Todd Schroeder and Scott Peterson who are the creative directors of Evil Twin Studios, last years Raymond Hill Mortuary and the all new Ward 13 were nice enough to take some time out of their very busy schedules for an exclusive interview.
Below you'll learn a little bit about Todd and Scott, some information on this years event and even the charitable organization that the event helps.
Updated 10/9/2015 with information about their new haunt Ward 13
For more information on Ward 13, be sure to check out their website and get tickets. We will be there on October 17th, more information on that is coming soon.
Below is our exclusive interview with Todd & Scott who are the creative directors of Evil Twin Studios – Ward 13.
Thanks Todd and Scott for taking the time out of their very busy schedules.
Q1: How did you get into the "scaring people" business?
We were both home haunters, setting up mazes and scares in our driveways to spook the trick-or-treaters. After a few years, we outgrew our houses and our wives suggested we team up and go somewhere else… anywhere else.
Q2: To us, your job seems like it would be the best thing ever. What advice would you have for our readers who would like to do something like this on their own either professionally or as a hobby?
Haunting as a hobby is fantastic. You can go as big or as small as you want and 99% of the people who see it will appreciate the effort. If you decide to go pro, however, there are a LOT more factors to consider. #1) Finding a place. Very few buildings are willing to rent to you for a month. #2) Funding. It takes a lot of money to put together an experience that people will pay for. #3) Safety. You need to be concerned about this in a home haunt too, of course, but when you go pro you’ll have a lot more people coming through and you need to protect them. #4) Crew. Getting volunteers is a job in and of itself. #5) Publicity. Once you’ve built it, you’ve got to let people know. But when it all works out, it’s a blast.
Q3: Onto this year’s event, why did you decide to move locations for 2015?
The South Pasadena Unified School District was kind enough to let us use their location for our 2015 haunt. Since the proceeds of our haunt benefit the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, they allowed us to use the space for free! A new location has been challenging, but at the same time forced us to come up with new innovative scares that our fans have come to expect!
Q4: Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about the story for this year’s event?
Many of your readers are familiar with the Raymond Hill Mortuary, but they probably haven’t heard of its sister facility, the Raymond Hill Sanitarium for the criminally insane. As we are well aware, the Raymond Hill facilities are not operated in a professional manner. It is rumored that there is a secret, undocumented section of the asylum called WARD 13, where experimental procedures take place and patient safety is not a concern. The operators of Raymond Hill deny WARD 13’s existence, but people living in the area have reported hearing strange noises and screaming at night that aren’t coming from the main building. It seems that WARD 13 may be in a separate building out back, but no one has been able to confirm its existence.
Q5: What element or effect are you most proud of for this year’s event?
Oh, that would be giving it away. We’d better keep that as a surprise.
Q6: What makes your event different or unique compared to similar events in the area?
Fans of our haunt have said that two things really separate us from other haunts. #1) There’s no conga line. In the big, pro haunts the crowd goes through in a steady stream so even inside the haunt, you’re still standing in line. We send in groups of 6 to 8 with at least two minutes between groups so you get your own private experience. Guests also love our actors. They are all volunteers so the only reason they are there is because they love it. They get really into it. I also think folks appreciate that we are telling a unique story each year. And of course, our reasonable prices for a truly haunted experience!
Q7: Southern California has become a kind of "hot bed" for Halloween events. It seems more and more events are popping up every year. Are you afraid of over saturation in the market or are you satisfied that the market is there to continue for years to come?
We love that Halloween is really exploding. We wish we had more time to get out and see what other people at doing, professionally and at the home haunt level, but we’re so busy in September and October that we don’t get the chance.
Q8: How do you go about selecting the "talent" for the event? Any specific tips you have for people looking to audition?
Enthusiasm is key. You have to love haunting to put up with the long hours, uncomfortable make-up, and discomfort of crouching behind a bush and leaping out over and over again. Acting ability or improv experience is great for key roles, but there’s a place for just about everyone who is willing to commit.
Q9: We've noticed you are one of very few events to not offer any kind of VIP or Front of the Line access these days. Is this a conscious decision or is it something you may present in future years?
