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
2022 Dates & Hours: Saturday & Sunday October 23 & 24 from 11am-5pm.
Heritage Square Museum has rebranded its Halloween & Mourning Tours as Outdoor Mourning Faire. Additional Halloween-themed events are scheduled in September & October.
- September 24, 7:30-10pm: Haunted Ghost Tours with a Presentation of Victorian 19th Century Cinema. Guests take a Haunted Ghost Tour of Heritage Square’s 19th Century buildings, learning about ghost sightings and tragedies and listening to ghost stories along the pathways. Then there is a show of late 19th century and early 20th cinema, mainly from special effects pioneer, George Melies, whose short films include A Trip to the Moon and The Haunted Castle.
- Sunday October 10 @7:30 pm: Spook-A-Nanny with Bob Baker Marionettes. Info & tickets available at www.bobbakermarionettetheater.com.
- Wednesday October 27-Sunday October 31 Cemetery Lane. Information here.
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 Articles
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Heritage Square Museum Halloween Photo Gallery