Halloween Odyssey 2021: Verdugos Yard Haunts

In mid-October, Hollywood Gothique took an exploratory swing through the Verdugos region of Los Angeles, specifically seeking out Halloween home haunts in Pasadena and Altadena.

This early in the season only a few were open, and most of those were of interest mostly to neighborhood trick-or-treaters. However, we did spot one or two worth making a special trip.

2021 Verdugos Yard Haunts: Pasadena

Ghostwood Manor
2005 N Raymond Avenue, Pasadena
October 9 – Noveber 6, 6-10pm

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We visited this yard display last year when it consisted mostly of some decorations in the yard and a car with a skeleton driver in the driveway. The yard display has been rearranged this year, and some new elements are visible, particularly a wall mimicking an interior setting. Apparently a study, it contains several oddities and curiosities: a tentacle, an ape-like skeleton, and a spooky suit of armor that springs to life with a strange echoing cry. Though not splashy, the lighting is very nice; highlighted in different colors, the gravestones on the front yard really pop. If this one keeps expanding from year to year, it could turn into something special.


2021 Verdugos Yard Haunts: San Gabriel

Kraken Cove*
1030 Manley Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776
October 16-31, 7-10pm
https://www.facebook.com/TheKrakenCove

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The Kraken Cove is one of the few premier yard haunt displays still remaining in the San Gabriel Valley and specifically San Gabriel.  After a resurgence of walk-throughs and displays in San Gabriel pre-pandemic; we thought the future of haunts and Halloween decorations in general were in good hands.  However, the previous two years eradicated that point of view fast.  Luckily, The Kraken Cove is still around and lighting up one of the most quiet neighborhoods in the SGV.  New this year: the creators added a cannon on the ship and it actually fires!

*Capsule Commentary by Warren So


2021 Verdugos Yard Haunts: Alhambra

The Bayou*
911 N Electric Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
Until October 31, 7-10pm
https://www.duamo.com/paintings2/

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Duane Aamot, a local artist, has been doing a Halloween display since 2006.  However, it was our first time at his yard display.  Thanks to a tip from the Pirates at The Kraken Cove in San Gabriel, we were able to set sail for The Bayou immediately following The Kraken Cove that night.  The Bayou featured an impressive, professional set that you could film a movie on.  If you were to Google Map the house on a normal day, you would see that there’s no body of water or anything that is close to resembling a swamp.  This guy built his own in a matter of days and even added some fish into the mix!  Also, the creaky looking wooden walkway/bridge?  Also, not there on a normal day.

*Capsule Commentary by Warren So


2021 Verdugos Yard Haunts: Altadena

Forgotten Hallows
1602 N. Roosevelt Avenue, Altadena*
October 15-16, 22-23, 29-31, 7-9:30pm

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Since we visited this yard haunt in 2016, noticeable improvements have been made. The setting remains a fog-bound graveyard, but the number of props do a better job filling up the space to make it look more like a cemetery than a decorated yard; the old, slightly cheesy markers with goofy names (“Barry D’Alive”) have been replaced by more authentic looking gravestones; and a few mechanical prop scares have been added, including a skeleton that jumps up from behind the fence and a witch that spins around and races toward the front gate. These add up to a more sinister tone – though not too terrifying for kids. Definitely worth a visit on Halloween night when the driveway will lead to spooky characters handing out candy.

*Forgotten Hallows is listed as being in Pasadena, but the LA Times’ Mapping LA Project places it in Altadena.


2021 Verdugos Yard Haunts: Miscellany

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Here are a couple more yard displays we encountered on our Halloween Home Haunt Odyssey through Pasadena and Altadena. They are worth a drive-by if you are in the area.

Many more yard haunts in will be open in the Verdugos region during the final days of October, particularly on Halloween Night, such as The House of Heebie Jeebies (884 N Raymond Avenue in Pasadena), Halloween Town (347 Mountain View Street in Altadena), and Catastrophe Cabin (1541 Garden Street in Glendale). You can find the Pasadnea and Altadena yard haunts in the So Cal Haunts list here and Glendale yard haunts here.

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.