Hollywood Gothique booked passage to Boney Island this weekend and found the skeletal inhabitants of the whimsical Halloween tourist attraction as spirited as ever. Maxilla’s Magical Cauldrons still spew brightly colored water synchronized to Halloween-themed music (both high- and low-brow, the latter much to Maxilla’s chagrin). Other familiar feats of legerdemain abound: hand shadows, anti-gravity water, the Indian rope trick, etc. But the yard haunt offers a few flourishes that even long-time tourists will not have seen on previous visits.
Last year’s addition, the Enchanted Garden, has been re-christened the Hauntington Gardens, with a lovely new sign. Instead of simply sitting atop the house, the old Spirit Box (displaying spectral apparitions) has been installed in a structure that resembles the peaked roof of a haunted mansion, so that the spirits seem to be appearing in an upper floor window. The skeletal spider now has a skeletal gnome knocking out xylophone tunes on his skeletal bones. An undead bird pulls a worm from the ground. There’s even a walk-of-fame, displaying impressions of celebrities preserved in “concrete”: “Jerry Spinefeld, Nicolas Ribcage,” etc. (This was actually present last Halloween, but we didn’t give it quite the attention it deserved.)
As always Boney Island is free and open to the public. It’s the best family-friendly Halloween haunt in Los Angeles – though the word “haunt” may be misleading, since there are no scares, only goofy fun.
The Boney Island yard haunt is located at 4602 Morse Avenue in Sherman Oaks, CA 91432. The event continues through Halloween Night, with hours of 6-9pm on weekdays and Sundays, 6-10pm Fridays and Saturdays. For more info visit: boneyisland.com.
Photographs copyright 2016 by Warren So and Steve Biodrowski