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Warner Brother’s Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights, the new way to get scared this Halloween season

A shot of the infamous characters from the movie 'It' in their maze. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

A shot of the infamous characters from the movie 'It' in their maze. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

By Alex Behunin

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Four frightening mazes with terrifying clowns and murderous nuns running around every corner, Warner Brothers: Horror Made Here can’t be missed.

Warner Brother’s has opened their back lot in Burbank, Calif., for the third year in a row. For the weekends of October, starting at 7 p.m., guests are welcome to explore the Festival of Fright. The event offers multiple mazes and other themed entertainment for attendees to get their spooky fix.

“I felt like I was invited to a party on the Warner Brothers back lot,” said Rob Calvert, an attendee of the event. “Warner Brothers did a great job with this event, it was intimate, and it felt like the employees really were happy I was here.”

Old Man

Actors stand near attractions waiting to scare passerbys as they walk to each new maze. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

This year four interactive mazes were developed for the Halloween season, including IT: knows what scares you, The Conjuring, Camp Crystal Lake: Freddy vs Jason, and DC: Escape from Arkham Asylum. One distinction between Warner Brother’s Festival of Fright and other popular Halloween attractions is that during the mazes no more than 12 people are allowed in at a time, which really intensifies the experience.

Calvert, offering some tips said, “Being in front ensures you do not miss out on the scare when someone jumps out at you.”

Long Line

Fans wait patiently outside the line for the Exorcist attraction. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

The longest line by far was The Conjuring maze, peaking with two-hour wait times. The guests were told to try and get that maze out of the way first because most of the other mazes fluctuate in time.

Saul Jimenez, an attendee of the event, has been going to Halloween mazes for over ten years. He said he made the nearly two-hour drive from Bakersfield, Calif. because of the lack of Halloween mazes.

“The only negatives about the event I would say is sometimes the lines can get long for a five-minute maze,” said Jimenez. “The lines get very long and with everyone’s feet hurting and nowhere to sit, I question if I even want to stay in line. The VIP is double the amount which doesn’t make that worth the buy either.”

Some other non-maze attractions include a Tim Burton prop expo, followed by the Warner Brothers movie prop showroom. Also, there is a free-fall tower ride called The Devil’s Drop in the center of the event. DJ Ricky Rocks plays music all night long with a dance floor that attracts even some of the scare actors. The Lost Boys Arcade is a free retro arcade with iconic games such a Ms. Pacman and Tetris, if guests want to take a break from the mazes and scary actors. Another attraction is the The Exorcist: Forbidden Screening, which shows ten minutes of the movie, followed by a live reenactment.

Beetlejuice Costume

The authentic 1988's Beetlejuice costume worn by Michael Keaton was on display at the Tim Burton exposition. Portions from the attic scenes were used as backdrop for the headless mannequin. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

The goth-punk bar Fangtasia, featured in the HBO series True Blood, serves Halloween-themed drinks and food, with vampires interacting with guests waiting to get in. The Crave Inn, which is actually in a movie set, with a menu ranging from cheese burgers to pizza to salads, is the only sit-down restaurant at the event.

For guest that want to pick up some merchandise to take home, The Little Shop of Horrors offers everything from shirts, bags, POP figures, candles, magnets, and even beanies.

Throughout the night scary actors work the event, making sure that guests receive a good fright during their visit. Like other interactive mazes, the scare actors aren’t allowed to touch guests, but this does not hinder their ability to be scary and jump out of a dark corner when you least expect it.

Kaycee Allen, who had played the role of a scary nun the previous year, helped guide groups into the maze as a line coordinator.

“I love seeing people scared and laughing, it’s what makes Halloween the best holiday,” said Allen.

“Playing and staying in character for eight hours is tough, but I really enjoyed the experience and will do it again,” said Allen. “This year has been fun and even more interactive because I talk to the guests before they get scared. It’s the best!”

Graves

Even the Warner Bros. know that you can never go wrong with a classic graveyard scene, as depicted outside the Conjuring Maze Photo credit: Alex Behunin

There are only four more dates to go this year, October 25, 26, 27, and 28. Prices for the event include general admission $76 and VIP $189 which includes front-of-the-line access, free priority parking, a Free IT Photo Op, and two complimentary beverages.

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