Wondering which events and haunts to go to this Halloween season? The San Jose Blog has got you covered:
Dead Time Dreams - San Jose
Back for their third year next to a pumpkin patch near Eastridge Mall. They have 2 haunts, which were quite well done despite having fewer actors than some of the places below. There is also a neat midway that connects all of the attractions and features a Halloween store.
World's Largest Haunted House - San Jose
They are known for a very long maze with seemingly never-ending black corridors that break up the scares. For me personally, this is the single scariest maze in the Bay Area.
Halloween Haunt @ California's Great America - Santa Clara
Still the largest Halloween event in Northern California. Now in its seventh year, the word has gotten out on Halloween Haunt and the park is packed even on day 1. There are now 9 haunted mazes, a single haunted ride, 3 scare zones, and various shows (3 of the mazes are new this year). Most rides worth going on are still open--including the new Goldrush--and the roller coasters are being run with all the lights turned off. I would also recommend the Academy of Villains show, which was 100 times more impressive than what we were expecting. This year there is a new option to get a front of the line pass with a skeleton key that unlocks bonus scares in 5 of the haunts. If you go for the key, do not drink the blood in Roadkill Roadhouse... spoiler alert, it tastes like blood and will make you gag.
Pirates of Emerson - Pleasanton
The preeminent Bay Area Halloween event for almost 2 decades always provides a stellar experience. There are 5 haunted mazes this year, a Halloween Carnival, and several micro-attractions. This is MUCH MORE intense than Great America, so don't bring your young children. You'll get scares from every angle, including above and below you. The haunts are extraordinarily well done, and they only let in small groups.
Wicked Woods - Los Gatos
This was the biggest surprise of last year and is extraordinarily well done. The groups are limited to only 2 people, there is quite a bit of acting and storytelling, you have interactive elements like hidden doors, and there are lots of surprises.
ScareCo - Oakland
This is a brand new event for 2014. It wins the award for best ambiance hands down give it is hosted in a 102-year-old abandoned train station. Inside are 3 different haunts, all of which are very different. Contact takes place entirely in a single room, Kaiju has a prop that will blow you away, and Platform 13 was my pick for the single best haunt for this year. It is a bit of a trek to get here from San Jose, but is completely worth it.