A virtual monument to Los Angeles’ departed scare zones and October horror shows.
Every Halloween season, while we drink deeply of the delightfully dreary ambiance that new haunts and old favorites have to offer, we also suffer a pang of wistful nostalgia as we cast our mournful eyes back through the hazy clouds of time and recall those attractions that have gone to the grave, leaving a vast gap in our annual enjoyment of all things macabre.
The following list enumerates those Los Angeles Halloween attractions that have shuffled off this mortal coil. Although they are gone, their legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of all those who visited them, and so we offer this tribute to the terrors they evoked and the shudders they sent down the spines of countless trick-or-treaters…
And lest despair deaden your soul, recall that, when it comes to Halloween, nothing ever truly dies. Haunts once thought dead forever, sometimes are resurrected or reincarnated in another guise. Who knows? Perhaps some of these will return sometime in the future, in some form or another.
Many of the more famous of these lost Halloween haunts have their own dedicated pages, which you can find listed in the upper left navigation bar.
ADENMOOR MANOR Yard Haunt
5929 Adenmoor Avenue
Lakewood, CA 90713
For two years, this home haunt featured a 1,000-foot backyard maze in Lakewood, near Long Beach. Unfortunately, some of the proprietors moved out of state in 2011, sending this impressive sounding attraction to a premature grave before we had a chance to check it out personally. From what we heard, guests entered in groups of 6 or less, passing through twists and turns that prevent them from seeing what lies in wait ahead – but whatever it is, the monsters outnumber the humans. There was no particular theme, but the haunt avoided the usual cliches: clowns, aliens, pirates, toxic waste mutants and overly familiar movie characters (ie. like Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface) were nowhere to be seen.
There was a dim suggestion that one of the remaining haunters, still living in California, would resurrect the haunt in 2012, but we have heard nothing further on the matter.
ALIEN INFESTATION Yard Haunt
2734 Annapolis Circle
San Bernadino, CA 92408
Although it was a a bit out of our usual jurisdiciton, we included this yard haunt in our listings because it was created by Ryan Carter, who contributes to one of our favorite professional Halloween haunted houses, the Old Town Haunt in Pasadena. The effects for Alien Infestation were created by Carter’s special effects company, Hall of Shadows.
In 2009, Alien Infestation presented a scenario roughly akin to H.P Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space,”inviting you to tour the impact of a meteor strike on San Bernadino, which has adversely affected the local environment and creating mutant creatures of every description. According to the official website:
“The five minute walk-through takes guests through a variety of sets and mazes filled with elaborate props, mechanical effects, and good old fashioned human scares. Though blood and depictions of dismembered limbs are present, the gore is not excessive. There are no age restrictions on the event, but parents are cautioned against bringing children that are easily frightened by the dark, graphic images, or startling events. The scare factor can be reduced upon request, but this will not eliminate all of the frightening elements. Regretfully, wheelchair access is not available at this time.”
HISTORY: Making its debut in 2009, Alien Infestation replaced Ryan Carter’s previous yard haunt, Bayou of Blood.
The Beacon House
1003 S. Beacon Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
Located near the southern end of Los Angeles, the Beacon House Association of San Pedro produced a Halloween block party for over twenty years, providing a safe way for the community to celebrate the season. The Beacon House’s annual Halloween event typically offered a “Nightmare on Beacon Street,” including a haunted maze, a street fair, dancing, contests, food, and other entertainment suitable for the whole family. The 2006 haunt featured an “alien invasion” theme, including a walk-through maze.
In 2009, the elaborate Halloween event fell prey to new regulations and requirements; necessary permits were not obtained in time. For the next few years, Beacon House offered a scaled down “Halloween Party,” with dancing, contests, face-painting, and Kareoke. Since then, the event ceased to appear on the website’s annual calendar.
Year round, the Beacon House helps men recover from alcoholism, providing food, shelter, and counseling.
