San Diego

‘Haunted' Attractions, Anyone? San Diego's Big 3 to Open for 2019 Season

A closer look at three attractions bringing spooky thrills to San Diego through Halloween

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween in San Diego. The city's three biggest "haunted" attractions will soon open for business, ready to deliver chills for the next several weeks -- and perhaps in your nightmares for even longer.

The Disturbance: Created by The Haunted Hotel

For more than two decades, The Haunted Hotel scared the daylights out of people in downtown San Diego as the city's longest-running haunted house.

This year, the attraction has moved over to Mission Valley, and morphed into something called "The Disturbance." 

The new set-up features a trio of attractions dubbed the "Haunt Collective" that includes the familiar Haunted Hotel, plus the new "Kill-Billy Chaos," and "3D Freak Fest," a blacklight maze filled with clowns and other creepy characters.

The Disturbance is located at 1640 Camino Del Rio North, near Westfield Mission Valley and the Target store. Unlike the previous downtown location, the attraction's website says there's plenty of free parking here. Tickets start at $25 and the haunt runs Oct. 4 to Nov. 2, from Wednesdays to Sundays and select Tuesdays.

By the way, "Reader’s Digest" rated The Haunted Hotel as one of the "15 Best Haunted Houses in America" in 2018. This year, America Haunts, named the attraction No. 3 among its list of the "5 Most Entertaining Haunted Attractions in the U.S."

The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park

Just a few miles away, nestled among the sculptured gardens and Canary Island Pines of Balboa Park, is The Haunted Trail. This outdoor attraction takes guests on a mile-long walk through a trail that -- new this year -- includes horrifying elements inspired by "Stranger Things," the Jordan Peeler horror flick, "Us," and "Birdbox."

Also back by popular demand here is a maze called "The eXperiment," described as over 3,500 square feet of sheer terror.

The Haunted Trail can be found at the corner of Balboa Drive and Juniper Street in Balboa Park, where it'll run from Sept. 27 through Nov. 2. The attraction is open Wednesday through Sunday, and select Tuesdays.

Tickets range from $25 to $28; organizers recommend buying them online ahead of time to secure your spot.

The Scream Zone

Rounding out the three haunts is The Scream Zone in Del Mar.

San Diego’s largest experience of its kind, The Scream Zone also offers a trifecta or terror: the House of Horror, the Chamber, and the Haunted Hayride.

The House of Horror takes guests back to the year 666 and offers room after room of frights including a walk amongst the dead in the Dia de los Muertos graveyard and a face-to-face meeting with a blood-hungry Penny Wise. 

Meanwhile, the Haunted Hayride is an eerie tour of the Del Mar racetrack and stables at night, with a few ghosts and ghouls along the way. 

And, the Chamber is as chilling as it sounds, described on The Scream Zone website as a hellish twist on "The Wizard of Oz," where visitors "follow the Bloody Brick Road." 

The Scream Zone is located at the Del Mar "Scaregrounds" at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. It runs from Sept. 27 to Nov. 2, Wednesdays through Sundays, with select Tuesdays. Tickets cost $21 per attraction, or $34 for the "Triple Haunt" package that includes access to all three areas.

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