The Empty Grave in Anaheim Thrills with New Chills

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features, In the Parks


Published on October 25, 2012 at 5:00 am with 23 Comments

The Empty Grave in Anaheim’s Garden Walk has always been one of MiceChat’s favorite haunts.  Built new, from the ground up, every year, this independent haunted attraction has returned bigger and better tan ever for the 2012 season of screams. This year marks an evolution for the little haunt in Anaheim, as it has begun to shed its humble beginnings and is transcending to another level.  It is becoming a far more polished, well executed (pun intended) haunted attraction. Here we have some notes and photos to share and even a chance to win a pair of tickets to experience The Empty Grave yourself.

Designer, Mike Talorico, is just like any other guy.  He has a day job, is building a family with his lovely wife Adrian, and by most accounts is fairly normal.  But ever since he was a kid, his passion has been Halloween and haunts.

Mike in front of The Empty Grave

Growing up, he would build simple haunted houses in his front yard every year with his neighborhood friends.  Amazing things could be done with PVC pipe and black Hefty bags.  But as he grew so did his desire to really build a legitimate haunted house attraction.  What began just a few years ago as The Haunted Cellar at The Block at Orange, soon evolved into The Empty Grave at GardenWalk as we know it today.

The Empty Grave has always had a certain home-spun charm.  Mike has an uncanny ability to infect those around him with a childish glee for the scare.  His creations are never dull, but were sometimes a little rough on the execution.  While we have always found the loose feel that Mike lent to his mazes entertaining, it did leave you with the feeling that he could continue to grow.  This year he has.

Why is this year so much better? The maze has a far more calculated sense of pacing. The scares begin slowly, allowing for tension to be built  Entering a long nearly pitch black hallway, a voice can be heard beckoning you further.  Eventually guests end up in one of the Grave’s trademark set pieces, the strobe maze.  Once the disorientation subsides the experience becomes more linear.

The set design, the art direction, even the lighting, have all been polished.  The flow of the scenes from one to the other is more fluid. The story that carries guests through is still pretty indiscernible, but scenes feel right and the actors sell it.

If you are a fan of independent Haunts, this is the year that you must go visit the Empty Grave. While far from perfect, this will be considered the year that the Empty Grave grew up.  Mike and his merry crew of monsters have shed the black garbage bags and pvc pipes from the front yard and have entered the big leagues.

The graveyard scene is theatrical and dramatically lit.

Mention also has to be made of the actors. They are simply some of the most passionate talent around.  Their energy and desire to engage the visitors is palpable and inviting.  They clearly WANT to get in there and scare and that’s great for the visitors. That is the mark of truly remarkable performers.

You still have time to visit the Empty Grave too!  They will be open Oct 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 & Nov 1, 2, and 3.  That’s nine nights to choose from.

We also have a chance for you to win tickets to this fun little gem.  Just answer the question below.  If you post the correct answer in you comment you will be entered into a random drawing for a pair of tickets.

Q.   What time does The Empty Grave open each night of operation?

A.  7PM

 shariki utundu 

Please email us at [email protected]  to claim your prize.

If the winner does not claim their prize by Friday Night at 11:59pm, another winner will be announced Saturday morning. You’ve been warned. Please check your Private Messages on MiceChat or you might miss your chance to win a visit a really fun and unique haunted experience.


About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • mratigan

    7:00 pm
    Great update

  • rstar

    It opens at 7:00. It looks really cool, I’ll have to check it out!

  • eicarr

    Thanks for the great info, I’ll have to try to make it over there. Everything has been so Disney World Lopsided for the last 3 weeks that it was hopeful to see this.

  • MannyLegacy

    Opens at 7:00pm every night! =D

    …….Hope I win! *crosses fingers*

  • cruise

    It opens at 7pm!

  • kidcontra

    7pm. Last time I participated one of these contest I actually won, but I didn’t know I had even won. Let me prove that I have learned the error of my ways. Anyone for a second chance? :-)

  • OhanasRules


  • TheHopper

    7pm…Can’t wait to check this out!

  • If you haven’t made a point of stopping by the Empty Grave this year, do so this weekend. It’s a scary delight.

  • Zorro825

    Good luck everyone and thank you for this review!! I’ve been wanting to check this location out for a few years now

  • Chadwick

    The scares begin at 7pm. Love The Empty Grave but haven’t made it out this year. Did get to Sinister Pointe finally. What a busy Halloween season.

  • shariki utundu

    Why it’s 7pm partner.

  • riclipse73

    7:00 pm!

  • ntz4bbl

    7pm! Hope to win!

  • DyNaH428

    it opens at 7pm!