With Halloween season in full swing, haunts in the Los Angeles area are in abundance. We all know about the large-scale operations (Dark Harbour, Halloween Horror Nights etc), but for the true haunt aficionado, it’s worth taking the time to discover some of the smaller productions that LA has to offer, like Sinister Pointe: Beyond the Mirror. 

Sinister Pointe is considered one of the top independent haunt operations in the country, and with good reason. Over the years, owner and operator Jeff Schiefelbien has crafted mazes for large-scale venues such as The Queen Mary and Universal Studios in Florida. Here, he is the mastermind and with Beyond the Mirrorit’s quite evident that Schiefelbien doesn’t need an astronomical budget to deliver the goods.

A drive out to Beyond the Mirror in Orange County brings one deep into the legend of Bloody Mary. For those unfamiliar, Bloody Mary posits you can invoke the dreaded Mary by saying her name out loud three times with a candle in front of a mirror. She’ll appear as ghoulish apparition and can steal your soul, gouge your eyes out, or perform all manner of gruesome acts.

This haunt takes you “beyond the mirror” to experience the creeps that lurk within the legend of Bloody Mary.

What’s struck this writer about Beyond the Mirror is that it runs on a timed ticketing system, ensuring that patrons are not left in mind boggling long lines. When it is your turn, you go through only in your group, which in turn makes for a scarier experience.

An excited buzz travelled through the waiting crowd with rumous that there had been a few people that evening who had only made through the first few rooms, too overwhelmed with terror to proceed. That was music to this writer’s ears!

A pesky Grim Reaper with metal knuckles and a penchant for sneaking up on his victims informed us that we were to listen out for clues from the characters inside, heralding a fully interactive and immersive haunt. Upon entering we were greeted by a deranged man warning us of some kind of impending doom. We were then taken to a darkened room that consisted of a mirror and some unlit candles. Is this the point where Bloody Mary is summoned? That, is up to you……

The Grim Reaper was right. One does have to listen out for clues, and the maze had us feeling like we had just stepped from the pages of some sort of twisted Nancy Drew novel.

At certain points in the evening, our group was separated from each other, which I must admit was a little harrowing. Other points had us searching for secret doors, false walls and crawling through tunnels looking for the right path out. Meanwhile, the inhabitants beyond the mirror are a highly imaginative bunch, and upon the journey we met all types – from an overzealous school coach to the Grim Reaper who beckons you on board his wooden raft.

It isn’t difficult to be swept up in the adventure of Beyond The Mirror. The operators have done a tremendous job in taking the participants on their very own journey. Though it only consists of one maze, it is a classic case of quality over quantity. If you are after one haunt that allows you to truly forget the outside world, then this is the place for you.

For further details and tickets, head to Sinister Pointe.

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About the author
Camilla Jackson
Camilla is an actress, writer, film-maker, musician, and horror junkie. She is new to FANGORIA and has a healthy knowledge of all things horror, particularly 70's - 90's films where she interviews writers, directors and actors for Australian cinephile group CINEMANIACS. In her spare time, Camilla writes screenplays, walks dogs, and scours the internet for bargains. She also had a small part in the remake of Australian telekinetic chiller, PATRICK. Currently she is training at The Groundlings and moonlights playing ethereal guitar in a cape.
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