Gary Corb, creator of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds, has passed through the Eternal Portal to the Great Halloween Haunt in the Sky. The announcement of his death was made via his husband, Gary Stuart, who posted on Facebook:
It is with great sadness I have to announce that my best friend, husband Gary Corb died of a sudden heart attack on Mount Roberts in Juneau, Alaska. I am in total shock that my baby is gone from me and this Earth in a split second. Unbelievable! I adore this man dead or alive still. We were just getting started…now this!
The Hallowed Haunting Grounds set the standard for amateur Halloween attractions in Los Angeles, inspiring everything from The Haunt with No Name Yet to The House at Haunted Hill. Ethereal and eerie, Corb’s Studio City yard haunt eschewed gore and violence in favor of old-fashioned depictions of the paranormal, realized with technical wizardly and impressive artistic vision. In existence since 1973, the haunt grew bigger and better every year, manifesting every Halloween Night, until Corb shuttered the cemetery gates after 2005, so that he could focus on “real work” – the elaborate haunt (free except for voluntary donations) had become a year-round, full-time gig, non-paying gig, thanks to the amount of planning and building that went into it. Since then, Corb and his team of haunters (which included Tim Doggett and Nathan Hamilton) were received like visiting royalty when they appeared at other Los Angeles Halloween Haunts.
The influence of the Hallowed Haunting Grounds is impossible to overstate. It was perhaps the first Los Angeles yard haunt to present what had to be considered a true creative vision; more than just a decorated yard, it was a piece of genuine art, as impressive as any professional haunt. Its closing left a void in the local Halloween landscape. Corb’s passing leaves an even bigger void among those who knew him personally and among the many fans who knew him only through the amazing bag of tricks-and-treats he gave freely to everyone who made the pilgrimage to his amazing haunt. Farewell…