Video: Cemetery Lane at Heritage Square Museum

Cemetery Lane: A Trick-R-Treat Experience certainly lives up to its name. The producers of Midsummer Scream have transformed the Heritage Square Museum into a Halloween neighborhood. The authentic Victorian mansions and other historical structures on the grounds are bathed in saturated hues and decorated with Jack O’ Lanterns and spiderwebs. They are hosted by witches, vampires, and other creepy characters, who cheerfully dole out candy while making menacing remarks with fang-in-cheek.

It may not sound like much more than door-to-door trick-or-treating, but it is very much an immersive experience, with a mini-circus, a sinister graveyard, and a spooky garden. The mansions are so beautifully lit that one feels surrounding by them, encapsulated in a magical world separated from the outside. With a brisk pace, one could get a bag full of treats in little time and leave, but the atmosphere encourages stopping to savor the details. Take time to walk through the interior of one mansion open to the public, or circumvent the house ensnared in the web of a giant spider. Linger in the graveyard – but not too long! – or engage in banter with the ghoulish hosts at each stop. You will be glad you did.

Check out a series of slideshows below, identifying the different stops on the trick-or-treat tour…

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The entrance to Cemetery Lane sets the tone, with festive skeletons atop brick pillars. After checking in, one passes the station, then moves onto the grounds, passing a circus on the way tot he first stop…


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A beautiful octagonal house has become the lair of a giant spider. Pause outside to take advantage of a photo op, or climb the rotunda to get your first treat. Walk all the way around to see various victims cocooned from the roof.


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Cackling but friendly witches inhabit the next house. There is a boiling cauldron but little evidence of foul play. Spirits materialize in the windows, but the witches themselves seem corporeal. Take the steps up to the porch, proving your brave enough to deserve a treat.


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Passing through a spooky garden, where pumpkins grow, leads to the church, where some strange figure lurks in the steeple, staring down. Use binocular or a zoom lens to get a better look. Across from the church is a school bus inhabited by static skeletons. At times, other skeletal figures may dance out front.


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The church contains merchandising opportunities in case you need a break from trick-or-treating. After making your purchase, you can step back outside and visit the Apothecary, whose magical elixir is guaranteed to cure all ills. If it fails to revive you as promised, move on to the far end of the museum grounds, where you can purchase an espresso from Rad Coffee, which is sure to do the trick. Other food and beverage options are available as well.


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When finished with libations, make a u-turn and head back toward the entrance, passing the church and coming first to a carriage house that seems to belong in an old western ghost town. Skeletons play a friendly poker game.

A few steps further is a graveyard where the caretaker invites you in for candy – apparently, someone is at home and alive – or at least undead – within the tomb. Are you brave enough to accept the offering? And are you strong enough to snatch it from the death-grip of whatever is inside?


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The next house is hosted by vampires, who seem thirsty but otherwise friendly as you approach. It is tempting to linger but perhaps not wise to test their self-restraint – they, too, maybe hoping for a tasty Halloween treat, which could be your neck.


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The next mansion is the only one whose interior is open the public, providing an opportunity for a brief walk-through the surroundings, which are dark and sinister, though not haunted as far as we could tell.


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The last stop, just before reaching the exit, is rather intimidate – due not only to ghastly red lighting but also to the thumping sounds from inside the closed door. The host on the porch is quick to offer “reassuring” explanations for the noise. Is she sincere or merely hoping to lure you within reach with the temptation of a final Halloween treat?


The Cemetery Lane Trick-R-Treat Experience continues through October 31. Tickets are told in one-hour intervals from 1pm to 9pm over this final weekend. Guests are welcome to linger beyond their one-hour time-slots. Covid-19 precautions are required, including masks. To purchase tickets, visit the official website.

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.