The Way of the Shadow Martial Arts Academy
18727 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance CA 90504
2018 Dates: ON HIATUS. A message on the official website states:
"The ninjas are at rest in 2018... but they will be back with a vengeance!"
Hours: The maze is open 7-10pm; the festival runs 6-10pm.
Admission: Block Party is free; suggested donation for the walk-through maze is $5 (and a bargain at the price).
Every year, the Way of the Shadow Martial Arts Academy presents Revenge of the Ninja, a themed maze for three evenings, with a block party on Halloween night, featuring a snack shack, carnival style games, prizes, drawings, and more. What truly distinguishes this Halloween event from others in Los Angeles is the community atmosphere, which provides an invitingly convivial opportunity for neighborhood families to hang out, even after braving the terrors of the ghostly ninja assassins.
The walk-through maze features a labyrinth of corridors inside the martial arts academy. The sets are mostly simple walls, but there are appropriately Asian touches like gongs and bamboo, and the ninja theme adds its own special flavor, unlike any other haunt in Los Angeles. The back story is that every October 31 the martial arts academy is haunted by spirits of Ninja slaughtered in a sneak attack, who rise from the dead to take revenge against unworthy trespassers. Thus the corridors are filled with black-clad masked assassins popping out from every corner. There are also some effectively frightening gore, including one unfortunate victim who appears to have a leg sawed off on a table. Even more amazing is scene of a live actor, vomiting blood, who appears to be a torso impaled on a bamboo pole – a truly great shock effect.
Parking: Free Street Parking nearby (though not on Crewnshaw itself, which is blocked off for the party).
Other Info: All ages are welcome, but the maze is not recommended for children under 10. Costumes are allowed.
Location: This Community Halloween Haunt is situated on a side street that runs parallel to a major boulevard (also named Crenshaw), separated only by a thin strip of concrete. The mini-version of Crenshaw Boulevard is cut off from automobile traffic during the event, creating a wonderful block party atmosphere, with costumed kids and parents wandering down the street, where they can play games like pumpkin bowling and ring toss, grab food from a snack shack, and compete for prizes, drawings.