Ten years after its release, fans of Michael Dougherty’s seminal feature Trick ‘r Treat may think the film’s universe still resides in the fictional town of Warren Valley, Ohio, but as we evidenced this past Friday night, they’d be dead wrong. Courtesy of Aurora Persichetti, Samhain’s world has indeed moved to Thousand Oaks, CA with her Murder House Production’s home haunt Trick ‘r Treat, and it’s the hottest ticket in town.
“The first haunt I ever did was when I was in middle school,” twenty-year old Persichetti told us Friday night, as she greeted excited guests just outside her pitch perfect realization. “It was after I had gone to a local haunt called Reign of Terror for the first time. After going through I knew that I had just discovered something that intrigued me. My first haunt that I opened to the public through MHP was last year when we did Evil Dead.”
Persichetti, who also works as a scare actor in year round The Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, continued, “I’ve always been a huge fan of the Trick ‘r Treat. I love the nostalgic Halloween tone it has as well as the characters and environments. When we realized that this year is Trick ‘r Treat’s ten year anniversary, we made the decision to go ahead and start on the project.”
Querying her in regards to the creation of the haunt, which consists of a jaw-dropping front yard tableau (complete with a live action Sam who gave out hugs when not menacing vistors) and a maze within whose design and execution put every 2017 corporate haunt we’ve visited to shame (it’s that good), Persichetti told us with humility, “My team, not including the incredible actors, consists of myself and my best friend and partner in crime Kyle. We began concept and design in July and have been working non-stop every day since then. I constructed everything you see inside the maze with the help of Kyle. The structure, costumes, static figures, set pieces, lighting were all done by me alone, through trial and error and a whole lot of research. Kyle is the brain behind the trigger scares and audio.”
“Throughout the maze you encounter multiple Sam characters,” she continued. “Classic Sam outside with the burlap mask, sheet ghost Sam and Sam unmasked in the finale scene. All our Sam’s are played by children… which is the beauty of being a home haunt, because we don’t have to abide by the 18 and over rule.”
We asked Persichetti if Trick ‘r Treat filmmaker Dougherty himself has visited her creation, to which she replied, “He has not come through. If he were to I think I’d embarrass myself by fan-girling too hard.” (Writer’s note: Mike, plan a visit if you may. I predict you’ll squeal in delight as did each and every guest we witnessed).
As for her future home haunt plans, she concluded, “We absolutely have some ideas for the 2018 haunt season. We’re always looking to expand and make our haunt bigger and scarier. So that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”
Given the insane level of talent displayed by Persichetti with her Trick ‘r Treat home haunt, we wouldn’t be surprised if Halloween Horror Night’s Creative Director John Murdy were to pass her in the future his torch. Her talent is undeniable.
Murder House Production’s Trick r’ Treat has one night remaining, on Halloween, 10/31/17 from 8pm to 11pm at 2240 Ranch View Place, Thousand Oaks, CA. For more, ‘like’ them on Facebook here and follow them on Instagram at @mhphaunt.