ARTICLE BY: THE RED TIE GUY
The 2023 haunt season is finally upon us and our tour officially kicks off in Buena Park, California at The 17th Door.
Scurryface has been touring haunts long before most that you see doing it nowadays, but we’ve never officially been to the West Coast. That streak is now broken and a new milestone has been accomplished. The 17th Door has been a bucket list haunt for me since I first heard about them in 2017. I honestly never thought the day would come that I would be able to travel that far through Scurryface and when reality set in while on the plane to Burbank, I couldn’t help but to smile ear to ear.
As most already know, my tour includes my friend from Scotland, Vice Versa. This is her 2nd tour with me and when she found out that we were officially booked at The 17th Door, the excitement on her face was priceless to witness. The fact that we both were going to experience this haunt and California for the first time together was something we honestly never thought would happen.
Before we get into the haunt talk, just a funny little story about our first 20 minutes in California.
We got off the plane and began walking to baggage claim. Of course we’re ecstatic and not shy about having a conversation about our new surroundings. I started noticing as we were walking and talking, locals began giving us funny looks. Afterwards, we grabbed our bags and were standing around waiting for our friends to pick us up. I noticed employees began giving us funny looks. Then someone finally stopped us and asked, “That accent, where are you from?” I automatically assumed he was referring to Vice with her Scottish accent so I quickly said “Oh she’s from Scotland”. He quickly replies, “no not her, you… Where are you from?” I quickly realized that I was the foreigner at this point, not her. I said, “Alabama” and he chuckled and said “Forrest Gump was a good movie”.. At this point I couldn’t facepalm hard enough as I was laughing at the situation plus the fact that Forrest Gump wasn’t even filmed in Alabama. Anyway……
THE 17TH DOOR EXPERIENCE!!!
It’s Friday night and we’re off to experience what many have dubbed “The most intense, scariest haunt in the nation”. Leading up to the experience I’ve heard just about every rumor known to man about this haunt. We weren't sure what to expect, I even began second guessing my wardrobe due to some of the stories I’ve heard. I ended up going with my traditional red tie but brought a change of clothes just in case. But if you really think about it, that is the ultimate selling point for the haunt. Let people talk and chat it up, no matter what the claims or rumors are. It builds up anticipation and people are talking about your event!
We arrived at their new location which is in Buena Park Mall. As we’re walking up, our local friends Frank and Liz from PBDC were already complimenting the new location and how it’s much better and the potential that this place now has. For us, we wouldn’t know any better for it’s our first experience, so we were trusting every word from them.
Our first true encounter of the haunt was a guard out front checking everyone for weapons and anything you shouldn’t be bringing to a haunt. Even he played a nice little role of getting you ready for the Perpetuum Penitentiary experience as he ordered us to quickly move forward.
Right as you enter the threshold of the doorway, you are automatically immersed into their world. You make your way down a long hallway that twists and turns with some surprises along the way until you finally reach “The Midway” or holding area. This is where you will buy tickets, sign waivers and prepare for the actual experience.
Here you get the opportunity to take part in their add on experience “The Field Trip”. With this add-on, they only offer limited tickets and let me say this. I am grateful and glad we got to experience it.
Not only does it compliment the Perpetuum Penitentiary with the story, it was simply one of the most unique, interactive, craziest things we’ve ever done or witnessed within a haunted attraction.
In a nutshell without spoiling it, yeah, yeah, be mad at us for not giving away or exposing the goods. We don’t do that here at Scurryface for clicks. We want YOU to get off your ass and experience it yourselves!
But in a nutshell, you and your friends are allowed a 50ish minute “field trip” for your “good behavior”. A guided tour van trip that goes off site and in some cases straight into “Furrie Hell”. You’ll encounter intense driving maneuvers, stunts (Yes, we said stunts). Extremely interactive scenes that you WILL have to take part in and scenes that will have your jaw dropping to the floor.
Our tour guide “Skipper” was the heartbeat of the experience. His energy, quick quips and interactions with us and the other actors 100% sold the experience. Then to add on top of it, the actors and actresses matched his energy and they were outstanding. I’ll never forget “Bozo” and his little bat. I’m not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it will always live rent free in my head. For the record, I never ratted him out to the authorities or any inmate when it came to his little side mission that he gave me. I will take it to the grave for I’m a part of his gang now (forcefully joined, but we’ll not worry about that non important piece of information).
But the Field Trip add-on was a truly intense, chaotic, amazing experience. Every second of it was fun and immersive. I’m being honest, if we came all the way out to California just for that, it would have still been worth it!!!!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!
After you do the Field Trip, they will escort you VIP style to the front of the line for the Perpetuum Penitentiary. This is their main course and it is a complete sensory overload.
As mentioned, we will not give away or expose the big surprises or certain things that happen. If you want that, I’m sure you can find it out there.. But we want to set you up and tease you for the most intense haunt experience you’ll ever have!
For those who do not know or never heard of The 17th Door, it’s not your traditional “boo haunt” or “walk through the woods” type of haunt. It is extremely theatrical, innovative and has superb attention to detail. There were things in this experience that we’ve NEVER seen at a haunt before. Certain rooms completely blew us away (no pun intended for one room).