On Halloween Night, from 4pm to 7pm, Downtown Burbank used to offer this annual Halloween event for families with children and/or canines. Parents were invited to bring their goblins and ghouls for an early evening of trick-or-treating. Local merchants provided free treats from store-to-store.
Pet owners were encouraged to bring along their favorite K-9 dressed in the Halloween spirit for the Annual Downtown Dog Parade on the AMC Walkway.
The last time this event showed up on the Down Town Burbank website was 2012.
THE CATACOMBS Community Haunt
10800 Henderson Road
Beginning in 2004, this amateur Halloween event, located in Youth Center behind a church in Ventura (northwest of Los Angeles), was designed to provide fun for the local kids, with a “a small but cool maze with a mild scare factor,” while bringing in money and food donations. Although a community effort, presented by The Sacred Heart Church’s Youth Ministry, some of the people involved had Hollywood FX exerience, having worked on such films as RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION, THE RING, HELLBOY, etc. After “The Catacombs: A 3D Haunt” in 2009, this event went on hiatus in 2010.
3101 Overland Boulevard
West Los Angeles, CA 90034
Once upon a time, Creepy Hollow claimed its haunted house, located in a small retail space, was the “hottest” way to spend Halloween in Los Angeles. After 2008, it shut down, promising to find a new location in 2009, but that promise never materialized.
CRESTFALLEN CEMETERY Yard Haunt
9348 Cresta Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 968-5080
Updates: click here
Description: After 13 years of haunting, this amateur yard haunt called it quits, giving one last performance in 2011. Crestfallen Cemetery (the arch over the gate actually misspelled the name to match the street name: “Crestafallen Cemetery”) offered trick-or-treaters a brief walk through a creepy cemetery, with an enclosed ramp featuring lots of animation and some live characters. The steep stairs led through a front yard dense with tombstones and ghosts; the enclosed area featured a few spooky tableau appropriate for a neighborhood haunt. The tone was family-friendly – more Disney’s Haunted Mansion than Knotts Scary Farm – with nothing too scary for youngsters.
12500 Euclid Street, Garden Grove, CA
Apparently, this was a one-shot effort in 2010, overseen by one of the crews responsible for the well-regarded Sinister Pointe, which was on hiatus that year. The City of Garden Grove resurrected the abandoned Black Angus restaurant for Halloween, transforming it into “Diner of the Dead,” a heart-pounding, horror-filled maze set inside the vacant, 10,000 square-foot restaurant at 12900 Euclid Street.
This professional haunt was intended for teenage to adult audiences. Admission ws $13 per person with photos available for an extra fee. Tickets were available at the door, or at the Garden Grove City Hall Recreation Counter, 11222 Acacia Parkway, starting Monday, October 4.
“Diner of the Dead” was a collaboration between Jeff Schiefelbein’s Imagination Design Studios and Abracadaver Productions. Abracadaver’s spooky sculptures have appeared in numerous films. Imagination Design is known for the Silent Hill Haunt at Sinister Pointe in Brea (listed on our Halloween Haunted Houses & Hayrides page).
FRIGHTMARE Home Haunt
Reseda, CA 91335
NOTE: This Halloween haunted house was apparently a one-shot deal, when some ambitious haunters took advantage of a rare opportunity: being asked to house sit for a friend. With an empty house at their disposal, they turned it into an excellent walk-through haunted house.
FEATURES: This completely amateur effort was one of the best Los Angeles yard haunts in 2004. Not really a “Yard Haunt,” it actually took you through a house with seven rooms of bone-chilling fear that promised to “scare the yell out of you,” including a 3D maze. Unfortunately, since then the haunters have been unable to secure a suitable location. With no news of a revival, this goes down in Halloween haunt history as a memorable one-shot wonder.
ALSO OF NOTE: Although free, the haunt did take donations. In 2004, all proceed went to benefit APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles). Read about our 2004 Halloween Haunted House Odessey (including a trip to Frightmare, Grimmstone, Hallowed Haunting Grounds, Witch’s Castle, and other amateur haunts).
