It’s time for Halloween Haunt Awards 2016 (and past time for 2015)

Well, it’s that time of year – time to look back on the glories of October and select the best Halloween haunts in Los Angeles, be they theme parks, yard displays, cemetery tours, theatrical events, or any permutation thereof. But before we get to 2016, we have to correct an egregious oversight from 2015, when personal circumstances prevented us from handing out the Halloween Haunt Awards.

Filling in the gap is a bit awkward. At this late date, perhaps no one cares about Halloween 2015, but our judgment regarding current winners is frequently based on past performance. Our rules state that a previous winner is not eligible to win again in the same category unless it has been radically revised; consequently, a Halloween attraction that deserved to win in 2015 would not qualify for 2016 if it was essentially the same as last year.  Needless to say, it would be unfair to disqualify a haunt for past glories if those past glories had never been acknowledged.

Our solution is this: First, we are going to post this year’s nominees below. Then we are going to post the winners of the 2015 Halloween Haunt Awards. Finally, we will offer a series of posts for 2016 HHA winners – one post for each category. All of these post will be linked together for easy navigation, so that you can click back and forth between them and hopefully make some sense out of this admittedly mixed up situation.

And so, without further preamble, here are the nominees for the 2016 Halloween Haunt Awards…

Best Non-Haunt Halloween Event

  • Halloween & Mourning Tours at Heritage Square Museum
  • Long Beach Zombie Fest
  • Paramount After Dark Tour at Paramount Studios
  • Santa Monica Zombie Crawl on Third Street Promenade

Best Stage Presentation/Play

  • Dracula: Blood Before Dawn at the Loft Ensemble
  • Turn of the Screw at Crossley Theatre
  • Urban Death: Tour of Terror at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre

Best Play in Non-Theatrical Setting

Best Short Play/Performance

  • The Tell Tale Heart at Drama After Dark
  • From Beyond at Wicked Lit

Best Home Haunt Yard Display

Note: previous winner Boney Island (2014) not eligible this year.

Best Amateur Haunted House Walk-Through

  • Beware the Dark Realm
  • Burbank Haunted Adventure: The Uncanny
  • The Braeburn Haunt
  • Gothic Hills Cemetery
  • Higgins Manor
  • Pumkin Jack’s Haunted House
  • Restless Souls Manor
  • Rotten Apple 907’s Not So Enchanted Forest
  • Spooky Hollows

Note: previous winner The Backwoods Maze (2013) not eligible this year.

Best Scare Zone

  • The Hollows at Knotts Scary Farm
  • The Purge: Gauntlet of Fear at Halloween Horror Nights

Best Monster

  • Captain Howdy at Halloween Horror Nights
  • The Dragon at Rotten Apple 907
  • The Headless Horseman at Knotts Scary Farm
  • Krampus at Halloween Horror Nights
  • The Tree Monster at Spooky Hollows
  • Scary Mary at Dark Harbor

Best Professional Haunted House Walk-Through

  • Aftermath 2 at Fright Fest
  • The Exorcist at Halloween Horror Nights
  • Lullaby at Dark Harbor
  • Motel 6 Feet Under
  • Paranormal Inc. at Knotts Scary Farm
  • Shadowlands at Knotts Scary Farm
  • Sinister Pointe
  • The Walking Dead at Halloween Horror Nights

Note: previous winner Reign of Terror (2013) not eligible this year.

Best Halloween Theme Park

Best Halloween Attraction of 2016

  • To be selected from winners of the above categories

Possible Special Categories

  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Best Addition to an Existing Haunt
  • Best Professional Display, Ride, or Simulation
  • Honorable Mention
  • Most Amazing Special Effect

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.