Halloween 2013 – October 28-29: What to do during the post-weekend lull

Hezby Cemetery in Valley Village
Hezby Cemetery in Valley Village

The final weekend of October has come to an end, leaving Los Angeles haunt chasers wondering what to do in the lull between now and Halloween Night. The major Halloween Theme Park Attractions and Halloween Haunted Houses and Hayrides are resting their spirits for a couple days; even the more elaborate Halloween Yard Haunts are sealing the gates on their walk-through attractions. Fortunately, most of them will reopen on October 30, but what can you do on October 28 and 29? The answer: home haunt displays.

You will find few monsters active over the course of the next couple evenings; however, many of the decorated yards have opened their tombstones for public viewing – and will keep them open for the remainder of the season. For your convenience, here is a list some worth checking out. Of course, there are many others – too many to list – but as you drive to these locations you may find yourself discovering a few unexpected Halloween tricks and treats.

Also, a handful of professional Halloween attractions will resume on October 29; those are listed toward the bottom.

AMATEUR YARD HAUNTS

Boney Island cauldrons

Boney Island

Location: 4602 Morse Avenue, Sherman Oaks, CA 91432

Dates: through October 31.

Hours: 6-9pm Sunday-Thursday

Website: Click here

Description: Boney Island Yard Haunt offers a great Halloween carnival atmosphere, with lighted fountains, talking skeletons, and other crazy stuff that the whole family will enjoy.

Hanover Hall

Hanover Hall 2013Location: 1016 Beechwood Street Camarillo, CA 93010

Dates: through October 31

Hours: 7-9pm.

Description: Now in its fourth season, this Camarillo yard haunt  promises to deliver the “same whimsy and atmosphere” that Halloween trick-or-treaters have come to expect, “with story scenes of how the house came to be haunted through its history, illustrated by the spirits and jack o’lantern’s within.” In the tradition of classic haunted house tales, Hanover Hall promises atmosphere instead of gore.There are no scare actors, just atmospheric displays of ghosts, goblins, and witches, contained within a small structure to create the enclosed “dark ride” feel of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

Hart Street Haunt

Location: 19521 Hart Street in Reseda

Dates: Although live monsters will haunt the yard only on Halloween night, the decorations are up from now until October 31

Hours: from dusk till the trick-or-treaters disappear.

Description: This yard haunt is situated in a Los Angeles neighborhood overflowing with Halloween spirit; many houses are decorated, and the sidewalks overflow with trick-or-treaters. The yard itself is loaded with mannequins of all shapes and sizes, many of them showing mechanical motions. There is no walk-through maze, but you do have to maneuver along a walkway between some fences to get to the front door for candy; the escape route takes you past a upright coffin that – surprise! – turns out to be occupied. As if that were not horror enough, a handful of monsters – a werewolf, Michael Myers, and others – lurk around the sidewalk, inflicting fear on unwary travelers.

Hezby Cemetery in Valley Village

The Hezby Cemetery

Location: 11922 Hesby Street, Valley Village, CA 91607

Dates: through October 31

Hours: dusk till 9:30pm on weekdays, perhaps later on Halloween Night

Description: This yard haunt offers a spooky graveyard with a massive gate, a mossy tree, and an impressive deluge of fog rolling down the street long before you reach the actual address. There are laser lights, a Grim Reaper, and a quartet of statues singing the “Grim Grinning Ghosts” song from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Local trick-or-treaters should check this one out; it’s fun and not too scary for the kids. We understand that there is a rival yard haunt around the corner, making this one a possible double-bill.

Hollywood Haunter: Grave Rock Gulch – Update: not open October 28-29

hollywood haunter 2013Location: 1547 Garden Street, Glendale 91201

Dates: through October 31 Just announced on their Facebook page:

“Grave Rock Gulch will be CLOSED TONIGHT and tomorrow [Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29]. We will keep you updated for Wednesday.”

Hours: Sundown until 10pm

Facebook Page: Click here

Description: There will be interactive activities for trick-or-treaters on Halloween Night only; until then, you can stop by and marvel at the impressive depiction of old Western mining ghost town. Facades include a Jail, a Spanish Mission, a Train Depot, a Saloon, a General Store, a Dentist-Barber Shop, an Undertaker, a Gold Mine, and a Water Tower. A hanged man twitches occasionally, and someone caught in a casket is kicking hi legs, trying to get out, but there is nothing here that should terrify the kiddies.

Full lighting and effects are apparently ready to go but not necessarily turned on every night (out of consideration for neighbors. Check their Facebook page to find out exactly what will be turned on the night you go.

Tombstones await your perusal within the Mourning Rose Cemetery.
Tombstones await your perusal within the Mourning Rose Cemetery.

Mourning Rose Manor

Location: 5250 Aurelia St., Simi Valley

Dates: October 1-31

Hours: from dusk till 11pm

Facebook page: click here

Description: Mourning Rose Manor offers a ghostly cemetery scene in its front yard, with numerous props and decorations, plus a handful of effects. Though not as as elaborate as some Halloween yard haunts, Mourning Rose Manor offers a certain ethereal beauty that makes it worth a visit. Just watch out for the giant spiders near the front door.

spider-lights at catalina

Spider-Lights

Location: 806 Catalina St, Burbank, CA 91505

Dates: through October 31

Hours: 6-10pm

DescriptionThe full display with lights and sounds will be available only on Halloween Night from 6-10pm, but you can view the decorations before then, if you happen to be in the area. This charming yard haunt is safe for even timid trick-or-treaters, with lights and decorations portraying the arachnid theme. But don’t worry: these spiders don’t bite!

