Entertainment & Events

Review: San Diego’s Haunted Hotel

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In October, I always have high expectations of the events that surround Halloween. This includes everything from pumpkin picking, to hay rides, to exceptional haunted houses. Being fairly new to San Diego, I always like to explore what the city has to offer in the haunt department.

I was very excited to head to The Haunted Hotel in Downtown San Diego, it not only was rated as one of the top haunted houses in the nation, but the tickets were reasonably priced which is always a selling point for me.

The night didn’t start out well in terms of parking. In my opinion, if a haunted house is going to be hosted in one of the busiest parts of town, parking should be somewhat provided. I should have known to just turn around then.

The line for the hotel with surprisingly short (probably because everyone else was still looking for some kind of parking) and my expectations were still high as I heard screams coming from inside The Haunted Hotel. The decorations were fairly realistic, and they did a great job at setting up the haunted location.

The haunting started off great with us being trapped inside a room with an exorcist, but that was probably the best part. I am usually completely terrified of the people inside haunted houses, but The Haunted Hotel fell short of expectations. I felt like many of the actors were bored and not really trying. There were also times when an actor would stop in the middle of the haunting to take a phone call outside. Now maybe it’s just me, but seeing actors break character to be on their phones, ruins the vibe.

Not to say it wasn’t all not scary, there were plenty of times where I was scared, but I would have liked to see a bit more effort for a “top rated haunted house.”

The chainsaw guy in a haunted house is always the star of the show. Who likes being chased with a terrifying weapon in an enclosed area? Not me. But for some sick reason, that is always the part I look forward to. The Haunted Hotel featured a chainsaw guy briefly at the end, but I don’t feel they utilized him enough. He popped out for maybe three seconds, when usually I am getting chased down by him.

Getting through the hotel (which to be honest, didn’t even look like a hotel to me) took about ten minutes. This is way too short for something that was so difficult to get to. Was it scary? Yes, but not to the point where my expectations were exceeded and I was trembling with fear.

We all have our expectations of what a haunted house should be like, but in all honesty, I do think the actors ruined it for me. Seeing them on their phones and noticing that they weren’t trying to play their parts was disappointing.

Everyone’s experience in a haunted house is different, so maybe I just hit them on a rough night – but I have seen better.

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