Talladega Frights is back again this year from Sept. 29 to Oct. 29 and this year it’s the very epitome of the word scary. Co-owner of the Talladega Frights haunt, Amber Wilbur, assures that this year, Talladega Frights will be the scariest yet.
“We went really, really scary this year. It’s not for little kids,” Wilbur said. “We’re really bringing it this year.”
The haunt’s theme is an insane asylum, which Wilbur said she based off of social media suggestions.
“Unfortunately, the history of asylums is that they have a bad reputation,” Wilbur said. “So there’s a lot of material to pull from like electroshock therapy and lobotomies.”
Wilbur wants to clarify that the negative stigma that surrounds mental health isn’t going to be perpetuated in the haunt. We’re drawing material from institutions that did terrible things over 50 years ago, Wilbur said.
But the best part of doing the insane asylum theme, Wilbur said, is that you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next. Hauntgoers can expect new features like an elevator and interactive elements similar to games found in escape rooms.
“We want the customers to be completely absorbed by the 20-minute experience,” Wilbur said.
Wilbur and her husband, Mike Wilbur, started their haunted house journey out of their own home in 2009. “One year we had to get police to set up barricades,” Amber said. It was then that they decided it was time to go bigger.
“There’s nothing really like it in Bakersfield,” Amber said. “I think because it’s so hot; it’s still 85 degrees in October, no one’s really thinking about fall.”
Nine seasons later, the Wilburs continue to try and make the haunt better than the year before. “My husband is afraid that it will get boring after a while, so we’re always doing something different,” Amber said.
Talladega Frights is also a healthy experience for those who participate in it, which happen to be mostly Bakersfield teens. “So many teachers tell us that their students love being a part of it,” Amber said.
Talladega Frights will be open Thursdays through Sundays. On Thursdays and Sundays, the haunt will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the haunt will run from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $20. A fast pass to the front of the line is $10 extra. If you want a more family friendly Halloween experience, Amber also runs the Spooky Hollow Farms. ￼