The Halloween season is rapidly drawing to a close, and you are wondering what to do with the dwindling time remaining. Lucky for you, we are here with this essential list of Must-See Halloween 2023 Events, featuring the best haunted house, theme parks, mazes, and immersive experiences we have enjoyed this year.
In order to make this list more than a copy-and-past of our Best Halloween Attractions in Los Angeles page, we will not simply list our perennial favorites. Instead, we begin with our Top Picks for Halloween 2023, emphasizing newcomers and haunts we have not highlighted in the past, along with a few returning events that have made major changes. After that, we will make recommendations in various categories for the benefit of those seeking a particular kind of attraction.
Note: This list is will be updated with additional entries as time permits.
BEST OF HALLOWEEN 2023 – TOP PICKS
Below is our list of the most highly rated haunted happenings we saw this season.
Angel of Light
Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S Broadway in Los Angeles
October 27-29, starting at 5:45pm
Tickets start at $59.50
Though Angel of Light promoted itself as combination of immersive and theatrical elements, it is not as far removed from a conventional haunt as one might expect – it features two walkthroughs that are more like a theme park maze than an interactive play. Nevertheless, Angel of Light is a first-rate attraction, combining its walkthroughs with a free-roaming cocktail party, followed by a pulse-pounding musical stage performance that supplies a breathtaking climax to the ninety-minute experience. Read our review below…
October 27-31, 6–10 pm (8-11pm on Saturday)
Los Angeles Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Boulevard in Los Angeles
Tickets starting at $13 for members and $18 for non-members
Boney Island is not exactly new, but it has been missing in action since 2018, so it’s great to have it back. Now in a new location at the Natural History Museum, the former home haunt’s strengths are beautifully on display in an outdoor garden setting that makes the event feel so much larger than ever before. Read our review below…
October 27-31, November 3-5, 9-12, starting at 7:50pm
Mountain View Mausoleum, 2300 N Marengo Avenue in Altadena
Tickets: $75 per person.
More information here.
Downtown Repertory Theatre’s latest production immerses audiences in a village haunted by dark secrets, where those who till the soil are drained of life and livelihood by an evil, oppressive overlord. Like their previous productions, Fangs! emphasizes drama more than horror (with some social commentary thrown in), but in the end it delivers the feast of blood promised in its title. The immersive storytelling is deftly handled, branching off to provide one-on-one interactive experiences for the audience while never losing the main plot thread. Read our review below…
Halls of Horror
Friday, October 28, from 6:30on until 9:30pm
Building 20 of CAL State LA. The address is 5151 State University Drive in Los Angeles
Tickets: $25 for general admission, $40 for VIP
More information here.
The Los Angeles County Highschool of the Arts stages this immersive horror double bill with results that rank among best non-profit Halloween haunts in L.A. (raising funds for school’s theatre department). Halls of Horror provides two short plays for one ticket price: The Carnival is an ambitious piece of mini-interactive theatre, and The Mine induces as much fear as any haunted house walkthrough. Combined, they add up to a highly recommended Halloween event. Read our review below…
Haunted Soirée’s Théâtre De Vaurien
October 27-29, 31, various start times
Glendale Center Theatre,
Tickets starting at $73
Formerly known as House of Spirits, Haunted Soirée has a new name and new location that shows off its a macabre cocktail party in a new way, squeezing all the fun into a smaller footprint that makes it easier to experience everything within the event’s the two-hour time limit: visit five bars, watch a cabaret magic show, go on a monstrous scavenger hunt, take a scary walk through darkened corridors, and – best of all – have plenty of time to commune with the talkative spirits haunting the theatre. Read our review below…
Hillhurst Haunted Circus
October 27, 28 & 29 & 31, 7-10pm
24218 Hillhurst Drive, West Hills 91307
Free home haunt for all ages
Hillhurst Haunted Circus is not new, but we have never really highlighted it as a must-see attraction. When last we visited, the elaborate collection of clowns was worth seeing, but since then it has advanced several orders of magnitude, adding more animatronic figures and expanding off the front lawn and onto the driveway – there is even a short walkthrough haunted by Georgie and Pennywise.
The clowns are packed so tightly that every step triggers one, and you are likely to find yourself listening to three or four maniacally cackling and gesticulating at once. On a crowded night with multiple visitors triggering the clowns, the resulting cacophony can be almost overwhelming; it feels as if you are walking through an elaborate pro attraction – an effect enhanced by a nice lighting scheme that enhances the clowns’ appearance. We imagine there will be many terrified trick or treaters on Halloween Night.
Learn more about Hillhurst Haunted Circus here.
