As I wrote recently, “The Huntington Haunt idea originated with Scott Smith, a local financial advisor and member of the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach. “I grew up here,” he told me, “and it’s something I’ve always kind of dreamed about. With no major Halloween event in the city, this just seemed like the perfect thing to do. Once I got in touch with Jodi, who was so instrumental in helping to execute our Surfboards on Parade program, I knew I had the right woman for the job. Nobody can take a dream and make it a reality like her.”
Listening to Jodi McKay explain her vision for the event, it’s clear that Smith knows what he’s talking about. She is riveting as she carefully, and with an artist’s eye, describes what it will be like.
“This is not going to be blood and gore,” she said. “It’s going to be far more classic. Truly scary doesn’t have to mean truly disgusting, and we’re creating something here that we think will be unforgettable — genuine, classic horror from some of the best minds in this business.”
McKay and Joanne Norton met after the city’s Fourth of July parade, where actors dressed as ghouls.
“I just had to get involved,” Norton said. “I’m heavily into costuming and other kinds of theatrical projects. And I just love Halloween.”
Well here it is at last, the Huntington Haunt. I had a chance to enjoy the experience tonight and I was more than impressed with what the group has done. It’s actually remarkable. The Newland House, bathed in violet light, is a character itself in the play, which deals with a gothic wedding featuring two “legendary” HB families, the “Oldlands” (get it?) and the “Hauntingtons.”
The maze adjacent to the legendary house bleeds over with crazed characters, wild-eyed family corpses and plenty of well-timed surprises. Startling and smart, and opting for classic horror over slash and gore, the Haunt makes great use of the historic property and brings a professional, first-rate Halloween attraction to town in all its “gory.”
Outside the Haunt are vendors, food, music – a nice little carnival in the shadow of the main attraction. The team has pulled it off; and it’s something you do not want to miss. Also lovely to see the Newland House have so much life breathed into it–even if it does involve some death. 🙂
For tickets and information visit Huntingtonhaunt.org or its Facebook page.