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Oct. 11, 2022

Day 40: All Saints Lunatic Asylum in Apple Valley, CA

Day 40: All Saints Lunatic Asylum in Apple Valley, CA

Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. Apple Valley’s professional haunted attraction is All Saints Lunatic Asylum. Today, we’re going on-location to learn about the haunt and its transition over the last 15 years. Follow...

Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. Apple Valley’s professional haunted attraction is All Saints Lunatic Asylum. Today, we’re going on-location to learn about the haunt and its transition over the last 15 years. Follow along to our Hauntathon:


Stephanie: My name is Stephanie. I am the general manager for All Saints Lunatic Asylum, which is a production put on by Midnight Dreary Production Studio. We have a haunted attraction that is open multiple times throughout the year. We're located in Apple Valley, CA off of Hwy 18 and Central. We've been doing this for roughly about, I'd say, 15 years. It started off as a home haunt, and we have developed into a professional business.

Stephanie: It's more of like a psychological horror or thriller rather than like gory or anything. The way that we develop our rooms is, we try to play on the different phobias that not a lot of people think about. Obviously, we have like a bathroom because it is an asylum, so we set it up as an actual asylum. So, you're going through rooms that you would find in an asylum, an abandoned asylum. So, you have anywhere from the bathroom to patient rooms too, like the kitchen, to like even a Chapel and everything like that. 

Stephanie: We fill it up with props and decorations and everything as much as possible that are period correct. So, you're looking at stuff from the late 1800s up to about 1940, 1950 that's in the haunt. Even our costumes, as you can tell even by mine, it is period correct to the actual period that the asylum would have been open.

Stephanie: With the actors, they're creating their own characters. They're creating their characters that would fit into the asylum at that period, and then some of them that would be roughly brought into the asylum and have an accident with, so maybe a patron that came through and had a tour to just see what it's like and maybe they were left behind. So, that's one reason why there's such a range of actors, with it being from 1800s, early 1900s, on up to even current times.

Stephanie: So, we make sure that everything fits correctly, but everybody builds their own character. They're the ones that are giving it life. They're the ones that are putting their heart and soul, and their own personality and spin on it. That's one of the things that we pride ourselves on, is that we're able to interact and work with our actors to make sure they are comfortable doing what they're doing, and they have fun.

Stephanie: So, one of the biggest things that I know that keeps us separate from everybody else is we don't do what we call a caterpillar or train, which is one of the biggest problems with the bigger haunts at amusement parks. They have so many people that they have to put through their little haunted maze that they've got to push them through as fast as possible. So, basically, you're seeing the actor reset in front of you, so you're not going to get scared. With us, we try to make sure that everybody has their own personal experience. So, we're trying to make sure that you are gapped at the right time so that way one group doesn't exactly catch up with the other. Our actors are trained to help break up the groups.

Stephanie: Now, the closer to Halloween, the busier we get. So, sometimes a bigger group is hard to avoid, but we still do try to put our training into effect, so that way everybody can have their own personal experience. One of the biggest things that I've heard is, from multiple people that come constantly, and some people that come constantly throughout the same season, it's never the same experience twice, they notice different things the next time they come.

Philip Hernandez: Tell me a little bit about the team.

Stephanie: We are still a volunteer team, but we also hire our actors, so they are paid now. We did start off on a volunteer basis, and now it has developed to the point to where everybody is an employee here, but we still function like a family.

Philip Hernandez: Do you all have goals otherwise? Where would you like to see this in three years?

Stephanie: Honestly, if we're able to be on our own property and on our own land, then that would be one of the biggest things that we would be able to have in the next three years. That would be the perfect goal for us. Outside of that, even if we open a second haunt somewhere else, like even if we collaborated with the fairgrounds one year and we did our haunt out there. 

Stephanie: So, even if we do a collaboration with somebody else, we're going to be able to put ourselves out there and help ourselves like get bigger and get more well-known and everything, because we're a business, a professional haunt. As far as we know, we're the only one up here in the desert that is a professional business. So, that's the biggest thing that we take pride in.

Stephanie: As you guys saw before, you were ADA compliant, so we were able to have somebody that was in a wheelchair, and he was not in just a regular wheelchair he was one in one that laid down, he was almost completely lying flat. He was able to come through with his family and he thoroughly enjoyed himself, and we've had plenty of people like that before that have come through that they're in these big wheelchairs, and they're capable of coming through and enjoying themselves. So, we're ADA accessible, and we make sure that we include everybody in the community, not just a select few.

Philip Hernandez: Tell me the times you're going to be open this season and then about your Christmas.

Stephanie: So, this season it's every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the rest of the month from 7 to 10. The last weekend we are also open on Monday because Halloween falls on a Monday. For Christmas, we're open on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of December, and it's again from 7 to 10, and it'll be $13.00 a person.