Tonight I was once again invited by Christian and Scott Sivley to cover Beware the Dark Realm for TPR. Beware the Dark Realm is a free home haunt put on annually since 2013 that benefits a local charity. This year's benefiting charity is the local Santa Clarita Valley Domestic Violence Center. 2017 marks the 46th year that Scott Sivley has been building home and professional haunts, and it certainly shows in his incredible costuming, makeup, and set design.
Beware the Dark Realm is located in the northern Santa Clarita Valley of Southern California, about 8ish miles northeast of Six Flags Magic Mountain, a roughly 30 minute drive north from downtown Los Angeles or Burbank Airport, and about a 45 minute drive north from LAX depending on traffic. The haunted maze's main facade is an elaborate medieval castle which also serves as the maze's main theme. Every year new enhancements and changes are made. This year the direction of the maze was reversed compared to previous years, with guests encountering a small village whose bloodthirsty inhabitants beckon the ill-fated visitors to join them before entering the castle itself. The lighting, set design, and of course scare actors combine for a very well done haunted attraction.
Having seen this last year and again this year, one of the best qualities this haunt has, in addition to their talent, is that they only let in one small group at a time. This is a technique I have noticed also being utilized by Knott's and Universal in some of their mazes this year. Being alone or in a small group, rather than in one long conga line, really up's the scare factor and creates a more intimate feel as though you're alone with the monsters. The new beginning to the maze with the creepy swamp, haunted village, as well as the winding corridors and deathly rooms of the castle itself, culminating with a daring escape through the castle dungeons, all made for a great experience that they don't charge a nickel for! How crazy is that?
It's an effort that Christian, Scott and everybody involved should be very proud of. Anybody who is a fan of haunted attractions and doesn't mind a relatively short drive northward should absolutely come check this out. Beware the Dark Realm will be open from 7-10pm on October 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th this year. They're also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Yelp.
Check out some photos of this amazing home haunt below:
Hi there. Ready to have a screaming good time?
You'll find Beware the Dark Realm in the northern Santa Clarita Valley, roughly 8 miles northeast of Six Flags Magic Mountain, and about a 30 minute drive north from downtown Los Angeles.
Hey, one of the houses in this neighborhood has suddenly become a haunted medieval castle!
While you're here, instead of paying admission, why not make a donation to the SCV Domestic Violence Center? These nice ladies will help you with that.
Time to have fun storming the castle...
Looks like we've got a sizeable group here all waiting in the queue to go in...
So they'll have to deal with crazy slider monster guy!
The master of the castle will determine who is worthy to enter his domain.
Here goes nothing!
Immediately beyond the doorway is a creepy swamp-like jungle area. Hope nothing comes out to get me!
Jeez, I knew my mother warned me about horned monster guys lurking in the swamp for a reason!
Walking through the scary village...
It's an eerie way to start the maze, and has some great set design.
One of the villagers came out to greet me. Isn't that nice?
Oh, this doesn't look good...
She's seen some better days!
Inside the castle, creepy organ is creepy...
There's a pepper's ghost effect...
"Hello, may I take possession of your soul?"
Walking through the castle corridors...
Hmm this looks like some kind of circus tent. Wonder who lives here?
Whoa, craaaaaaaazy killer clown guys!
Towards the end of the maze, faceless wonder here directs all to the dungeons.
The dungeon is a dark and scary and full of prisoners excited to have some "fresh meat!"
Normally they're too dark to really see but look how many prisoners there are, and the only way out is to get past that guy at the end! Can we possibly survive???
Here are the folks responsible for all the creepiness. They should be very proud of all their hard work in creating this terrific home haunt. Thanks again for the invite! Hope to be back again next year!
Nrthwnd wrote:This looks like a great home haunt! Matthew, how long did it take you to go (roughly) through it all?
I would say it took about 4 minutes to walk through it all. Lots of monsters. Plenty of scares. Unlimited trips through for anyone who wants them. It's quite literally the definition of a labor of love.
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