Brent Bernasconi

Are You Brave Enough to Enter One of San Diego's Haunted Houses?

The Scream Zone

It”s that time of year – the days grow shorter, the weather grows colder and our dearly (and not-so-dearly) departed rise again for their unwelcome annual visit. If you”re brave or foolish enough to say hello to them, head out to one of these haunted houses and trails throughout San Diego county.

Just remember the words of Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) as you enter – Once, the door is locked, there is no way out…

The Scream Zone

The Scream Zone

Just keep telling yourself it”s just a hay ride, it”s just a hayride…or is it?

Get ready for three horrifying experiences at San Diego County”s largest haunted attraction. The Scream Zone features the House of Horror with rooms filled with terrifying scenes and scares lurking at every turn, take the Haunted Hayride through the haunted barns on the Del Mar racetrack and walk through The Chamber with the largest spinning tunnel in San Diego. New this year is the Zombie Paintball Safari…test your aim under pressure!

Note: The Scream Zone is designed for a teen and older audience.

Where: Del Mar Fair Grounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: September 27 – November 2, 2013
Cost: $15-$30
> Find out more about The Scream Zone

The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel. Photo by Mike Rollerson

The staff at The Haunted Hotel is dying to check you in! Photo by Mike Rollerson

Named one of the top 13 haunted houses in America by Haunt World magazine, The Haunted Hotel is one of San Diego”s longest running haunted houses. Do you you dare ride the Hellevator to who knows where, explore Freddy Krueger”s workshop, and visit rooms inspired by Legion and Shutter Island? Ride the moving Subway and meet the night riders, and try to escape the virus outbreak in the Zombie office. The heart-pounding effects are so real, you”ll be screaming for your life as you try to find the way out.

Note: No pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. Not recommended for children under 10.

Where: 424 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 27 – November 2, 2013
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/28 and 10/29
Cost: $15-$27
> Find out more about The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park. Photo by Mike Rollerson

Whatever you do, don”t walk into any of the houses along The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park! Photo by Mike Rollerson

If walking through haunted houses isn”t your thing, take a stroll through Balboa Park that you”ll never forget. The mile-long Haunted Trail has plenty of spine-tingling sights and sounds that will leave you trembling amongst the twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks. In addition to the trail, your can make your way best online casino through “The eXperiment,” a maze that shows what can happen when Mother Nature takes her eye off the ball for even just a second.

Note: No pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. Not recommended for children under 10.

Where: 6th & Juniper at Marston Point, San Diego, CA 92103
 September 27 – November 2, 2013
Closed Monday & Tuesday except for 10/28 and 10/29
Cost: $15-$32

The Savage House

The Savage House - San Diego Haunted Houses

Out in San Diego”s East County sits what was once a secure warehouse containing a laboratory designed to collect research data on the infected. The infected now roam free throughout the building. Get yourself lost in the hallways of this zombie infested warehouse as you navigate through 10,000 sq ft of terror. Are you brave enough to make it through? Brave enough to survive?

If you make it through alive, check out The Museum full of characters, vehicles and props from some of your favorite horror movies.

Note: Attraction is not recommended for anyone under the age of 12 years old.

Where: Grossmont Center Mall – 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942
When: October 3 – November 2, 2013
Cost: $11-$17. Museum Admission – $3
> Find out more about The Savage House

Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

Things aren”t always what they seem in the Ghastley Manor

Are you prepared to run for your life against hordes of the Undead? Can your heart handle coming face to face with the dark and twisted members of the Ghastley family? This year, you will be taken into the very depths of the Ghastley Family Manor, making your way through dark corridors, sinister rooms, and an army of the Living Dead.

Note: Monster Manor is targeted towards for ages 13 .

Where: 8235 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126
When: October 18-19, 25-26 and October 31 – November 1, 2013
Cost: $10-$13
> Find out more about Escape from Ghastley Manor (Monster Manor)

The Whaley House

The Whaley House

Are you brave enough to enter The Whaley House, one of America”s Most Haunted Houses?

Step into one of America”s Most Haunted Houses and immediately feel a chill! See something out of the corner of your eye that you can”t explain? Hear the sound of a ball bouncing off the wall but don”t see it? Throughout October, the Whaley House will be offering special tours, extended hours and the chance for you to have an actual paranormal encounter.

Where: 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110
When: October 4-31, 2013
Cost: Prices vary by event
> Find out more about Halloween at the Whaley House

Family Friendly Haunted Houses

Have a small goblin or ghoulish princess that wants to get into the Halloween spirit? Buckle them onto the broomstick and fly over to family friendly haunted houses at LEGOLAND”s Brick or-Treat-Trail or Belmont Park”s Boomont Manor.

> Find more Scares and Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Are there any San Diego haunted houses that you will never return to out of fright? Warn us and others in the comments below! 🙂

Robert Arends

Ghost Hunting in San Diego’s Coronado and Old Town!

Kate Morgan roaming the halls of The Del.
Kate Morgan Standing in front of the Hotel Del

“Ghost” of Kate Morgan at the Hotel del Coronado

“I ain’t afraid of no ghost!” No really, I’m not. I’m absolutely thrilled by the possibility of encountering a spirit from the beyond. Two places in particular that put San Diego on the map as a specter-friendly destination: the famous Hotel del Coronado and the Whaley House.

The Hotel del Coronado’s Kate Morgan

Kate Morgan roaming the halls of The Del.

Kate Morgan checked in, but never checked out of Room #3327!

The Hotel del Coronado’s grand Victorian halls and rooms are where the ghost of Kate Morgan purportedly roams, mischievously playing pranks on unsuspecting guests and staff. She checked into #3327 on the third floor…but never checked out!

