The 17th Door brings increased shock value with annual immersive horror experience

  • 17th Door (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
    One of the costumed greeters outside of The 17th Door in Fullerton, CA. (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
  • 17th Door (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
    A costumed character to provide scares and entertainment while patrons wait to enter The 17th Door in Fullerton, CA. (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
  • 17th Door (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
    One of several characters to keep people occupied as they wait outside The17th Door in Fullerton, CA. (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
  • 17th Door (Adam Gilles/Lariat)
    Participants enter the high barbed wire fence entryway to The 17th Door in Fullerton, CA. (Adam Gilles/Lariat)


Manic Mind Productions has brought The 17th Door Haunt Experience back to Orange County with another interactive haunted house, featuring a prison terror maze and Virtual Reality experience at 1851 W. Orangethorpe Ave. in Fullerton. If you have ever wanted to know what it’s like to live inside of your favorite horror films, The 17th Door is the perfect place to spend an October evening.

“They tested every sense, so that was really cool,” said Kim Vanderhoeck who attended The 17th Door for the first time. “I got wet, I got hot, I got smells, I saw bugs.”

All participants are required to sign a waiver for the physically and emotionally demanding experience, in which patrons may be exposed or come into contact with insects, touching by the characters, electrical shock, extreme temperatures and large amounts of water.

Vanderhoeck shared her thoughts on what makes The 17th Door so scary.

“When it goes totally dark and you just don’t know what’s next, and you can either be shocked or someone’s going to grab you, or the unexpected when it’s just pitch black,” she said.

From the moment you arrive at The 17th Door, you are faced with a high barbed-wire fenced entryway with costumed characters there to frighten you as you go through the line into the scariest haunted house the OC has to offer.

Mario Garcia who attended the event last year in Tustin but did not finish that maze said this year’s haunted house improved on his previous visit.

“It was better this year because I went all the way through,” Garcia said while laughing about his experience.

The 17th Door is very upfront in their disclaimer that their haunted house is not for everybody. They don’t recommend the experience for pregnant women or people who may have health or physical fitness issues that might prevent them from completing the tour. Participants may use the safe word, “MERCY”, anytime the experience becomes too stressful or terrifying for them to handle.

Amanda Bonilla and Robert Rivera have frequented other haunted house attractions at Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm in the past. Rivera said this event is even better than Knott’s Scary Farm.

“I liked it,” Rivera said. “It’s more for adults than kids.”

Bonilla considers herself to be brave when it comes to events like this but said that The 17th Door was able to give her a fright.

“I like the fact that I got a little scared for a bit because I never get scared,” Bonilla said

There is plenty of reason for caution to those that might not fit the requirements, since there are times that each participant will have to crawl or climb through compact, dark tunnels, push their way through tight mazes, fall into unknown spaces, deal with getting soaking wet and put up with extreme heat and electricity.

Garcia knew what he was getting into when he signed the waiver that states that your hair may be cut.

“Look at the back of my head dude. They (expletive) put the 17 on me,” Garcia said. “They shaved my head. We signed a waiver. It was good. I’m gonna go bald my head all the way now.”

If you are up for a good challenge to go along with your scare fix, The 17th Door is worth every hardship you get put through and worth every penny of admission.

Just one word of caution…Sit in the barber chair, if you dare.