In 1993, the Haunted Hotel opened its doors in the lively, buzzing downtown Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego, CA. Since then, the haunt has been welcoming brave guests to wander down the dark, bloodstained hallways where shadowy figures line the walls and nightmarish scenes are rampant.
But the Haunted Hotel’s journey didn’t start here. In fact, it began as Greg DeFatta, Secretary/Treasurer, built his first spook zone out of refrigerator boxes in his Shreveport, Louisiana home when he was only 12 years old. Despite his early interest in the eerie, DeFatta took a job in Los Angeles as a talent agent where he worked for years and where he would meet his current business partner Robert Bruce – originally from Memphis, Tennessee – who worked as a lighting tech in the film industry at the time. Around the point DeFatta began feeling burnt out and run down from his L.A. job, he was introduced to a top haunt in St. Louis, Missouri which left a lasting impression on him. DeFatta realized he could fuse his background in business with his creative side to produce a world where ghosts and ghouls rule. Now all he needed was to partner with Bruce and begin their legacy.
The original Haunted Hotel opened in Louisville, Kentucky in 1991, where DeFatta and Bruce partnered up to produce spine-tingling scenes in what was known as a hot bed for haunted houses. Two years later in 1993, they decided to return to the west coast and open the Haunted Hotel in San Diego, and went on to produce haunts around the country with Universal and Ron Howard’s company, Imagine Entertainment and Spencer Gifts. In 2000, the unstoppable duo opened The Haunted Trail in Balboa Park and later partnered with the State of California to produce The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The pair has since eliminated their nation-wide haunted houses and now focus solely on scaring the San Diego market.
“The Haunted Hotel is the longest running haunt in San Diego, heavy on the movie themes, and is one rapid fire scare after another,” DeFatta said.
While sets and scenes change constantly, the haunting themes are always based on trending horror films. “The Exorcist,” “The Ring,” “Saw,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Shutter Island,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “Friday the 13th” have all been used as inspirations in the Hotel. Perhaps one of the most successful and memorable rooms is the moving subway car. It’s comprised of characters hanging from the sides, getting inches away from guests’ faces, and spooking them at immeasurable lengths. The Haunted Hotel is packed full of spine-tingling, heart-pounding effects that will shake up your reality and send all of your senses into a tizzy.
Of course, the Haunted Hotel doesn’t come together overnight. It takes a truly dedicated team to bring the nightmare to life. “The planning starts soon after we close for the season. We have idea meetings beginning in January that consists of managers, actors and a construction crew. Anyone who has an idea is welcome,” DeFatta said. “The Haunted Hotel construction starts in March. We have a dedicated construction crew that has worked with us for years. After construction, the scenic painters then come in and do their magic to make everything look old and scary. After that, a wardrobe and makeup artist meets with us to come up with character looks. In any one night at the three locations, we can have more than 150 actors working. While all of this is happening, we put together the ad campaign that has to be dead on, as we only get one shot each year to make it right.
Over the years, many celebrities have stopped through the Haunted Hotel including Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Vedder, Rachel Weisz, Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hansen, Butch Patrick and numerous Charger and Padre players.“We provide a very strong product that is as good as any in the nation. It is all we do, we work on it all year, and we have great crews that push the envelope each year,” said DeFatta. This year, the Haunted Hotel invites guests to survive the “Walking Dead” dungeon, come face-to-face with killer clowns and get a real scare in the “Evil Dead” cellar. When asked what DeFatta hopes guests leave the Haunted Hotel saying, he exclaimed, “Nothing!... We want to take their breath away!!”
In 2000, the Haunted Trail opened in Balboa Park to produce more thrills in a secluded area called Marston Point. San Diego’s only all-outdoor haunted attraction features a mile of twisted paths leading through pine trees and gnarled oaks in what is surely Mother Nature’s nightmare. Within the trail, a school bus features zombie prisoners, girls from “The Ring” and Freddy Kreugers all trying to escape. While the Haunted Trail is the main event, there is now a separate maze of freak-infested terror called The Experiment. This additional labyrinth is over 3,500 square feet of fear that lets some go easy but others are forced to stay awhile to work their way out.
“The outdoor setting makes it so unique and spectacular, and we can do huge props and sets that are amazing,” said DeFatta. “Sometimes I can stand inside the fence at the Haunted Trail and people are walking up the street after going through, and I can hear their conversation. I learn a lot about the event, because as soon as they come out they start reviewing it to each other. I learn what is working and what needs some help.”