Van Oaks Cemetery

Van Oaks Cemetery yard hauntLocation: 5822 Norwich Avenue, Sherman Oaks, CA 91411

Dates: through October 31

Hours: 7-11pm

Website: Click here

Description: Back for its third Halloween, this nifty little yard haunt features tombs, static skeletons, ominous music, atmospheric lighting, and a couple of nice effects, including a phantom figure that periodically passes through a front window – pretty impressive for an amateur effort.

The Van Oaks Cemetery eschews of crude shocks; you will see neither blood nor chainsaw, only atmosphere. It may be a little too low-key to warrant a trip all on its own, but if you happen to be in the area, it is worth stopping by for a brief visit. Full lighting and effects seemed to be in operation when we stopped by a few days ago: we spent several minutes watching the window with the phantom maid passing back and forth – sometimes reading a book, sometimes sushing us for intruding on her privacy, and sometimes blowing out a candle and de-materializing before our eyes.

Interested in even more Halloween Yard Haunts? Find them here.

PROFESSIONAL HALLOWEEN HAUNTS

The Purge: Fear the Night

Purge2013Location: Variety Arts Theatre, 940 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Remaining Dates: October 29-31; November 1-2.

Hours: There are eight “arrival times,” at 15-minute intervals. The first set run at 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, and 8pm; the second set at 10, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45pm.

Tickets: $39-45 when purchased in advance

Website: Click here

Description: Blumhouse Productions’ new event for Halloween 2012 got off to a stumbling start in September, but since then it found its footing to become one of the most exciting seasonal attractions available in Los Angeles. Although it has little to do with Halloween – and not much more to do with the film from which it takes its name – The Purge: Fear the Night is an exciting, interactive theatrical experience, in which you are taken hostage by anti-government forces eager to shut down The Purge (the annual night when all crime is legal).

Fear’s Gate

Fears Gate awesome skeeltonLocation: 816 North Ventura Road, 93030

Remaining Dates:  October 29-31; and November 1.

Hours: 7-10pm on weekdays; 7pm-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays

Tickets: $13 for one haunt, $20 for 2, $30 for 3, and $32 for three haunts with extra paintball ammo for the Mutant Militia haunt. The coffin ride is $5 for one person, $9 for two. There are discounts for military personnel with valid ID.

Website: Click here

Description: Oxnard’s annual Halloween haunt is now in its third year, since moving from Sherman Oaks, where it made its debut in 2010 as a big-tent, clown-themed walk-through named Forbidden Haunt. With its new name and current location, Fear’s Gate now offers three attractions: Deadtime Stories, Krazed Klowns, and Mutant Militia (the latter is an interactive paintball experience). There is also a double-wide coffin ride that is much macabre fun.

FrightFair ScreamPark & Halloween Harvest Festival

FrightFair Creatures of the Corn demon over entrance
The demonic guardian of the entrance to Creatures of the Corn

Location: Pierce College, 20800 Victory Boulevard, Woodland Hills, CA, Information: 818-999-4565

Remaining Dates: The day-time Harvest Festival runs through November 3; Fright Fair runs on October  29 through November 1-3.

Hours:

  • Harvest Festival: 10:00am to 10:00pm weekdays and Sunday; 10:00am-midnight Friday & Saturday.
  • FrightFair: dusk to 10PM on weekdays and Sunday; dusk to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets:

  • Daytime Harvest Festival ticket prices are $5 for admission onto the festival grounds; $10 for the daytime Corn Maze; $14 for a daytime Multi-Pass (including the corn maze, the hayride,and two activity tickets).
  • Night-time FrightFair ticket prices are $13 for Night Adventure Corn Maze; $13 for Factory of Nightmares haunted house; $13 for Creatures of the Corn haunted trial; $13 for Insane Reaction horror maze; $20 multi-pass for two haunts; $25 multi-pass for all three haunts. An additional $10 gets you a VIP pass upgrade to the multi-pass, allowing you to the front of the line for all the night-time frights.

Website: Click here

Description: FrightFair Screampark – longest-running independent Halloween horror show in Los Angeles – returns once more, along with the more family-friendly Halloween Harvest Festival – all in one convenient location! During the day, the Harvest Festival offers rides and activities for kids (carousel, petting zoo, pumpkin maze, etc). Most of these events require activity tickets, which can be purchased in booklets. The Harvest fest events continue into the evening, when Fright Fair opens the tombstone gates to inflict some real scares on the populace.

FrightFair has always impressed  Hollywood Gothique with the aggressive malevolence of the monsters hunting the attractions. The Factory of Nightmares haunted house has long been a favorite, and the Creatures of the Corn haunted trail is quite different from just about any other Halloween event in Los Angeles – a creepy outdoor trek through a cornfield, where the rustling you hear is not always from the wind.

Find more Los Angeles Haunted Houses and Hayrides  on this page.