Six Flags Fright Fest celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. This season’s event at Six Flags Magic Mountain features eight haunted houses and seven scare zones, as well as some monstrous entertainment and seasonal foods and drinks.
We visited all the haunted houses during our trip to Fright Fest, including this year’s buzzy new additions: houses for Saw X and The Conjuring. Get the scoop on all the haunts at Fright Fest 2023 below.
Going Digital Is The Real Nightmare of Fright Fest
One of the biggest problems from last year’s Fright Fest persists for this year’s event: navigation. Put simply, Six Flags is an expansive park, and it’s difficult to find all the special scare locations you’re looking to try.
The park is encouraging people to go digital. So, there’s a lot of signs throughout the park asking guests to scan a QR code for a Fright Fest guide or to download the Six Flags app. Now, these could serve as useful tools… if they worked. Unfortunately, the map part of the Six Flags app proved incredibly glitchy, only loading about 25% of the time I tried to open it. Similarly, the QR code to the Fright Fest guide was slow to load – and worse, it automatically refreshed itself, so you had to wait for it to reload constantly.
There were very few physical signs in the park directing people to the various haunts. (In most areas of the park, I didn’t see any signs at all.) I was only able to find Willoughby’s Resurrected and Sewer of Souls at all by asking a park employee, who was kind enough to walk my group over to the specific staircase you have to climb to find those houses. I wish the park would put up fewer signs telling me to download their app and more directional signs for the houses and scare zones.
New To Fright Fest 2023: Saw X & The Conjuring Houses
Saw is one of two new houses based on major horror franchises hitting Fright Fest this year. And if you’re a fan of the Saw films, you won’t want to miss this one. The house recreates some of the most memorable traps with very impressive props and set pieces. The scare actors in this house also do a great job of selling the traps, and were probably the best I saw in the park. My only criticism for the Saw house is that I wish there was more of a story, and that it was a bit more interactive as you walk through. It seems like a missed opportunity to not have guests choose their own morbid fate by getting involved in one of Jigsaw’s games.
Note: The line for this house was LONG. We went on Saw’s opening night, so that could be a factor. But I don’t think it will dwindle much throughout the season. Expect to wait for this one.
Best for: Impressive scare actors and movie-accurate set pieces
While I was impressed by the Saw house, unfortunately I found The Conjuring house underwhelming. There are a few movie-specific elements here – you’ll spot the Annabelle doll, for example – but not nearly as many as I would have liked. Most of the scares seemed sort of generic exorcism related, rather than pulling from The Conjuring films specifically. This house was also pretty low on the jump scares and surprises, and I wasn’t nearly as impressed with the scare actors here as in the Saw house. As a big fan of the films, I wanted more from this house.
Note: Once again, the line here was LONG. (And personally, I don’t think the wait is worth it for this one.)
Best for: Excessive candles and spinning crosses
More House Haunts
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising
This outdoor maze is the biggest of the bunch, and also my favorite by far. Sure, the zombie apocalypse theme might not be unique. But it’s well done in Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. The outdoor space brings in plenty of big props (burned out cars, crashed helicopters) and big effects (smoke and fire galore). This combined with the outdoor setting, where you wander around in the dark, makes it incredibly immersive. The maze was well-populated with scare actors, and the placement of the actors amid the wreckage, smoke, and fire was clever, leading to by far the best collection of jump scares throughout the night. If I had to pick a “don’t miss” spot for Fright Fest, this is it.
Best for: Immersive world and jump scares
Condamned: House Party
Condamned lands a new iteration this season: House Party. This haunt is the frat house of your nightmares. Though lighter on the jump scares than some other houses, it really commits to its theme. The only thing more plentiful than red Solo cups here are the bugs and the rats, crawling over every available surface. This house even pumps in some gross smells to make your journey feel that much more real. It’s not that scary of a setup, but it did make my skin crawl, so I can’t deny it was impactful.
Best for: Engaging the senses and making your skin crawl
Sewer of Souls
If you can find your way up to Sewer of Souls, you’ll get to experience one of the most inventive houses at Fright Fest. This neon-soaked spooky adventure will see you don 3-D glasses to make the space around you really come to life. This house also has fewer actors and jump scares, but many more unique elements inside. My favorites included having to cross a narrow plank bridge over an apparent gaping chasm, as well as the use of drop-cloth ceilings and inflatable walls to force you to squeeze through narrow tunnels. Beware, people with claustrophobia and vertigo (aka, me)!
Best for: Unique house experience and inventive use of the space
Truth or Dare
I should dare you to skip this house, because the truth is it’s not very good. Truth or Dare comes across as a strange mish-mash of ideas that don’t really go anywhere. It’s one of the biggest haunt spaces, but it feels like they didn’t know what to do with it. The house begins with a sort of retro-TV game show theme, which becomes less and less relevant the further in you go. I think it’s closer to a funhouse than a haunted house, except that clearly wasn’t the intention behind it. Even worse, the line for Truth or Dare was by far the longest outside of Conjuring and Saw; when you enter the house you watch a pre-recorded video bit, which I imagine makes the queue outside back up.
Best for: Wasting your time
Vault 666 Unlocked
Vault 666 Unlocked is definitely the most eclectic of the Fright Fest houses. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While the themes for other houses can be more restrictive, Vault 666 Unlocked can do more to embrace the unusual side of spooky. The rooms and set pieces here are really visually interesting; you’ll feel like sticking around to check out the strange artifacts and symbols. We get a few jump scares here, but I wouldn’t have minded a few more scare actors sprinkled throughout this one.
Best for: Wondering what you’ll walk in on next
Don’t we all love a classic haunted house? Willoughby’s Resurrected provides that essential spooky ambiance, recreating a Victorian-style mansion full of haunted inhabitants. Creepy dolls, ghostly moving portraits, and undead house staff await you inside. Honestly, this house is more about the general spooky vibes than going for the big scares, but I didn’t mind it. It’s richly and thoughtfully decorated, creating an immersive feel that puts you in the mood for the scares to come throughout the park.
Best for: Classically spooky ambiance
Fright Fest 2023: Beyond the Houses
During my time at Fright Fest, I focused on hitting every house, so I didn’t go through all the scare zones. I passed through Nightmare: A Twisted Fantasy, Exile Hill, and The Deadzone. I felt like I only saw a couple scare actors in each section, which wasn’t really enough to cover the bigger areas like Nightmare and Deadzone.
This kickoff to Fright Fest is a fun way to set the tone for the night, as a huge collection of scare actors come together outside the DC Universe entrance for an opening number. Since you probably won’t make it to every house and scare zone, this is a great way to see all the different kinds of characters and creatures Fright Fest has cooked up this year.
New this year, head over to the Full Throttle Plaza for some out-of-this-world fun. The area has a DJ who periodically encourages the crowd to get involved in some games. Plus, there are stilt-walking aliens who are really giving it their all on the dance floor. If you want to take a break from haunted houses and getting actively scared, this is the place to be.
About Fright Fest
Six Flags Fright Fest runs on select nights from September 8 – October 31. A special Haunted Attractions pass is required to enter the haunted houses. Visit sixflags.com to purchase tickets and learn more about Fright Fest.