Pirate's Cave 2021 - Curse of Calico Jack - Home Haunt - Orange - CA - 16

Pirate’s Cave 2021 is a Must-See Theatrical Immersive Haunted House (Go To This!)

A massive tunnel, supported by wooden reinforcements, extends beyond view; the flames from lanterns dance along the wisps of fog, casting deep shadows against the walls. Hello folks, welcome to Larson and Son Mining Co, established here in 1870. Tonight, I’ll be taking you down four-hundred and fifty feet into one of our current active mining sites. The mine shaft is dark and damp; the fog growing denser with every step forward. Please step into my elevator. Thank you very much. The voice belongs to a young man, soot covering his face, and a hard hat perched precariously on his head. He’s far too young for the work he’s doing; but I comply anyways. I step into the small, rusted elevator, a singular lamp still swinging above me. Then the door slams shut. Pirate’s Cave 2021 The Curse of Calico Jack is a walk-through home haunt in Orange, CA.

Pirate’s Cave is a home haunt in Orange, CA that is better than most professional haunts we’ve attended. A passion project that is truly a Larson and Son production, Dave Larson has teamed up with his son Jacob Larson to create an incredibly tech-savvy and beautifully dressed experience that will awe any haunt fan. Running at approximately ten minutes, this is far more than a traditional walk through experience though; Pirate’s Cave combines a strong narrative conveyed through theatrical styled scenes with a haunted house portion that continues the storyline. If you select one home haunt to see this year, please make it this one.


Pirate's Cave - Curse of Calico Jack - Home Haunt - Orange - CA - 16


Last year, Pirate’s Cave: Origins introduced us to the origins to Calico Jack, a brutal buccaneer who savagely ruled the seas. Yet, when Calico Jack attacked a leper ship and killed good-natured sailors, a mutiny led to his demise and a curse was placed on him and his crew. Now disfigured and monstrous, the cursed pirates may be lying in wait, ready for unsuspecting fools to release them back into the world.

Unlucky for you, you are now part of those unsuspecting fools, on a tour of a mine, 450 feet below ground. Welcome to Larson and Son Mining Co, where you’ll board an old, rickety elevator to make your descent into the earth for a viewing of a real-life active mine. But be careful of what you find down there. And if you find any buried treasure—definitely don’t open it. You never know what might be hiding inside.


Pirate's Cave - Curse of Calico Jack - Home Haunt - Orange - CA - 16


The experience differentiates itself from other haunted houses by incorporating theatrical elements, including numerous actors that are meant to propel the narrative forward, instead of simply scaring you. This includes the deadpan elevator operator whose robotic delivery perfectly fits his blissful ignorance to the horrors that await you deeper in the mine. It also includes two mine workers excavating the site, when they find something they probably shouldn’t have. Their playful banter is a highlight and their humanity provide the narrative some meaningful weight. This is something that I commend Pirate’s Cave 2021 for: not many haunts show people before tragedy strikes, allowing you to form brief, but powerful affinity for characters, and then shift it all to create an emotional response. It’s great to see this accomplished in a haunted house—if this should even be categorized as such (immersive haunted experience, maybe?).

Beyond the narrative and strong acting, the other aspect that always impresses me with Pirate’s Cave 2021 are the absolutely stunning sets and how they simply lead to perfect immersion. This is a home haunt that travels down the side of someone’s house into their backyard—but none of that matters or even registers, because once you step foot into Larson and Son Mining Co, you are on a mine tour in an active mine site. Every wall from the ceiling to the side walls feel real. You won’t be able to look up and see the moon above; there’s no black panels here; even the floor panels move and squish like a real rickety platform in a mine. Further, looking at the details, the elevator is covered in perfect rust, aging it to perfection. The walls come alive with specters and crackle with lighting when certain events transpire—and of course, any sea monsters you encounter will spew water as if it truly has emerged from a liquid netherworld.


Pirate's Cave - Curse of Calico Jack - Home Haunt - Orange - CA - 16

One final aspect to discuss is the throughput of Pirate’s Cave 2021. If you’re another haunt creator, immersive creator, or even just a fan of this form of entertainment, you need to see the expertise accomplished here. The experience ultimately uses four main rooms, but some of these are revisited, shifting in look, feel, and scares, as you return. This means that multiple groups are in the experience at once: allowing for a greater throughput than simply sending one group in at a time. You never see the other groups; and the flow feels like that of some of the best immersive flows. It’s great to see haunts incorporating this format as well.

Pirate’s Cave 2021 is exceptional. From a logistics standpoint, from a set design standpoint, and from an acting standpoint. It elevates the traditional haunted house formula by adding in full scenes, special effects, and a transformation that changes what is familiar into what is frightening. And it does all of this while fully immersing you into the world of Pirate’s Cave. Please attend Pirate’s Cave 2021 this year as it deserves all of this praise; there’s a reason this review is glowing enough to light up even the darkest of mines.

Pirate's Cave - Curse of Calico Jack - Home Haunt - Orange - CA - 16


Pirate’s Cave 2021 runs Oct 16, 17, 22-24, and 29-31. No tickets are needed buy you can buy an express pass to bypass the line here. For more information about Pirate’s Cave, check out their website, Facebook and Instagram pages. For information about similar events, check out our Event Calendar.


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Pirate’s Cave 2021 The Curse of Calico Jack is a walk-through home haunt in Orange, CA.

About The Author

Taylor Winters
Taylor has loved immersive theater since his first experience at ALONE in 2013. Since then, he has written, produced, & directed immersive theater, consulted for numerous immersive companies, acted in others, and attended even more. He has his PhD in Bioengineering, an MBA in Organization Leadership, and currently works fixing broken hearts.

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