Review of Cursi House of Screams Haunted Attraction

Review of Cursi House of Screams Haunted Attraction

Review of Cursi House of Screams Haunted Attraction

Cursi House of Screams

Cursi House of Screams is a Haunted Attraction located in Concord, CA.

5625 Lewis Way, Concord, CA 94521
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Free Parking, Handicap Accessible, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team In-Corpse-A-Rated reviewed this attraction on October 31, 2016.

Final Score: 7.31


In the Bay Area suburb of Concord, there is a family who has been keeping the Halloween spirit alive for 16 years by converting their private residence into a home haunt. Cursi House of Screams is an institution for this local neighborhood as a line of people gather for Kyle Cursi and his wife’s 2016 show. As I entered the property, I saw a waiting room where Mrs. Cursi organized the guests as to where to sit and who gets to get in line to enter the haunt. Kyle was kind of enough to step out of the haunt and answer a few questions, but he had to go back in because he was one of the actors. The haunt itself, is family friendly and quite nostalgic. Cursi House of Screams is an insane asylum haunt, where Dr. Satan welcomes his guests to be operated on in his surgery room and then then you can take a look at what else lurks in the house. There is a black room with fluorescent polka dots where an actor is camouflaged in a spandex outfit with the exact same color pattern lunging at guests (this is an old gag I haven’t seen in 10+ years). Then, guests walk through a short maze made of pallets stacked on their sides to a jail with an inmate. From there, guests exit along the side of the house back to the outside. It’s a short but sweet trip.

Cast: 7.5

A hospital nurse welcomed me in and gave the rules of entering the haunt. Upon entering, there was an actress in a bathtub behind a bloody shower curtain who happened to know my name (I wonder who told her)? Next was the surgery room where Kyle played Dr. Satan… a campy and fun character who offered his services for tooth, arm, leg and brain extractions. When I made a comment, Dr. Satan had a quick answer. There was a nurse assistant in the room, but he didn’t say or do anything. The actor in the polka dot room, however, did a fantastic job. I’ve seen this bit before and I knew someone was blending in with the wall, but I couldn’t find them. Just when I had a moment of doubt and thought there wasn’t anyone there, the actor startled me. Well played, indeed! I noticed someone staring at me in the jail; I expected that person to lunge at me, but he didn’t move. Honestly, I was disappointed with that; at least try to scare me, please. The inmate behind the jail cell looked at me and then quickly shook the jail bars. From there was the exit way out of the haunt.

Costuming: 7.75

The actors’ wardrobe was good for a home haunt. The nurse and Dr. Satan had appropriate medical clothing and Kyle wore a monster mask while portraying his character. The actor in the polka dot room blended in with his surrounding perfectly; better, in fact, than several professional haunts that have done this in the past. The inmate in the jail cell had appropriate prisoner attire and decent ghoul make-up.

Customer Service: 7.5

Cursi House of Screams is safe and wheelchair friendly. I wasn’t aware of seeing any emergency exits, but they usually aren’t required of “home haunts.” There were no signs or billboards outside of the house. After my GPS led me to the street, I had to ask a neighbor which house it was. The main staff members were Mr. and Mrs. Cursi and they were very friendly and willing to answer questions. Mrs. Cursi handled the crowd like a pro as she had guests sit down in the waiting area and then direct them to the entry of the haunt. Outside, on the driveway, was a porta-potty for guests. No concessions or souvenirs available.

Atmosphere: 6.75

Outside of the house, the only things that called attention to the location being a haunted house was a red porch light and an inflatable Halloween graveyard archway that was bought at a department store. Inside the archway was the garage converted into a hospital waiting room. Mrs. Cursi had every guest who entered the archway sit in a waiting chair like the ones you see in a hospital. There was a large mural of a hospital hallway that looked very cool. The mural showed decaying walls and old-fashioned hospital beds. This piece of art was helpful at establishing the theme.

Special Effects: 7

There was no music or sound effects. Nothing about lighting really stood out. The bathtub room looked scary with the blood on the shower curtain, but the surgery room had a more campy and playful look. There was a dentist chair with operating tools and body parts, but the room wasn’t gory by any means. The polka dot room was set up very well; better, in fact, than some of the professional haunts who used this gag years ago. There were haunts I’ve paid for where you could see that actor against the wall before they made the lunge. Kudos to Cursi for doing this right! The pallets turned on their sides for a maze effect was another tactic I haven’t seen in awhile. The jail set was OK, but not very realistic. When I exited the jail and walked along the side of the house, there was a façade of a stone wall with jail bars.

Theme: 7

The theme of Cursi House of Screams is an asylum haunt. For the most part, Cursi sticks with the theme except for the polka dot room. Asylums are a common theme for haunted house and, for the experienced haunt attendee, there’s nothing new here.

Fright Effect: 7.25

There was really only one scare in the haunt: the polka dot room. That actor knew how to hide and lunged at the perfect time. The girl in the bathtub cackled and called out my name and Dr. Satan was humorous, but neither were particularly scary. The inmate in the jail room tried to generate a scare by shaking the jail bars, but the timing was pretty off. I was hoping for an actor or something to make a final scare at the stone façade, but there was none.

