Halloween 2015: Events opening the weekend of October 1

The Los Angeles Halloween season has seen major attractions unlocking their vaults one by one for the past few weeks, but with the arrival of October, an ectoplasmic explosion will blow the cemetery gates completely off the hinges, with more than a dozen events opening over the course of an unofficial four-day weekend, starting on Thursday, October 1.

As always, Hollywood Gothique advises you to attend early and often; waiting for later will lead only to regret and despair.

Note: All of the Halloween attractions listed in this article can be found here in our Events Calendar.

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LOS ANGELES HALLOWEEN EVENTS OPENING THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1

Click here to see these events in our Calendar.

Beyond Fest

Beyond Fest 2015The American Cinematheque launches this year's Beyond Fest with Brian Helgelend's Legend, a gangster film that seems a bit anomalous  among the series' cornucopia of horror and science fiction titles, including The Devils and Eraserhead, among many others. Also this weekend: There will be an in-person appearances by actor Bruce Campbell at a double bill of The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II on October 3 at 7:30pm. composer Fabio Frizzi will perform live music before a screening of Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond on October 4 at 7:30pm. And, extending into next week, there will be a double bill of The Invitation and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) on Monday, October 5 at 7:30pm.

Beyond Fest runs October 1 through 12 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Get the complete schedule at the official website.

Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo bearThe Los Angeles Zoo’s annual Halloween event for children offers such kid-safe treats as: jack-o-lantern carving demonstrations, photo opportunities, and crafts. Visitors are invited to view Creepy Creatures in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo, followed by a live Halloween show in the Adventure Theater. Children can also learn scary animal facts about the zoo’s animals.

This year, for the first time, Boo at the Zoo takes place every day in October, with extra activities on Saturday and Sunday. There will be trick-or-treating on October 24, 25 & 31. Zoo hours are 10am to 4pm.

All Halloween activities are included with the regular price of admission, which is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), and $15 children 2-12. Children under 2 get in free.

The official website is here.

Queen Mary Dark Harbor
Scary Mary
Scary Mary

The Queen Mary Dark Harbor returns to Long Beach for Halloween 2015. New attractions include the Lullaby maze  featuring Scary Mary and the Curse of Anubis Paintball Adventure. There are also Side Shows, an RIP Lounge (available with VIP Upgrade), Live Entertainment, Food & Cocktails, Rides, and other Attractions.

Dark Harbor runs for 21 nights in October, Thursdays through Sundays, plus Wednesday, October 28.

Tickets range from $20 for Happy Hour (discounted early admission) to $94 for VIP admission (including Fast Fright Pass and access to the RIP lounge above the Dark Harbor). General admission is $24; General Admission with Fast Fright Pass (shorter waiting in line) is $53. Fast Fright Passes are in a limited supply!

Get more information at the official website.

Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns

DDM Sugar Skull PR LOGORise of the Jack O’Lanterns returns to Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, with an opening weekend that runs from Thursday, October 1 through Sunday, October 4. The event continues on October 8-11, 15-18, 22-25, 29-31 & November 1.

Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns is as much an art exhibition as a tour, with over 5,000 Jack O’Lanterns arranged in themed installations over the course of a one-third mile trail, accompanied by original music. Expect to see a safari-full of larger-than-life animals, an auto show, movie and television stars, and a 50-foot dragon. The atmosphere is old-school Halloween fun, sometimes spooky but never scary. There are no mechanical pop-scares or costumed actors, just gorgeous sights and sounds.The walk is leisurely, requiring from 45 to 75 minutes, depending on how long you want to pause and gaze in wonder.

Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for children 3-12 or seniors over 65, and free for children 2 and under.  Tickets are valid for specific dates and times, with groups allowed in at fifteen-minute intervals from 5:15pm through 9:30pm. A limited number of tickets is sold for each night, to prevent over-crowding.

This year, there will also be a Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns installation at Santa Anita Park, starting next week.

The official website is here.

Vampirates

Vampirates, the Halloween version of Pirate's Dinner AdventureEvery day in October, the Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park transforms into Vampirates for Halloween! The combination restaurant-tourist-attraction-theme-park offers a four-course dinner and a frightening two-hour show filled with action-packed thrills.  There is a costume contest on weekends, open to all ages.

Reservations are required – at least five hours in advance, preferably 24 hours. Adult admission (over 12) is $59.95. Children 3 through 11 are $36.95, and infants 2 and under are free, when seated on the lap of a parent or guardian (must share a meal).

Performances are daily in October: Monday-Friday at 7:00pm; Saturday at 5:30pm and 8:30pm; Sunday at 3:30pm and 6:30pm; and October 31st at 5:00pm.

Check out the official website.

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LOS ANGELES HALLOWEEN EVENTS OPENING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2

Click here to view these events in our Calendar.

Castle Dark

Castle Dark 2014 copyThe normally family-friendly Castle Park transforms into Castle Dark on weekends in October. When the sun goes down, the terror arrives, courtesy of mazes, monsters, and revamped rides.

For Halloween 2015, there are three haunted mazes: Dominion of the Damned, Shiverton, and CarnEvil. Also, the Ghost Blasters ride is inhabited by zombies and ghosts.

