Halloween History in a Living Musuem
Hollywood Gothique Says:
Heritage Square Museum does a wonderful job of exploiting the October season for history rather than horror. Its non-scary event takes visitors into the past, with recreations of Victorian funerals and seances and well-informed character-guides eager to explain the customs surrounding death and dying.
Heritage Square Museum
3800 Homer Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031
2023 Dates & Hours: October 15, 11am – 5pm.
Heritage Square Museum has rebranded its Halloween & Mourning Tours as Victorian Mourning Faire. Additional Halloween-themed events are scheduled in October:
- Saturday October 7: Edgar Allen Poe Storytelling Event
- Friday October 13: Ghost Tours
For the Christmas season, there will be two performances of Victorian Ghost Stories on December 2 and 9.
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Heritage Square Museum Halloween History
For many years, Heritage Square Museum invited visitor to attend their annual Halloween & Mourning Tours, usually presented on the final weekend of October. Guests explored the museum’s Victorian-era houses, where they found themselves immersed in the traditions of death and mourning as they were practiced 100 years ago, explained by costumed characters.
The Halloween & Mourning Tours were a living history program that put guests in the middle of a superstitious Victorian-era where death was never far behind. There were opportunities to witness a funeral procession, visit a fortune teller, learn about mourning attire, and even participate in a seance!
Heritage Square Museum also offered an annual Halloween and Mourning Movie Night in October, screening a classic horror film outdoors, and for a time, Heritage Square Museum hosted Safe Haven Trick-or-Treating on Halloween evening. Eventually this latter event was phased out in favor of presenting a more kid-friendly version of the Halloween and Mourning Tours on Sunday, when children from 2 to 12 could play period games, make 19th century harvest crafts, trick or treat, and listen to scary tales.
During the 2020 pandemic, Heritage Square Museum presented Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning, which was a scaled-down, outdoor version of its Halloween & Mourning Tour. 2021 resurrected the event, this time called Oh, What a Beautiful Mourning…Cults in Los Angeles. For 2022, the title was changed to Outdoor Mourning Faire.
Heritage Square Museum continues to host third-party events with spooky or supernatural themes, sometimes during Halloween and sometimes off-season. Notable examples include Cemetery Lane Trick or Treating, Heritage Scare, The Assassination of Edgar Allan Poe, and Witch!
Heritage Square is a year-round living history museum, focusing on Los Angeles during its first 100 years. Tours of the eight historic structures preserved at the location are given regularly throughout the year.
Heritage Square Museum Halloween Photo Gallery