Value: 7.75

Cursi House of Screams took about 5 minutes to walk through, but (with free admission) you can’t complain. I would have liked to have seen something more – perhaps along the side of the house – and see something more in the front of the house that would call attention to there being a haunted house here. With 16 years experience of haunting, I can’t argue with Kyle Cursi’s place as a local institution. The effects were old, but the audience was young. After I exited the haunt, the line to get in just grew longer and longer. It’s obvious that Cursi House of Screams is very meaningful to the neighborhood.

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 0 out of 10

Sarah – 10/10
Challenge Accepted was awesome! Me and my boyfriend were looking for escape rooms in our area, and …show more as poor college students, price was a big factor. Despite being only two small locations in the mall, they have multiple rooms, at 20, 40, and 60 minutes long, with the 20-minute rooms being only $10 each! We’ve been back multiple times, and loved every one! Staff is very helpful and enthusiastic about their job, and is thrilled to explain all the little secrets after you escape. Will be back every time they make a new room!

Norma – 4/10
We visited this attraction on the last night of their 2018 season I believe. We did show up late …show more (about 20 minutes before they closed) and it was dead in the waiting line. Regardless, every group that was in the haunt somehow ended catching up to one another. We walked as slow as we could knowing there wasn’t anyone behind us but we still couldn’t stay away from the group in front of us. They had one teenage female that was petrified of everything so all the monsters kept taking advantage of it, cornering her every chance they got. They also followed her through multiple scenes that weren’t theirs while our group tried to stay behind some and there were no entertainers around because they were all following her. When they would stop and turn around to go back to their base spots (if they even have them there), some of them just walked passed us without any effort towards scaring us. It was a disaster. This chic’s name was Lauren and by the time we got to the exit of this thing, we were relieved that we didn’t have to hear her name called out over and over and over anymore. She had to of been extremely annoyed by it herself. It took all of the fun out of it. Actors even stopped us in some of the maze portions so the other monsters could entertain their group for quite some time and they would just be staring off into outer space. The only way we knew they could talk is because they said Lauren’s name already. Besides that, costuming was mostly store-bought quality. Nothing different to look at here. Scenes were the same. Some looked as if they had been built out there in the woods for years and they’ve sat through the seasons and no one’s ever gone back to touch them up. Parts of the maze where there’s a lot of plastic and wood seem to possibly be a danger. We didn’t see any actors for quite some time in them bc they were following Lauren and if someone ignited one of these things, I’m afraid it would have taken us a long time to find the exit. Some spaces were very tight for us, if those were to fill with smoke where there are roofs, I don’t think that would be good at all. At one point, we didn’t know where to go at all so we weaved through these pipe-like things and found a hole and we started walking on this really dark path into the woods. There were props and things out there but 0 lights. Come to find out, it looked like a previously closed portion of the trail because when we got to the end of it, there was no way to get back into the maze. We had to crawl under caution tape to get back in. That right there tells you that no actors were paying any attention to our group. We paid full price for our tickets that night and we honestly should have just passed this place up. We’ve been here before too and it wasn’t that bad. The highlights of the trip were the gentleman that introduced us to the park and gave us the rules before we went in. There was also one clown (Pickles, maybe
?) that actually put effort into scaring us but he was mostly one of the only ones. In one of the mazes there was a chainsaw assailant behind a door and we could hear the saw and see him through the crack of the door but we couldn’t get in. When that door finally opened, holy shit! That was the best scare in there for sure! Also, there are places where you will need to duck down, tight corridors as mentioned above, uneven terrain, and a lot of walking (especially if you’re bad at mazes) so be prepared for that.

Norma – 6/10
Maybe we just went on a bad night but we weren’t very impressed with this haunt. We had heard many …show more good things about it and we ended up with a free Saturday night so we gave it a shot. We showed up at probably 9:30 at night. Waited in line maybe 15-20 minutes so that wasn’t bad. We really didn’t have problems with spacing inside the haunt except for a few times but we were able to slow down and it helped when there wasn’t anyone behind us. I will say, there were a lot of unique things in the haunt portion. One interactive set was very different and unnerving. Some of the characters were really into their roles while others were bland. One was sitting on top of a washing machine and he jumped down and we were thinking, “Oh shit” but he didn’t do anything, he just jumped at us a little and said, “What?” In the outdoor portion of the haunt it was a bit too dark to see the characters, especially the Creeper. Our favorite part was the alligator! They know how to utilize this now, commonly-seen prop to the fullest for sure! If you are likely to pee your pants, you just might lose it on that one! I would give the house itself a 7 out of 10. Now we were under the impression that the corn field was haunted too. Although it was a good maze, there were three scareactors in it and they were terrible. No lights, sounds, sets, nothing but mud and corn and the dark. At first it was creepy but after we walked and walked and nothing happened, we were aggravated and ready to find our cars. The last actor that we came across could have hidden well since they were in all black but they didn’t, they stood in the middle of the trail acting like they couldn’t see, whispering to us as we walked asking us if we were customers. Wow. Don’t upgrade to the corn if you’re expecting a fright in there, it won’t happen.

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