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Gyro's 3D World of Terror

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, San Jose

Reviewed by: Hauntmaster 10/15/1999

What a waste of time! Great way to start a review isn't it. Well, I'm not sorry. This was quite possibly the single biggest waste of my time in recent memory.

Anyway, I'll suspend my griping for a moment and tell you a little about the haunt. This is the 11th year of Gyro's World of Terror. How it survives is beyond me. Oops, that just slipped out. The haunt covers most of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. It's further divided into several large buildings, Planet Horrorwood 20,000 sq ft in one building and Toxic Terror, 10,000 sq ft in another, and the Haunted Woods, a large 15, 000 sq ft, outdoor maze. In addition to these the Gyro's is supposed to feature wandering actors in costume, vendors, and a cemetery.

Ok, back to the griping, Gyro's is the worst haunted house in Northern California. I've been to school fairs where the only attraction was getting blind folded and sticking your hand in bowls of cold spaghetti while some 6 year old tells you it was somebody's brain that were more fun than this.

Upon arriving at this haunt you will, if you are what seemed like the vast majority of people, get lost. There are no signs telling you that the main entrance to the fairgrounds will not lead you to Gyro's even though their own advertising implicitly states that they've "taken over the fairgrounds". Dozens of people were left wandering around trying to figure out how to get in.

After you make your way to the small, unlit, unsigned, entrance you will fork over nearly $40 for a couple of tickets. You proceed down a long unadorned tunnel till you reach a mob of Gestapo looking security guards who would rather talk amongst themselves than do their jobs. Surprise, surprise, the guards start to thoroughly examine every one of your body orifices. Of course the vast majority of these rent a boobs, I mean, security officers, would rather stand around and gab with each other so the Hauntmistress who moved through the female line in 30 seconds (after waiting five for a female guard to show up) has to wait an additional 18 minutes for me to enter even though I was 7th in line.

So you make it through the security check and maybe you have a date for next weekend with that friendly guard who groped you moments earlier and now you're ready to get into a haunted house. But you have to ask yourself where are they? Again, no signs, no indication of where to go so you ask a legitimate officer standing near the mob of rent a boobs, er um, security guards, where to go. He of course gives you a blank look and waves his cup of java somewhere off into the darkness. Off you go, you see a couple of people milling about here and there and start hearing lots of noise.

Pretty soon you arrive at the first one. Cool you think. It's practically empty. You are going to get personal treatment. Only you realize that it's not just empty of customers it's empty of actors as well. Well, there is one guy who runs around and bangs on walls every now and again. To make matters worse most of the animatronics are broken or disconnected and the entire place is lit up with the brightest lights they could find. This certainly isn't my idea of spooky.

You think to yourself, well, this is just one of the haunts here the others will be better. So it's off to the Toxic Terror. Once again you are disappointed. Again brightly lit, loud, broken props. It's also set up as a giant amusement park line. You simply snake around and around again in a series of switchbacks with nothing really to see. You can't even enjoy what little effort they made into creating the various rooms because no effort was made to isolate inappropriate noises from other rooms. At least you feel safe. There are no less than five security guards milling around inside.

Another bust but wait, what about the haunted forest? That sounds spooky. Turns out to be another lame maze. If I counted correctly there were three trees in the Haunted Forest. The walls of the maze were made of camouflage netting and weren't quite high enough to block the lights from the parking lot from hitting you right in the eyes. If there was something spooky there you probably wouldn't have seen it anyway. But wait, the Haunted Forest actually had an actor! Well, at least he looked like he could have been one. He just walked by menacingly without any real scare value. It could be he was just another paying customer.

And that wraps up our experience at the 11th Annual Gyro's 3D World of Terror. Got lost, didn't get scared, got ripped off for $40, got annoyed, drove back to San Francisco. Do yourself a favor and avoid this pathetic, pathetic, haunt.

Be sure to take a look at our Events Calendar to find all the other great events going on in the Bay Area. Or if you're reading this review in a year other than it was written, please check our Events Calendar for current dates and hours of operation.

When October 6 - 31, 1999, 6 p.m. - midnight
Closed Mondays
Where 344 Tully Road, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Admission Weeknights - $14.95
Weekends - $17.95
Contact 408-492-0600 or 888-477-4695

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