Gate keepers count the faces of the lost at The Haunted Trail entrance in Balboa Park, and the staved Haunted Hotel downtown set up under the gaslamp lights at the 4th Avenue and Market Street corner. Searching the night has fated locals inside the haunt gates to shivers.
Seven pm Thursday night was the right time to follow the line through. Things broke out all wrong behind the set screens. Hangmen tied to a wood beam took the turn on the mile long park strolling trail. Guests held their ground for 20 to 30 minutes. The drawn and the quartered among the punished in the hotel boiled the blood in those who refused to submit during the 15 to 20 minute stay.
Each eve through November 2nd, actors touched by a death potion gravely beat the ways through, and crawl, on irresistible profile or in pieces, lamped ill seen amidst the hard nailed sets fit together by the black market low necks. No one will turn back once this weekend's Monster Bash turns the Gaslamp Quarter orange. The hated sting of wasted time grows too hard to bear the week of Halloween.
Ticketholders lead into the haunts in long lines keep the work debilitating. Making the price worth the "much longer" than 30 minutes wait can make clean faced workers a desperado.
Even the tongue tied in the halls and ways take severe treatment. The job is to blind their hearts and minds, and, keep the path to leaving alive open. At the downtown hotel, there are "many emergency exits throughout each attraction in case anyone gets too scared to continue." Odds for walking out into the light work out the same in Balboa Park. San Diegans carry through because the work beasts built an in and out walking mystery theater.
Horrible way to earn some booty? No pain, no gain, the peace breakers say. Set work framed the San Diego locations with the time honored tall boards, and the rope and tape lines that lead the fearful through their story of bad stands and noisy failures. The haunt drawing boards had the top stuff needed to stake a claim on the local lands.
This year's The eXperiment, a cut and cross maze, can not get jammed by anything but tricksters' troubles. The workers took the time to line up a prime path.
Want of skill is not good enough to take the steps settling in a beast on a haunt path that wags its head with a woeful demeanor. Or, put cloth covered undead in a visitor's place in an ordinary hang out.
Hanging up the lost shelter walls, and, the sides and top on the free for all passages is a raw deal. Only the saltiest crews enjoy the Halloween host's work.
Simpletons can't handle the mischief in making everything two faced. Drapes make faces dull dreary without the well seen winks.
Hidden behind the boards, in Balboa Park, east of the Balboa drive, in the dry pines and oaks, the sharp edged tools, the fleshy filling stuff, and break coolers, fall into place. Nothing is spared for the Halloween drama.
THis is the latest story told for Saturday City Scene Chronicles. To read the last article, read