And if that’s still not enough, DeFatta and Bruce keep the fear alive in the Scream Zone, located in North County, San Diego. The Scaregrounds are situated along five acres of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and include rolling floors, strobe lights, fog machines and dripping natural elements.
"The Scream Zone has three different events all at one location: The House of Horror, The Chamber and The Haunted Hayride. So there is virtually something for everyone. You can spend the entire evening going from one event to the other. We were the first Haunted Hayride in Southern California and others have copied us. It’s a great setting for scaring,” said DeFatta.
Prior to the season starting in September, the Haunted Hotel opens for a sneak peek during the international Comic-Con convention mid-July, which annually drives thousands of comic book lovers to San Diego. For two days only during the Comic-Con weekend, tourists and locals alike can get an exclusive look at the hotel’s upcoming scares. It’s an event most haunt-goers cannot resist!
The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Trail and Scream Zone will open this year from September 27 through November 2, 2013.
It’s hands down San Diego’s best scare and the city’s biggest attraction during the fall. Step inside… if you dare!
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN CALIFORNIA CLICK HERE ... http://www.hauntworld.com/california_haunted_houses
California Haunted Houses have grown over the years to feature some really amazing haunted houses some of which have been featured on Travel Channel. Several years ago when we visited haunted houses in the San Diego, California the haunted houses in California seemed to be around every corner especially in the San Diego area haunted houses are very popular form of entertainment and more haunted houses in California can be found at Hauntworld.com. On Hauntworld.com you will find every type of haunted houses in Californis from a haunted hayride, haunted house, Halloween Attractions, ghost tours, to paranormal ghost hunting. Read all about the best and scariest haunted houses in the state of California here at Hauntworld.com. California has some of the biggest haunted houses in cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California.
When looking for a scary or the best haunted house in California look no further than the area of San Diegeo, San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California because this is an absolute hotbed for haunted houses which would also include the Redding, California area. California has more haunted houses than almost any other state in America, and not only do they have several haunts but they have some of the best found anywhere. California has many cities with great haunted houses especially California area which has more of the top rated haunts than any other city in America.
There are at least 25 major haunted houses in and around, California or in regional area's around California. San Diego and Los Angeles, California is not far from many other cities and states that also have several haunted houses for example you could drive to Portland, Oregon, or or even other parts of the state like Fresno, California, and of course San Francisco. San Francisco, California has some of the best haunted houses in America including Fear Underground and Pirates of Emerson. Hauntworld.com did a full blown review of both of these haunted house Halloween attractions in San Francisco, California.
When trying to decide what haunted houses in San Diego to visit make sure you choose the ones on the FIRST page of our directory as these are the best ones in the state. Also make sure you vote on our poll to determine the best haunted house in California and tweet this page or share with facebook to help others find the scariest haunted houses in California.
Use the zip code finder here on Hauntworld.com to find the best and scariest haunted houses in San Diego, California.
California Haunted Houses
California haunted houses are some of the scariest and best haunted houses in California and America. Hauntworld.com will help you find haunted houses in California, Haunted Houses in Los Angeles, California, Haunted Houses in San Diego, California, to haunted houses in San Francisco, California, Fresno to Bakersfield and more. As the editor of Hauntworld.com we know California haunted houses well because we use to live in Los Angeles, California and have visted Haunted Houses in California many times and rate them for our readers.
Listed below you will find all sorts of information about haunted houses in California especially the best and scariest haunted houses including Halloween Attractions, Hayrides, Ghost Tours, and much more. Are you ready to find the best haunted houses in California? Just remember to come back to Hauntworld.com to rate and review the haunted houses you visit and to help our readers visit on the best haunted attractions in California.
The Most Haunted Places in California
Find the best and scariest haunted houses, real haunts, Halloween attractions, Hayrides and more near or in the Sacremento California area. Probably the most well known and scariest real story to ever happen in Sacramento is The Vampire of Sacrmento - Richard Chase. Chase grew up in a very disfuntional family. He had a trouble childlife that was filled with anger. By the time he was 10 he had already started setting fires, and he loved to torment animals. He had a weird obsession for blood and the death of animals. As a teenager his obsession and ager grew even more intensive. He got into drungs and also started to have girlfirends. He had problems with dating and this made his anger and violence towards animals even worse. As an adult his behavior became even more bizarre. He would walk into the emergency room and ask who took his atery. He was soon diagnosed with as paranoid schizophrenic. He had been committed several times and releases for good behavior. As soon as Chase was out the odd behavior began again. He was drinking rabbits, dogs and cats blood. He would torture and kill these poor animals for fun.