2901 W. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Website: www.ghostship.com (website down)
Note: This Halloween haunt provoked disappointed reactions from Los Angeles Halloween fans when it made its debut in October 2011; though not as bad as some made out, Ghost Ship could not live up to the level of expectations raised by visitors anticipating another great event from the company behind the excellent Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.
Tickets: $59 in 2011
Archived Articles: click here
Description: Ten Thirty One Productions – creators of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, one of Hollywood Gothique’s favorite Halloween events in Los Angeles – set sail on a new adventure, a ghostly cruise in Orange County. We’re not talking about a mock-boat and make-believe sailing; this was the real thing: a 75-minute tour on the high seas that aimed to be anything but a pleasure cruise, with guests allowed to roam at their own pace from deck to deck, encountering horrors guaranteed to send shivers down the spines of all who dare face them.
Former Location: 537 Palm Dr., Brea, CA 92821
Hours: Typically, 7pm-10pm on weeknights and 7pm-11pm on weekends, with an early show for timid trick-or-treaters at 6:30pm
Dark Realms: An American Haunt was more of a “home haunt” than a “yard haunt” – the only major decoration in the front yard was a facade that you entered to experience a walk-through maze, with numerous scenes and actors, eager to have you for dinner. Although located in a private home, Dark Realms charged for admission ($8 for General Admission or $15 for a front of the line pass) in order to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. 2012 was their final year, as the owners moved to a new location that would not support a haunt.
This haunted Halloween event opened its doors for one season only in 2010, offering a Halloween Family Festival, a Family Safety Fair, live music, and a Haunted House. Produced by Shipwreck Productions, which used to handle the Queen Mary Halloween Terrorfest, 13 Nights of Terror was a community-style event whose proceeds went to benefit the non-profit Gull Wings Children’s Museum.
HAUNTED COURTYARD – Yard Haunt
Villa Del Fuente
627 North Spaulding Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Description: Sadly, the proprietor of The Haunted Courtyard informs that the event is as “dead as the ghouls” roaming on Halloween Night.
Too bad. Back in 2012, children of all ages were invited to enter the Haunted Villa’s inner courtyard for Halloween fun. Located in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, a couple blocks from the intersection of Fairfax and Melrose, this amateur Halloween event offered a simple walk-through trick-or-treat experience with spooky atmosphere and candy, from dusk until the candy ran out.
3432 Karen Ave
Long Beach, CA 90808
This free home haunt used to put on a different theme each Halloween, such as “Dr. Uphir’s Sanitorium,” which conflated the Faust legend with an insane asylum.
After going dark for Halloween 2010 and 2011, the proprietor resurrected the Haunted Garage on last time in 2012. Since then, a busy work schedule has closed the Haunted Garage, perhaps permanently.
Former Location: Hollywood, CA (specific location was revealed upon registration for the event)
Out of the Box Events, the company that conducted the Haunted Hollywood Scavenger Hunt and the Haunts of Angelino Heights Tour, seems to have gone out of business: their website is down, and email inquiries bounce back.
For six years, Out of the Box Events offered Los Angeles Halloween fans an opportunity to enjoy their scavenger hunts, which promised an unusual and interactive way to tour Hollywood, with groups of up to six people scouring the streets of to uncover ghoulish ghosts, terrifying tales and scandalous secrets in such venues as the Roosevelt, The Knickerbocker, and several old theatres. No prior ghost hunting experience was required, but a flashlight was recommended.
Haunts of Angelino Heights: Out of the Box Events and the Los Angeles Conservancy used to offer this fright-filled Halloween tour through one of the city’s oldest Victorian neighborhoods. Hours were 4:00pm to 6:30pm. Guiests were advised to bring one digital camera and one flashlight per team, which consisted of up to 6 members. Tickets were $30.
Note: There is still a Haunted Hollywood Scavenger Hunt available during the Halloween season, provided by Watson Adventures.
Click here for our archive of Out of the Box Events.
