17 Doors of Pure Terror

  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Cost: $$$
  • Sets:
  • Acting:
  • Theme:
  • Scare Factor:

Written by: The Bat

17 Doors of Pure Terror

Before we get started I wanted to point out, this has extras you can get and I have to admit they are totally worth it! That’s why the cost is flagged as “$$$”.

We pull into the parking lot of the 17th Door to see people with stun batons loading small groups into large white unmarked vans, tall fences lined with barbed wire, and an extensive list of fears you will face when you enter.

17th Door Entrance

I had signed us up for the full package tonight, with the added Field Trip and VR experience. What did I get us into?

The Dragon Signing her Soul Away

Dragon: What do you mean I’m supposed to still have a soul to sign away!?

After filling out waivers to sign our lives away (in pen, not blood) it was our turn to be grouped together with 6 strangers and shoved into the van for our “field trip.”

Dragon: I loved how when I smarted off to one of the guards about being stunned isn’t really a threat to get me to hurry. His response was “so you’re the one I don’t stun, that’ll be your punishment.” I stomped off to sulk in the van.

No spoilers, but I will tell you there was an awesome furry party, followed by a harrowing drug deal orchestrated by clowns. Lots of running, and we even got some air in that big white van!

After we made it back to the site, mostly in one piece, we got to rest a bit while some rather blue nurses prepared our VR experience. It was a fun, moving, and shocking 15 minutes, and that is all I will tell you about that.

Close up of 17th Door nurses

Dragon: Dang it for not living locally… I’d totally want to be a nurse, especially after we went through the VR experience they were definitely a fun character to play.

Then we are unhooked and thrown into the frenetic halls of Perpetuum Penitentiary, the actual 17th Door Haunt. I won’t spoil any of it except to say to be prepared, all of the scare warnings… are true.


The creators are very thorough, but also do not apologize when they have to stay functional to the scare. They used pacing and mind games to keep you from asking why certain elements, like ping pong balls, belong in prison. These designers do not scrimp on the props and sound effects. They use gags necessary to terrify guests in any way they need to. They are completely open to the fact that every bit exists for that purpose alone.


They kept to the torture-filled, messed-up jail theme most of the time. The sadistic warden showed that he thought the rules did not apply to him. Paula fights back, bringing cheers from the group. Some scenes, especially in the field trip, stretch the bounds of credulity a bit. But you are either having so much fun or are too busy running to notice it at the time. All in all, everything fits well and even throws in a bit of the current Covid situation to switch up the storyline for the year.


This was one of the places that this haunt really shone. You could tell that the actors were well trained in their parts and the storyline. They were also encouraged to ad-lib to show the guests a personal experience. Passing information from room to room made the guests feel eyes on them the entire time. Actors were scripted to be rude or brash to a point. They could even answer back when guests (like the Dragon) stepped up and joked back with them. All in all, they did a wonderful job giving every guest the fear experience they deserved.

Scare Factor:

Definitely high here. They use subtle psychological tricks to make you feel like you can’t trust anyone. This even includes your own group, as they are encouraged to torture you as well as the experience goes on. Nothing is as it seems here, and you never know entirely what to expect. It is even a bit unclear as to the limit the scares will go, which takes the terror to a whole different level. This haunt got some genuine screams from me and almost made me panic at one point, and that is saying a lot.

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