Larry Bones knows how to pick a ghostly location.
In 2017, Larry brought the Boneyard Effects flagship maze INTO THE BLACK to the Pomona fairgrounds. It was my favorite maze of the season. Forcing guests to walk alone through the Black House in near total darkness was bone-chilling.
Exiting the maze, I couldn’t wait to ask Larry how the footsteps that seemed to follow me through the passages were accomplished. He smirked and shook his head, “I didn’t do that”. You never know whether to believe Larry when he gives you that smile. There’s a mischevious twinkle in his eye. Is he just a clever illusionist hiding his tricks, or was there something paranormal going on? The fairground site was reputed to be haunted. I’m a natural skeptic, but I know that the little hairs on the back of my neck told me something was real. Fear.
INTO THE BLACK returns as part of HORRORWORLD. A compendium of creepy attractions installed in the Puente Hills Mall. Visiting the mall is like stepping into a time machine. The lighting and decor haven’t changed in decades. It’s got an eerie retro vibe that I liked.
HORRORWORLD 2018 includes three mazes… INTO THE BLACK, THE PSYCHO SANITARIUM, and THE FLESHYARD. There are also freaky vendors selling dolls, t-shirts, makeup, and other fun Halloween novelties. A virtual reality experience called VKULT and a blacklight gaming area add to the fun. RAD COFFEE keeps the caffeine flowing and the sugar highs soaring.
INTO THE BLACK is a terrifying and brilliant exploration into the tricks that darkness can play on the mind. It returns with a slightly different layout and is even darker than before. Guests are sent in one at a time. My husband walked into the maze before me and I could hear him shouting in terror as I walked in. Hearing the screams of other guests echoing through the walls adds to the anticipatory dread. Looking down the long narrow hallway ahead of me, I forgot that I was in a Mall and felt completely immersed in the horrors of the Black House. The pitch darkness is demonically disorienting and the creatures inside dart in and out of view like apparitions.
THE PSYCHO SANITARIUM on press night felt like it struggled a bit to find it’s way in the madness. We were sent into the Sanitarium in small groups checking in with a naughty nurse at the front desk. Scare actors blocked the doorways and asked me questions. I would answer them, but there didn’t seem to be any follow-up. A door instructed me to “look inside”… I wasn’t sure if I should. I did. A patient told me not to. And another patient told me to eat cat food… or tuna? I didn’t and wasn’t sure if I was supposed to. I left feeling like it just didn’t quite hit the mark. Overall, the acting and sets were impressive, but the storyline and level of interactivity were confusing.
THE FLESHYARD started with a monologue to our group seated on benches. The speech was much too long, but once we got up on our feet this maze was fantastic. I won’t give away the finale, but the narrow winding passages gave this maze a terrifying claustrophobic feel. And as we waited to enter, it was fun to watch guests literally running out the exit from surprise and fright. Don’t look too closely at the exit door if you want to avoid spoilers!
HORRORWORLD 2018 proves that Bone Yard Effects is growing this venture into a real business with bite!
Tickets available weekends and select dates now through Halloween. For tickets and dates check the HORRORWORLD website.