Soon Chases began torturing and kiiling human beings. He would first shoot and kill his victims and then drain the victims body of blood and drink the blood and then eat their internal organs. Chase killed 6 victims over one horrifying month for the city of Sacramento. He was sentenced to death and died in December of 1980. It was said that the inmates he spent time with hated him and could not stand being around him.
Disneyland: Anaheim, California
The thought of ghosts residing at Disneyland sounds like a fantasy, but there have been many reports of paranormal behavior at the happiest place on earth. Many of the ghosts who haunt the theme park are guests who died on rides and continue to haunt the area. Specifically, a ghost of a man who died on Space Mountain haunts the ride and occasionally employees hear his screams after park hours. It is also said that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is haunted by evil spirits. In the ride, you’ll see dozens of fake ghosts, but some are real. Guests and workers have complained about having their hair pulled, being shoved or pinched or feeling watched.
Alcatraz: San Francisco, California
There have been thousands of reports of paranormal behavior on Alcatraz Island for many, many years. Visitors, former guards and former prisoners have reported clanging, screaming and sobbing within the old prison. Cell blocks C and D specifically show a lot of activity. Cell block D was home to Al Capone and some have even reported hearing banjo music playing there. Millions of visitors from all over the world visit Alcatraz each year to feel the cold spots, hear the screams and witness the paranormal activity of trapped souls in the walls.
Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California
This place became known as the Winchester Mystery House because of all the odd activities that have taken place inside the mansion. There was hardly a building plan, so there are also many odd features in the mansion, such as a staircase that leads directly to the ceiling. The house is said to be haunted by ghosts who were killed by Winchester rifles. It is known that only continuous construction on the house will appease the ghosts who haunt visitors and workers.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach California
After the ship was docked in California in the 1930s, testimonies of ghost activity were immediately reported. The entire ship is reported to be haunted according to people who have heard little children crying in the nursery room and splash noises in the swimming pool area. There have been many professional paranormal investigations on this ship and it has been concluded time and time again that the ship is haunted. Today, it is possible to take a paranormal tour of the ship.
Hauntworld Reviews California Haunted Houses
Welcome to our California Haunted House and Halloween Attraction page where you can find all sorts of haunted houses in California. Some of our favorite haunted houses in California are located on this page. Listed below are some of the best and scariest haunted houses you can find in the state of California. If you know of a haunted house, haunted hayride, ghost tour, real haunted house, haunted attraction, scary attraction, or Halloween attraction in California please refer those attractions to our site so they may create a FREE listing. If you you would like to review one of the attractions we have listed please create an account. Once you create a user account you may post your reviews and rate any haunted houses on our system.
A premier haunted house in California is, The Haunted Hotel Haunted House in San Diego, California based on the years SCARIEST movies and classic horror movies. Voted one of the best haunted house in San Diego for 14 straight years. You can find them online at, www.hauntedhotel.com
Another place to find great scares in California is, Pirates of Emerson near San Francisco, California a 15th century style recreation when pirates ruled the land is sure to terrorize you and get your adrenline pumping. Find more information at, www.piratesofemerson.com
California loves to scream so please be our guest and click on the profiles for Halloween attractions in California listed above.
To read more about the haunted house industry subscribe to HauntWorld Magazine www.HauntedHouseMagazine.com
To find Corn Mazes and Pumpkin patches in California go to www.HalloweenAttractions.com
To Find The Best And Scariest Haunted Houses in Califoria www.hauntworld.com/california_haunted_houses
Deciding to take a much needed mid-summers break late the past July, I made my way out to Los Angeles, California for a little fun in the sun. I landed at the Burbank airport which I love based on how easy it is to fly in and out of vs. LAX. Grabbing my luggage I walked out into the sweltering July LA sun… and thought “Ouch…it’s gonna be hot walking around amusement parks all day!” A few minutes later I was picked up by one of my good friends, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein-guitar player for the Legendary punk rock band The MISFITS and currently of GORGEOUS FRANKENSTEIN. He was accompanied by his Wife George Frankenstein- formerly known as “Gorgeous George” and Randy “Macho Man” Savages’ former valet from WCW wrestling. We had a busy week planned out including Disneyland, Hollywood, visiting other friends, the beach, and I had to go check out the new “House Of Horrors” Attraction. I had to see how this “House Of Horrors” held up against my “House Of Horrors” attraction here in Buffalo!
