Any time you go to a new haunt, you wonder how it will be. Will it be the same as all the others? Will it be lame and boring? Will it scare me and make me cry? I was lucky enough to go to the opening of, first year CreepLA and it did not disappoint. From the time spent in the waiting area which was great, by the way, with games and a bar to pass the time, to the staging area with creepy music like the Radiohead song “Creep” done by the Vega Choir, and a masked person sizing us up, the mood was set for mystery and well, creepiness. I don’t want to share anything about the inside of the haunt- I’m not going to spoil it for you. I just want to suggest that you put CreepLA on your list of haunts to go to this season. I am happy to say I didn’t cry, but I did get lost in the fog, played games with monsters and had my hands washed in blood, because apparently I’ve been bad, but I definitely had a great time. My group was immersed in a strange world filled with bizarre scenarios, voices in the darkness, amazing scare actors and made us just uncomfortable enough to give us chills.
Recently I talked to Mark Fenlon, one of the creators of CreepLA and got some inside information about this new haunt. “We have always enjoyed the traditional startle and shock scares, but we want to leave our audience with something more, and affect each person that comes through differently. We were haunted from the opening quote of “The Houses October Built.” he said. “I’m not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted hotels. I’m afraid of what real human beings do to other real human beings.” These words by writer Walter Jon Williams became the inspiration for CreepLA.
The location for CreepLA is an abandoned warehouse in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, just minutes from Union Station. Here is the official description: CreepLA provides a fully immersive and interactive haunt experience. Guests can be expected to walk, run, crawl, and hide in dark rooms. My first questions to Mark was: Who is behind CreepLA and why did you choose to do this type of haunt? “CreepLA was founded by a group of artists and creative directors looking to bring a new experience to Los Angeles.” Mark said, “With the popularity of interactive experiences, CreepLA strives to touch upon all forms of fear and horror both with traditional scare tactics and emotional interactions. Our creative team has always been creatures of the night and extreme fans of Halloween with varying experience producing haunted houses and theatrical productions. This is the team’s first venture in Los Angeles, but each individual is a specialist in his or her field and has a thirst for something new. We are creating an experience that reaches far beyond the traditional haunted house and brings everyone’s favorite elements of fear to one space.” Mark also added, “CreepLA will incorporate extreme aspects, mazes and theatrical elements, among others. CreepLA brings an artistic approach to the horror category and is inspired by films like “Session 9” and “Seven” as well as classic thrills like “Friday the 13th” and “IT”. We have always thought that the person behind the mask was always scarier than the actual mask.”
With a lot of haunts this year, social media is used heavily to get people interested long before the event happens. CreepLA posted numerous strange photos on both Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I asked if they were all their photos and are they things that a guest could expect to see at the haunt? “We are creating many original images and videos in addition to using some of the creepiest things we can find online.” Mark said. “Not everything on our social media will be featured in CreepLA, but we are definitely dropping some major hints, so don’t miss a post! Without giving out any spoilers Mark shared, “Guests will interact with characters, navigate through dark spaces, be confined, crawl, and, if they’re smart, run for their lives. Each experience will be unique.”
I wondered if there was any back story to the haunt, that guests need to know ahead of time. “There’s no back story that guests need to know, but we are a new tenant to the warehouse and the previous tenants have complained that the building was haunted and they were not willing to be there alone or at night.” Mark said. “The warehouse was constructed in 1905 and the are rumors of several deaths on the property, but it’s been hard to find documentation given the age of the building and the fact that the arts district has been a relatively forsaken area of LA until recent years. We actually had 2 mediums in the space recently and they did a paranormal investigation. They said that there are at least 5 spirits that live there. They plan to come back after the haunt to see if it’s had an impact on them. Very interesting!”
At the opening, I met Erik Vanlier from Golden State Haunts and Events. Erik was part of the recent paranormal investigation team. The warehouse has been abandoned for over twenty years and most recently housed a meth lab before the new tenants moved in. Lots of creepy things could have happened in the building since it was built over a hundred years ago. Erik told me that the people building the haunt heard children laughing, and power equipment went on and off by itself. He said his team didn’t experience the same things but did have what they believed to be ghostly encounters like feeling someone touch them, hearing what sounded like pipes banging, disjointed voices on their recordings, some very strong EVP readings and other ghostly things. “We believe that the energy from the haunt, such as the fear from the guests heightens the paranormal activity, and we plan to go back after the haunt and take readings again.” Erik shared. There is more on what they found in the story link at the end of the article.
Well real ghosts or not, CreepLA did an awesome job living up to their name, guests will not be disappointed. Tickets are selling out fast, so get yours now!
CreepLA is located at:
718 E. Jackson Street, Los Angeles, CA in the LA Arts District. It runs from October 2nd to Halloween on all weekends with some weeknights available, too.
Tickets are $25 online or $30 at the door.
For more information on CreepLA or to buy tickets: CreepLA
CreepLA on Facebook
CreepLA on Twitter
To read the story about the paranormal investigation at CreepLA read Erik’s article on Golden State Haunts and Events