They offer 17 rooms and how their system works is pure genius. For those who have followed my articles and tour for a while, you know my biggest pet peeve at a haunt is……………”CONGA LINES”… Nothing and I mean NOTHING kills a haunt experience like “conga lines”... That is non-existent here. You WILL get the best experience every single time you come through and the other beautiful thing is, no 2 experiences will be the same. That is a testament to the actors and their ability to read each group and quickly ad-lib with their interactions.
Each room offers a different level of intensity, some are mild and great for a laugh while others will trigger your senses and have you screaming…..Or begging for more. One scene in particular freaked me out, when I was given the first hint of being able to move on to the next room. I didn’t waste a second pushing myself away from the wall and running for the door. I’ve never been to a haunt where they simultaneously played with my mind while physically giving me hell.
Each room offers something similar when it comes to your physical and mental triggers. Something in there will get to you, that’s a promise and we F’ing LOVE them for it!
All that being said, The 17th Door is NOT any kind of torture haunt, there is safe word that you can say which is “Mercy”. You can opt out of any room and sit back and have a great laugh as you watch your friends endure the experience.
Even if you don’t Opt out, there are absolutely zero stunts or things in this attraction that can hurt you. You are NEVER in any kind of danger.
You will encounter bugs, zaps/shocks, tight spaces, disorienting lights and scenarios, areas where you will be blindfolded to where you can’t see what's coming, a scene where you could gag like our friend Erica did. And gotta include a potential new fresh haircut from the Perpetuum Barber. It’s set up for you to have the most intense, terrifying but most importantly, safe fun experience.
Notable favorites and shoutouts:
Tyler: I would have to give a nod to the entire Field Trip experience, it is a wonderful add-on that truly compliments the Penitentiary. Also, I have to give nods to the spin room with the two clowns, that scene was absolutely disorienting and beyond cool. The arrival of “Heather” scene which includes a stilt walker. That scene was full of fun, suspense and the scare was delivered to perfection. And finally, the suffocation experiment. That is the one room that got to me mentally and physically.
Vice: The locker room that we got locked into, this was one of the most “ramfeezled” experiences I’ve ever had. I also loved the ballpit, I wanted to slide down with the balls to continue to play in them. I loved that they included us on the other end of the firing squad, that was amazingly fun.
Liz & Frank: I absolutely loved the Field Trip, Skipper was a great, well, skipper. Pickles was an amazing guide, even if she got us lost a couple times… and the cattle prod. I was very enamored by the hauntingly beautiful neon clown raver girls on poles and their aptitude for BDSM. Bozo gave us all a thrill that we will be thinking about for years to come, he seems to have a knack for juggling balls. The line actors were awesome, and terrifying, they each had a little something special to bring to the tables and were equally terrifying with their electric personalities. “Heather” came running in with a mission, and mission accomplished we all jumped! As always, we enjoyed our time getting messed with and will be back for more.
Erica: The girl who led us through the clown maze, Pickles, Our driver for the field trip, Skipper. The girls in the suffocation room cause they spoke to me in character and said some unnerving stuff when I accidentally went into their room early
Overall, This haunt completely raises the bar from anything we’ve ever experienced before. The actors as a whole were simply incredible from start to finish. They made the experience terrifying, fun and at times,very uncomfortable. They did their jobs perfectly and we 100% applaud them.
The eye candy throughout this experience was hands down amazing, from the little details like the tunnel leading you to their midway, to the glow paint scene during the field trip (which the only way I can describe it is if they made a Mad Max movie about Furries). Then on to the more elaborate big scenes and FX. The way they utilize every opportunity to create distractions and diversions was perfectly executed. Our group was filled full of experienced and veteran haunters and this haunt had us constantly on our toes, shouting with excitement, screams, gags and obscenities with every step!
Scurryface has been around since 2012 and I have personally experienced 200 plus haunts in that time. I can say with pure confidence that this haunt is hands down the most intense, most innovative and best interactive experiences I’ve EVER had at a haunted attraction.
If the 17th Door were compared to steaks, it would be the Japanese A5 Wagyu Tomahawk of the haunt industry.
The 17th Door is way more than just a “Must See Haunt” in California.. Naaa…
The 17th Door is one of the MUST SEE HAUNTS IN THE WORLD!
And you ALL can quote SF on that!
Book that trip to Buena Park, California before it’s too late….. Do it!
We at SF would like to personally thank Heather Luther for having us out and for the amazing hospitality. We are forever grateful and humbled for what you did for us on this trip.
The entire crew that we got to meet at The 17th Door! Thank you ALL for being so welcoming to us. Thank you so much for your outstanding performances and experiences that you gave us. You’re all amazing and we appreciate you all so very much for the jobs you do!
Frank and Liz- Thank you two so much for hosting us and being our chaperones. We are very grateful for you two!
Al Galagar - Thank you for not giving up on SF when it came to getting us out there. You got the ball rolling 3 years ago on this and it finally paid off and I will never forget that.