A few days into the trip we made our way to Universal Studios Hollywood. I Spend a lot of time in California as I have tons of friends out there. I usually go to Universal Studios Hollywood at least once a year, but was more excited than usual to check out a new attraction-especially a haunted attraction! Once in the gates we made our way straight over to “Universal’s House Of Horrors” The first thing that catches you is the Impressive facade that must be seen to be believed! Just standing at the bottom of the staircase leading into the attraction is enough to send shivers down your spine! I had visited this attraction over the years when it was themed on the new Universal “Mummy” movies, as well as when it was themed on the “Van Helsing” movie. I was hoping Universal didn’t just paint over some of the sets and change a few props around. Fortunately I was pleasantly surprised! Walking into the lobby I couldn’t believe my eyes-Posters, props, and memorabilia from horrors movies of years passed filled the large que line area. After wandering around and checking out all the cool stuff including an original Chucky Doll from the “Childs Play” movies and Hannibal Lecters’ mask we made our way to the entrance.
As we entered through the darkness and into the first area of the House Of Horrors I immediately noticed that it was completely different from the previous “Van Helsing” haunt. As I walked by an old blocked up archway, lightning crashed andthe stones disappeared as I came face to face with an amazingly detailed Bela Lugosi Dracula figure. Very great effect that I didn’t see coming. The room also held an ancient looking rusty metal archway with hundreds of red eyes blinking at you.. Very cool indeed! We ventured through the first scene and made our way through the rest of this very impressive haunt.
Throughout the roughly 7 minute tour we traveled through the castle via staircases, mirror mases, catacombs, and amazingly detailed scene after scene coming face to face with legendary screen monsters such as The Phantom Of The Opera, The Mummy, Nosferatu, Mother Bates from “Psycho”, Chucky From “Childs Play”, Frankensteins Monster, the Wolfman, and a Leatheface-esque chainsaw wielding maniac. One thing that really impressed me was the amount of actors throughout the attraction. We went through the House Of Horrors 3 times that day, and they had so many scares designed throughout the attraction that we constantly got scared with different scares from different spots each time through! The actors were very animated and into it-you could tell these guys were having a blast scaring all the patrons that day! One plus for the workers on a 90 some degree day was that the attraction was nicely air conditioned….It was a fun and refreshing break from the heat each time we went through! The scares pretty much didn’t let up from the moment we walked in. They really had it down… there was one creature or another popping out at us from every corner, and really no dull moments throughout the whole attraction!
One of the highlights was the “Child Play” room. Set up like small childs playroom, toys and stuffed animals littered the area. We were chased through the room by a feisty mummy who jumped out of his crypt and nearly made the group in front of us cry! The first time we walked through this room there was a giant Chucky doll hanging though the wall in a pile of raggedy old stuffed animals. The second time we went through the giant Chucky doll came to life, bursting through the wall and scaring the living hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting this at all-it was a great and unexpected scare! We had walked through a few hours before and it seemed as almost every scare was coming from a different spot than last time. That gave it a nice twist, as I didn’t know where the actors were going to burst out from this time! 2 thumbs up to all the actors, as they all did a great job that day! Another very impressive scene was the Wolfmans Forest. It looked to me as Universal had removed a huge section of forest from the old E.T. ride after it was shut down and moved it over to the House Of Horrors. This section of the haunt was done very well. A creepy dark forest complete with the all familiar forest scent that I use in my own haunts! The lighting was done just right, and with these giant trees surrounding us, I was just scoping the whole area to try and see where the actor was going to pop out. Then, BAM… the Wolfman came tearing out of the trees scaring the girls in front of us down to the ground! I love it!!
One of the cool things inside the House Of Horrors was lots of staircases going up and down that gave you the effect that you indeed were inside of a big, haunted castle. Halfway through the attraction we walked over a bridge high in the air overlooking an UNBELIEVABLE Frankenstein set, which has to be seen to believe. You could see other patrons down below getting scared from up on the bridge. The scope of how big and detailed this area is is amazing. After venturing through other areas of House Of Horrors you end up downstairs and make your way through the elaborate Frankensteins laboratory on ground level. This was probably my favorite part of the attraction, each time we walked through, I was just looking around this set in awe… wish I could move this set to my place in Buffalo! Haha.. I was disappointed with the sets as I walked through, as Universal Studios did a fantastic job on making this a world class haunt. As a big fan of Universals “Halloween Horror Nights” in Orlando and the unbelievable job they do on that event, I was curious as to what kind of job they could do on a permanent attraction. The end result left me extremely impressed, and the House Of Horrors has the same wow factor,level of detail, and thrills as most other Universal Studios attractions! And of course the rare occasion that you actually get to walk through the attraction, or ride through on a car makes it a very rare and refreshing amusement park experience these days.
