This is day 31 of our 61-day Hauntathon counting down to Halloween. Today is Friday, October 1st, and one of Temecula Terror’s Producers, Alexandra Baroo, talks about the Inland Empire’s newest haunted attraction.
What is Temecula Terror
Alex: Hi, I’m Alexandra Baroo. I am one of the producers at Temecula Terror. This is our inaugural event.
We decided, because there’s a lot of haunters out here in the Inland Empire with not as many haunts as in some of the urban areas, like LA, OC, San Diego, we decided that we would bring one here. I live, like down the street, the brothers live down the street. So, we all just came together and decided that we needed a haunt that was local, and that was indie.
At the event we have Family Fright Hours, which is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Temecula has a lot of families here, so we want to make sure all the little monsters in town can also enjoy the spooky season with us. What that has is, a spooky pumpkin patch, a carnival ride, some vendors, some nice food trucks, DJ, that kind of stuff, craft hour.
Then we also, at 7:00 PM, we sweep and make it really scary. Once the gates open that’s when the real monsters come out. You can go through all three of our mazes, you can visit our VIP bar, we have a secret speakeasy, if you can find it. We’ve also got multiple GA bars, multiple food vendors, and each night there’ll be live entertainment in the form of specialty entertainers, stilt walkers, all of those kinds of things. Then our VIP experience is exclusive access to our VIP bar, and like I said, a speakeasy that is hidden, but has handcrafted cocktails that you can only get at that location.
Alex Explains More About the Mazes at Temecula Terror
Alex: So, the first maze is 301 Hyde street. Now this is terrifying, because basically, you’re entering the home of Otis Hatcher and he’s the social pariah of Temecula Terror. He’s the town outcast. A carnival came to town hosted by Mayor Butterfield, and everyone in town is enthralled with the Halloween carnival. So, Otis, being upset about this because Halloween, of course, it’s his favorite holiday because he’s extremely demented. He lures all trick-or-treaters into his house, and instead of handing out candy, he’s mostly handing out tricks, and in the form of like torture.
Something really interesting about that maze is that it features a lot of vintage ephemera that belong directly to Jeremy and Zach Ball, the producers, bloodshed brothers. You can go through there, and if you keep an eye out, keep your eyes peeled, can see a lot of their vintage pieces from their personal collection. Even walking through the maze with them is really fun, because they will point out things and be like, “that was the first prop that I ever bought with my own money when I was 15 at Party City.” That kind of stuff is what, I think, sets us apart, that level of detail. The guys, their parents helped us with build, and helped us with concepting, their mom makes all the costumes, it’s a family affair. So, I think that really comes through in the level of detail of the mazes.
The second maze is The Crypt, that’s a brand new maze it’s never been done this way before. Originally The Crypt was just a blackout maze, it was a feel-your-way-through, very creepy that way, but it really grew from there as the brothers evolved the creative. They started adding some light elements, some laser elements, some fog elements, and then it became this venture through the forgotten catacombs, and it’s really been elevated into what it is now.
The third maze is Butterfield Asylum, and this is the one that really brings to life the Temecula history, or I should say a parallel, maybe darker imagined history. So, the Butterfield stage route is it a historical route of stagecoaches that came through this valley. So, it came directly through Temecula. But, they had a male stop that was located in Temecula, and a lot of the stops were actually built by prison workers. The brothers imagined this horrifying history, like a darker side in the sense that, if you’ve ever spent time in Temecula, outside of the month of January, that the sun here is insanely intense. So, we imagined that, these prison workers building these structures probably suffered from heat exhaustion and lost their minds. Imagine what kind of happened to those prison workers and those social outcasts, and so we’ve imagined the Butterfield Asylum is now their home. a walk through there is, creepy as an understatement.
What Is Temecula Terror’s Biggest Challenge?
The biggest challenge for us this year is really getting this off the ground in this community. Sometimes people are a little bit apprehensive to come out. So, I think it’s really just building trust in our community, letting them know that we’ve taken a lot of precautions to disinfect surfaces, and make sure that we are following COVID protocols given by the county. But I think it’s really just going to be getting the word out there that people know about this haunt and know that it’s indie style, it’s different than what you’re going to get at one of the bigger haunts in an urban area, it’s a very different feel.
Guest Feedback About Temecula Terror
Philip: Independent haunts, and especially a first-year independent haunts, definitely have their own feeling. I usually try and get guests at the experience to describe that feeling in their own words. And this time I chatted with Chloe Noelle, from Chloe IRL. Here’s what she had to say about the experience
Chloe: I love Hyde Street.
I am a huge sucker for vintage Halloween. I love the guts and gore, don’t get me wrong, but it just, it feels like a Halloween maze. I love all the vintage blow molds, I think that is so fun. The dolls and the little witch animatronic room, I think that was so fun. We always have one of those little witch puppets, and it scared me so bad when I was little. So, seeing that was like seeing an old friend from my childhood, it was so fun.
I think it’s really its own thing. Being in the middle of nowhere, kind of Temecula, you’re going down these dirt roads, it definitely adds to the environment of like, “okay, we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere.” It adds to the spookiness. I think that you can’t go in with the expectation of like, “oh, this is going to be like Scary Farm. Oh, this is going to be like Horror Nights.” Because it’s not. Obviously, they have a way bigger budget, and they also have a lot of other rules that they have to follow that these pro haunts or home haunts don’t really have, but they have different guidelines. So, you can’t go in with the same expectations that you would have for a Horror nights or Scary Farm. You have to go and know that it’s going to be something different, but you’re still going to have a lot of fun.
Final Thoughts From Alex
Alex: This, in particular, was a field that they had never used as a special event space, but that they wanted to. So, it’s crazy to be standing here after it’s been transformed into this space, and to really be in the creepy carnival scare zone that I thought about 16 months ago, and that I talked to the brothers about 10 months ago, and it’s so surreal. It’s beautiful, in a way, to see the carnival lights and to see the scare actors getting screams. I feel excited, and I just feel like I really hope that we get the opportunity to do this again next year.