FAQ

This rare October at the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park, it’s Friday the13th EVERY night. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. If your creepy query isn’t addressed below, get in touch!

What are the hours of operation?

In General, The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is open Sunday – Thursday from 7pm – 11pm; Friday & Saturday from 6:30pm – 11pm. Same hours for ticket booth.

(Closed Mon & Tues except for 10/24, 10/30 & 10/31)
Check SCHEDULE page for specific dates and times.

What time does the line start forming?

Early in the season, arriving anytime throughout the night is fine but the closer it gets to Halloween, the more crowded it tends to be so you may want to arrive a little earlier. Keep in mind the Ticket booth line usually forms early closer to Halloween.

How long is the wait in line?

That depends on many factors. There is a separate line to PURCHASE tickets (which is usually the longest wait) and then a separate line to ENTER. However, the closer it is to Halloween, the longer the lines.  SAVE TIME and buy your tickets online to avoid the Ticket Booth line. You can also purchase a FAST PASS which allows for a separate entrance other than the general admission line (there may be a short wait). There may also be a short wait upon exiting the eXperiment Maze before you are sent through the main Trail.

Try to come earlier in October if you would like to avoid the longer lines!

How long does it take to go through the Haunted Trail?

When you arrive, there is a separate line to PURCHASE tickets and a separate line to ENTER once you have your tickets. Before you start on the main Trail, you will be sent through The eXperiment Maze. For the maze, you are in there for as long as it takes you to get out (usually no more than 15 minutes unless you are having a very difficult time). After you exit the Maze you will be sent through the Trail which takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on the pace of your group. Please note, the Maze is now included in the admission price but you can opt to not enter if you wish.

If I have already bought my ticket and I am in line when the trail closes, will I get a chance to go through?

Yes, we will stop selling tickets at close time but the trail will stay open until the last patron in the entrance line has gone through.

Can I make a reservation?

No. We do not take reservations, however if time is a concern, you can purchase a Fast Pass to which will allow you to use a separate line other than the General Admission line. Fast Passes can also be purchased online as “VIP Admission” or at ticket booth.

*For large groups / organizations, e-mail vanessa@hauntedhotel.com or call the office 619-231-0131 for advance tickets and arrangements

What are the prices for the Haunted Trail?

Ticket Booth: CASH ONLY

General Admission – $25 (GA to Trail & Experiment Maze)
Upgrade to Fast Pass entrance for $10-$15 (price depends on night)

*VIP Fast Pass Admission is also available online in advance for $37 plus service fees.

The FAST PASS allows you to use a separate entrance line other than the general admission line. There may be a short wait but it will cut down your time spent in line. There may also be a short wait upon exiting the eXperiment Maze before you are sent through the main Trail.

GA & VIP are also available Online in Advance 

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE TO SKIP THE TICKET LINES!!!

Not recommended for children 10 under 10.

There are no children’s prices or refunds if they decide not to go through.

Are there Group Discounts?

Advance Group Discount Tickets:  For Groups of 10+

*Need to be ordered and picked up in advance through the office
* Everyone in your group gets a FREE glow necklace!
* Must be paid with Cash or Company Check (sorry no credit cards)
* Please call or email Vanessa@hauntedhotel.com to order or for more information.

Are Credit Cards Accepted?

Yes, but ONLY for ONLINE ticket sales. If you are buying your ticket at the ticket booth, it will be cash only.

Can I buy tickets in advance?

You may purchase tickets online and avoid the line at the ticket booth. Please be sure to read ticket instructions so that you bring the correct ticket with barcode to be scanned at the door. Be sure that you have selected the correct attraction to purchase tickets for.

Group sales may also be arranged in advance by emailing vanessa@hauntedhotel.com

I bought my ticket online, will I still need to wait in a line?

Buying your ticket in advance will save you from waiting in the Ticket Booth line, which is sometimes the longest wait. You will need to wait in the entrance line when you arrive, unless you purchase a Fast Pass (VIP Admission) which allows you a separate entrance other than the general entrance line, there may be a short wait. There may also be a short wait upon exiting the eXperiment Maze before you are sent through the main Trail.

What is a Fast Pass and how do I get one?

The Fast Pass allows you to use a separate entrance line other than the General Admission Line.

You can purchase a Fast Pass online ( it is included in the VIP Admission) or at the ticket booth (on busy nights) when you arrive at the trail.

Are the characters allowed to touch you?

Our actors are not allowed to touch you and you are not allowed to touch our actors. Please be warned, they do get very close and will chase you but they will not grab you.  You may brush up against their costumes or props or come into contact with some of the sets, but you will not be grabbed or pushed. We reserve the right to prosecute any patrons who strike or harm our actors.

Are there any age restrictions?

Our haunts are NOT recommended for children under the age of 10. They will be allowed in if parents choose to bring them, however you will NOT be allowed to carry them. They must be able to stand and walk on their own two feet.  There are no special prices for children. There are many emergency exits throughout each attraction in case anyone gets too scared to continue but please be warned, scared patrons/children who need to exit (or choose not to enter) will not receive a refund.