Castle Dark takes place on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from October 2 through November 1 (except October 4). Hours are from 7pm to park closing time.

Advance tickets are only $8 – good for unlimited rides, miniature golf, and the Halloween attractions. Discount offer ends October 1.

The official website is here.

Creep Los Angeles

Creep Los AngelesThis new Halloween attraction offers a “fully immersive and interactive haunt experience…unlike any other.” Set in an abandoned downtown warehouse, Creep Los Angeles seems fairly divorced from the Halloween season, claiming to be inspired by the quote: “I’m not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted hotels. I’m afraid of what real human beings do to other real human beings.”

Tickets are sold in 30-minute windows. Visitors must arrive within a fifteen-minutes of their ticket time; groups of six enter together.

Dates are October 2-4, 9-11, 15-18, 23-25, 28-31. Hours are 7:30pm to 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays; Sunday and weekday hours are to be announced.

Tickets are $20 for pre-sale (before October 1); $25 online after October 1; and $30 at the door.

Explore more disturbing details at the official website.

The Empty Grave

Empty Grave Entrance copyThe Empty Grave Halloween attraction returns for its second year at its Laguna Hills location. Since its 2009 debut (in Anaheim), this haunted maze has grown and evolved into something quite colorful and entertaining.

Dates for Halloween 2015 are October 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 22-25, 29-31, November 1.

Hours are 7-10pm on Sundays and weekdays; 7pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are $13 for General Admission, $20 for VIP Quick Death Passes.

Visit the official website.

Field of Screams: The Haunted Stadium

Field of Screams Clown with TeethField of Screams returns to haunt the Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium in the Inland Empire, with five new mazes: Cannibal Island 3d; Holidays of Horror; House of Nightmares; Road Kill Cafe; and Alien Cyborg Invasion.

This year's dates are:  October 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 19 (haunter’s night), 22-25, 29-31. Hours are 7-10pm on Thursdays & Sundays; 7-11pm on Fridays & Saturdays.

Tickets are $15 on weekdays and Sundays, $20 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Learn more at the official website.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

los angeles haunted hayride boogeyman logoThe Los Angeles Haunted Hayride returns for another season of horrors in the Old Zoo at Griffith Park. For Halloween 2015, the annual haunt debuts a brand-new theme, The Boogeyman, based on the premise that a universal constant in cultures around the world is fear of a “dark presence” or a “mythical evil”that lies in wait until you drop your guard, wandering too far into the dark or simply closing your eyes to go to sleep, whereupon the demonic entity pounces.

The L.A. Haunted Hayride promises to revamp its entire presentation in keeping with the Boogeyman. The Hayride itself will be “all new from the ground up.” The In-Between Dark Maze will have a “new twist.” The House of the Horseman and the Seven Sins Sideshow from Halloween 2014 will be replaced with House of the Shadows and Trick or Treat. The Purgatory scare zone will be back as well, with its carnival of ghouls parading the midway, terrorizing haunt-goers on their way to other attractions.

Also back are Theatre Macabre, Death Row, Jack’s Carving Shack, the Scary-Go-Round, psychics, and live performances on stage.

Tickets start at $30 for the Hayride only. An all-access General Admission is $43. VIP tickets, with front-of-the-line privilege, are $59. A private wagon for up to 30 people is $1,395. There are Super Saver discounts for slow weeknights and group discounts for groups of 20 or more.

This Halloween’s Haunted Hayride is open weekends in October (Friday-Saturday-Sunday), plus a few weeknights later in the month. Dates are October 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30 & 31.

Hours of operation are 7pm to 10:30pm on Sundays and weeknights; 7pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Learn more at the official website.

Motel 6 Feet Under

Motel 6 Feet Under entrance twilightThis Orange County attraction launches a month’s worth of Halloween haunting with a preview weekend on Friday and Saturday, October 2 & 3, running 7-11pm on both nights. This is a new haunt to us, so we can only rely on the description: “Anaheim’s sunken treasure…Located across the freeway from Disneyland at the Anaheim Business Expo Center. It’s the final staycation!”

According to its website, Motel 6 Fee Under is a non-profit effort intended to “provide job training in the field of construction and theatrical arts for underserved adults,” including “court ordered volunteers” and “adults with criminal records.”

Motel 6 Feet Under continues on October 8-10, 16-18, 22-25, 29-31, and November 1. Showtimes are 7-10pm on weekdays and Sundays, 7-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are $7.50 for the preview weekend. Thereafter, prices are $15 for one ticket, $20 for two tickets, and $25 for a fast pass.

Get more information at the official website.

Old Town Music Haunt

Flying Serpent (1946) posterThe Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo launches their annual month-long series of old-fashioned horror films with The Flying Serpent, starring the delightfully villainous George Zucco as an archaeologist, who unearths an ancient winged creature, which he uses to kill his enemies. The film screens three times: Friday at 8:15pm, then Saturday at 2:30pm and 8:15pm.

Subsequent screenings include Paul Leni’s atmospheric silent version of The Cat and the Canary (1927) on October 9-11; the immensely wonderful Bride of Frankenstein (1935, starring Boris Karloff) on October 16-18;  Dracula (1931, with Bela Lugosi) on October 23-25; and The Phantom of the Opera, on October 30 & 31.

