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Halloween in San Diego

Where to go for Halloween frights in San Diego

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Halloween in San Diego
Property of Lou Rusconi
These days, Halloween seems to be yet another one of those holidays that adults have co-opted for themselves to use as an excuse to role play, dress silly - or sexy - and get drunk in a bar. Kinda like St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Arbor Day (OK, so maybe not Arbor Day...yet).

At the same time, Halloween is still a kid's holiday, a day to eagerly anticipate, to plan on a scary costume and collect lots of yummy candy. Never mind we rarely get but a handful of kids trick-or-treating in the neighborhood anymore - a sad commentary on our society.

Yet, what do you do if you want to celebrate in the Halloween festivities but fall in the "I'm too old to trick-or-treat, I don't want to mix it up with the boozers in the bars, or I don't know anyone who is throwing a party" category? Well, there are still some traditional fun - and hopefully scary - things to do around San Diego. Here are some suggestions:

Reminder: Keep your pets safe at Halloween. Read more here.

Haunted Hotel (Gaslamp District, Market Street):
The Haunted Hotel, located downtown in the Gaslamp District, is the longest running haunted house in San Diego. It was named by Haunt World Magazine as one of the top 13 haunted houses in America and has been featured in “America Haunts IV” on The Travel Channel in 2009. The horror filled nights run through Halloween.

This year, see where the Hellevator takes you, explore Freddy Krueger's workshop, and you'll go crazy in rooms inspired by Legion and Shutter Island. Meet the night riders on the moving Subway and try to escape the virus outbreak in our Zombie office. Open through Oct. 31, closed Mondays and Tuesdays except 10/22, 10/23, 10/29, 10/30. Doors open at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. Tickets are $15 to $17. You can purchase tickets online or at the door. 424 Market St., San Diego, CA, 92101.

The Haunted Trail:
Located in Balboa Park, The Haunted Trail is San Diego's only all-outdoor haunted attraction. The Haunted Trail is a stroll through the park you will never forget. Enter the mile long Trail through the twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks. Visitors watch your back, you’ll never know which way the terror will hit you. True to form, the Trail is not for children under 10 or the faint of heart. Experience an outdoor terror that is simply too big to house indoors.

This year The Haunted Trail features an additional maze called "The eXperiment". For five extra bones you can find out what happens when Mother Nature takes her eye off the ball for even just a second. Runs through Oct. 31, closed Mondays and Tuesdays except 10/22, 10/23, 10/29, 10/30. Open at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. Tickets are $15 - $17. You can purchase tickets online or at the door. Located just east of 6th & Juniper in Balboa Park, one block south of Laurel Street bridge.

The Scream Zone:
It won't be the same old scares when the ghosts, goblins and ghouls return to The Scream Zone. Featured this year:
New blood-curdling scenes in the House of Horror. This attraction is not recommended for children younger than 10.

Haunted Hayride: The Haunted Hayride is a one-of-a-kind attraction where riders huddle together on a tractor-pulled haywagon while stalked by ghosts, zombies and other-worldly creatures! Stick close together during the journey through the haunted barn area on the back side of the Del Mar Racetrack. Terrifying fun for the family or anyone brave enough to come along for the ride! (May not be appropriate for small children.)

The House of Horror features themed rooms filled with terrifying sights, horrendous sounds and blood-curdling scares lurking at every turn and corridor. Not recommended for children younger than 10, The House of Horror is the most ghoulish and spine-tingling attraction of all. It features a surprise ending that will send you screaming! The House of Horror is not for the weak of heart, pregnant women, or wimps!

The Chamber features the largest "spinning tunnel" in San Diego. This twisting, turning labyrinth of scares has suspense and surprises, with several frightening dead ends.

2012 dates:
Oct. 4–7 (Thursday through Sunday)
Oct.11–14 (Thursday through Sunday)
Oct. 17–21 (Wednesday through Sunday)
Oct. 24–31 (Wednesday through Wednesday)

7:00 p.m.-midnight, Fridays & Saturdays
7:00-11:00 p.m., other days

2012 Prices:
Sundays through Thursdays:
Triple (Combo) Haunt: House of Horror, Haunted Hayride & The Chamber — $27.99
Double Haunt: The Chamber plus House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $18.99
Single Haunt: House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $14.99

Fridays and Saturdays:
Triple (Combo) Haunt: House of Horror, Haunted Hayride & The Chamber — $29.99
Double Haunt: The Chamber plus House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $20.99
Single Haunt: House of Horror or Haunted Hayride — $16.99

Mira Mesa Monster Manor:
Unfortunately, Monster Manor will not be in production this year due to funding issues.

National Comedy Theatre Halloween Spooktacular
The National Comedy Theatre's annual Halloween Spooktacular features scenes and games that we've never done before, creepy themes to all of the suggestions, death defying sketches - including one where a performer's head is submerged in a bucket of water for the entire scene, and the weirdest ending to a comedy show you that you have ever seen. This year, the shows will be on Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th at 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. With an additional MIDNIGHT SPOOKTACULAR on Saturday, October 27th at 11:45 pm. Tickets are just $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors.

Click here for more Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations in San Diego.

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