We actually do offer a front of line pass, sold at the door for an additional $10 (with haunt ticket, total entry price $25). It’s a nice little perk for those dying to get in.
Q10: Last question, and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the entire event is for charity (The South Pasadena Educational Foundation). How did you get involved with the SPEF?
We are both residents of South Pasadena with kids in the school system, so we were already giving to SPEF as individuals and it seemed natural to sponsor them with our haunt. SPEF does so much to provide the students with classes and services above and beyond what the schools can do alone and it deserves all of our support. And if we can scare the pants off of people doing it, even better!
Thanks again to Todd and Scott. Find all of the information you need about Ward 13 below
Evil Twin Studios 2015 haunted attraction will make nightmares come true at a new location in South Pasadena.
This Halloween season, sanity comes to die at WARD 13.
Since its earliest days, rumors about the Raymond Hill Sanitarium have circulated. Rumors of neglect. Rumors of abuse. And most disturbing of all, rumors of an undocumented area where finding a cure was secondary to exploratory experimentation. This was the one thing patients feared more than death...
1020 El Centro St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(Entrance on Fairview Ave, see map below)
Operation hours 7:00-11:00 PM
Friday, October 9
Saturday, October 10
Friday, October 16
Saturday, October 17
Friday, October 23
Saturday, October 24
Friday, October 30
Saturday, October 31
AT THE DOOR: $17.00
PURCHASE TICKETS NOW
Online ticket sales end at 6 PM on haunt nights. Tickets will be sold at the door on haunt nights until 11 PM or until we sell out.
For at the door sales, we accept cash and all major credit cards.
Front of line passes are available at the ticket booth on haunt nights for an additional $10/ticket.
Proceeds from Evil Twin Studios' WARD 13 benefit the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF).
For more information and tickets, visit www.eviltwinstudios.com
Evil Twin Studios WARD 13
Criminally insane. Pathologically dangerous. Mentally twisted. And those are just the doctors.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Presenting ScareLA's interactive dark exhibit "The Vault of Darkness"produced by Evil Twin Studios with support from Gantom Lighting
Committed to finding new ways to inspire your summer screams, ScareLA is proud to announce its collaboration with Evil Twin Studios. We've poured our blood and guts into creating a brand new immersive, interactive exhibit unlike anything you have ever seen at a con before. We present: The Vault of Darkness.
The Vault of Darkness is our darkest brain child to-date: A chance for you to experience special effects, props, animatronics and more in a dark setting much like a Halloween night.
Plan to have all your senses engaged, stimulated and pushed to their limit. Upon entering the Vault, our monsters will instruct you on the rules to explore. Pay attention or you may just get lost in the dark forever...
The Vault of Darkness is being produced by Evil Twin Studios, the haunters behind Raymond Hill Mortuary, Theatre of Terror, coming to South Pasadena this fall. Support provided by Gantom Lighting & Controls.
Nightmares will come to life, see you in the dark!
Dare to enter the Vault of Darkness? Go on, show us just how brave you are...
Featured Vault of Darkness participants:
The team behind Evil Twin Studios includes an Emmy winning writer, professional haunters, Hollywood special effects wizards, and an actual scientist. Since 2013, they have been an example of how a community supported haunted attraction can rival the quality, scares, and overall experience of top tier attractions.
Gantom Lighting & Controls, formerly Darklight, is the industry leader in illumination solutions for dark and constrained environments. They will be providing lighting for the Vault, as well as some secret interactive technology we can't wait for you to get your hands on!
Inside the Vault, you may encounter creatures from Immortal Masks, known for their ever growing line of silicone masks, creature suits, custom creatures, and props, created by a line of top Hollywood FX artists.
Spectral Illusions are masters at creating projection effects simulating apparitions and other horrifying scenes for your home, yard, or own Vault of Darkness.
Chris Thomas has created original soundtracks for Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Ghost Ship, and other haunted attractions, and will be contributing a chilling score to ensure a visit to the Vault is pleasant to the ears while unnerving to your soul.
Interested in Being Showcased in the Vault?
If you have a product, prop, or effect requiring a dark environment, we want to hear from you. Email email@example.com or submit your information here.