October 27-31, starting at 8pm
Kids’ Trick or Treat Party on Sunday, October 29, 6-8pm
Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach
Tickets starting at $34.99
Shaqtoberfest is almost new, having debuted last year. For Halloween 2023 it has expanded, taking advantage of the newly reopened Queen Mary to add a couple of attractions on board. Meanwhile, the old layout of the landlocked attractions has been revised, and new elements have been added to the mazes, making its sophomore outing even better than its debut. Read our review…
The Vampire Circus
October 28, 31, 2pm, 5pm, and 8pm
The Montalbán is located at 1615 Vine Street in Hollywood.
Tickets starting at $57.
The Vampire Circus is more vampire than circus, but the horror theme adds bite to stunts that defy mortal limitations. Although we would have preferred more vampirism and horror, the incredible performances mesmerized us with their supernatural skill. Read our review…
Thursday-Sunday through November 19
1130 Westchester Place, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Tickets starting at $200
Now in its third production, this interactive play from the creators of Creep LA provides an unforgettable evening of murder and mayhem. Armed with an expert cast of improvisational weirdos and a bizarre tale of familial grief, it proves that Just Fix It Productions is indeed the weirdest of them all. The Willows is sold out through its final schedule performance on November 19, but you might be able to score spare tickets on the JFI Productions Facebook page. Read our review…
Below, we offer recommendations in specific categories.
Best of Halloween 2023: Haunted Houses
Haunted Rose: Beyond the Threshold
October 28 & 29, 6-11pm
The Whittier Museum, 6755 Newlin Avenue, Whittier
For Halloween 2023, The Haunted Rose delivers a smorgasbord of horrors, featuring multiple themes and settings – tombs, asylums, mad scientist laboratories – inhabited by a ghastly grew of vampires, werewolves, and inexplicable Lovecraftian monstrosities. This was really good enough to rank among our top picks, but it is does not meet our criteria for being new, so it goes here instead. Read our review…
Other haunted mazes worth checking out…
This Garden Grove haunt is open October 27-29 and 31, with two new mazes: Shady Pines Asylum: The Escape and Scary Clowns.
This longtime favorite in Thousand Oaks is open October 27-29 and 31. Its immense series of themed sections are arranged in a single half-hour walkthrough that includes everything from a Victorian Mansion to a Funhouse to an Asylum.
This new Halloween attraction at Pomona Fairplex should please Halloween fans seeking good scare value for their money. Its old-school approach is definitely not innovative, but it is more elaborate than the popup haunts of a decade ago. Definitely worth seeking out for those living in Pomona or San Gabriel Valley and anyone seeking a pro-haunt without the baggage and expense of a theme park. Reviewed here.
Best of Halloween 2023: Theatre & Immersive Experiences
Some of the best Halloween 2023 events in this category were listed among our Top Picks above, but that is no slight on the selections below, which we set aside to make room for newer attractions.
Delusion: Nocturnes & Nightmares
October 27 – November 19
Phillips Mansion, 2640 Pomona Boulevard in Pomona
Tickets starting at $94.99
Like The Haunted Rose, this entry would deserve a space among our list of Top Picks except that we were trying to showcase newer, less lauded attractions, and Delusion is a long-running event that has topped our lists many times in the past. That said, Nocturnes & Nightmares, the newest installment of Delusion Interactive Theatre, promises to be not merely another entry in the franchise but a climactic culmination wrapping up the saga so far. This kind of grandiose ambition can raise expectations to the point where disappointment feels almost inevitable; nevertheless, Delusion: Nocturnes & Nightmares manages to clear the high bar.
Other Halloween-themed theatre we have greatly enjoyed in the past:
Those with a taste for disturbing, adult horrors should check out this year’s installment of Urban Death: Tour of Terror, which runs at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood on October 27-31.
If you prefer something more light-hearted and fun, try Vampirates at Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park, running October 27-28 and 30-31.
Best of Halloween 2023: Yard Haunts
We expect multiple yard haunts to be worth of inclusion among Best Halloween 2023 events, but we have yet to see many of them. More may be added as we find them.
Holiday Fantasies Come to Life: Classic Monsters
October 7-31, 6:30pm
1505 N. Valley Street, Burbank 91505
Holiday Fantasies‘ yard display has always been spectacular, but as a home haunt it really stands out this year because its theme, Classic Monsters, is perfect for Halloween – not that we dislike the Disney princesses, villains, and other animation icons seen in previous years, but you just can’t beat Frankenstein, Dracula, et al when it comes to the scary season. Classic Monsters deserves a place in our list of Top Picks except that we have praised Holiday Fantasies so often in the past, so we’re putting at the top in this category.
