BCR A Place to Scare, BCR A Place to Care, Cursed Creek, Drive-Thru Experience, Haunted House, Community Haunt, Burbank, CA

BCR: A Place to Scare’s Cursed Creek Drive-Thru Haunts with Witches and Voodoo

Driving through a dark, dreary parking lot and seeing Baba Yaga, a creepy, decrepit old woman, just like in the old terrifying tale, gives me chills. A rush of nostalgia runs through my veins, as if I am being transported back to my childhood, listening to the eerie folklore that plagues my memories – the inability to sleep at night, the tossing and turning that doomed me from the moment I heard this creepy story. BCR: A Place to Scare presented Cursed Creek Drive-Thru haunted experience.

With Cursed Creek Drive-Thru, BCR: A Place to Scare takes their traditional walk-through parking lot haunted house and transforms it into an approximately 20-minute, haunted drive-thru experience set to social distancing standards. While a walk-through haunt works so much better due to the close proximity to performers, tight-knit corners and a claustrophobic atmosphere, this experience justly creates a Covid-compliant experience that works. Located in the heart of Burbank, this yearly tradition traverses through six vignettes, or stops, on this guided drive-through haunted house. Audiences are immersed in an outdoor, nighttime spectacle that plays on our deepest desires, hopes, and fears. On top of that, each scene is strategically placed within the parking lot so audiences cannot see the scares that lie ahead.

 

BCR A Place to Scare, BCR A Place to Care, Cursed Creek Drive-Thru Experience, Haunted House, Community Haunt, Burbank, CA

 

What ultimately feels like six, stand-alone vignettes surprisingly captures a string of similar thematic elements. The stories in Cursed Creek Drive-Thru weave together the world of learning about, growing up with, and discovering these tales of history and folklore through childhood while also incorporating the ideas of curiosity, innocence, and play. The vignettes start out more playful – with a joking Death and witches communicating through witty dialogue with just a pinch of eerie Shakespearean prose – before taking a more intense deeper turn into the experience, where Baba Yaga and a voodoo priestess, among others, lie in wait. Each vignette gives an underlying atmosphere that creates a deeper foray into the realm of the unknown. A story of childhood innocence, youth, and nostalgia all ring within an eerie juxtaposition that makes young wanderlust feel just a bit less angelic. However, BCR’s story ends in death, leaving an overarching sense of defeat and dread – and most importantly guilt. All that childhood innocence and playful youth now strands us, at the end of our journey, with pent-up guilt and nowhere to go.

Sets and costumes, while intricate, are rather minimal. This adds to the suspense of each vignette and forces the underlying theme of childhood not being quite as innocent or as trustworthy as it seems to come full circle. From shiny hearses to oversized cauldrons, the sets and props distributed throughout all six of Cursed Creek Drive-Thru’s vignettes captivate even the youngest of eyes. One scene takes place in what seems like New Orleans swamps with tables of potions full of otherworldly magic. Another sees guests driving the gnarled woods of Salem, with nothing but a small set-up representing a gallows and stakes for burning witches. Costumes range from the sinister (all black clothing representing Death and scavengers) to the lighthearted (colorful clothing in Baba Yaga and elaborate gowns for the witches) with the tone of each vignette. Many props are unique in nature, from the moving swamp-creature puppets in New Orleans to the skull masks of the ritual sacrifice, allowing the minds of all ages to roam freely, and discover new experiences and emotions in a guileless manner.

 

BCR A Place to Scare, BCR A Place to Care, Cursed Creek Drive-Thru Experience, Haunted House, Community Haunt, Burbank, CA

 

A lot of great visual and sound effects signify the different vignettes – not bleeding between each other – and allow a full, uninterrupted performance during each small scene. The technology works surprisingly well in continuing the theme of childhood innocence and wistful, oblivious youth. Overhead lighting enhances Death’s face, digital projections bewilder audiences during a spell cast by the witches, while the darkest reds in Salem create a sense of burning and urgency. Nearby, the beauty of crisp images projecting a glowing, fiery cauldron inhibits reason and pushes forth wonder and awe. The dark swamp of New Orleans and a dimly-lit ritual sacrifice deepen that sense of wonder, but by depriving the senses and creating scenes that are much darker in tone, as well as in ambiance. These later scenes also feature staging that differs from the earlier, brighter, and more humorous vignettes. The more sinister scenes see the scare-actors encroach even closer to the guests (but still safely and at a distance), and features performers on both sides of guests’ cars to increase the tension.

While the “stop and go” element of drive-thru experiences like this and Urban Legends can be quite jarring and inconsistent with the atmosphere, the performances are extremely endearing, powerful, oftentimes humorous – and always sincere. The Cursed Creek Drive-Thru performers create suspense with diversion as a scene plays to the right of the vehicle, allowing other performers in the darker scenes to approach the vehicle from the left, igniting the uneasiness of the experience. Cursed Creek Drive-Thru’s interpretation of Baba Yaga is intense, yet foolishly fun, with a man playing the decrepit old woman. A later scene features a brilliant performance by a woman playing a captivating voodoo priestess; she successfully manipulates every guest’s move while only saying a few words. The scare-actors in the ritual sacrifice scene effectively use the space by utilizing all sides of attendees’ cars, startling the unprepared and creating an uneasy atmosphere. These are only some of the highlights in a cast of many successful performances.

 

BCR A Place to Scare, BCR A Place to Care, Cursed Creek Drive-Thru Experience, Haunted House, Community Haunt, Burbank, CA

 

While a drive-thru experience does not replace the traditional haunt, BCR: A Place to Scare’s Cursed Creek Drive-Thru is a diamond in the rough. They have created captivating stories, brought to life by compelling performers. The attention to detail in the atmosphere and overarching subject for each seemingly standalone vignette is admirable. The creative sets and costumes that effectively evoke lore about Salem, voodoo in New Orleans, and witchcraft, make the experience worth a trip – even if it is just a small journey to nearby Burbank.

For more information about BCR: A Place to Scare, check out their website, Facebook or Instagram pages.

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BCR: A Place to Scare presents Cursed Creek Drive-Thru Haunt Experience in Burbank, CA.

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