During the haunt season, you have a cornucopia of places to visit to get your scare on. But while you’re visiting the theme parks and immersive shows, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you blew off the incredible home haunts that populate both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. One of the best out there is PIRATE’S CAVE, a family-friendly haunt that has been providing scares for 22 years. Not only that, but it’s a generational haunt; first started by David Larson in 1999 (where he just stood outside with a Phantom of the Opera mask and shovel to scare neighbors), now both he and his son, Jacob, put on one of the best shows every single year.

Run entirely by the Larson family, and made up of a dedicated team of Jacob’s friends (and sometimes their parents), PIRATE’S CAVE was something I first checked out three years ago and was blown away. The effects and scares were top notch, and the Larson’s dedication to the craft really stood out to me. Last year, they held a socially distanced “presentation” in their front yard due to COVID, but this year, they are back and better than ever! PIRATE’S CAVE: CURSE OF CALICO JACK is set to be a walk-through attraction that is three times the size of what they have done in the past. The team has been working hard over the last six months to prepare for it, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store!

Honestly, they had some fantastic scares in here over the years, so I am expecting them to continue that tradition. Though it is family friendly, they will also offer a “No Scare Candy Hunt” version of the haunt during their last two weekends of the event for younger kids, allowing them to tour the maze with the lights on and receive candy from 5-6PM before the scares begin. This is great way to bring younger kids into the haunt fold easily, so I highly recommend for any young haunter!

Also new for 2021 is their Express Queue! The line for PIRATE’S CAVE can get a little long, so if you want to skip it, you should check out their Express Queue option. More details bout it can be found on their site. While that option does cost money, general admission for PIRATE’S CAVE is free, and is made possible by donations from guests and their fantastic sponsors, Jeffrey Simons of Keller Williams Realty, and Pam Dunn of Mulberry Street Mortgage.

PIRATE’S CAVE: CURSE OF CALICO JACK is located at 2548 E Garfield Ave, Orange, 92867  and runs October 16-17, 22-24, and 29-31 from 6:30-10PM, but closing at 9PM on Sundays. A $4 donation per person is suggested but not required

Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic home haunt. Be sure to visit their website for more details! 

About the Author

Jeff Heimbuch writes. A lot. On a variety of things and in different mediums. He also created the fiction podcasts LIGHT HOUSE and RETURN HOME (of which you can find both on all podcasting platforms), loves all things horror, works in social media, and is probably writing something right now. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at @jeffheimbuch.
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