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Halloween Odyssey 2018: Shocktale, Backwoods, Rotten Apple

Last night, Hollywood Gothique began the first leg of its annual Halloween Haunt Odyssey with a visit to a trio of home haunts located within ten minutes of each other, in North Hollywood and Burbank: Shocktale Hour, The Backwoods Maze, and Rotten Apple 907. The first is a new yard haunt display; the others are well-known walk-throughs we have visited often in the past. Read on to learn more – if you dare…

Shocktale Hour
6256 Fulcher Avenue, North Hollywood
Through October 31, sundown-10pm

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This lawn display offers an intriguing mixture of tragedy and exuberance. A bar located in a graveyard, Shocktale Hour sets the happy hour mood with jazzy songs from a century ago, but the tombstones are engraved with the names of victims of the Salem Witch Trials – apparently, they’re having a swinging time in the afterlife.

The props are static, but there is a phantom that appears through an arch toward the back. The lighting is nicely done, especially the glowing rib cages of the skeletons, and the melting candles are a hoot (actually electric candles modeled into twisted forms).

Shocktale Hour is located on the corner (not an intersection) where Fulcher Avenue and Sylvan Street meet and merge together. A few blocks west on Sylvan, on the northwest corner of a side street before Tujunga Avenue, there is another decorated home haunt worth a drive by.

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The Backwoods Maze
1912 N. Pepper Street, Burbank
October 21, 26-28, 31, 7-10pm

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The Backwoods Maze has always been a miracle of geometry, squeezing a pro-sized haunt into a backyard. Incredibly, they have somehow found room to add even more this year, including a Casualty Morgue with the body of a creature from The Thing prequel released a few years ago. As always, the quality here equals or excels the best professional haunted attractions, making Backwoods Maze the prime contender for the title of scariest home haunt in Los Angeles.

Rotten Apple 907: Kilpetto’s Toy Shop
907 N. California Street, Burbank
October 27-28, 31, 7-10pm

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After taking a darker, more sinister turn during Halloween 2017, the Rotten Apple 907 home haunt resumes its more familiar strategy of mixing of horror with demented whimsy, creating their own unique formula in which laughter and screams are provoked with equal abundance. This year’s theme is a riotous riff on Pinocchio, with menacing marionettes, creepy dolls, and some unfortunate humans utilized for spare parts. As with their previous ventures into fairy tale territory (Malice in Wonderland, Enchanted Forest), Rotten Apple twists the familiar tales in strange ways, but in this case, things are a bit more grizzly. Best of all is a grandfather clock that comes to life like a deranged Cogsworth.

Burbank Hollywood Haunt Odyssey 2018: Conclusion

The proximity of these three Halloween home haunts makes them a perfect itinerary for fans attempting to hit as many horror hot spots as possible this season. Shocktale Hour will take only a few minutes; Backwoods Maze and Rotten Apple could take an hour or more each, because of long lines to enter the walk-throughs. During the last few days of October, there will be additional yard haunts in the vicinity: Malice in Wonderland (400 N. Catalina Street, Burbank) and Spider Lights (806 Catalina StreetBurbank).

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.