By Amanda Daniels
Blood Money: $15-$32
Try to survive the bloodthirsty serial killers lurking behind the trees along this terrorizing, mile-long outdoor course, then fight for your life in "The eXperiment," a maze where making a wrong turn can trap you for eternity among the terrifying freaks that come out at night.
6th Ave. and Juniper St., Balboa Park
Ghost hunting at the Whaley House
Blood money: $50
Maritza (who uses only her first name) is co-founder of the San Diego Ghost Hunters, "an intimate team of paranormal investigators that specializes in assisting historical landmarks' owners discover or confirm occupants and events that have passed from our mortal plane but still exist in spirit form," according to the firm's website.
From 10:30 p.m. until midnight on October 21, 22 and 26, Maritza and her spirit-chasing team of volunteers invite fearless members of the public to join them for some good, old-fashioned ghost hunting at San Diego's historic Whaley House, once the site of public hangings.
Bring cameras, smartphones and voice recorders-and maybe a change of shorts in case you find a real ghost.
"They stare straight back at you, if you catch them in the mirror," Maritza says (perhaps wondering why the ghosts often look just like her).
Scream Zone Del Mar Blood money: $14.99 (single haunt); $18.99 (double haunt); $27.99 (three-way)
Haunted since 1998, Scream Zone offers a three-pronged axis of terror, curdling blood with a Haunted Hayride, the House of Horror and a spinning tunnel called The Chamber.
Del Mar Fairgrounds, thescreamzone.com
The Haunted Hotel
Blood money: $15-$27
What ghost up must come down the Haunted Hotel's Hellevator to a basement of unspeakable horrors inspired by the movies Legion, Shutter Island and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Zombie attacks and deadly virus outbreaks included.
424 Market St., Gaslamp
Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours
Blood money: $35
Visit San Diego's creepiest haunts on a two-hour storytelling tour through the Gaslamp, Sherman Heights and Old Town. The walking/bus misadventure forces ticket-buying victims to join the walking dead at a haunted graveyard and some of the city's oldest, most ghost-infested buildings.
Departs from Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel, 4041 Harney St., Old Town
Sexy Dead Women
We're not talking necrophilia, just some Day of the Dead awesomeness. New Mexican artist John De Jesus shows his appreciation for the holiday and its culture through his woodcarvings of curvaceous skeletal ladies. His vibrantly painted wooden vignettes will be on display October 15 through November 15 at Alexandar Salazar Fine Art.
640 Broadway, downtown
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Mariachi bands, ballet folklorico dancers and the Siempre Car Club-showcasing traditional altars in the trunks of their lowriders-transform O'side's Mission San Luis Rey into a death zone, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 30.
4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside
-Patricia B. Dwyer