Paranoia Haunted Attraction sets to "scare the pants" off Santa Monica

Creepy Clowns, Dreadful Doctors and Ghoulish Grannies, Oh My!

Halloween fans on the west side rejoice: you’ll no longer need to make a long drive to Universal City or Long Beach for your professional haunt fix. “Paranoia Haunted Attraction,” will run from September 28th through Halloween at the Santa Monica Place mall, with three mazes designed by haunt industry veterans Matthew Gavin and Denise Larson.

Gavin, a set decorator with credits including 6 years on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” promised that by casting “real actors” in with a cast of monsters “Paranoia” would be able to employ strong choreography, which would result in unique scares for guests.

“This is no joke,” he said. “We’re looking to scare people’s pants off.” Notably, Gavin also designed the well received “Queen Mary: Shipwreck” attraction in 2009.

Denise Larson, who met Gavin while working on Shipwreck, is the former owner of “Molar Manor,” a self guided haunt that ran from 2001 through 2010 in assorted locations, from Santa Clarita to Canyon Country. The haunt featured an impressive collection of props and set pieces, that Larson says will be utilized throughout the three mazes in Paranoia:

  • “The Insomniac Clown Playhouse” will be “full of crazy, mean clowns that haven’t slept in a week, so they’re off their rockers,” Garvin said.
  • In “The Infirmary,” guests will start in a waiting room, move into a doctors office, on through surgery, and eventually try escape from an asylum.
  • The third maze, “Granny’s Manor of Mayhem,” will have a supernatural theme. However, Gavin said that he was in discussions to make the maze a tie-in with upcoming film, “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.” As previously reported, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights will be opening a “Silent Hill” themed maze as well. (a message left with Open Road Films, producers of the Silent Hill film, to confirm this tie-in has not been answered).

A single ticket will allow a guest to go through all three mazes as many times as they want for the evening of purchase. Larson  promised that scares will be mixed up, so each walk thru experience could mean different, unexpected frights. “We can change for each guest.”

Guests who come on repeat nights may even experience slightly different paths and maze layouts. Gavin notes Paranoia’s three mazes are around 8000 square feet each, “about twice the size of a traditional maze,” allowing for plenty of space to move walls and props space from night to night.

He expects guests to run screaming from each maze. To capture the scares and screams for posterity, cameras will be placed at different points in the mazes so that guests can go home with a photo of themselves wetting their pants.

For guests needing to recuperate between mazes he said, “It’s good the mall has a food court.”

The bar inside the nearby Ozumo Restaurant will become the Paranoia Pub, complete with haunted happy hours. Additional promotions include “text to win game” guests can play while waiting in line to win prizes,

Paranoia is working on assorted ticket discount plans, but at their base cost are at very low price point compared to other similar Los Angeles Halloween events: general admission is $24 for access to all mazes all night (not just one walk thru). A VIP Fast Pass to cut the general admission line is $39. For those who just can’t get enough, a pass for the month is $69, and only $99 for a monthlong VIP fast pass.

For additional updates, keep an eye on our dedicated “Paranoia Haunted Attraction” haunt info page.

Additional sample images provided by Paranoia Haunted Attraction: