Heart pounding, eyes squeezed shut, clutching the arm of the friend beside you, you have entered The Scream Zone at Del Mar. Each corner turned is met with a shriek of pure terror and the haunting fears you thought were just in the movies or dreams are given life as nightmares come alive. Each year after the summer fair concludes, the fairgrounds once filled with amusing laughs morph into chilling screams from September 28 through October 31.
The Scream Zone offers three different attractions: KarnEvil, The House of Horror, and The Haunted Hayride. KarnEvil is the quickest of all three attractions and most tame. Participants enter attempting to swiftly make their way out of the twisted, fairy tale themed maze. In KarnEvil, all senses are amplified especially when crossing a bridge in a dark spinning tunnel as you struggle to remain on two feet escaping from the clutches of whichever terror you meet inside. However, one wrong turn can lead to dead ends.
The next attraction offered is The House of Horror. In line guests wait in anticipation beside an eerie house front. The shutters shake and speakers emit unsettling shrieks, screams, and moans all around. In The House of Horror, each room is expertly themed with spine tingling visuals. Strobe lights viciously flash as participants stumble through narrow hallways. When entering the It themed room, Georgie solemnly greets you. It awaits for his victims as he peers out of a brick well and a towering form of him lunges towards you at the exit. Next, a time machine brings you back to the Medieval period as horrendous tortures are conducted right in front of your eyes. A body strung up by his hands resides above as well as a ferocious dragon bursting through the castle wall. Nothing else makes one think of death more than the Black Plague which guests witness as ancient doctors in their pointed beak masks dissect a corpse. In another space, life size body bags swing from the ceiling requiring you to shove them out of the path as you dodge the killer nurse.
One of the most popular attractions, The Haunted Hayride, loads guests onto a wagon attached to a tractor. Guests depart on a deadly tour through Motel Hell and into the clutches of mutant creatures in addition to other haunting sites. No matter if you know the person next to you or not, familiarity proves no barrier as all huddle shrinking away from the haunts in each scene.
Even if you do not have an interest partaking in the frights, the lot offers seated areas, traditional fair food booths, and plays a variety of horror movies on a screen. Scream Zone’s prices are reasonable with multiple options and even free parking. In addition, on Friday nights an EDM DJ provides music and on both Friday and Saturday nights the hidden Spook-Easy offers drinks to enjoy for guests over 21. Also, on Halloween night, Scream Zone puts on a special event Halloween costume contest. Each year Scream Zone’s three haunts remain the same yet the content inside varies. The tents that The House of Horror and KarnEvil are set up in are magnificently transformed with realistically crafted props. Overall, the commitment of the actors to the creatures they are portraying are what truly makes the experience filled with authentic scares.
Cathleen Meyer | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Cathleen is a college student who places an importance on being active and is an old soul at heart. Her music taste is a jumble of different artists with favorites like ABBA, Def Leppard, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac. When it comes to movies, musicals and 80s are her first choice. Cathleen wrote for her school newspaper for two years in high school and since then has participated in a government and human resources internship. She enjoys delving into a good book whenever possible, with time period pieces being her favorite type of literature to explore. Being a Disney fan since birth, her favorite time is spent with her family at the happiest place on Earth. A personal hobby of Cathleen’s since she was young, is hairstyling and makeup. Once she completes college, she plans to attend Paul Mitchell Beauty School to follow her passion. Cathleen hopes to apply her communication and literature degree to a variety of career paths most importantly including public relations. | Instagram @Cat17Cat| View My Blogs
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