There’s a reason why the highly anticipated “Chucky” TV series and the long-awaited 4K Ultra HD home entertainment release of “Scream” are both coming out in October — there’s no better time to curl up on the couch and watch your favorite horror movie villains than during the Halloween season. Of course,
for horror fans who really want to get their scare on this Halloween, Southern Nevada is home to several year-round attractions that tie-in to some of the genre’s most famous films in fun and frightening ways.
Moviegoers have been haunted by the idea of being trapped in one of Jigsaw’s deadly games or trying to escape the curse of the Blair Witch for years, but two attractions in Las Vegas have turned the stuff of nightmares into exciting — albeit still pretty intense — escape experiences. Located on Industrial Road, The Official SAW Escape (sawescaperoom.com) and the all-new ESCAPE BLAIR WITCH (escapeblairwitch.com) bring Lionsgate’s terrifying “SAW” and “Blair Witch” film franchises to life. Guests will have just over an hour to work together as they try to escape multiple rooms themed after the movies, everything from “SAW’s” infamous bathroom to “Blair Witch’s” eerie Black Hills Forest. Far from your typical escape rooms, the separate attractions are truly immersive experiences, with Jigsaw actor Tobin Bell even recording all of the audio for The Official SAW Escape! Horror fanatics are sure to have a blast as they test their survival skills against two of the genre’s most iconic characters, and will genuinely feel like they’re on the sets of the films as they make their way through the detailed attractions.
While The Official SAW Escape and ESCAPE BLAIR WITCH are based on legendary horror franchises, Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum in downtown Las Vegas (thehauntedmuseum.com) houses numerous unusual and haunted artifacts from the “Ghost Adventures” host’s personal collection that inspired some of the genre’s most famous movies and villains. Guests can book a guided tour of the 14,000-square-foot museum to see such items on display as the cauldron and shovel used by serial killer Ed Gein, whose grisly crimes were the inspiration behind such classic horror characters as Leatherface (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), Norman Bates (“Psycho”) and Buffalo Bill (“The Silence of the Lambs”). The museum is also home to the Devil’s Rocking Chair, which inspired “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” after paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren witnessed an entity Lorraine called The Beast sit in the chair and possess a young boy named David Glatzel. Visitors will even have the opportunity during their 2-hour tour to get up close to one of the world’s most haunted objects: the Dybbuk Box. Although the haunted wine cabinet may be best known for inspiring “The Possession,” it’s also been known to unleash a string of bad luck for some people who’ve come in contact with it. Just ask rapper Post Malone, who not only survived a plane emergency and a car crash just days after seeing the box on display at the museum, but also had his house broken into!
For those feeling really brave, an RIP ALL-ACCESS upgrade is available that grants visitors access to otherwise off-limit areas of Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum, including a closet full of creepy dolls where the life-size haunted doll Gretchen resides. Late-night Flashlight Ghost Tours are also available on the weekend where guests are turned loose inside the darkened museum for 90 minutes, armed only with flashlights and paranormal equipment to see what spirits might be with them.
Horror fans are invited to step into the darkness at Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, too, when it hosts Nightmare at the Museum Featuring The Fright Zone select nights in October. Besides walking through a separate haunted house, guests can tour the darkened museum with just a flashlight guiding them. Celebrating the history of special makeup effects, the Boulder City attraction features more than two dozen custom pieces created by the famed makeup effects artist that represent some of the most famous movie and TV monsters throughout history, including “Halloween’s” Michael Myers. Several of Devlin’s life-size creations actually come to life during the special event, although which ones are always a surprise. Guests can see screen-used props that Devlin created for various films like “Weedjies: Halloweed Night” on display as well, and a rotating Cinema Sideshow exhibit that showcases screen-used makeup effects and memorabilia on loan from private collectors.
With so many spooktacular attractions to enjoy, Southern Nevada is always a real scream when it’s time to celebrate Halloween!