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Behind the Screams at Halloween Haunt

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Behind the Screams: New Experiences at Haunt

Danny Messinger

As communications manager, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans "Between the Lines." I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers!

There’s just one more weekend left to experience all that’s new at Halloween Haunt this season! With one completely new haunted maze, one reimagined fan favorite maze and one entirely new scare zone, there are plenty of new surprises lurking around each and every corner of California’s Great America this fall.

We recently walked through each of the three new experiences with our entertainment manager, Sean Lee, to find out a little more about these attractions.

Tooth Fairy

This Haunt, the Tooth Fairy has gotten greedy, and she’s taking more than just baby teeth. The Tooth Fairy haunted maze takes its inspiration from a retired maze at our sister amusement park, Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California. Their Tooth Fairy maze, a guest favorite for multiple years, was so well received that Great America’s Haunt team was chomping at the bit when they heard the maze would be moving to our park.

“We wanted it to seem like this terrifying night could happen at your house…that this maze could really become a reality,” says Sean. “The Tooth Fairy hates that you’re getting candy for Halloween—that you’re going to ruin your perfect teeth before she has a chance to steal them for her castle.”

So how did Sean’s team transform the existing Tooth Fairy maze into a unique experience for Great America’s guests?

“Through a few weeks of discussions, lots of new ideas came out,” says Sean. “We expanded the bedroom scenes, added a new bathroom scene for a big scare, made the Tooth Fairy’s lair more bloody and created a 3D structure that you walk through as you descend into her lair—something that had never been done before at Great America.”

Madame Marie’s Blackout

Also new this season is a dark reimagining of Madame Marie’s Massacre Manor maze. This year, all the lights have been turned out in the maze, and guests are only given a dim flashlight to use to find their way out.

Madame Marie’s is one of the most detailed mazes at Great America—chock full of props and décor. With the lights out, Sean has noticed that guests are slowing down as they wander through the maze and are discovering new details that they might have previously looked over.

With the lights out through Madame Marie’s mansion, you’re sure to stumble across quite a few surprises, and startles, this season!

Ripper’s Revenge

Under the glow of a 36-foot-tall Big Ben clock tower, one of the largest set pieces ever built by the Great America team, the shadows of Fleet Street’s infamous phantoms, including Jack the Ripper himself, are dodging between buildings and down dark alleys—plotting how they’ll exact their revenge.

The set pieces for this scare zone were one of the largest projects ever completed at the park. There are nearly a dozen facades that are densely packed throughout the area. Each building’s base frame was constructed early in the summer months. As Haunt approached, the structures were skinned, painted and filled in with detail work.

“We’re really relying on the characters in this scare zone,” says Sean. “The set work is incredible in Ripper’s Revenge. Such detailed buildings and set pieces allow our monsters to scare our guests with creepy dialogue and scary characteristics instead of jump scares. Plus, we can continue to build on this scare zone in coming years by making it bigger and even more immersive.”

Discount Tickets Online

If you’re dying to check out Halloween Haunt for yourself this year, you better make plans quick because this is the last weekend! Halloween Haunt at California’s Great America is open Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 from 7 p.m.–1 a.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 7 p.m.–midnight.

Get your tickets online for the lowest price. Tickets start as low as $34 online, and students can present their school ID at the front gate for a $39.99 ticket.

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Danny Messinger

As communications manager, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans "Between the Lines." I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers!

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