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Fright Gallery’s haunt is frightfully fun

Lisa Dupuy

A basic, run-of-the-mill haunted house in your parents’ garage this

is not.

Which is ironic, really, because its creative team, The Fright

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Gallery, started 23 years ago as a group of friends putting on

increasingly elaborate Halloween shows in their front yard. The

current show, “Experiments in Terror,” at the Burbank Media City

Center, is an imaginative and exhilarating 20-minute haunted

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attraction.

What is unusual about this haunted-house experience is the solid

plot line and 40 convincing actors who guide you through this science

experiment gone awry.

Scientists with the esteemed Institute of Paranormal Research have

reconstructed the spooky Hazelwood Manor, legendary for the gruesome

deaths of its prior inhabitants.

Using top-notch science equipment, or rather, delightfully kooky

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props with knobs and flashing lights, they test for signs of

paranormal activity. The scientists in lab coats struggle to keep

their hapless visitors safe inside the spirit-saturated manor.

While they use age-old scare tactics, such as dark-eyed ghouls

jumping out at you, it’s the special effects that alarm and mystify.

Lighting, sound, visual surprises and tactile sensations create an

atmosphere both frightening and amusing.

Would I take a child to this show? It depends upon the child. My

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8-year-old would be terrified of the sudden plunges into pitch

darkness. But others said their 8-year-olds loved it.

For the little ones, there are special matinee walk-throughs.

Candy-dispensing scientists guide them through the manor, lights on,

weaving a less-frightening tale.

Don’t expect a slick, theme-park attraction for your steep $15

admission. At times, it’s hard to hear the frantic guides above the

din and it does end rather abruptly. However, throughout the show the

crowd giggled hysterically and frequently screamed out loud.

Everything you could ask for in a haunted house.


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