The Dark: The Necessary Ambience of Halloween and Haunts

Atmosphere, ambience, whatever you term it – it’s essential to good eerie, haunting movies and haunted attractions.

Take the movie “Interview With The Vampire.”  Set largely in New Orleans in the late 1700s-1800s and then in Europe from the mid-to-late 1800s, the film is haunting in the best sense of the word; everything about the look of it is eerie. It’s old world, it’s misty, and it’s dark.

New Orleans seems to be a magnet for hauntings and the supernatural, and “Interview With the Vampire” will take you right there.  In addition, the movie as a film is excellent, in case you haven’t seen it.  Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas are outstanding, but the look of the movie is also a star, too.

It’s the same with ambience when visiting a Haunted Attraction.   Halloween is the fall harvest, hence the bales of hay, pumpkins, rustic scenes and Moonlight nights.  And out in the county, there’s something else too, the dark.

So much of legend and fear comes from the dark, probably because the world, for most of history, was literally a very, very dark place.  We with our street lights and cities take it for granted that man has made night into day, such as at a baseball game, forgetting that the natural state of the sky is blackness with only pinpoints of light and the moon.

But even today, when you’ve been to a secluded place darkness can still overwhelm you.  Imagine living in times when night and darkness overcame the world every, single night, for thousands of years.  People are conditioned to fear the dark to a degree.  The dark hid the predators that were our ancient enemies.

Regarding ambience, I have to tell you about this Haunted Attraction right where I live, in Woodland Hills, CA.

It’s called The House At Haunted Hill.  This free little attraction is a gem.  The ambience of this little attraction is best described on their own website:  “A humble home, nestled at the bottom of a haunted hillside, next to a narrow and dark street … The home and hillside come to life simply for the love of Halloween.”

You park on a street away from the Haunted House, then walk down this very narrow and dark street that is closed to traffic.  On one side of this street are brush and trees, on the other are houses.  The neighbors all get into the spirit of Halloween with some very good and traditional scary costumes.  When you arrive at Haunted Hill, you’re right in front of the house because the street is so narrow. And the people in charge of the attraction are neighbors who have a Hollywood special effects background, so it’s top notch yet without the commercialization of what a theme park would be.

Enjoy their website, and if you live in the area, consider visiting:  it’s worth the trip.

See their gallery and their story, too:

Do you have an independent attraction in your area you’d like to tell us about?  If so, please do.  Don’t keep us in the dark.  Figuratively, that is.

Bye for now,


2 thoughts on “The Dark: The Necessary Ambience of Halloween and Haunts

  1. Pingback: Happy Halloween!! Local frights in the night | Spooky Things online

  2. Pingback: Spooky films:  The Devil’s Advocate | Spooky Things online

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