Haunted Hollywood Sports Event Preview (Bellflower, CA)

HHS-34It was a bit of a nostalgia rush to return to Hollywood Sports Park in Bellflower, CA, where I had previously worked as a paintball referee years back when I was just starting college. Not much of the place had changed: the paintball fields were the same, the buildings were untouched, and the scenery was still homely and surprisingly well kept.

Though, the appearance of monsters was definitely a new thing on this particular evening.

That was the set up for HSP’s Haunted Hollywood Sports night, presented as a preview for press this past week. For the month of October, the paintball and airsoft park will be hosting its own share of Halloween festivities, with a fair amount of interactivity not seen in many other parks for the season through the use of Killhouses, mazes that actually have the parkgoers defending themselves against a monster assault. And the Nerd Reactor crew was there to brave the onslaught.


Our press tour first brought us to a more traditional maze, Venom, which is apparently sponsored by 7 Up to promote their new energy drink. Anyway, Venom had us going through parts of an ancient temple, including numerous dark hallways, tight corridors, and even a sacrificial altar with an undead shaman preparing his latest sacrifice, a girl that was kicking and screaming the entire time. It was all incredibly intense, and the cast was definitely giving it their all to provide one hell of an experience.

While the maze was still fun to go through, it had some quirks that could potentially lead to complaints from regular parkgoers. The dark areas especially were very difficult to navigate through, as lighting was either incredibly limited or nonexistent. While this provided a feeling of dread you couldn’t tell what was hiding around the corner, it ended up being a bit disorienting until we got the idea to feel around the walls and hold on to each other to help not faceplant ourselves. There was also one part at the end where the entire hallway consisted of inflatable walls that restricted movement. Those that suffer from extreme claustrophobia definitely should not take part in this, as the confined space, combined with the length of the corridor itself, may result in some complications.

The next maze we were led to was the Zombie Killhouse. This was the interactive portion of the event, where a small group of us were kitted out with airsoft gear and pitted against a horde of undead. This “maze” was even more intense and adrenaline fueled than the previous one, as our squad leader helped to escort us through the hallways of delapidated buildings while hordes of undead tried to grab at us. Watching each others backs was crucial here, as a zombie making contact with anyone would render that person “dead” and be escorted out of the maze, while the rest of the group continued on.


While this was definitely the case, the way the maze was structured meant that the actual risk for us getting caught by zombies was minimal. Only a couple were in positions to actually be a potential threat, while the rest were on the other side of a fence that they were clearly not allowed to progress past, especially when being fired upon. Once you find that out, there’s not much to fear as long as you have ample ammunition in your gun. Though if your gun jams or you don’t have enough ammo to begin with, as was the case with some of us (including myself), then you might possibly be screwed before you even begin.

Still, the experience itself was a blast to run through, and I even found myself getting into the act, calling out for people to watch the windows for monsters and helping to guide people ahead. When the actual event goes live, one can likely expect there to be more monsters roaming about, and hopefully working guns as well.

What was really intriguing about it all was the aesthetics. Despite being a small business, HSP went all out with the event, from the amazing makeup work on the monster talent that gives larger theme parks like Universal Studios a run for their money, to the creepy scenery that attacks all the senses in the mazes. The people working the event are definitely dedicated to this, and it shows in the scares that the talent go for and the character personalities some of them take up.


And if you want a break from all the scares, the main building at the front of the park will even be open as a night club, named Club Crimson. The 18+ club room will be complete with bar, music to dance to, and even a second story to hang out at if you want to hide from the monsters outside. And of course, regular paintball and airsoft games will continue throughout the evening in the regular portion of the park, only with Halloween-based scenarios, such as finding all of the parts of Frankenstein before the opposition.

The event begins on October 4 and will be running every Friday and Saturday throughout the month, as well as Halloween night. You can check out the official website for additional information and to purchase tickets, and you can even check out their Facebook page for some cool photos and videos from the event proper.

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