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Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:30 am
by PeoplemoverMatt
Tonight I was invited by TPR and Christian and Scott Sivley to check out Beware the Dark Realm - a free local haunted maze that benefits the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. Scott and his son Christian put this on annually with 2016 marking the 45th year for Scott, and their 28th year in Santa Clarita.

Beware the Dark Realm is located in the northern part of the Santa Clarita Valley, about 7-8 miles northeast of Six Flags Magic Mountain. They've used different themes over the years. The current haunted medieval castle theme has been going since 2013. Every year Christian and Scott make changes and enhancements and it really shows in what they're able to do. The haunt includes an amazing castle fa├žade built up around the garage and front yard of their home, multiple elaborate sets, some cool lighting and strobe effects, and of course, monsters! The attraction is open Friday and Saturday nights the weekend before Halloween and the weekend of Halloween from 7pm-10pm, with non-scare group tours offered beginning at 6pm.

For me, seeing this was nothing short of amazing. It's clearly a labor of love given how guests are not charged a dime, though donations of food and/or funds to the Food Pantry are welcomed. Christian and Scott were both very gracious and accommodating. I had a blast going through their maze. Usually the first night of any haunt includes some technical difficulties, monster talent working their kinks out, etc but I saw none of that. The sets were great. The effects were startling. The talent was spot on, knew their roles, had their timing down and they were numerous throughout the maze. There was a line outside the entrance, but that was mostly because only small groups are allowed to walk through the maze. No conga lines here. That was a great choice because being in the maze alone or with just your group adds a whole other element to the fright. There were some disorienting moments included such as a dead end in the castle's dungeons that only the dungeon inmates can help you out of, a dark forest with multiple dead ends, and a final encounter with a dragon's head before escaping back through the castle gates. How awesome is that, and they don't charge a nickel?? Crazy.

Having been going to theme park haunts for 14 years, I had just as much if not more fun with this as any other theme park haunt I've been to. Christian, Scott, and everybody else involved should be very proud of their efforts in putting this on for the local community. Anybody who's interested in haunted mazes and having fun with them should come by and see the great work they've done here.

Let's check out some photos, shall we?

Re: Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:07 am
by GCI Wooden
Wow, that looks like such a well done Haunt, especially for being free. Those sets look incredible

Something of note, the warning sign had a section dedicated to "no refunds" for the free maze. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:29 pm
by PeoplemoverMatt
^ Well they do accept cash donations in addition to food, but I can't imagine someone being dickish enough to want their *charitable donation* refunded because they were somehow unsatisfied by the maze.

Re: Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:58 am
by cfc
GCI Wooden wrote:
Something of note, the warning sign had a section dedicated to "no refunds" for the free maze. :lol: :lol: :lol:


That means that you won't get your soul back!

This looks excellent, especially for a "free" haunt. I'd be willing to pony up for some canned goods to check this one out.

Re: Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:47 pm
by comet
This looks amaze! Love the castle facade that hides the house. I do a haunted house every year through my backyard and garage, but it's no where as detailed as this.

Re: Photo TR: Beware the Dark Realm

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:11 pm
by jray21
Looks amazing for a free Haunt! They did a great job!