including a porcelain doll, teddy bear, nutcracker and ballerina. Now these devilish toyz are out of the toybox and after you.  
  • The Purge: Dangerous Waters is a new show where you will be thrust into The Purge during a fiery, EDM-fueled stunt spectacular. 

Knott’s Scary Farm 

It all started in 1973 as a fun three-day Halloween Haunt. Today, 50 years later, Knott’s Scary Farm is Southern California’s longest-running and most haunting Halloween theme park event.  

Knott’s Scary Farm at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park will offer guests 10 frightening mazes, five sinister scare zones and four hair-raising shows. The golden anniversary of this Halloween tradition will feature new mazes and nostalgic nods to infamous haunts of the past. 

Gates open at 7 p.m. each night for the separately ticketed event and close at 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 1 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. It will also be open on Tuesday, Oct. 31. 

New mazes include Cinema Slasher Maze, The Chilling Chambers and Room 13. Returning mazes include Bloodline 1842, The Grimoire, Wax Works, Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind, Origins: The Curse of Calico, The Depths and Dark Entities. 

The Gauntlet is a new scare zone that joins Ghost Town Streets where Scary Farm all began. Other returning scare zones include The Gore-ing 20’s, CARNEVIL and Forsaken Lake. 

New shows joining the returning Le Magnifique Carnaval du Grotesque include Dr. Cleaver Returns, The Hanging: Uncancelled and Music, Monsters & Mayhem. 

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort

Halloween Time runs daily through Oct. 31 at Disneyland Park and California Adventure.  

At Disneyland Pumpkin King Jack Skellington returns to add his traditional redecoration of the Haunted Mansion ride with frightfully festive touches inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

Other attractions include “Halloween Screams.” Enjoy soaring flames, projections of rising ghosts and classic Disney villains like Maleficent and Ursula all set to a medley of Halloween-inspired songs. 

The Main Street Pumpkin Festival features hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins.  

At California Adventure experience a special Halloween adventure on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride which transforms into “Monsters After Dark.” 

Pull up to “Radiator Screams” to see your favorite “Cars” characters decked out in special Halloween costumes.  

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