Los Angeles Halloween Theatre, Horror Plays & Haunted Performances
No longer a mere sideshow, theatre has become one of the major Halloween Events in Los Angeles. Not only do local drama troupes stage horror plays in traditional theatrical venues; also, there are numerous interactive and/or immersive experiences set in unconventional locations (such as real houses and cemeteries), which place audiences inside the play and sometimes even turn them into participants – unwilling or otherwise.
Many of these productions are one-time-only events, but new ones appear every year, and several have become perennials. On this page, you will find:
- Updates: the latest news about Halloween theatrical productions in Los Angeles.
- Perennials: a list of long-running Halloween plays that return annually. These link to pages dedicated to them, containing video, photos, and reviews too unwieldy to squeeze onto this page.
- Related Events: Other Halloween events that incorporate theatrical elements, such as living history museum tours with actors portraying ghosts of the past.
- Best Halloween Theatre: recommended plays from established producers
- One-Shots and Recent Additions: Information on interesting Halloween plays that have yet to establish themselves as perennials.
Note: “Halloween Theatre” is a somewhat nebulous designation. Unlike traditional Halloween Haunts, horror-themed plays have a shelf life that extends beyond October, so some of the entries here may start in September or last until December; a few may even show up during the off season.
Los Angeles Halloween Theatre: Updates
Check out the latest news about seasonal horror plays.
Best Halloween Theatre
Below are annual Halloween theatrical productions that have maintained the highest quality over the years.
Los Angeles Halloween Theatre: Perennials
Below are annual favorites that return every Halloween. Click through to access more information, including reviews, photos, and/or video of past productions, plus updates about their current efforts.
Los Angeles Halloween Theatre: Related Events
There are some Los Angeles Halloween tours and festivals that incorporate dramatic elements into their presentations, such as actors portraying the ghosts of the past in historical cemetery tours. Though these events are not quite plays in the traditional sense, they are theatrical, so we list them here.
Los Angeles Halloween Theatre: One-Shots & Recent Additions
The following are Halloween horror plays that have appeared either too infrequently or too recently to be included among our list of perennials. If these shows return, we may upgrade them to the main list at a later date.
Best Medicine Productions launched The Shadow Space in the spring of 2019, then brought it back for the Halloween season. The interactive play’s gimmick was casting the audience as invisible ghosts watching a human murder-mystery unfold before them. The intention was to bring the play back, possibly as an ongoing series, but the proprietor is busy operating a haunted attraction in Texas for Halloween 2021.
The Count’s Den offers a sort of interactive vampire dinner theatre at various times throughout the year. For Halloween 2019, they presented Bite, a stand-alone effort geared toward fans seeking out seasonal entertainment who might not have been familiar with the venue’s usual presentation. After going on hiatus during the 2020 pandemic, there are plans to do one or two productions for Halloween 2021.
Crossroad Escape Games entered the Halloween sweepstakes in 2019 with The Séance, a one-hour interactive play. The venue presents escape rooms throughout the year, some of them horror-themed. Plans to restage the The Séance have been abandoned, but the 2022 escape room, The Weeping Witch, is a sort of follow-up, available year-round.
The Huntington Gardens introduced Huntington After Dark for Halloween 2019, which was essentially a variation on Drama After Dark, which had been staged at the location for many years previously. Like Drama after Dark, the new event included live performances staged throughout the grounds, but the subject matter was expanded to include Shakespeare and opera instead of focusing only on the works of Poe and Gorey.
Rogue Artists Ensemble crafted the excellent Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin for Halloween 2017 and followed up with another fine (though less seasonally relevant) production for Halloween 2018, Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta. Since then they have presented no new Halloween theatrical productions, but they did a one-day event in October 2021, using characters from Kaidan Project to promote a phone app version of the play. We hope they return to the form sometime in the near future. Check for updates on their website.
All of the above Halloween plays were immersive theatre productions, suggesting they may portend a new trend in Halloween entertainment, possibly replacing pop-up Halloween haunts. We explore this possibility in “Immersive Theatre: The Future of Halloween in Los Angeles?“