Originally published September 29, 2013 at The Los Angeles Beat.
It’s nearly October, and as the days get shorter and our California nights get nippier, the veil begins to get thinner between the world of the living and the shadowy ghost vista on the other side. Or so they say. No matter what you believe, it is a time of harvest, a time of introspection and a time to celebrate what has pretty much become a month-long event in the United States: Halloween. If you hadn’t guessed from past articles, Offbeat L.A. is a sucker for a good haunt. Stir up some heart pumping adreneline, throw in a few menacing hobgoblins, add in some friends who like to laugh and you’ve mixed up a serious witches brew of a good time. So here in this column, Offbeat L.A. will do its best to cover as many local haunts this season as possible. Mind you, new and innovative ones are popping up faster than you can wave a magic wand…
One of the new crop that made its debut last year, Haunted Hollywood Sports, located in Bellflower, is back for its second year. Normally functioning as a paintball and airsoft sports park, the facility has transformed itself on weekends in October into “23 Acres of Terror.” I was fortunate to attend a very welcoming press preview of this year’s opening. Besides three extremely fun mazes filled with great scare actors that startle, fog machines and sound effects, there are also three airsoft Killhouses which are innovative and unique.
I was a newbie to the airsoft game. Of course I’d heard of paintball, although I’ve never played, but I had to do a wikipedia search to learn what airsoft actually entailed. Wiki says: Airsoft is a game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metalic pellets via replica firearms called airsoft guns. Ok, then… sounds like fun! Zombies beware!
After being divvied up into squads of about 10 members each, we were told that if we were touched by a zombie we were “dead” and eliminated from the game. Our goal was to get through the maze without getting zombified.
The whole thing was exhilarating and full of many laughs. Adapting this game to the haunt genre was a clever and on target idea. This year’s Haunted Hollywood Sports also has a lounge area called Club Crimson where you can take a break from the monsters outside, listen to some music, shoot a game of pool and see some live magic performed by Magic Castle member Naathan Phan.
So do yourself a favor this year, add this haunt to your Halloween repertoire. It’s lively and original and well worth the trip. But don’t blame me if you come back as one of the living dead…
Haunted Hollywood Sports: 9030 Somerset Blvd., Bellflower, CA 90706. (562) 867-9600.