If it sometimes seems that front page updates have slowed to the pace of a crawling corpse laboriously dragging itself out of the grave, rest assured that we are updating Hollywood Gothique - it's just that often we are updating our permanent lists of the various Halloween Haunts in Los Angeles: Halloween Theme Park Attractions; Halloween Haunted Houses & Hayrides; Halloween Yard Haunts; etc. As we gather information on what Los Angeles fright fans can expect this October, we encounter good news and bad: many Los Angeles Halloween events will return from the grave this year; others, we fear, have settled into limbo if not oblivion, perhaps never to return.
First, the bad news about two haunts that may be finding a permanent resting place in our Graveyard of Lost Halloween Haunts, and another whose fate this year remains to be seen:
Nightmare: A Haunted Attraction at Fairplex (formerly known as Nightmare at Scareview Farms) will not be back at the Pomona Fairplex this Halloween; instead, the Los Angeles County fairgrounds will host a month-long Oktoberfest celebration. The Fairplex explains that they like to vary their programming from year to year. They may resurrect the Nightmare event in the future, but no promises.
Also locked in the crypt for 2012 is the Tustin Haunt, a home haunt in, appropriately enough, Tustin. After several years of fairly elaborate haunting, including a western ghost town theme in 2008, Tustin Haunt was reduced to a mere yard display in 2009, when the proprietor and some of his crew got a professional gig helping out with Sinister Pointe. The haunt went dark last year when its former location become unavailable and will probably not return in the future. Sadly, we never made the drive out to Orange County for this Halloween attraction. Not to worry, some of the folks involved are now helping out at The Empty Grave in Anaheim this year.
In limbo awaiting a decision is the Outdoor Cinema Food Fest, which offered Halloween screenings of THE SHINING and ZOMBIELAND in downtown Los Angeles back in 2010 - and then disappeared off our radar. It seems the company changed its name to Street Food Cinema. They may or may not offer a Halloween screening this year, but we hope they do. The prospect of an outdoor food festival, combined with a scary movie viewed by an audience sitting on grass beneath an open sky, seems perfectly in tune with the Halloween
Now for a little good news:
The Haunted Garage - an amateur Halloween attraction in the Long Beach district of Los Angeles - had seemed on the verge of dissipating into the ether when it went dark last year, due to the lack of a suitable location, and we feared we might have to bury it this year in the Graveyard of Lost Halloween Haunts. Instead, the proprietor gives a resounding yes! when asked about reopening his gruesome garage in 2012. No details yet, but in the past, Haunted Garage was open usually on Halloween Night only. We never got to see it, but it sounded interesting, offering a different them each season, such as Dr. Uphir's Sanitarium in 2008.
Also back for return engagements in 2012, two excellent yard haunts: The Haunted Shack in Torrance, a southern area of Los Angeles, and the Eternal Rest Cemetery in Venice (L.A., not Italy). No details yet, but expect both to be open at least on Halloween night; Eternal Rest Cemetery will probably be open one other night. You can get more information on our page devoted to Halloween Yard Haunts in Los Angeles.
UPDATE: Almost forgot to mention that Heritage Square Museum will offer another annual installment of their Halloween and Mourning Tours, on the weekend of October 27 and 28. The tours are not scary, but they do offer a fascinating look back at the customs of yesteryear as they relate to death and/or the Halloween season.