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Scotts Valley High School Haunted House
555 Glenwood Dr., Scotts Valley
We tried to visit Scotts Valley High School's annual haunted house last year but were thwarted by our schedule and a line that seemed to stretch for a mile. This year we decided to show up when they first opened and we're glad we gave it another try.
We purchased our tickets and were assigned numbers for entry. A good idea because it allowed us to sit and relax while waiting for our number to be called instead of standing in a line.
While we waited there were masses of zombie girls milling about. The zombies grew restless and started to menace the crowd before being drawn back to the front of the haunt as if somebody had opened a cranium of fresh brains. Just then, Michael Jackson's Thriller began playing over the PA. At first it looked like the zombies weren't aware of the music, but then all of a sudden they were in perfect formation and broke into a well-rehearsed rendition of the main dance sequence from the Thriller video, gratefully minus any hint of a red leather clad leader. Then as suddenly as they had gathered, the zombies dispersed once again in search of brains.
We were quite impressed with the professionalism of these zombies. Each had a unique vision of the zombie theme. Some fell down, others walked into walls, some splayed themselves on the ground staring at us, and three dragged their rotting limbs over to where we were seated to give us a surprising amount of personal attention. They never broke character and were quite committed to their roles. The costumes and make-up were very well done. So much so it was easy to forget these were high school girls half our ages.
Before long our number was called and it was time to enter. I must admit we had reservations - we were assigned a group that included two people we didn't come with, and this was a school benefit. Two issues that have made for sub-par haunt experiences in the past. But Scotts Valley turned that trend around!
We were ushered into the haunt and into a room of pitch blackness. Fun and scary confusion ensued as our group of four stumbled all over each other in search of an exit. As I reached out to feel my way around, all I felt were bodies, apparently there were many more than the four in our group in the room! A good mauling ensued. Unseen hands grasped at us and murderous words were whispered in our ears. Suddenly, our savior and guide for the remainder of the tour popped up. He whisked us away to another room and explained that we were in a bunker that was created "in case of nuclear testing." He said something had gone terribly wrong and in no uncertain terms told us that we shouldn't be there. However, he guaranteed us he'd lead us out to safety.
He opened a door for us saying "welcome to the nightmare!" And boy was he right. The door opened to masses of evil zombies. They were standing on and hanging all over a tunnel-like structure. Our guide told us to crawl through. It took me a minute to process what I was supposed to do and decide if I really wanted to go into the tunnel. I seriously considered taking the chicken way out and walking around the tunnel, but Specter pushed me, so there I was on all fours crawling through the tunnel as zombies screamed and banged on all sides of the tunnel, reached in to scare me, crawled the opposite way in to block my path, and taunted me (being over 6 feet tall, Specter said his head was banged more than a few times by zealous zombies hitting the top of the tunnel, but I thought that was deserving since he pushed me in). What a way to start the haunt! This was a thoroughly enjoyable feature and something that was unexpected and novel (if memory serves me, the only other place we've seen this done was at the old Beach Street Haunt in Santa Cruz years ago).
Our guide proceeded to lead us through room after room of frightening and funny scenes. I'm not sure how many kids go to Scotts Valley High School, but it seemed as if the entire school was in the haunt because every room was packed with actors who were perfectly in character and giving 100 percent to scare or amuse us - dedication that raised the haunt to a level that we hadn't expected.
We don't want to give too much more away, but I will say that all the rooms were enjoyable. Scenes included a pumpkin patch with scary scarecrows, a "wax" museum, a lab full of doctors and nurses that really needed our help, and a creepy (but fun) clown room. We also enjoyed the couch potato zombies which, in an unnerving way, reminded us of our own high school experiences!
Scotts Valley High School did a wonderful job with make-up, costumes, and acting. We were thoroughly entertained. So hurry over to Scotts Valley High School, their haunted house is open for just two more days!
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