The Daily Aztec

Scream your pants off at Del Mar

by Kayleigh Venne, Staff Writer

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Tired of binge-watching Halloween Town and Hocus Pocus on your couch? Need a more exciting way to get into the Halloween Spirit other than taking photos at the pumpkin patch? Don’t mind getting chased by zombies and clowns? Maybe you should visit The Scream Zone.

The Scream Zone is located on the Del Mar fairgrounds, about a 25-minute drive from campus and according to their website, is known “among the goriest, scariest and screaming-est fright fests to be found in the dark corners of Southern California.”

The Scream Zone is open on select evenings throughout September and October. The event features three haunts: a Karnevil, a Haunted Hayride and a Haunted House. It is set up like a fair equipped with various greasy food venues and shops.

Tickets for the event range from $19 to $33, with the choice of “fast track” passes for an additional $10 to $20. However, if you choose to forego the Karnevil, Haunted Hayride and Haunted House and decide to hang out in the area with shops and food, entry is free of charge.

“I would definitely recommend getting the fast pass,” marketing senior Logan Goold said. “It was really nice to skip all of the long lines and get into the attractions right away.”

The event is family friendly, however not recommended for small children who scare easily, or anyone frightened by all of the recent clown sightings around the country.

Ever wanted to experience how it feels to have a group of clowns chase after you as you ride on a wagon through a dark trail? For some strange reason, that sounds like an experience catered to me.

As a matter of fact, if clowns frighten you at all, The Scream Zone probably isn’t for you.

The trail also spirals down the Rabbit Hole, creating a creepy Alice in Wonderland vibe. Spooky characters bang on the side of the wagon throughout the ride, making for a jumpy and suspenseful trip.

Although physically you get a break to rest your feet, mentally the Haunted Hayride is quite exhausting.

“The actors on the Haunted Hayride never broke character,” Cass McKenzie, international security and conflict resolution senior said. “Overall it was very engaging.”

The Haunted House, also known as “The House of Horror,” is not for the faint of heart. With actors around every dark corner, it is almost impossible to tell whether something is a prop or a person about to jump out at you.

One portion of the House of Horrors is completely blacked-out. Attendees have actually been known to get lost because it is so dark and the actors refuse to break character and help out. It is extremely difficult to know which way to turn in this haunted house.

I found the House of Horrors to be much scarier than the Haunted Hayride and a bit more “in-your-face.” Other guests were shrieking at each moment and everyone seemed to be equally terrified. It was definitely an adrenaline rush.

The last haunt, the Karnevil, is similar to the House of Horrors. The Karnevil features horrifying clowns who are not afraid to chase you down in their trailer park, and a “freak show.” Demented carnies hide behind corners and jump out at guests without hesitation. Everything has a very “American Horror Story” vibe.

The actors are not allowed to touch you, which is a godsend considering the amount of fear and suspense that is created just by their tendency to get in your face.

The Scream Zone added a new feature this year entitled, “Zombie Bootcamp.” The Zombie Bootcamp is an interactive attraction for 18 and over only. It’s a bit like a demented, apocalyptic obstacle course.

“This attraction requires running, crawling, and getting dirty,” the event’s website says. “Athletic attire and footwear are encouraged.”

Because of this, I chose not to attend. However, the attraction seemed fun and entertaining if you’re down to sweat and get a little dirty.

Although the Scream Zone is no Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, it is still something exciting, entertaining and spooky to do to celebrate Halloween. Not only that, but it’s close to home!

If you’re looking for a fun date night idea or something new to do with your group of friends, The Scream Zone is worth a visit.

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