Gothic Hills Cemetery used to present an entertaining walk-through when located in North Hills. Since moving in 2017, the home haunt had been reduced to presenting a yard display at their new location, but the proprietors presented a very impressive maze at this year’s Midsummer Scream (seen at top) – a tour through a haunted crypt where hidden chambers were discovered, disturbing some restless spirits. Today, they sent out an email confirming what we all hoped: they will be reconfiguring their Midsummer maze to fit into their yard, which will be open for Halloween 2019.
The home haunt recently formed the Gothic Hills Foundation, a charitable non-profit, which will collect donations to benefit the local community. Gothic Hills Cemetery has also launched a fundraising campaign to cover expenses. You can learn how to contribute and get more information about the haunt at their website: gothichillscemetery.com.
Dates for Gothic Hills Cemetery are October 25-27, 30-31; November 1. Hours are 7-10pm except Halloween Night (6-11pm) and November 1 (6-10pm). Schedule is subject to change due to the weather. The address is 13796 Marchant Avenue in Sylmar.
Read their complete press release below…
LOS ANGELES, CA. Aug 30, 2019 – Gothic Hills Cemetery, a local free family “home haunt” returns to continue the spooky fun this Halloween after an exciting appearance at Midsummer Scream, the world’s largest Halloween convention.
In 2016, the small community haunted house in someone’s backyard had a queue line down the street with more than an hour wait time on average. “It was our first big year, and we were just getting started with the Fitzroy storyline. We weren’t expecting such a great response. It was exciting,” says Troy Yu, the creator and producer of the event. That response included a nomination for 2016’s “best home haunt” by Hollywood Gothique and an invitation to showcase the haunt at Midsummer Scream, the world’s largest Halloween and horror convention at the Long Beach Convention Center.
As they were beginning the initial planning to appear at the convention, the team was sidelined by an unexpected loss of the home they haunted. “The landlord where I was living did not renew our lease,” Troy explains. “We weren’t given any warning. When it expired, we had to hurry and find a new home fast. The urgency of moving meant we had to dispose of the haunt. It was devastating for me. I’d spent over a decade of working on this, and it was all gone in a weekend. I didn’t think I’d ever celebrate Halloween again.”
But after settling into their new home, the spirits are restless. Troy and Creative Director, Aaron Bolton, were invited back to the convention this year and created an exciting new experience from scratch for Midsummer Scream’s Hall of Shadows. And it was a hit. “It was the hardest we’d ever worked in our lives and it was a huge challenge. But, everyone seemed to love it. That’s all that matters to us.” Troy said. And now, they are ready to bring the cemetery back to life at their new location in Sylmar, CA. “We built the haunt for Midsummer Scream which had no space or shape restrictions. We’ve been working hard to fit that haunt into our small backyard and add more to it. It’s going to take a bit of magic.”
The Gothic Hills Foundation, their newly formed charitable non-profit, will use the event contribute to the community around them. “We’ve always collected donated supplies for local non-profit charities, but now we’re officially making that part of our mission,” Troy says. This year, the Gothic Hills Foundation is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society of Los Angeles to help end euthanasia in shelters. The Foundation is also collecting non-perishable food for the Necessities of Life program by APLA. In addition to supporting community charities and providing free family entertainment, part of the Foundation’s mission is to mentor area youth in production design.
Gothic Hills Cemetery is looking for help to get back on their feet. They’ve launched a fundraiser ( http://gothichills.com/fundnews ) to help raise money to cover the costs of restarting from scratch. Any donations go directly to rebuild and operate the haunted house. They’re also looking for volunteers to help build and operate the haunts. ( http://gothichills.com/volunteers ) “We need all the help we can get,” said Troy. “We’re being very ambitious, but we’ll pull it off. Somehow we always do.”