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Fear Overload
Brings Adult-Size Scares to the Bay Area

9/27/2013 by Hauntmistress

Fear Overload 2013

Fear Overload 2013

Fear Overload 2013

Fear Overload 2013

Halloween is not just for kids anymore. Thirty-six percent of people in their late 20s to early 30s plan to visit a haunted house this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

So why are there so few haunted houses in the Bay Area that cater to an older crowd? Even when a haunted house has “scary” and “not so scary” hours, the difference is usual just in the brightness of the lighting. But Fear Overload Scream Park in San Leandro wants to change that.

“It upsets me that almost all haunted houses are designed for families and refuse to up the scare ante, regardless of an increasingly horror-tolerant population. It is clearly time for a dominant, professional entity to take over this shambles of an industry, breathing life into its rotting corpse. Fear Overload is that entity,” said Nathan Polanco, producer of Fear Overload.

“Before Fear Overload, I could not name a haunted house in the Bay Area that left customers drenched in sweat from fear. I suppose Fear Overload is on a whole different level of haunted house – and targets a vastly different market than other Bay Area haunts. We want our haunted houses to be so horrifying that they’re not even enjoyable,” said Polanco.

In February 2013, Polanco met with Dan Nelson, producer of GYRO’s Fear Factory and they decided to partner up on a journey to fill a void in the market. GYRO’s fans may recognize many of GYRO’s props in this year’s Fear Overload haunted houses. GYRO's has been an adviser and key player in the making the labyrinths. “It’s been great working with them and we plan a continued relationship in the future.”

That future includes plans to branch out to several California markets in the near future. As for Fear Overload’s current San Leandro location, Polanco says he’s been building it up for several years, and it was first chosen in 2010 because San Francisco, Oakland, and much of the East Bay actually had zero professional haunted houses.

Fear Overload offers two new haunted houses this year, Abusement Park and Ward 9, with more than half a million dollars of special effects and sets created to offer a most realistic experience. Abusement Park takes you on a walk through the remains of a Tunnel of Love boat ride and the employee quarters of an abandoned Amusement Park. Ward 9 takes place in an insane asylum.

Be sure not to miss the scares! “If you’re under 16 years old, pregnant, or faint at heart, then don’t even show up,” said Polanco.


When Oct. 4-6, 11-13, 17-20, 23-Nov. 2, 2013, 7 pm-10 pm (open until midnight certain nights, see website below)
Where Bayfair Center, 15555 E. 14th St., San Leandro
Admission $20
Contact www.fearoverload.com

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