Halloween Odyssey 2018: San Gabriel Valley

San Gabriel Valley Yard Haunts don't get the attention of their brethren in the San Fernando Valley and other regions of Los Angeles. Over the years, Hollywood Gothique had tried to shine a spotlight on a few: The Ghosts of Halloween, Curse of the Devil Swamp, the Haunt on Punta Del Este (all gone, unfortunately). For our final installment of the annual Halloween Odyssey series, we made first-time visits to a quartet of Halloween home haunts. Were they worth the drive east? Read on to find out...if you dare!

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San Gabriel Valley 2018 Yard Haunts: Emery Cemetery
233 S Meridian Ave, Alhambra 91801

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Emery Cemetery offered a nice graveyard display, coupled with a few lighting effects on a quiet residential street. It was easily the most decorated house on the block, making it easy to spot, and it was encouraging to see a residence decked out in a city like Alhambra, which is not known for its decor during Halloween season.

-Capsule Comment by Warren So

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San Gabriel Valley 2018 Yard Haunts: Pirate Ship of Monrovia
Madison and Hillcrest, Monrovia

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Though we were not given an official name for this display, we call this one the Pirate Ship of Monrovia for reasons that should be self-explanatory. This was a passion project for the haunt owners. On Halloween Night, guests could view a large half-pirate ship extending from the garage to the sidewalk. Pirates on deck threw out candy and necklaces for all the trick-or-treaters.  There was also a treasure trove of pirate-related props as you walked through the yard.  This was easily a must-see discovery for us - a low-profile haunt we heard of through the local grapevine.

-Capsule Comment by Warren So

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San Gabriel Valley 2018 Yard Haunts: Spiral Hill Cemetery
8303 Doris Ave, San Gabriel 91775

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The name “Spiral Hill Cemetery” hardly does this yard display justice. Situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in San Gabriel, Spiral Hill Cemetery presented a fully themed Nightmare Before Christmas yard haunt for Halloween 2018. Decorations and props from the movie could be seen in abundance - it took a  good long while for us to fully appreciate the detail of the numerous items. As a plus, on the side of the house was a Jack Skellington light show.

-Capsule Comment by Warren So

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San Gabriel Valley 2018 Yard Haunts: Walking Tree Cemetery
535 N. Pasadena Avenue, Azusa

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The Walking Tree Cemetery in Azusa offered gravestones, Jack O'Lanterns, and - true to its name - a tree, like the one in Sleepy Hollow, its base filled with faces of souls it has devoured. The quiet yard haunt was small but nicely arranged: the limited space was packed tight with decorations, without looking overcrowded; the imposing tree, like a carefully placed centerpiece, loomed over diminutive cemetery, lending a sense of magnitude to the moody scene.

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Unfortunately, The Haunted Rose in Whittier, which we loved last Halloween, was not open this year. Also, we were unable to reach both Haunted by Memories Manor in South El Monte (which we enjoyed in the past) and the Shattered Realm Haunt in La Verne (which was very impressive at MidSummer Scream this August).

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As always, we regret missing entertaining home haunts, but until we make a down payment on a TARDIS, there is no way to visit everything in the time available.

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.