Where can I find coupons?

$5 off Discount Coupons are available at participating San Diego County Wendy’s locations (while supplies last)

Valid 10/1 – 10/26,  Sunday -Thursday only.

Not valid Friday & Saturday. Each coupon is good for one person. Not valid towards online tickets.

When are coupons valid?

There are several types of coupons. Read them carefully to see what days they can be used.

NOTE: As a general rule, most coupons are not accepted Fridays and Saturdays and will have date restrictions.

Please note: coupons are not valid towards online tickets unless they have a promo code listed.

Is The Haunted Trail wheelchair accessible?

Due to the terrain, it is very difficult for wheelchairs to manuever through this outdoor event. We can send a staff member to accompany you through in case help is needed, but please be aware the pathways are dirt and mulch and they may be uneven as they wind through the park.

Is there a lot of smoke in the haunted house?

Yes, we do use fog machines. Should you find the smoke too intense there are emergency exits throughout the attraction.

Are there strobe lights?

Yes, there will be strobe lights.

Can I go in if I'm pregnant?

Sorry, but no pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. This attraction is not recommended for visitors who have heart conditions, are prone to seizures, or are in general poor health. We reserve the right to determine if you are not allowed in due to safety reasons.

Is it a ride?

No, this is a walk-through attraction.

Is it dark?

Yes, it is very dark for most of it.

Is it a maze? Can I get lost?

The Haunted Trail is not a maze. There is a designated path that will guide you through. The eXperiment however is a maze, which you stay in until you find your way out.

Can we wear our Halloween costumes when we come through?

YES! You are allowed to wear costumes. PLEASE NOTE: if your costume is offensive or involves nudity, you will not be allowed in. Any props you are carrying will need to be left at the entrance.

Are you still open if it rains?

The Haunted Trail is outdoors, so it will stay open during light showers but may need to close for safety reasons.

Once we've used our ticket can we go through again with the same ticket?

No. A new ticket is required for each visit.

Are there any motels/hotels close to The Haunted Trail?

Yes, you can search for hotels in Balboa Park. Here are a couple that are within 2 miles of Balboa Park: Days Inn, Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn, and Sheraton Suites.

Do your attractions have security?

Yes, we do have security. We seldom, if ever, have a problem that actually requires security but we have it just in case.

We also have an EMT on staff each night.

Can we be thrown out of the Trail for any reason?

Yes. We do not allow foul language, pushing, vulgar behavior, weapons of any kind, alcohol, etc. We do not allow babies or children to be carried through. Smoking and alcohol is not allowed. We reserve the right to remove any patron from the event if we feel it is necessary.

Violation of these rules will usually bring a warning and then being asked to leave without a refund.

Can we be injured at your event?

We’ve never had any serious injuries at any of our attractions in over 10 years of operation. Running is the main cause of minor injuries. Make sure to follow the rules and be warned, if you run, the actors will chase you!

Do you serve alcoholic beverages?

NO! And they are not allowed on the property, so please do not bring any.

Is smoking allowed?

NO!!! Smoking is illegal in all of Balboa Park, including inside of our gates.

Can we take flash photos of your haunted houses?

NO photography of any sort is not allowed in the haunts. Haunted houses are dark and peoples eyes (especially the actors) adjust to the low light. When you flash your camera you’re not only ruining other customers’ experience but you’re hurting the actors’ eyes. Also, the fog used inside the attractions ruins flash photography.

Although no photography or videotaping is allowed inside (including nightshot), the monsters working outside will quite often pose for pictures.

What can't we bring with us inside your haunted attractions?

Items NOT allowed into the Haunted Trail include, but are not limited to, the following:

Skateboards

Backpacks

Large Bags

Pets

Weapons

Props

Alcohol

Cameras

Laser Pointers

Flashlights

Food or Beverage

Babies/ Strollers / Children being Carried

There is no smoking or vaping allowed inside our gates or in our lines.

Please also be aware, there is no smoking in Balboa Park in general and you can be fined.

Do you sell beverages and snacks at your attractions?

Yes. We sell bottled water and sodas as well as candy and snacks. We also have glow novelties.

Are the attractions the same this year?

Some rooms stay for a few years and some rooms change! You will have to come through to find out!

Is this the haunted house where there are 13 floors and when you get to the top you get your money back?

No, that haunted house does not exist in San Diego. As far as we know, it is an urban legend.

Can we win free tickets?

Yes, radio stations or sponsors may have free ticket giveaways. Make sure you are aware of the valid dates for those passes.

Do you recommend any other haunted websites?

I want to do a story on the attractions, how do I?

For media inquiries, please e-mail: info@hauntedhotel.com.

How old do you have to be to work at the Trail?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply. Please e-mail vanessa@hauntedhotel.com with your full name, phone number and any previous haunt experience. We schedule interviews in August and usually have a long list of people waiting.

Any other questions?

Please email any questions to info@hauntedhotel.com.

And the #1 most often asked question…Is it scary????

Yes! Bring a change of underwear!