haunted car wash photo

The Tunnel of Terror: Haunted Car Wash experience, located in Anaheim and Fontana, provides a creepy ride throughout the wash with scary performers and special effects. (Timothy Foster / Daily Titan)

If your car is starting to look a little scary, this haunting car wash is for you 

Tunnel of Terror’s OC Haunted Car Wash, located at the Big Wave Express Car Wash in  Anaheim, features killer clowns, monsters and ghouls terrorizing your vehicle as you drive through the car wash. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Long Vo and Veronica Young came up with the idea of a haunted car wash because they loved attending Halloween events like Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. While theme parks like Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland shut down, they started the carwash to keep the Halloween spirit alive.

This first location opened in October 2020 and was a major success. People from all over Southern California came out for the hype: the line extended for blocks and sold-out dates made it difficult to book a reservation. Since opening, Tunnel of Terror has opened a second location in Fontana.

“I was so excited for the whole thing just to operate, to just go because we have been preparing it for so long,” said Peaches Lechuga, one of the coordinators for ticketing, production and scare actors. “I am excited because it’s affordable. You can bring everybody and your momma to this event and shoot them into the car, as much as you can fit”.

As you pull into the car wash, scary clowns, monsters and even Micheal Myers are waiting to greet you. Be warned: if you leave your doors unlocked, you might have an unexpected friend open your door and accompany you through the ride. Some clowns may go as far as beeping your horn or holding a chainsaw, ready to cut open your door. 

Although this attraction is shorter than a haunted maze and the scares are limited compared to a full-scale haunted house, you still experience the same spine-chilling frights. You can even tune in to an exclusive radio station which plays eerie music to immerse you in the car wash. The lighting and fog sets the tone as it blurs your vision, making it harder to watch out for hiding clowns to scare you. 

For those who are frightened easily, do not go alone. It’s best to experience this with friends and family, or even for a fun first date.

“I do see the tradition of people and families coming more often yearly,” Lechuga said. “I believe Long just really wanted something more affordable for people to experience it with their families, and also for people who can’t experience things in the theme parks and who can’t physically get out of the car.” 

Tunnel of Terror is the perfect attraction for those who want to join in on the Halloween fun without overspending. Tickets are available at tunnelofterroroc.com and range from $30 to $50 per car. The event runs through Oct. 30 and opens from 6  to 10 p.m. 

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