Haunted Theme Parks in California

by Priti Ramjee

As the Halloween season sets in, four of the major theme parks in California take on a haunted tone. Six Flags Magic Mountain accentuates the fear of the unknown with a wild coaster ride in the dark. You may find yourself trapped in a horrific maze at Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios. Disney's Haunted Mansion is revamped with characters from "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

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Disneyland

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion features characters from the film "The Nightmare Before Christmas." In your "doom" buggy, you may come face to face with the dead Jack Skellington removing his head. The haunted mansion serves ginger-dread houses and blood pies. You never know when the Oogie Boogie Man will creep up on you. The Space Mountain ride is turned into a "Ghost Galaxy," while the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror features a haunted hotel.

Knott's Berry Farm

During October, Knott's Berry Farm transforms into Knott's "Scary Farm," 160 acres filled with horrific mazes. "Virus Z" features cannibal zombies. Run into 3-D mutants in the "Fallout Shelter." Hear the ghostly screams of a weeping woman in "Dia De Los Muertos." Or visit the "Slaughterhouse" for a chainsaw massacre.

Universal Studios Hollywood

One of the most popular of Universal Studio's many elaborate haunted mazes is "Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses," in which visitors wear 3-D glasses to come face to face with the world's most infamous serial killers. New to the lineup in 2011 is a maze based on rocker Alice Cooper's album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare." It features guillotined heads, electric chairs, an insane asylum and snakes and spiders.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Be prepared for Magic Mountain's "Fright Fest," when the theme park is transformed into a "scream park." As you try to escape roaming zombies, you may find yourself trapped in a haunted maze or pursued by scary clowns. Six Flags Magic Mountain shuts off all the lights as you ride a monster coaster at night. For extra chills, the "Colossus" coaster is operated backward.