THE HAUNTED JAIL Community Haunt
Former Location: Altadena Sheriff’s Station 780 East Altadena Drive, at Lake Avenue Altadena, California
The Altadena Sheriff’s Station begain presenting a 3D haunt in1997, which was not recommended for children under five. In 2010, the haunt was cancelled, due to continued reconstruction work on the Altadena Jail, which finally reopened on September 24, 2011. Unfortunately, with the remodeling complete, the jail was once again capable of doing business as a real jail, and the annual Halloween event was permanently terminated.
HELL BREAK L.A. – 2012 only
Former Location: 5601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90038
Description:This Los Angeles Halloween event made its debut in 2012, offering a post-apocalyptic prison where the inmates were “dying to get out.” Staged in the abandoned Sears building, Hell Break L.A. consisted of two attractions: the haunted prison and a haunted maze. The former was an interactive theatrical experience; the latter was a literal maze, from which you had to find your way out.
The prison maze was quite well done, though a bit shaky on opening night (as you can read in our Hell Break 2012 review). Unfortunately, the event was plagued by organizational problems, including last-minute cancellations, which left ticket-holding customers arriving on sight with no advance notice that the doors would be closed. After the Halloween 2012 season ended, Hell Break L.A. quietly folded up shop, eventually closing down its website and Facebook page nearly a year later.
HOLLYWOOD HELL HOUSE Halloween Attraction
Former Location: 385 La Cienaga Boulevard West Hollywood, CA 90048
News & Reviews for Hollywood Hell House here.
After two years of haunting, this Halloween attraction went on hiatus in 2008, with a promise to return in 2009, which never materialized.
This was not your typical haunted house but rather a satirical play, based on a presentation designed to teach “young people that they can go to hell for abortion, adultery, homosexuality, drinking, and other things unless they repent and end the behavior.” Keenan Roberts, who has been presenting the real Hell House since 1992, sells Hell House Outreach kits to other churches, including a 263-page manual – which was the basis for the West Hollywood version. It goes without that the West Hollywood presentation played the material for laughs.
After walking through the haunt you were invited to hang out for a dance party with DJ Davey Save, with “bands, dancing, and praising till midnight.”
The original Hell House was the subject of an excellent documentary film, which is definitely worth checking out. After you have seen it, you will definitely be interested in attending the haunt in person.
Community Haunt – 2011 Only
Former Location: Golden Valley High School
27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Updates: Click here
Much of the cast and crew of the Heritage Haunt at Heritage Junction which went on hiatus in 2011 due to bureaucratic red tape) set up a new Halloween haunt for 2011, sub-titled “Terrors in Time.” As with the Heritage Haunt, this was a non-profit event, staffed by volunteers who wanted to share their macabre brand of entertainment with like-minded enthusiasts. The high school location turned out to be not as conducive to haunting as the old Newhall Ranch House in Heritage Junction; consequently, many of the cast and crew returned to Heritage Haunt in 2012.
THE INFECTED Yard Haunt
1401 N. Buena Vista, Burbank, CA 91505
Info: (818) 681-5605
Previously known as “Massacre Manor,” this amateur Halloween haunt featured a walk-through back yard path that portrayed an urgent care medical facility is over-run by an infectious disease (shades of QUARANTINE). Admission was free but donations were accepted.
2220 Chandler Blvd Burbank, CA
NOTE: This gruesomely good yard haunt was out of operation from 2007 through 2009, then resurrected briefly in 2010. It disappeared again in 2011 and remained closed for 2012. We will let you know if it returns.
ADMISSION & PARKING: FREE
FEATURES: This residential yard haunt and walk-through maze, situated on a sidestreet intersection in a quiet neighborhood, was made up to look like a torture chamber, complete with dismembered bodies strung up above the fence that surrounds the property, plus various torture racks and other menacing devices. The grounds are patrolled by a hooded executioner, who pulls a cord to drop the guillotine on a dummy victim. Enterting the main gate leads you into a short, temporary maze structure, with a couple of gory scenes inside. A local attraction, this extravagant amateur effort can be very busy on Halloween night, unless you arrive very early. Although gruesome, the all tone is somewhat over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, so this is proabably okay for all except the very youngest kids.
