Simply Spooky: This San Diego Family’s Halloween Home May ‘Haunt’ Your Dreams


SAN DIEGO – Knock on the door and say your prayers. We challenge you.

What started as a decorated tent ten years ago in Mira Mesa has grown into a spooky, must-see attraction on Halloween night. Known as the Salem Haunts, the staff at this free haunted house set up by the DeTeresa family are ready to give shivers down the spines of anyone who comes knocking on the door.

Take the Butcher’s Room, for example, where daring trick-or-treaters must navigate a series of bloody knives, hooks, and severed appendages. If they succeed, a bounty of candy awaits them.

Year after year, creating a night of fun and fear is its own fun, said co-founder Ethel DeTeresa.

“I know the other houses here have awesome exhibits,” she said. “I am not discrediting this. But you actually have to survive the maze to get the candies in my house.

The attraction on New Salem Circle continues to expand its spooky footprint year after year.

“It started with a tent,” said Richard DeTeresa. “Then the next year, it was like, ‘Let’s make a second tent. Hey, let’s make a fourth. And we asked our friends to say,’ I want to make a tent. ‘It’s kind of like. become that.

A few years ago, Ethel started telling everyone, “We have to reach 10 (years)”.

“I don’t care if we stop doing it after 10 am,” she said. “I really, really wanted to hit 10.”

They firmly cross the 10-year mark this weekend with a front yard transformed into a full-scale haunted house. In fact, it’s bigger than ever this year after the pandemic saw decorations cut back last year. It was disappointing, Ethel said, but a lot of excitement awaits us for the weekend ahead.

Without revealing any secrets, Richard said Salem Haunts will feature a butcher this year who will “cut up bodies” along with a few other little scares for visitors along the way.

“It’s a bloody way to end the haunting,” he said.

If you are going to

  • What: Salem haunts Mira Mesa
  • Or: 10908 New Salem Circle in San Diego;
  • When: Sunday October 31 from sunset;
  • Contact:

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