With that distinction clear, Action Alameda News was ready for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Haunted Hornet tour on opening night.
Joshua Overturf and Alex Willens, partners in ScareCo, Inc., the agency outfitting the Hornet with the scarefest, jumped at the invitation from the museum to turn the innards of the ship into a walking thrill ride.
Drawing on the local artist community, ScareCo employs 35 to 40 actors per night who haunt the ship’s sick bay and a hangar deck-based maze that takes participants through a strange facility that amounts to an asylum combined with a twisted research center, including offices, a kitchen, surgical rooms, a laboratory and a decontamination chamber. (Warning: the bathrooms aren’t clean…)
Regular visitors to the Hornet will note that the afterbrow, typically the museum’s exit, is the entrance for the attraction.
“It works better for our flow,” Willens explained.
The ship’s monsters were decidedly more approachable during the behind-the-scenes tour than when Action Alameda News followed an early group of five paying customers through the tour.
Afterwards, Rudy, a young man from the party stepped forward to say he’d recommend the tour.
His friend Ernesto said, “this is one of the better haunts in the Bay area. I’ve gone to Great America haunt I’ve gone to Bayfair. I’ve gone to a lot of haunts across California, but this actually tops anything we’ve been to up north. The whole setting is immersive, it’s really beautiful, it really feels like you’re on a ship and by yourself. I had a great time.”
Willens remarked that people have a range of reactions to the jump scares and gore, closing with, “all we want is for people to be entertained, that’s what’s important.”
The attraction runs through the day after Halloween.