A NIGHTMARE ON LEAF STREET
Former Location: 1253 S Leaf Avenue, West Covina CA, 91791
Facebook Page : click here
This amateur yard haunt seems to have floated off into the ether, never to be heard from again. Nightmare on Leaf Street made its debut in 2010, with a walk-through maze featuring scares inspired by the Freddy Kruger films, along with Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and other icons of fright – all in 3-D. The proprietors claimed to be in it for the long haul (“We plan to do House Haunts till we’re old”); however, after attempting to go pro, offering to haunt your house or party for a price, they fell off the radar. Their Facebook page has not been updated since 2012, and their email is dead.
PARANOIA HAUNTED ATTRACTION
Formerly located at:
Santa Moinca Place Mall, 2nd Level
315 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401
This haunted attraction, which incorporated elements of the defunct Molar Manor, made its debut in Santa Monica for Halloween 2012. The result was a bit disappointing, so it is no great surprise that haunt quietly dematerialized into the eternal ether.
1730 North Evergreen Street
After putting his pirate playground on hiatus for 2010, the owner of this yard haunt moved to Oregon. Before then, this nautical yard haunt and party took place on Halloween Night. The bulk of the display was up the night before, if you wanted to drive by and take a look, but the real fun flowed on October 31, when the yard was populated by pirates enjoying the festivities. The pirate-party grew so popular that it inspired neighbors to join in the Halloween fun, creating several other impressive displays nearby.
THE REALM OF TERROR Yard Haunt
Former Location: 23125 Eriel Ave. Torrance CA, 90505
The Realm of Terror yard haunt opened its crypt in 2000, offering a walk-through maze, which grew in size and complexity each year. Unfortunately, in 2007 time considerations forced a switch to a simpler haunt, minus the maze – which was again the case in 2008. 2009 saw no haunt at all, with a promise to return in 2010 – which never materialized.
The proprietor expressed hope that he and his comrades would eventually resume haunting and perhaps resurrect a more elaborate version of the Realm of Terror, but the disappearance of the official website (which went dark in 2013) suggests that this realm has forever sealed its gates.
8146 Campbell Avenue
Riverside, CA 92503
After three years of haunting Riverside (including 2010’s Werewolves in Wonderland), this home haunt picked up stakes and moved to Wisconsin. Its website is still active, and the haunt lives on in its new location. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
SATAN’S CHOP SHOP Halloween Home Haunt
Former Location: 5016 W. 118th Street
Hawthorne, CA 90250
MySpace Page: Satan’s Chop Shop
The Halloween haunt went on hiatus in 2009 and 2010 because of lack of an available location. Emails to the proprietors indicated an intent to return in 2011, but that Halloween passed without a resurrection.
A gruesome gorefest, this neighborhood effort hovered somewhere between amatuer and professional: although located in a private residence, Satan’s Chop Shop (judging by available photos – we never made it out) featured impressive special makeup effects crafted by Hollywood professionals. The horror show promised to scare you silly with intestines, chainsaws, and other bloody horror not seen in your average amateur Halloween yard haunt.
SCAREPLEX Halloween Haunt
Fairplex, home of the Los Angeles County Fair
1101 W. McKinley Avenue
Pomona, CA 91765
The Scareplex Halloween Haunt was produced by Shipwreck Productions, the people behind the fine Queen Mary Terror Fest. Scarplex made its debut in 2004 to mediocre response; some haunt-goers complained that many of the props and settings were leftovers from the Queen Marry Terror Fest. After returning in 2005, the haunt skipped the 2006 season. In 2007, a new company took over, and the haunt was re-christened “Fearplex” (see listing above). The Haunt featured an all-night dance party and four mazes: Reaper’s Revenge, Voodoo Village, Massacre Mountain, and Mayhem Manor.
