Recently opened in Orange County, CA, The 17th Door may be the first-ever venture into the Halloween attraction business for suburban couple Robbie and Heather Luther… but from the looks of it, these folks definitely know their shit when it comes to terrifying people to the brink of insanity.
It’s not the only “extreme haunt” to require patrons to sign a waiver, or to provide a “safe word” for people who can’t handle it – notorious haunts like Blackout or McKamey Manor have based their entire reputations on pushing “guests” to their mental limits with borderline psychological abuse – but the Luthers promise a more uniquely immersive experience.
“My original plan was to do a haunted house so extreme and awesome that it would get protested by all these groups and then I would get shut down,” Robbie Luther recently told the Los Angeles Times. Though they do not consider themselves horror experts, the couple did thorough research into the most intense interactive haunts, and Robbie’s experience in construction enabled him to come up with innovative designs for the structure and its many terrifying twists.
“I’m passionate about building things and pushing the envelope,” he says. “This is just an awesome canvas to be creative and put on a show.”
The overall theme of 17th Door comes with a detailed backstory: guests will follow in the footsteps of a med-school student named Paula, who is haunted by personal and literal demons. For the next half hour, you progress through each section of the school, plunged into more surreal and nightmarish scenarios. Rooms will spatter you with various fluids, monsters will grab you, live bugs will crawl on you, you’ll smell actual rotting meat, and one chamber will create the feeling of being buried alive. But when you discover the horror behind the titular 17th Door… well, that’s top-secret.
Many rooms lock small groups of patrons inside with no chance to escape – that is, unless you wimp out and call out the safe word: “Mercy.”
For tickets and schedule info, check out The17thDoor.com.