Those who wish to view a number of Halloween home haunts without traversing half of Los Angeles are advised to head over to Sherman Oaks, which features a high density of entertaining yard displays. Besides the new Wicked Pumpkin Hollow (which we visited here), there are the Van Oaks Cemetery and Spooky Saloma, along with a few unnamed yard haunts. Below, we offer three big photo galleries of what's on view in the neighborhood.
Van Oaks Cemetery
5822 Norwich Avenue
Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
Dates & Hours: October 31, 6-10:30pm
In operation since, 2011, the Van Oaks Cemetery yard haunt features old-school Halloween atmosphere, with creepy tombstones, spectral lighting, atmospheric sound, and a haunted window. It's low-key but very pleasing to the ears and eyes, and it gets bonus points for the tombstone dedicated to "H.H. Grounds" - a reference to the Hallowed Haunting Grounds, a memorable yard haunt that ran for three decades in Studio City before closing down in 2005. One nice touch is that, without the obvious touch of festooning everything in cobwebs, Van Oaks Cemetery gives the undeniable impression of slowly falling into disrepair, with its cracked and titled tombstones among the evenly mowed lawn. It's as if the unseen caretaker has not quite given up the ghost, but this graveyard's glory days are clearly in the past.
5635 Saloma Avenue
Dates & Hours: Through October 31, 7-10pm
The house listed at the address for Spooky Saloma turns out to be a hub for half a dozen other yard haunts that form a sort of collective effort, including a block party on Halloween Night. Most of the houses feature decorations, but two or three are characterized by sound-activated mechanics - figures that come alive, talk, and/or play banjo when their repose is disturbed by on-lookers.
Nearby Sherman Oaks Yard Haunts
As you turn off Saloma Avenue and head west on Martha toward Norwich to see Van Oaks Cemetery, you will pass a haunted house with a spectacular dragon skeleton on its roof, illuminated by sparkling red firelight. If you pass Norwich and turn right a couple blocks later on Burnet, you will find a very nice yard haunt on the corner of Hatteras Street (address: 5758 Burnet Avenue). The display consists mostly of static props and decorations, but there are moving ghosts projected on the walls, and a magnificent tree droops over the yard, partially obscuring the house and creating a slightly isolated, mysterious feel.
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