Our favorite old haunt

10-22-08 Hot Spot
Published On:
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
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Since this is the time of year most people seek out reasons to pee their pants in fright, Mesa is offering up Haunt of the Living Dead, an interactive zombie experience.

The haunt offers two indoor attractions: Haunt of the Living Dead and Zombie’s Graveyard. The first allows visitors to test their survivor skills in an infectious area; the second is a walk through an interactive Zombie graveyard.

Haunt of the Living Dead is based on the backstory that the military has experimented with a chemical called D-13. The chemical was used to bring soldiers back to life on the battlefield; however (of course) something went wrong.

As the story goes, the chemical brought back the dead in a small town in Pennsylvania. The zombies had reduced speed and brain activity along with a bottomless appetite for human flesh. D-13 was shipped from Pennsylvania to Mesa but was accidentally released into the atmosphere.

“So in theory you’re trying to get through the graveyard — get through the haunt,” co-producer of the attractions Glenn Rea says. “There are zombies everywhere, there’s 50 zombies.”

Rea says Zombie’s Graveyard incorporates both attractions.

“In the graveyard, there’s 500 pound wolves that guard gravestones, there’s thunder and lightning and lots of different zombies, there’s a 20-foot Yoguth, a thousand pound creature,” Rea says, “and that all goes on in the graveyard.”

A walk through the graveyard takes about an hour.

The attractions were voted as one of America’s Best Haunts of 2008. The attractions were selected by “a judging panel consisting of members with over 100 years of haunting experience,” according to the Web site at americasbesthaunts.com.

Tickets are $13 for children 12 and under. General admission is $20 for both attractions and a $30 VIP admission.

The attraction also offers a sister haunt for those on the avenue side of town. Twisted Big Top at the Westgate City Center in Glendale provides three interactive attractions with a creepy clown and circus theme.

The backstory here involves a little girl named Jenny who was never allowed to see the circus. A clown then offered her balloons and took her away to Twisted Big Top to witness how nice clowns were tortured and transformed to do evil.

Tickets are $13 for children 12 and under. General admission is $25 for all attractions and a $35 VIP admission.

All haunts offer the Thursday night student special where a coupon is sent to the student’s e-mail. The student buys one ticket, and with the coupon gets the second half price.

If you go...

Haunt of the Living Dead and Zombie’s Graveyard
at Mesa Riverview
1061 N. Dobson Road
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and Sundays
7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Nov. 1
www.hauntofthelivingdead.com

Twisted Big Top at Westgate City Center
6770 N. Sunrise Boulevard
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and Sundays
7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and Nov. 1
www.twistedbigtop.com

Reach the reporter at lauren.cusimano@asu.edu.