I cannot BELIEVE I had never heard of this residential haunted house in Fallbrook before. It’s been around for 5 years now and is pretty much blowing all competition out of the water. Yes, it can compete with our city’s big bangers such as the Haunted Hotel and Balboa’s Haunted Trail. Here’s the thing though, owner Jeff Woodrey has Hollywood-quality horror throughout his haunt, but he has CREATED 90% of all props himself! This guy should be working on sets for big Hollywood movies, but in the meantime, we are blessed to have him here in San Diego.
I could go into great detail of every section of this haunt, but I’d rather you see it with your own eyes. Walking through it gives a vibe of a Disneyland ride but with a twisted horror-theme. It’s that good. The way he works with colors, lighting and design you would think he had a background in set design–but he doesn’t. He just does this all for fun.
100% of all donations go to a different cause each year. This year the proceeds are going to a girl battling cancer. After chatting with Jeff more, I learned that he is barely scraping by and surviving off of eggs and bread because all of his hard-earned money is going to the haunt. I do believe in future years that he needs to take a cut for himself, but in the meantime, I have set up a Gofund Me to help him earn some money for all his hard work.
The haunt is Covid-safe with many precautions being made. They will have social distancing markers that are 8ft apart and only two groups are allowed at a time but spaced apart. Masks are mandatory unless you have a health condition that prevents you from wearing one. The enclosed areas will be sanitized every hour
All scare actors will be in mask and will scare but not get in people’s faces or follow them around. There will be no guides this year but there will be volunteers stationed throughout directing people through at a safe distance There will also be hand sanitizer stations.
I did a short interview with Jeff to learn more about what inspired this passion and everything that goes into it:
How long have you been doing the haunt for?
I’ve been doing the haunt for 5 years now. Its grown every year I probably have well over 3000 hours into this years haunt.
Amazing! Have the proceeds always gone to a good cause? And if so, what were the causes in the past?
So the first year was very small we raised money for the local animal sanctuary the next year was for a child with leukemia and then last year was for rainbow elementary school and all proceeds have gone to the cause.
Wow! What percentage of the props would you say are hand-made by you and your partner?
My partner built the mechanisms for 5 air props I took what he built and made the different characters like the Nun and Twisty the Clown in the electric chair 80% is hand made everything in the Cemetery was 100% hand made
All the stone work I carved out of foam and painted the fire place I built of foam all tombstones I made all the webbing I came up with using plastic wrap and melting it all the structures are pop up gazebos with pallets so it’s a lot of work lol
Would you say you were exceptionally artistic as a child and teenager? Was art your main passion always?
I’ve always been artistic I would draw for hours at a time I had original comic book characters and a lot of them were darker characters and now I do art in a different way a see a empty space as a canvas to create and I’ll visualize it in my head and then go to work lol
What is your ultimate dream job?
Building owning and operating the Haunted Hallows in a professional way
Would you continue to hold it at your house or would your dream destination be elsewhere?
Well the dream would to find a location close but I’m going to north Carolina in November to meet with a man who wants me to build a professional Haunted house attraction so my dream might come true will see
Ah but we will lose you then?
It’s not for sure. If I had I could get it off the ground here I would I’ve tried to get some investors but always get denied
Have you thought of keeping a portion of the proceeds for yourself so you could treat this as a career?
I have but I feel guilty taken from the kid I’m helping. People donate for the cause so that why I do it but if I do get a professional haunt going one of my conditions will be to help kids in need.
Its funny people think I have money because of all that I have but I scrap by to do this I literally live off of milk and eggs. This is all I think about 24/7 I’ve lost relationships because of it because I put so much time into it. I wake up in between and go to sleep thinking about Halloween and what I can build next so passionate is a understatement I live Halloween!
What first inspired you to start doing this haunt?
Well for years I did annual Halloween parties for my family I got bored with that so I was like I want to share what I do with the community like how the Christmas house does down the street. And then I was like well I could help others too at the same time that’s what inspired me to move forward with it.
All photos by Amber Haslerud: