Well, it's finally here. The end of the Haunt Season.
As a site, this was our first year covering Halloween and we've had an absolutely blast. Personally, I've gone to more Haunts this year than any other year, and it still was just a drop in the proverbial bucket.
Below are our rankings, this is by no means a complete list of everything that is out there, but if you are planning on getting one last scare in this season, you can't go wrong with any of these.
Best Theme Park Haunt - Knott's Scary Farm
I know a lot of people thought that Knott's had a down year but I thought it was amazing. Maybe it's because I didn't make it to Haunt last year but the great mix of new mazes and returning favorites was amazing.
Small improvements like the Skeleton Key rooms and new effects in mazes made the event seem fresh and the Mine Ride enhancements for The Witch's Keep were awesome.
Knott's Scary Farm is open tonight (Halloween) and Saturday Nov 1st.
Best Non Theme-Park Haunt - Raymond Hill Mortuary
To say we were completely blown away by Raymond Hill Mortuary would be a HUGE understatement. From the talent, the execution, the theme and overall creepiness it was an absolute success in every way imaginable.
The group at Evil Twin Studios put their twisted and creative minds together and brought the world an incredible haunt for 2014. We really can't wait to see what they have in store for next year.
Raymond Hill Mortuary is open tonight (Halloween) and Saturday Nov 1st.
Best Home Haunt - Sherwood Scare
To be honest, we didn't get to as many home haunts this year as we would have liked, but if the few we visited this year were any indication, we are definitely getting to more next year.
We wish we could call this something different than a "home" haunt, because the talent, story line and effects in this maze are nothing short of professional quality.
Sherwood Scare is open tonight (Halloween) and Saturday Nov 1st.
Best Maze - American Werewolf in London - Halloween Horror Nights (Hollywood)
This was EASILY my most anticipated maze of 2014 as it's one of my all time favorite horror movies. And American Werewolf in London didn't disappoint.
Universal is known for their use of movie quality effects, props and locations, but this maze combined all three of those elements into our top maze of 2014.
Halloween Horror Nights is open tonight (Halloween), Saturday Nov 1st and Sunday Nov 2nd.
Best Scare Zones - Fright Fest - Six Flags Magic Mountain
It takes a lot for a park to start competing with the likes of Knott's Scary Farm for best scare zones, but this year Magic Mountain managed to pull it off .
The DC Universe "City Under Seige" is still the biggest and best in the park, but this year the incredibly unique black-light scare zone "Nightmares - A Twisted Fantasy" just pushed them over the top. We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention the 3 great new mazes the park added this year.
Fright Fest is open tonight (Halloween) and Saturday Nov 1st.
Best Talent - Queen Mary's Dark Harbor
This category wasn't even close. The talent at Dark Harbor has so much freedom it's really hard for the other events to compare.
Not tied to any corporate structure they are free to interact with the guests as they see fit, free to do things that other parks would freak out about while still maintaining safety for themselves and guests.
Dark Harbor is open tonight (Halloween), Saturday Nov 1st and Sunday Nov 2nd.
Best New Maze - (tie) Voodoo - Knott's Scary Farm and Red's Revenge - Fright Fest
This was easily the toughest category. This was a Pick 'em between Voodoo and The Tooth Fairy at Knott's and Red's Revenge at Fright Fest.
We decided to end this one in a tie because we just couldn't decide. Voodoo won out because of the incredibly done Skeleton key room, great talent and the uniqueness of the multiple paths. Red's Revenge deserves recognition just because of the sheer quality of this new generation of Fright Fest maze.
Best Returning Maze - Submerged - Queen Mary's Dark Harbor
Hands down the creepiest maze we did this year. I know a lot of people complain about it being old, but if it's not broken, don't fix it.
As we said in our Dark Harbor review, no other event, except maybe Raymond Hill, can compete with the sheer creepiness of the on-ship mazes at Dark Harbor.
So that's going to wrap it up for Haunt Season. We hope you enjoyed reading about all of the events as much as we enjoyed covering them. We are already thinking about next year and how we can do even more coverage of events outside of California.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled website. =)