Based on past experience, we are expecting these home haunts to be good:
This Halloween, the Riverside walkthrough haunt presents The Return of Sarah Crawford, Part 2. on October 27-29 and Nov. 3-4, 7-10pm.
This Halloween’s theme is “Let’s Go to the Movies,” running 28-29, 31. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to benefit the Volunteers of Burbank Animal Shelter. Reviewed here.
Best of Halloween 2023: Family-Friendly Haunts
Boney Island would go here, but it already made our Top Picks of the Best Halloween 2023 haunts, so here are a couple alternatives.
Magic of the Jack-o’-Lanterns
October 27-29, 31
Whittier Narrows Recreation Center, 750 S. Santa Anita Avenue in South El Monte
Tickets starting at $19.99 for children and $24.99 for adults
Although it resembles a scaled down version of similar events, Magic of the Jack-o’-Lanterns is a great opportunity for San Gabriel Valley residents to enjoy family-friendly Halloween fun in their own neck of the woods, walking along an easy-to-navigate trail decorated hundreds of lighted Jack O’ Lanterns arranged in enchanting displays. Read our review…
A more elaborate Jack O’ Lantern display is provided by the event below…
Running at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas through Halloween Night, Nights of the Jack is pretty amazing over the past few years.
Find more Family Friendly Halloween fun here.
Best of Halloween 2023: Galleries & Exhibitions
There is not much in in this category this year, but a couple of old favorites will certainly rank among the best ways to enjoy the remaining days of Halloween 2023.
Located at Hollywood and Highland, this excellent year-round exhibition of horror movie props, costumes, and memorabilia is especially timely during the Halloween season. If you have yet to see it, now is the time. Open daily through December. Video here.
SugarMynt gallery offers another iteration of their annual Halloween-themed art show. Titled Welcome to Haddonfield 1978, this one focuses on John Carpenter’s original Halloween rather than the sequels and reboots. Dates: through October 31.
Find more museums, galleries & tours here.
Best of Halloween 2023: Movie Screenings
If you enjoy seeing classic horror movies on the big screen, then this is the season for you (assuming you can drag yourself away from all the haunted houses). Below are some of the films most worth seeing in the final days of Halloween 2023.
We highly recommend the classic 1961 ghost story, The Innocents, screening on Halloween Night at 7:30pm in Los Feliz Theatre. It is old-fashioned and subtle but quite amazing when you fall under its spell.
Also screening in that venue are two final films in the American Cinematheque’s series International House of Horrors: the 1931 Spanish-language version of Dracula on October 29 and Oscar-winner Guillermo Del Toro’s debut film, Cronos, on Halloween Night. Both screenings are at 10pm.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas screens daily through October 31. Why not see it again on the big screen?
The 1935 class The Bride of Frankenstein screens at the Ace Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles on October 27 & 28 at 8pm, with The LA Opera Orchestra, conducted by Jenny Wong, performing Franz Waxman’s original soundtrack score live-to-film.
Old Town Music Hall wraps up its annual festival of classic horror with Dracula (1931) on October 28 at 2:30pm & 7pm and The Phantom of the Opera (1925) on October 29 at 2:30pm & 7pm. Live organ music will accompany the latter.
This new festival (Vidiots recently took over the The Eagle Theatre at 4884 Eagle Rock Boulevard) continues through next week with You’re Next on October 27 @ 7:30pm, The Others on October 28 at 7pm, Halloween (1978) on October 28 at 9:30pm and October 31 at 7:30pm, The Exorcist on October 29 at 6:45pm and November 2 at 4:15pm, and The Shining on November 1 at 7:30pm.
Best of Halloween 2023: Festivals
One day festivals are impossible to review before they happen, but over the years we have visited all three festivals/street fairs listed below, and all of them are worth experiencing.
Haunted Little Tokyo’s annual Halloween celebration concludes on October 28 its Haunted Block Party. There will be lots of costumed revelers of all ages wandering Second Street, but the main event is a 21-and-over party at a secret location, featuring costume contest and DJ Music. Admission is free with advance RSVP.
This informal parade – the city blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard, but the participants are just residents in fabulous costumes, promises to be “better than ever” this year. Crowds are huge and parking is impossible, so arrive early if you want to attend. It’s like Mardi Gar in West Hollywood.
Best of Halloween 2023: Neighborhood Trick or Treating
There are several neighborhoods in Los Angeles with a reputation for lots of decorated houses handing out candy, but our personal favorite is…