One odd aspect of Halloween 2018, with October 31 falling in the middle of the week, is the number of home haunts that operated on the weekend of the 26th through the 28th but not on Halloween Night. Besides Beware the Dark Realm, which we visited on Saturday, we trekked through two scary Glendale yard haunts on Sunday, The Farm and the Opechee Haunt, neither of which, unfortunately, is scaring tonight.
Glendale 2018 Yard Haunts: The Farm Haunt
1252 Norton Avenue, Glendale
The Farm Haunt was much expanded from the last time we visited, two years ago. The yard display was loaded with Jack O'Lanterns, a skeletal horse, and skeletons wearing cowboy hats (including a talking one in an outhouse). The low-tech props (befitting the theme) were enhanced with some nice visual effects (a lovely lady in a portrait transforming into a frightful visage).
The walk-through portion featured a farm girl with a creepy baby, an angry tot with an ax, and an even angrier farmer spewing amusing vitriol. One scene stretched the theme, with a mad scientist performing a two-headed transplant. Not the kind of thing one expects inside a farm but a good bit nonetheless.
Although The Farm will not be haunting tonight, the yard display will be up, and candy will be handed out to trick-or-treaters.
Glendale 2018 Yard Haunts: The Opechee Haunt
1307 Opechee Way, Glendale
This Halloween, the Opechee Haunt offered a walk-through inspired by the cult film Donnie Darko. The theme had been previewed at MidSummer Scream, but what was on display Sunday night was almost totally different in terms of size and scope. The intensity of the experience was enhanced by sending visitors through one at a time at regular intervals, so that each individual would confront every horror alone.
Advance word from others who had seen the haunt was uniformly positive, but our experience was slightly disappointing. After a long pause when we arrived, due to technical difficulties, the timing seemed off when we finally entered. We found ourselves occasionally entering a room and waiting for something to happen - a wait that dissipated rather than enhanced tension. To be fair, we think the problem was due to the person who entered before us: he accidentally went out an exit and returned as we entered the first room. So instead of being a couple of minutes behind him, we were following him into every room a few seconds later - once or twice entering while a scene was still playing out.
Glendale 2018 Yard Haunts: The Nightmare in Whiting Woods
413 Whiting Woods, Glendale 91028
Halloween Night Only
The proprietor of the Opechee Haunt is taking Halloween Night off so that he can visit other haunts. That leaves few options for Glendale yard haunts, but all is not hopeless. The Nightmare in Whiting Woods (413 Whiting Woods, Glendale, 91028) is open till 11pm tonight). This year's theme is "Dewey, Slaughter and Howe," and the proprietors promise that repeat visitors will see sights they have not encountered before.
Beware: The line for this one is long (up a hill); upon seeing it, many people simply drive on. If you hope to see this one, go as soon as possible.
Update 11/11/2018: We are adding this Pasadena Haunt, which Hollywood Gothique was not able to visit before this post went live.
Pasadena 2018 Yard Haunts: Forgotten Hallows
1602 N Roosevelt Ave, Pasadena 91104
Forgotten Hallows was an eerie graveyard full of fog and lighting effects. Since we reviewed this haunt two years ago, there have been additions: a laser light show that the kids seemed to love and a spider prop that jumps out at you when close enough. Oh, and a tip we've received from the owner: If you choose to go Halloween night and approach the cauldron of candy next to the two robed phantoms; remember to see “Trick Or Treat”, or else you may regret sticking your hand where it doesn't belong.
A few blocks northwest from Forgotten Hallows are several yard haunts on Pepper Drive in Altadena, including the Garden Path of Doom. They are worth at least a drive-by for anyone in the area.