2014 Halloween Haunt Awards: Introduction

Haunted-castle-after-dark-crop

Eager to know the best Halloween Haunts in Los Angeles for the year 2014? Read on...if you dare!

It was the best of times. It was the worst of...

No, come to think of it, Halloween 2014 was, at least in terms of quality, the best of times, featuring a surfeit of imaginative and clever haunted houses, scary plays, cemetery tours, art exhibitions, and even concert music. To find a "worst" in all of this we would have to turn to the bitter disappointment over the absence of such long-running attractions as The Old Town Haunt Halloween Attraction (which retired in 2013) and The House of Restless Spirits (which was abruptly terminated less than two weeks before opening this Halloween).

For now, let us keep out eyes on the silver lining rather than the dark cloud - even though the metaphor seems somewhat the reverse of what one would associate with a season that celebrates stormy nights spent in haunted graveyards and old, dark houses. We are here to celebrate the best Halloween attractions in Los Angeles and the surrounding Southland by handing out (figuratively) Hollywood Gothique's annual Halloween Haunt Awards.

Before starting, let us point out that we have expanded the categories from the 2013 Halloween Haunt Awards, in order to better represent the variety of entertainment on view; however, we have tried to avoid simply creating new categories for the sake of squeezing in as many winners as possible. Also, although we have tried to avoid overlap between categories, there are some events that show up under multiple headings; this has not been done to insure that all our favorites win something, but rather to achievement in different areas.

A note about the rules for qualification: In order to prevent the same attractions from winning in the same category year after year, we are disqualifying previously winners that have remained essentially unchanged. However, these haunts can compete in other categories, and they can re-qualify in their previous categories if their presentations are different enough to warrant consideration based on their new additions, not just their hold-overs.

Lastly, as much as we tried, we could not visit each and every attraction open this October, so several worthy contenders will not be among the candidates here. In particular, Torrance, Orange County, and Riverside were outside our reach this season, so we extend our apologies to The Haunted Shack, Revenge of the Ninja, Sinister Pointe, The Empty Grave, Perdition Home, The Mystic Motel, Field of Screams, and the Crossroads Haunted Village. All of you are on our priority list for next Halloween.

And now, let us proceed. Because our wordy prose tends to run to great length, we are breaking this year's awards up into a series of articles on nominees and winners, which will post in installments over the course of the next couple days (we have to sleep some time). After the last winner has been announced, we will collate all the information into one mega-post.

Call of Cthulhu final performances this weekend