Mike Madriaga 3 p.m., June 22
Haunted Trail survivor
Last night my husband and I went to The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park. We had to park four blocks away from the park even though it was a Sunday night because the queue into the trail was around 130 strong.
Standing in line on Sunday night took about 25-30 minutes before we were released onto the trail. Meanwhile, a huge projector screened Zombieland. We waited in the dark with a diverse crowd--couples 15 to 60 years old, groups of teenagers, and adolescent kids with their dads. Twice, costumed fiends stalked the lines to scare people glued to their iPhones, totally unaware of monsters lurking in front of them.
Our group of 10 was released onto the clearly marked trail and spaced far from the group in front and the one following so that we never ran into each other. The trail is very well staffed and the frightful props and sets transport you into a nightmarish landscape for a good 10-15 minutes. The trail relies mostly on creepiness, the element of surprise, loud noises, and professional sets rather than gore. The Haunted Trail is running through Halloween night. Tickets cost $15-17 for the trail. It's worth it.