Our Annual Halloween Yard Haunt Odyssey in Orange County once again reminded us that Halloween is not dead. Though O.C. once had the reputation of not being as elaborately haunt-happy as Los Angeles, that has certainly changed over the years. Here is what we’ve seen so far down south.
This list will update as we visit more Orange County yard haunts.
Orange County 2020 Yard Haunts: Anaheim
1870 Haunt Manor
1870 North Cymbal Place, Anaheim CA
October 1-31, 6 PM to 10 PM
Our 1st Stop of the OC Haunt Odyssey for the year landed us at the gates of 1870 Haunt Manor in Anaheim. The yard display boasted a grand facade of a rundown building circa 1950s that’s on fire backed by a soundtrack on repeat featuring Jo Stafford’s “You Belong To Me”, to give it an eerie feel as if you are trapped in time. A couple of skeletons were also seen on the porch enjoying the radio with candlelights in the dead of the night. The way the song was distorted or made to feel like it came out of a record player from the 50s also gave off the feeling like there are ghosts trapped inside the burning building. Since the weekend of Oct 9th, they have had actors to accompany the display.
The 3rd Eye
STC Anaheim Garden Walk
400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
Year-Round, All Day Display
Technically not a “Yard Haunt” display, this will be a commercial haunt coming as soon as February 2021. Located in the newly rejuvenated Anaheim Gardenwalk which is now under new management; the creators behind Richard & Christina’s haunted maze/The 3rd Eye maze put this dazzling display together. A giant, larger than life, Sadako (The Ring) is protruding from the wall with an eye that changes colors. Her hands and face are 3-D so people have been taking photos that make it seem like she is grabbing onto them i.e. King Kong. This is a very impressive multi-purpose decoration and photo-op which also serves as the entrance to The 3rd Eye maze in the future. The rest of the famous Anaheim Gardenwalk plaza is also decorated with an assortment of Halloween eye candy, both spooky and friendly.
Grim Grinners Haunt
2015 S Eileen Drive, Anaheim, CA 92802
October 11-November 1, 7-10 PM
Funny story about this haunt. We’ve driven past this house at least 12 times in the past 4 months and started realizing it was decorated close to October. We thought to ourselves: “Hey this looks cool, it should be listed as a home haunt somewhere!” Lo and behold, it’s got its own social media presence. The daytime display was impressive enough to turn heads; the nighttime was spooktacular with an assortment of grim grinning Jack O’ Lanterns and skeletal animals. The night time ambient was superb with your favorite Halloween colors with Knott’s Scary Farm-esque webs draped over the building. When hitting this haunt, make sure you stop by one that’s around the corner going East on Wakefield.
1576 W Wakefield Avenue
1576 W Wakefield Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802
October 1-31, 7-10PM
A creative display just around the corner (walking distance) from Grin Grinners Haunt. It was impressive in daytime as it was at night time. We spotted 4 adult skeletons chained to different parts of the house. Perhaps this was a public execution, or was it some sort of sacrifice? Definitely add this to the route if you’re going haunt hunting in the O.C.
Orange County 2020 Yard Haunts: Other Neighborhoods
The 8th Plague
416 Locust Street, Brea, CA
October 1-31, Dusk to 10 PM
Not as elaborate as others, but it features a few Jack-O’-Lanterns in the windows and miscellaneous decorations on the porch with cobwebs hanging from the roof and the top of the window. Therefore, we were unsure the origins of the name; it may be one of those occasions where another media outlet voluntarily force-gave a name for the haunt without the owner never knowing. However, a reliable fellow media outlet person was able to get an exclusive interview with the owners and shared that the reason they named it “The 8th Plague” was because it is located on “Locust St”; very clever! It's good for neighbors or it's worth a drive-by if you're in the area.
6688 San Alano Cir, Buena Park, CA 90620
October 1-31, Dusk to 10 PM (Full Effects on Weekends)
In its final year; be sure to take advantage and visit before the fiery Hull House evaporates for good. The proprietor is moving on to Arizona for greener or should we say hotter pastures. Our 2nd visit to this haunt; this year included the addition of Jack O’Lanterns on the rooftop, a skeletal corpse inside an upright coffin, and a natural dead tree branch that was positioned just right to capture the moment. If you’re lucky enough, the owner will tell you exactly where that branch is.
The Pirate’s Cave
2548 E Garfield Ave, Orange, CA 92867
October 23-25, 30-31, November 1, 7-10PM
One of the more creative home haunts we’ve ever visited for 2 seasons in a row; The Pirate’s Cave had to charter a different course this year and was not able to host it’s usual haunt because well you know...2020. Therefore; instead of having guests walkthrough, guests will get to enjoy an interactive 4-D show. The haunt proprietor (normally an scary pirate Captain) was kind enough to have Hollywood Gothique over for an exclusive media preview night. We found that the usual Pirate’s Cave backdrop facade was still intact; what was noticeably different were the 2 screens at the ends of the facade. The show utilized several pirate clips, lighting effects, and sounds while actors emerge to find the hidden treasure. Live actors were much more than 6 feet away from the audience so no concerns of catching any viruses or plagues here. We must warn you though, like any show at a theme park that involves water, don’t get too close if you don’t want to get wet!
Dead Last Drive-In
2916 E Vine Ave, Orange, CA 92869
Fridays and Saturdays in October, 7-11 PM (SOLD OUT)
We’ve heard probably every variation of play on phrases such as: “Drive-Thru, Drive-In, Drive Up, etc” this Halloween season and sometimes it may disappoint because the haunt seeker expected something totally different. Sometimes the “drive-thru” ain’t a drive-thru and the “drive-up” yields an experience where your car is stagnant and can’t get out even if you wanted to. However, at Dead Last Drive-In, it was actually a “drive-in” which…..could be your last. Already sold out by early October, we were fortunate enough to have secured a showing. To keep this exclusive and controlled since it was at a residential apartment community; you would have to register through a special text line and then be given a code to punch into the call box. In other words, you can’t just crash this drive-in experience. The experience actually took place in a converted car port, which they turned into your little private viewing stall with a projection in front of you. Unlike some drive-in experiences; the FM frequency actually worked and there were scare actors that did a great job at scaring us during pivotal scenes from the screen. What did we watch? A nice medley of scenes from classic horror films in the last 3 or 4 decades.
Phantom Hollow Holidays
9852 Verde Lomas Cir, Villa Park, CA 92861
October 1 - 31, Dusk - 11 PM
The Phantom Hollow house is an ode to The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. You’ll find the signature hearse, talking animatronics, a familiar soundtrack, and eye candy that will make you long for Disneyland to reopen. The massive property really gave it a “haunted mansion” feel, the difference of course this is white and not abandoned and aged like the one at Disneyland. This is a great addition to your Orange County yard display hunt itinerary.
Orange County 2020 Yard Haunts: Conclusion
It's still possible to plan a route to see the aforementioned displays and haunts. It is definitely worth a trip outside of L.A., as a change in scenery may not be bad for this year. This list could update depending on how the winds sail through the remainder of this Halloween season.