We'll be sharing much more in advance of ScareLA in August and of course we'll be there for the entire weekend to share with you all the great stuff coming to Haunts this year and beyond.
Over the weekend we had a chance to visit some local haunts, Raymond Hill Mortuary in South Pasadena, Sherwood Scare in Northridge and Backwoods Maze in Burbank.
While Backwoods Maze is a great local amateur haunt that is donation only, I have to resist the urge to refer to Raymond Hill Mortuary and Sherwood Scare as "Amateur" haunts, because they aren't.
The quality of the mazes and the showmanship is as good, if not BETTER than a lot of professional haunts.
We also want to thank our friends at "Is it October Yet" for setting up the schedule for our Haunt night and "Gaming Shogun" for hanging out as well. it was great meeting you and connecting with new friends that are awesome.
We had a great time with great people getting scared. Really doesn't get any better than that.
Our group for the night:
Raymond Hill Mortuary
Since we first heard about Raymond Hill Mortuary and heard how good Evil Twin Studios first year Haunt was last year, this was EASILY the most anticipated Haunt of the year. After we got an exclusive Interview with the creative directors back in September, it just upped our anticipation, so we had some pretty lofty expectations for this event.
And we are happy to say the event EXCEEDED any expectation we had. It is THAT good. This was, hands down the most terrifying event we've done this year.
The fact that the event is held in what used to be a Mortuary sets the tone as to what is coming. Groups of 8 people at a time are allowed through the event that is part show and part maze. There are about 3 or 4 show scenes and everybody in your group has the chance to become a part of the show. So be aware, there are some "physical" elements to the event. But we had two people in our group who have had neck/back issues in the past few years and neither of them had any issues.
The talent in the maze are all volunteers, but don't let that fool you. These scare-actors have such passion for the event and it's totally obvious that the love starts at the top with the creative minds behind the event and trickles down all the way to the talent.
Raymond Hill Mortuary is, HANDS DOWN, the most immersive event we've been to so far in 2014, and considering we aren't getting to any new ones this weekend it's going to keep it's place at the top of our list. If you have ANY WAY to get out to South Pasadena and do this event, you need to. It does sell out every night and lines get up to about 90 minutes.
We aren't fans of waiting in lines, but 90 minutes for this event is TOTALLY worth it. Show up early as it will likely be VERY busy this weekend.
Plus, you know if celebrities have heard about your event it's gonna be good. Derek Hough from Dancing with the Stars was there with his partner and there will be a feature on Raymond Hill Mortuary on the show tonight.
We want to send a special thanks to Scott and Todd for not only putting on an amazing event, but for being cool guys who have an amazing behind the scenes staff. Thanks to Jennifer for setting up our visit and interview last month. Even the front-end staff at the ticket booth was great, friendly and welcoming. Again, you can tell how much everybody loves putting on this event and I'm going to be so proud to wear my new Evil Twin Studios T-shirt ... a LOT!!
For more info about Raymond Hill Mortuary check out their website, and you can save $2 if you buy your tickets online.
Like Raymond Hill Mortuary, Sherwood Scare is in NO WAY an Amateur Haunt. Located in a neighborhood in Northridge you'd never think that a professional haunt of this magnitude would exist here. The story, the technology and the talent in this maze are as good if not better than what you'll see at Universal, Knott's or Fright Fest.
The story revolves around an abandoned movie studio and just has so many small touches that make it great from classic movies to great Shirley Temple inspired movie posters.
The maze itself is a good 5-10 minutes, which for being in a backyard is pretty amazing. The maze is downright scary, creepy, entertaining and engaging and is a must-do for any Haunt fan.
Again, we don't want to spoil anything but for $3 (that goes to Cystic Fibrosis) it's hands down amazing.
Like Raymond Hill, the staff out front is great and only about 9 or 10 people get to go through the maze at a time. So lines can get long, and will likely be long this weekend. We did support their Kickstarter and had front of the line passes but we ended up not using them since most in our group didn't have them.
So there's a VERY good chance we'll end up back at Sherwood Scare this weekend. For more on Sherwood Scare check out their website. They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week.