Scareplex was replaced by FEARPLEX for 2007 and 2008. 2009 saw yet another new haunt at the fairgrounds, Nightmare at Scare View Farms (listed above).
SCARE AT THE FAIR: Shipwreck Productions also presented “Scare at the Fair,” a single walk-through haunted house maze, during the annual L.A. County Fair. Like Scareplex, this was later replaced by a new attraction, the Haunted Manor. Read our review of the 2006 Scare at the Fair or check out our video.
SOUTH BAY MAZEMASTER Amateur Halloween Haunt
For a few years, this amateur attraction was open the last few days of October. Usually located in the Torrance area of Los Angeles, this haunted maze moved to Redondo Beach for 2008; that year’s theme was “Hell Shire Farms.” In 2009, it offered a 70-yard walk through “Haunted Mind Shaft” with black lights, strobes, fog machines, music and monsters. The proprietor promised that the “mind-blowing sights and sounds will send you out of this world!” After this “Depths of Doom” presentation, the Mazemaster went on hiatus, and has not been heard from since.
Anaheim, CA 92804
The Terry Haunt began in 1997 as a yard haunt, then gradually expanded, changing location from a private home to the La Palma Recreation Center in Anaheim for 2007. After location problems forced a hiatus in 2008, the Terry Haunt returned in 2009 with “Clownz,” set in a large space that used to be a shopping market. Unfortunately, the haunt was again canceled in 2010. After promising to return in 2011 with a new theme titled “Necropolis,” haunt proprietor Michael Terry posted this message on his website:
Due to recent events we will no longer be producing the Terry Haunt’s Annual Haunted House. Our heartfelt thanks to all who supported us, helped us, and made our Nightmares Come True since 1997. It has been a pleasure to bring this event to life each Halloween. All the best…
The message is no longer visible on the official website, suggesting that it may not be the last word on the subject. However, there is no news of an intended revival of the Terry Haunt.
THOUSAND OAKS HAUNTED HOUSE Halloween Attraction- 2005 Only
Former Location: Janns Market Place
215 North Moorpark Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
This Halloween haunt ran for a single season in 2005. It featured three mazes of the “haunt in a box” variety:
- Circus of Screams: According to the official website, a “Circus of Screams” visited Thousand Oaks decades ago, and many strange things happened; nothing was ever proven, and the circus departed. But many say that the spirits of the evil clowns still haunt the area.
- Thousand Oaks Haunted House: an obscure filmmaker, whose movies were so sick and twisted that they were never released, mysteriously disappeared when the authorities broke in on him, but his work lives on.
- Thousand Ghosts 3D Matinee: This less frightening attraction is recommend for children under 13 (and their parents with faint hearts)
This haunt was set up in a temporary structure (a large tent inside a gated area) in the parking lot of the Janss Marketplace, which now houses the Reign of Terror haunted house, which is quite superior.
Read our review of the 2005 haunt here.
THE TUSTIN HAUNT Amateur Halloween Attraction
13151 Brittany Woods Drive Tustin, CA 92780
Information: Located behind the Orange Curtain (i.e., in Organge County), this “semi-pro” attraction began haunting in 1995, hovering somewhere between a Yard Haunt and a Community Haunt. Although free, Tustin Haunt accepted $2 donations to offset costs and offered a $5 front-of-the-line pass. During their thirteen years of Halloween horror, the the haunt raised money for the community, including the Tustin Public Schools Foundation.
The last full-blown presentation was in 2008, titled “Red Hill Mining Co. Massacre,” and offered a behind-the-scenes tour after Halloween, for those wanting to know how the scary effects were achieved.
In 2009, proprietor Ben Penman and his crew moved on to Sinister Pointe, a professional Halloween haunted house in Brea. Consequently, the Tustin Haunt was reduced to a yard display for two years before losing its location in 2011. The Penman expressed interest in resurrecting the walk-through portion of the haunt for 2012 but instead took a job at The Empty Grave pro haunt in Anaheim for 2012. Currently, he is uncertain whether the haunt will ever return.