I had a recent encounter with Ms. Morgan during an impromptu ghost hunt at The Del. The group I was with experienced a spine-tingling cold spot outside her room when we quietly summoned her to join us. At that moment, the word “beside” appeared on the Ghost Radar Legacy app on my iPhone. Coincidence?! I think not…

Soon after, the word “enough” appeared on my Ghost Radar and the lady standing next to me had her camera brusquely slung off her shoulder by an unseen force! It was startling, to say the least, and we quickly dispersed down to the lobby where we encountered another cold spot (Kate’s such a hanger-on! 😉 ).

Hotel del Coronado-Kate Morgan reading

Kate Morgan’s ghost “chillin’ ” in the lobby of The Del.

The Hotel del Coronado embraces and celebrates its well-known haunting each October with an annual “Hallo-wine & Spirits” party and “Room with a Boo” hotel package that includes a copy of their book, Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado.

The Whaley House Family

My colleague Maren Severtsen took part in an exciting “Past & Presence” haunted tour of Old Town, including the Whaley House, the #1 haunted house in America (The Travel Channel) and one of only two official Haunted Houses designated by the U.S. Commerce Department.

> Read about Maren’s haunted tour here

Even More Haunting in San Diego

For other haunted spots, entities and everything else that “goes bump in the night” in San Diego, the San Diego Ghost & Paranormal Group and Pacific Paranormal Investigations are great local resources.

See you on the other side…Bwah, ha ha ha ha! 🙂

Robert Arends

5 to Try Spook-tacular San Diego Halloween Haunts

Evil Ringmaster - Scream Zone

Sinister welcome to the Scream Zone!

BOO-yah! It’s the most wonderful time of the year… yep, Halloween! San Diego celebrates the season with creepy cool events and fun-filled spots to seriously get freaked out. Word of warning: A few of these are not for the faint of heart. Translation: not for the kiddies (best to take them to LEGOLAND’s Brick-or-Treat instead 😉

1.  The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

Haunted Hayride passenger about to scare an unaware victim at the Scream Zone

Haunted Hayride hijinks in the Scream Zone.

The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds features a Haunted Hayride (creepy clowns, zombies and aliens, oh my!), House of Horror (beware the chainsaw-wielding maniac!) and Chamberlabyrinth (I almost lost my balance in the giant spinning tunnel!) all wrapped into one big scare fest.

2.  The Haunted Hotel

Haunted Hotel Sign

The Haunted Hotel is now open for guests! Photo courtesy of Mike Rollerson.

The Haunted Hotel in the downtown Gaslamp Quarter is where horror movies come to life; as in you WILL meet Freddie Krueger and Jason from Friday the 13th face to face! This is San Diego’s longest-running haunted house and one of the Top 13 haunted houses in the U.S.!

3. Ghosts & Gravestones

Grave Digger - Ghost and Gravestones

There’s a plot…I mean spot waiting for you on the tour.

Take a ride on the dark side on San Diego’s original “frightseeing” tour, Ghosts & Gravestones.  Hop on a trolley of the doomed to discover the El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town (bodies are actually buried under Old Town Ave. – zoinks!), The Whaley House, America’s most haunted house (The Travel Channel) located on a former gallows site (double zoinks!), and the Maritime Museum’s haunted Star of India tallship and Berkeley ferryboat (SciFi’s Ghost Hunters filmed here!).

4. Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

A crashed bus at the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park.

The driver never made it through the Haunted Trail! Photo courtesy of Mike Rollerson.

Fog-shrouded Balboa Park with its gnarled grove of 100-year-old trees towering overhead is the site of the wickedly fun, mile-long Haunted Trail. It’s the great outdoors gone awry – very Blair Witch Project! Also features a manic maze called “The eXperiment.”

5. Scary Maze at Cottonwood Golf Course

Scary Maze at Cottonwood Golf Course Logo

Cottonwood Golf Course in East County goes into fright mode with its 10,000 sq.-ft. Scary Maze. Truth be told, this one’s more family-friendly. The object: find your way out of the maze while encountering “dead” ends and creatures of the night. There’s also a beer garden, live music, dancing, devilishly-delectable food and scary movie showings outdoors.

Happy (early) Halloween!


The Ghosts of Haunted Old Town, San Diego say “Boo!” (On Video!)

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“Mr. Whaley, are you here?” I recently asked an empty courtroom at the Whaley House Museum in Old Town Heritage State Park, San Diego. The answer? It didn’t come from the other room, but a swinging silver pendulum I held lightly between my fingers. Vertical swing. Yes. The ghost of Thomas Whaley, one of the most prominent figures of early San Diego life, was there.

And so began my 2 week exploration into the wild realm of paranormal investigation. I have to admit, I went expecting to tell of nothing more than the fascinating – and gruesome – history of Old Town. Like how the young, beautiful and heartsick Violet Whaley shot herself in online casino dgfev the heart with her father”s 32-calibre Smith & Wesson pistol and bled to death in the house. Yikes!

But the more I investigated, whether with San Diego Ghost Hunter gadgetry or  Cosmopolitan Restaurant & Hotel ghost stories and churros (Best. EVER), the more the paranormal found me. Alas, I had to leave the most alarming encounter out of the video. When startled, I have the mouth of a sailor.

During October, the Whaley House offers a wide range of tours and events culminating in the coolest Dia de los Muertos celebration in San Diego on November 1-2. As for the Cosmopolitan, I recommend a vintage cocktail and storytime at the bar once bought by Wyatt Earp!

Special thanks to Victor Santana and the Whaley House team, Miguel Pulido at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant and Maritza and Matt with the San Diego Ghost Hunters for their time. And to Lauren Ross – for her mad video skillz.