During the cool days of early fall, Balboa Park is alive with couples strolling and kids squealing in delight at the prospect of spending an enjoyable afternoon with their friends. Come nightfall, all changes.
Friends are huddled close together. Couples hands are wrapped tightly when suddenly, a man in a chainsaw breaks the peace and creates chaos.
Now eyes are wide and at every sound, heads jerk around to the direction it came from to determine the threat. But have no fear, these Halloween celebrators aren’t facing their imminent death. They are just another enjoying a spooky night at Balboa Haunted Trail.
“We have people wet and throw-up on themselves,” said Greg Defatta, the director of The Haunted Trails. “We have people who walk in and run straight to their cars..about 600 people leave with out watching the show.”
Clouds billow past the moon as the subtle light turns into an ink like blackness, and the stepping and dragging of a foot follows closely behind with a scraping dragging noise over the stone walk.
As you pass through a maze of contortment, not knowing which way is out, motionless figures suddenly leap to life and come within a whisker of taking your life.
“That made me sweat, you can’t see in there..it was fun,” Tammy Servan, a survivor of the Balboa Trail, said.
As you walk through the mile long trail the night air is suddenly filled with a loud-pitched scream and a terrifying cackle of laughter.
The screams make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your skin crawls. Looking into the piercing dark you see movement, is it a wild animal or is someone waiting for you in the dark?
“I wasn’t scared,” Delia Nak, another Trail visitor said.