We’re making the turn toward the final stretch of October, and its time for Los Angeles Halloween fans to get serous about scheduling. This weekend, many of the major amateur haunts make their bow: The Backwoods Maze Yard Haunt, Beware the Dark Realm, Boney Island Yard Haunt, and the Rotten Apple 907 Home Haunt. We recommend adding all of them to your personal calendars, but the real function of this article is to remind you of some worthwhile attractions that you might overlook.
The quartet of attractions listed below are either ending this weekend or are not specifically billed as “Halloween” events because they’re open other times of the year. You may want to schedule them later in November, as an antidote for Halloween withdrawal, but they’re available now, and many of them are open during weekdays and nights when official Halloween attractions are closed.
Top Photo: Burbank Haunted Adventure in Stough Canyon Park (copyright 2016 by Warren So)
Burbank Haunted Adventure
Stough Canyon Nature Center
1335 Lockhead View Drive, Burbank
2016 Dates: October 22. 7-9pm
2016 Theme: Haunted Adventure celebrates its 20th anniversary with “The Unknown.”
For what is basically a do-it-yourself, community effort, the Burbank Haunted Adventure comes close to being spectacular. Yes, the “hallways” consist mostly of tarp, but the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department’s Halloween attraction has the good fortunate to be set in and around the Starlight Bowl in the Stough Canyon Nature Center. Imagination and enthusiasm combine to fill this space with family-friendly Halloween frights: the dimly lit woods hide strange and forbidding things; the exterior features booths which can be filled with ghastly, living displays; the interior of the dome offers an eerie simulation of a starlit sky; the back stage area provides a variety of actual rooms and corridors that can be decorated instead of being built from scratch, lending an aura of reality to the proceedings. The scare-level is carefully calibrated to suit a family-friendly community event (which also includes food trucks and kid activities), but we would not recommend this for very young or timid trick-or-treaters.
Read our full review here.
Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
323 857-6010 for information
Dates: through November 27, 2016. Closed Wednesdays and Thanksgiving Day.
Hours: 11am to 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday; 11am to 8pm on Friday; and 10am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Price: This is a Specially Ticketed Exhibition; admission is $25 for non-LACMA members, which includes general admission to other museum exhibits.
Despite Del Toro’s name in the title, At Home with Monsters is less a tribute to his cinematic career than an exploration of his sources of inspiration, which then manifest in his film work, represented in props, costumes, and film clips. Culled from the filmmaker’s personal collection, At Home with Monsters features an overwhelming multitude of paintings, drawings, miniatures, installations, and life-size figures, transforming the museum’s Arts of the Americas building into a virtual chamber of horrors – though one with an emphasize on wonder and imagination, rather than revulsion.
The Hollywood Museum
1660 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood
Dates & Hours: 10am to 5pm on Wednesday through Sunday, year-round
The Hollywood Museum houses exhibits of movie props, sets, and costumes, including a ghoulish year-round display on their lower level, known as the Dungeon of Doom, which features figures of Elvira, Vampira, Freddy, Jason, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, along with Hannibal Lecter’s jail cell from Silence of the Lambs, plus numerous other props and posters.
The upper level of the Hollywood Museum is not without interest for fans of Fantasy Films, Mystery Movies, Sci-Fi Cinema, and Halloween Horror. Displays include posters, props, and costumes from King Kong, Harry Potter, Planet of the Apes, Monsters Inc, and many others.
Read the account of our travels through the Dungeon of Doom here.
The Hollywood Wax Musuem
6767 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 9 am – Midnight; Friday-Saturday: 9 am – 1 am
Along with the usual movie star celebrity figures, the Hollywood Wax Museum includes figures and displays from Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction Films. There is a creepy “Chamber of Horrors,” where you can see classic ghouls like the Phantom of the Opera and Dracula, along with more contemporary figures such as Alien and Pinhead.
Read our review of the Wax Museum’s Chambers of Horror here.