So if you get a chance to get out to California, or you are in the Los Angeles area be sure to spend a day at Universal Studios Hollywood and check out the House Of Horrors as well as all the other amazing attractions-including one of my personal favorites the Mummy Ride! I got many unique Ideas for my haunt exploring the House Of Horrors that I will incorporate this year and you will probably get great ideas as well!
Tim Bunch - Owner House Of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs - Buffalo, NY
Find haunted houses in Los Angles, California CA, including real haunted houses, ghost tours, Halloween attractions, including the best and scariest in America. There are many real haunted houses in California but nothing rivals Los Angles, home to some of the most famous graveyards in America including Forest Lawn Memorial Park final resting place to Michael Jackson, Lon Chaney, George Burns, Clark Gabel, and Elizabeth Taylor. Other famous graveyards like Westwood Memorial Park final resting place of Marilyn Monroe, Farraw Faccet and even scream queen Janet Leigh from the Pyscho movies.
Los Angles has many ghost tours to take you to haunted places, gravesites, places of murder and suicide including a tour called Dearly Departed. Los Angles also plays host to some of the biggest haunted amusement park Halloween events such as Knotts Scary Farm and Universal Studios Horror Nights. Another California haunted house is Queen Mary which is reported haunted and also holds a huge haunted house in California event located in the LA area.
Universal Studios even includes a real around haunted house within the park which has changed many times over the years based on movies they've releases such as The Mummy, Van Helsing, or simply monsters from their movie past. Disneyland even includes the original 'Haunted Mansion' dark ride which was recently renovated and Towers of Terror both dark rides. Use www.Hauntworld.com to find the scariest California Haunted Houses and Haunted Houses in California including real haunted houses, ghost tours, haunted attractions, hayrides, and Halloween events.
San Diego is certainly known for many things. San Diego is often known for its beautiful weather, even more beautiful beaches and people come from everywhere just to get a glimpse of this beauty. Did you know to add to all the beauty ther is a dark side to San Diego. A side that is not talked about as much. San Diego certainly has its fair share of haunts and paranormal activity.
The Whaley House is one of the most famous haunted houses in San Diego. In 1856 a very rich business man, Thomas Whaley bought a large piece of land. This land today is now called Old Town. Whaley built a large, beautiful home on this land and filled it with only the finest furniture and things he could find. The Whaley family lived well and also shared their wealth with others. Soon their happiness came to an and with a fire which destroyed a portion of their home. Soon after that another tragedy struck and their 17 month old son died . Over the years the Whaley family was hit by several other family problems and devestations. In 1956 it was turned into a Museum and filled with all the original furniture and pieces from the Whaley family legacy. Whaley died in 1890 and there have been at least 4 deaths in the Whaley home. There have been several reports of strange activity and unexplained noises and voices. They are all thought to be those of the Whaley family.
The Hotel del Coronado is perhaps the most haunted hotel in the San Diego area. It is home to the story of the "Beautiful Stranger" who some believe was Kate Morgan. One evening a young woman visited the hotel and was said to have been pregnant. She told the hotel management that she was waiting for her brother, but it turns out she was really waiting for her husband, Tom. After five days of waiting this woman shot and killed both herself and her unborn child. There was a lot of controversy over who the "Beautiful Stranger" was. Many believed it to be a woman by the name of Kate Morgan, but no one can be for sure. To this day no one knows exactly who the Beautiful Stranger is. Local people and the hotel staff refer to her as Kate Morgan. Many of the hotel staff have confirmed that the room the Beautiful Stranger stayed in is haunted. They will find paranormal activty and unexplained events.
Every Halloween Castle Dark in Riverside, California transforns in Castle Dark for a big fun Halloween celebration. Featured will be haunted mazes, haunted rides and even a cricus clown who has gone crazy! Along with having an entire park filled with ghouls an gobblins and monsters waiting for you around every corner. You don't want to miss the famly-friends trick-or-treating that is sure to be fun for kids of all ages.
There are some of the best and scariest haunted houses in the Bay area. The area also boosts some of the best REAL haunted houses in America including Alcatraz which is ranked as one of the scariest real haunted places in America. Hauntworld rated and reviewed Alcatraz as one of the most unique haunted experiences in America.
Another very unique real haunted house not only in the Bay area but the entire WORLD is the Winchester Mystery House. In 1884 Sarah Winchester blamed the deaths of her husband and baby on the ghosts of people killed by Winchester guns so she kept building on rooms of her mansion to accomodate all the ghosts she believed lived there. Up until her death she exhausted her forture building and adding on rooms to the house, staircases that go no where, and today is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the San Francisco, San Jose Bay area.