BEWARE THE DARK REALM
Beware the Dark Realm is a home haunt based in Santa Clarita, California. Utilizing the resources and talent of its community, Beware the Dark Realm aims to scare the daylights out of guests while also raising money for the local Child and Family Center for domestic violence victims.
- Located at 28621 Sugar Pine Way in Santa Clarita, CA
- Walkthrough haunted house with jump scares
- No intentional touch from actors
- No hard age limits, but creators discourage any guests under ten years old
- Special effects including strobe lights and fog
- Guests go through in small groups
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Boasting arguably the most impressive exterior of any home haunt in the greater Los Angeles area, Beware the Dark Realm’s creators are some of the most experienced veterans in the haunt community. Its iconic facade is so tall that it literally doubles the size of the underlying home, towering over the neighborhood like a real castle would!
The brainchild of Scott Sivley and family, whose haunt resume dates back to 1971 (predating the historic first year of Knott’s Scary Farm), Beware the Dark Realm is a medieval-themed maze that trades contemporary horror for ancient darkness. The enormous attraction feels unique in a landscape full of serial killers and zombies. Guests will encounter witches, crazed jesters, and perhaps even a mythical dragon. The Dark Realm manages to sidestep cliches while also offering an experience that is timeless and nostalgic.
The haunt takes about 5-10 minutes to complete, and guests are ushered through in small groups of as little as two at a time. Lighting effects and fog are used heavily, as are other impressive special effects that should remain unspoiled. The Dark Realm name is quite literal – the dungeons are dimly lit and the experience feels surprisingly long and disorienting. Lines are usually quite reasonable, and guests can expect to encounter a number of costume characters while waiting. The haunt varies significantly from year to year – while the medieval theme remains relatively constant, the upgrades are so frequent that it often feels like a brand new experience each season.
Beware the Dark Realm has made appearances at the Midsummer Scream horror convention, offering a dungeon-themed photo op, and the October haunt has won numerous awards, including Hollywood Gothique’s 2016 award for Best Amateur Halloween Haunted House Walk-Through. It was recently featured in the documentary Epic Home Haunts, along with fellow veteran haunt Rotten Apple 907. It’s also close to a number of other home haunts, including Santa Clarita Valley’s Shiver, Club Fear, and Coffinwood Cemetery, making it a great candidate for an October haunt crawl.
The haunt typically runs several weekends in mid-to-late October, including Halloween and the surrounding nights. Admission is free, but donations are welcome, and benefit the victims of domestic violence. It’s encouraging to see haunts supporting causes like this – understanding that fantasy horror can function both as an escape from real-life horror, as well as a weapon against it. Anyone who donates $5 or more will be rewarded with front-of-line privileges.
Beware the Dark Realm is one of the pillars of LA’s home haunt communities, and with its top notch talent and set design, it’s an easy recommendation for any horror or fantasy lover.
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