Dark, confined spaces, eerie lighting, perfectly mangled corpses, body parts, and murderous devices litter the maze that is Ward 13. You are handed a dinky flashlight (contributed by Gantom Lighting and Controls) and pushed through a dark doorway into a twisty hall of fearful art pieces and jumpscares, courtesy of well made up actors, which seemed to include the famed Peaches the Clown (who did not confine himself to Ward 13, and continued to frighten me throughout the convention). Upon entering, you are immediately assaulted by poor lighting of dizzying colors and noises that would terrify the most hardened maze-goers. Kudos to the sound team for almost making me pee myself a time or two. The flashlight, it turns out, is programmed to react to triggers throughout the maze, and will react according to the part you are in. MINOR SPOILER ALERT: Pushing the button on the back does not help at all…it will only make things worse, much to my dismay.
People force themselves past their fears as you are pushed through the maze. Once you enter, the only exit is at the end. The very end is especially terrifying for me, and apparently for Victoria, who accompanied me, as I am claustrophobic and afraid of the dark. No spoilers on that part, but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart. Several child-like screams and terrified babbles later, I emerged unscathed physically, but so frightened that I vow to never again explore a creation of Evil Twins Studios. Of course, after I calmed down, I admitted the thrill and adrenaline rush were well worth it, and I look forward to their next piece. It’s unclear if we simply saw a preview of the real attraction, or if Scare L.A. got a sneak peek of the whole thing before Halloween season, so perhaps I will have to take another trip to Pasadena to be sure.
Overall, I’d rate Ward 13 at about a B+, or maybe four out of five stars. It was definitely scary, but I feel that some of the actors could have been more pushy. Two at least simply made short scary sounds, and exchanged hellos with the visitors. It was a tad unprofessional, but admittedly, it was a slight relief that not everyone was as scary as Peaches! You can check out Evil Twin Studios at www.eviltwinstudios.com and follow my favorite smiling creep at @peachestheclown on Instagram to see what I was so frightened by!