All shows begin with live performance on the in-house Wurlitzer pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a short comedy film.

The Old Town Music Hall's website is here.

Shriekfest

shriekfest posterShriekfest – the Los Angeles horror film festival and screenplay competition – returns for its 15th year. Expect lots of low-budget independent films, both short subjects and features, culminating in an awards presentation on Sunday night. Titles include 6:15 (a single-shot POV zombie flick), Chatter (which combines Department of Homeland Security with haunting), Clinger (a girl’s possessive boyfriend comes back from the grave), Interior (a filmmaker attempts to capture evidence of the supernatural), and Granny of the Dead (from the producer of Sharknado).

Shiekfest begins screenings on Friday, October 2 at 7pm, then wraps up on Sunday with its awards show, starting at 10pm.

Tickets are $140 for a Full Festival Pass, $75 for a Weekend Pass, and $10 for the opening night party.

Get the full schedule at the official website.

Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival
Alpha Takahashi with mask in “The Grove of Rashomon.” Photo by Daniel Kitayama
Alpha Takahashi in Wicked Lit's "The Grove of Rashomon.” Photo by Daniel Kitayama

The Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival returns for its seventh season of immersive entertainment, offering patrons an opportunity to enjoy adaptations of classic horror stories on the grounds of the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena. This year’s trilogy of terror consists of The Grove of Rashomon, The Ebony Frame, and The Fall of the House of Usher; plus, there will be a wraparound tale based on Poe’s “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether” (which, being set in an asylum literally being run by inmates, offers an excellent centerpiece for the evening’s entertainment).

All shows start at 7:30pm, but it is a good idea to arrive before then – the “atmosphere” begins early. The show runs approximately two hours and forty-five minutes.

Though vastly different from other Halloween haunts in Los Angeles, Wicked Lit stands among the very best. Learn more about this year's presentation at the official website for Unbound Productions.

Urban Death: Tour of Terror

Urban Death Tour of Terror at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre 101Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood unearths its annual haunted theatre attraction for another season of grimly gruesome thrills. Part walk-through haunt and part avant-garde theatre, Urban Death: Tour of Terror is a uniquely disturbing Halloween events in Los Angeles, not recommended for those under fifteen years old.

Performances take place at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm & midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, from October 2 through 31. Arrive fifteen minutes early for check-in; no late seating.

The official website is here.

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LOS ANGELES HALLOWEEN EVENTS OPENING SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3

Click here to view these events in our Calendar.

Knott's Spooky Farm

Knott's Spooky Farm_Trick or TreatKnott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park debuts its new daytime Halloween event, suitable for families with children too young for the scary night-time Knotts Scary Farm. Tailored for children from 3 to 11, Knott’s Spooky Farm is scheduled for weekends in October, beginning on the third and running through Halloween.

The event takes place during regular daytime hours, which are 10am to 5:30pm this month (to make room for the adult Halloween haunt during the evening). There is no additional charge for Knott’s Spooky Farm.

Knott’s Berry Farm previously featured Camp Spooky during daylight hours in October. The new event promises to expand throughout the park, encompassing not only Camp Spooky but also Ghost Town, Boardwalk, and Fiesta Village, offering live entertainment, activities, a costume contest, and more.

The Knott's Berry Farm website is here.

Reign of Terror

Reign of TerrorThe Reign of Terror Haunted House in Thousand Oaks opens for another Halloween’s haunting. Although it is a single walk-through haunt, Reign of Terror features several different sections: the Victorian Manor, Miner’s Revenge, The Asylum, Blood Manor, Quarantine, and (new for 2015) the Fun House.

2015 Dates are October 3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-25, 29-31. Hours are 7-10pm Fridays & weekdays, 7-11pm Saturdays; there are Family-Friendly “lights on” events 1-4pm on October 24 & 31.

Tickets are $17 for General Admission, $25 for Front of the Line Passes, and $5 for the Lights on Tour for Kids (Parents escorting children get in free).

Get more information at the official website.

This article has been edited to correct the opening night date of the Reign of Terror Haunted House.

Street Food Cinema Halloween Screenings

addams_family_ver2Street Food Cinema launches its month-long series of Halloween screenings with The Addams Family at the Marriott Golf Course in Manhattan Beach, with live music and food vendors. Doors open at 5:30; band plays at 6:30; film starts at 8pm. Subsequent screenings include a double bill of Back to the Future and Back to the Future II at Victory Park in Pasadena on October 17; A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) at Will Rogers State Part in Pacific Palisades and The Lost Boys (1987) at Westchester Park in Playa Vista, both on October 24; and Shaun of the Dead (2004) at Exposition Park in Los Angeles on Halloween Night.

There will be food vendors on sight and live music before the movies. Showtimes and ticket prices vary by location, so check out the Street Food Cinema website for more information, including the names of vendors and live musical acts.

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Find more October events listed in Hollywood Gothique's Events Calendar. Or check out our Halloween Haunts page for more Los Angeles haunted house attractions.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.

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