In these unprecedented times, when haunted attractions nationwide have been forced to either close or to recalibrate completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, haunt enthusiasts have been sadly left with little to do during this Halloween season, particularly in the Los Angeles region. Fortunately, though, Las Vegas, Nevada’s spooky offerings are in full (and safe) swing, as we recently discovered when we road tripped to the City of Sin to visit Fright Ride, The Official SAW Escape Room and Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, the latter in nearby Boulder City. Read on for the spooky skinny.
We’ve long been fans here of the creations of “hauntreprenuer” Jason Egan, the man behind the long-running haunted attraction Fright Dome, which manifested itself within Circus Circus’ Adventure Dome for an enormously successful fifteen-year span. Having closed in 2017, Egan was however undaunted, and has returned for 2020 with the all-new immersive haunt Fright Ride, the city’s largest indoor Halloween event.
Housed in a 75,000 square foot facility, Fright Ride ushers guests upon their arrival into a “research facility,” created in order to study the human fear response. Attendees then board “research transport vehicles” (environmentally friendly electric carts), which traverse the facility’s labyrinthine interior, on which they come face to (physically distant) face with the terrors which lurk within.
As with the previous Fright Dome, Egan has spared no expense with Fright Ride, in both creative design and (now given COVID-19) adherence to strict safety protocols (all Fright Ride personnel are screened daily, and physical distance and commitment to PPE is maintained at all times). Given this, we were able to happily give ourselves up to the experience itself, which proved exhilarating. What lies within? Without giving away any spoilers, top-notch production design, dedicated and rather eye-popping scare actors and entirely impressive animatronics, all of which conspire to offer up a heart-pounding experience.
For proof, check out the exclusive video below of Halloween actresses Danielle Harris and Scout Taylor-Compton, who had their wits scared out of them inside Fright Ride just this past weekend.
General admission tickets from Fright Ride, which has been selling out nightly, start at $24.99, with additional VIP/Premium upgrades available that offer guests express entry and a souvenir lanyard and credential. Updates on Fright Ride are available online at www.frightride.com, on Instagram @frightride, on Twitter @FrightRide and by following Fright Ride on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/frightridelv/
THE OFFICIAL SAW ESCAPE ROOM
Having opened in February of 2017, Egan’s The Official SAW Escape Room, a mere half mile down the road from Fright Ride, continues to be the most impressive escape experience we’ve, well, ever experienced. The attraction’s ingenuity, complexity, production design and attention to every last possible detail continue to plunge visitors into a fully realized, and utterly terrifying, SAW universe. That, and as the escape rooms (there are several consecutive conjoined) were from the very beginning designed for small groups, and are now deep cleaned during and after each game, SAW makes for a safe journey into the twisted world of Jigsaw.
What’s more, fans looking for a safe but challenging thrill will also be able to experience enhanced game play, exciting new puzzles and new, socially distanced actors for increased scares, as The Official SAW Escape Room has not only responsibly implemented strict COVID-19 protocols, but all-new scares and challenges. Our group, some of which who had previously visited the escape room, we’re thrilled with the spooky updates, which included finding “Missing” posters scattered throughout the attraction (with their own faces on them!), among many other chilling surprises. It’s a must visit.
Due to high demand, limited space and COVID-19 protocols, the venue has extended its operating hours for the Halloween season and encourages guests to book in advance. For more information or to secure your reservations you can call (702) 333 0770 or visit them at www.SawEscapeRoom.com
TOM DEVLIN’S MONSTER MUSEUM
Roadside attractions. We love them. And the spookier the better. Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, located twenty minutes outside of Las Vegas in the Mayberry’esque town of Boulder City, is everything that and more. Created by long-time FX artist Tom Devlin (whose work appears in dozens of horror films, from Troma through Full Moon), the museum is devoted to preserving the history and art of special makeup effects, an art form he’s dedicated his entire life to.
From the spooky hearse parked out front to the animatronic Frankenstein’s monster at the entrance (which shimmies in the desert wind), this monstrous museum is sure to please creature fans young and old alike. Within (in addition to the currently on loan, screen-used “spider gremlin” in the lobby from Gremlins 2), visitors are able to experience a physically distant walk-through of Devlin’s private collection of horror cinema’s most famous monsters, from recreations of Lon Chaney’s The Phantom of the Opera through Halloween’s Michael Myers, many of which he himself has created, through his own stylized prism. In addition, screen-used props abound in the moody installation, offering up a living history of horror cinema. It’s an absolute delight.
What’s more, for the Halloween season Devlin is offering up the special experience A Nightmare at the Museum featuring The Fright Zone, which allows visitors to explore an all-new gallery of frights and high-end props, in one of the oldest buildings in Boulder City. We were lucky enough to do a walk-through of Fright Zone near the build’s completion, and we couldn’t have been happier. Don’t miss it.
Stay safe out there!