Scare Tactics

By Scott McDonald

(Published in the October 2010 issue)


because you don’t live in Amityville doesn’t mean you can’t find a good scare in your hometown. From crazed rodeo clowns in Del Mar to real ghosts in Old Town , here are five great ways to get your scream on in America’s Finest City.

The Haunted Trail, Balboa Park

Toll: $14.99 to $16.99
The shocking details: Follow a mile-long tail of creeps, as ax-wielding maniacs chase you through the woods. It’s your chance to prove you’re more agile than all those horror movie victims who inevitably trip when being chased by a psycho-killer under a ful moon

Scream Zone, Del Mar
$14.99 to $27.99
The shocking details: The biggest haunted attraction in town, the Del Mar “Scare” Grounds offer a choice of frights-from simple spooks for the kids to hellish heart-stoppers for adults. Try to keep you balance on the giant spinning tunnel of terror and watch out for the rabid rodeo clowns trying to snatch you from the horse-drawn death wagon.

The Whaley House

, Old Town

Toll : $10 adults, $5 children
The shocking details: If ghosts actually exist in San Diego, they probably hang out at this historical sight that was home to public hangings and a dramatic suicide. Famed ghost hunter Hans Holzer says The Whaley House just might be the “most haunted house in America,” so don’t be surprised if you run into a real spook roaming the halls. Who you gonna call?
whaley ouse. org

The Haunted Hotel, Gaslamp

$14.99 to $16.99
The shocking details: This multi-storied downtown attraction, located inside a historic 130-year-old building, is home to the Clown Asylum and Zombie Subway Station. For a real scare, ride the “Hellevator down to the boiler room and check out Freddy Krueger’s workshop.

Maritime Museum of San Diego, Embarcadero

Toll: $14 adults, $8 children
The shocking details: Even Jack Sparrow would pee his pirate pants on these extra spooky lantern tours aboard the oldest active sailing ship in the world. The Star of India has more ghost stories to tell than the crew of the Black Pearl