Monsterland joins the East Valley fright club

Breanna Wynn, one of the owners of Monsterland in downtown Mesa, shown Monday, September 26, 2011 which is opening early in October. [Tim Hacker/Tribune]

Downtown Mesa is kind of a scary place to begin with. I should know — I worked there for more than 12 years, until the Tribune moved its main office to Tempe. And in that time I faced my fair share of cobwebs, creatures and strange noises.

But just when we left was when it decided to get truly interesting: Evermore Nevermore, which shook up Main Street when it opened two years ago, really got the ball rolling again, but it was recently joined by HeatSync Labs, The Royale grindhouse cinema and, soon, the Tucson export and vinyl destination Lulubell Toy Bodega. (Forgive me if I’ve left something out — there’s just a lot of cool stuff going on downtown these days.)

And now there’s Monsterland, the sci-fi and horror movie prop museum that has its grand opening 6 p.m. to midnight today at 18 W. Main St. Admission today is just $2, part of which benefits A New Leaf. (You can get more information on regular hours and pricing at Monsterland’s Facebook page.)

During Halloweentime this year, the attraction will be a high-tech haunted house with dozens of custom animatronic figures and set pieces, but come early next year it will be a true museum devoted to cinematic spine-tinglers.

Monsterland joins, and adds to, a rich tradition of Valley Halloween-themed setups that include haunted ghost towns, carnivorous cornfields and other forms of spooky fun that also include north Phoenix’s recently opened 13th Floor and Zombieland attractions.

There’s never been a better time to face your fears.

Photo by Tim Hacker, East Valley Tribune

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