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Labyrinth - Temple of the Dead

122 Cliff Street, Santa Cruz

Reviewed by Hauntmistress: 10/6/2003

This is Labyrinth's second year of operation and this year they are presenting Temple of the Dead, a 15-20 minute walk past spirits all wanting you to be as dead as they are.

The Labyrinth consists of two trailers that you walk inside, under, and around.  At first I didn't even realize it was made up of trailers because the decorating was so well done and the lighting was perfect - it looked far from trailer-like.

Labyrinth is a very original production; they have actors, acrobats, stiltwalkers, and soundscrapers - all of whom are suburb in their roles.  As I said in last year's review, the acting is really what makes the haunt go from good to great.  The actors stay in character, offer good scares, and the make-up is very well-done.  

My main gripe, which I'm sure some would actually like, is that in two different sections you have to bend really close to the ground and walk underneath the trailers.  I thought I was just bending down to go underneath a railing and could stand right up (you can't see anything because it is very dark).  I ended up banging my head because I wasn't warned not to stand up immediately.  For the Hauntmaster, who is 6'2", it was a little uncomfortable to have to get that close to the ground and still walk forward.  Also, if anyone has back problems, it could be impossible for them to go through those sections.  Having said that, I do think it is an excellent addition and something new and unexpected.  I would have just liked a warning for my little head.

I appreciate that they keep the groups small for touring the haunt.  The Hauntmaster and I went through by ourselves because the groups in front of us and behind us were large, but typically you go through the haunt in groups of 4, 5, or 6.

But like last year, the timing was off.  I could hear the people in front of us and behind us screaming in the same rooms we walked through, but we didn't get a scare.  Certain actors did try to regulate the timing, but that can't always be controlled.  For example, my favorite part is a pitch-black hallway, and you inevitably end up running into the group in front of you that has come to a standstill, just hollering and laughing.


Temple of the Dead


Some of the Labyrinth actos

Skulls above the exit

Labyrinth wandering performer

Like Oh My Gawd, that was like sooo scary! Or do I have to pee?

Labyrinth does a good job of pulling people on the Boardwalk into the haunt (and entertaining those waiting to go in) by having characters roam the front of the haunt. The ones we saw were very well done in excellent make-up and original costumes. One was even on stilts with arms almost as long as his body and a creepy costume.

The thing I appreciate most about Labyrinth, aside from the acting, is that they are not afraid to try new things.  I think you'll find this haunt interesting and scary.

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.

Have you visited Labyrinth? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion in our forums!




Oct. 3 - Nov. 1: Weekends through the 24th, then nightly; Doors open at 7 pm and close 11 pm - midnight, depending on crowds


122 Cliff Street, Santa Cruz, across from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk




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