New Halloween haunted houses are few and far between in Los Angeles. As we have noted, competition from the Halloween heavy hitters (Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt, etc.) make it nearly impossible for independent popup haunts to carve out a niche in the highly competitive marketplace. Sure, there are new events every October, but they tend to be theatrical productions, festivals, costume parties, or home haunts, not professional haunted house walkthroughs.
So it is pleasing to note that Halloween 2022 offers not one but two such newcomers. Shaqtoberfest from 13th Floor Entertainment has the advantage of being set on the grounds by the Queen Mary Hotel, which has a long tradition of Halloween haunting; also, it’s more like a mini-theme park with multiple attractions. Much closer to what what we mean by an indie popup haunted house is Bones Gulch Haunted Attraction, a collaboration between three home haunters that joined forces to raise money for the L.A. County Sheriff’s museum.
Because it will charge for admission, Bones Gulch counts as a professional haunt even though it is a non-profit fundraiser. This is a key point, since profitability is elusive for independent haunts in Los Angeles. Non-profits can rely on volunteer labor to get the job done, and in this case, the people involved have a combined 50 years experience doing great work for free at Beware the Dark Realm, the Farm Haunt, and Restless Souls Manor. So we are expecting great things.
Set in an 1800s old west ghost town, Bones Gulch promises a “high intensity walk-through attraction filled with terrifying live monsters, amazing special effects, and incredible sets.” The haunted attraction will be open every Saturday in October, plus Sunday October 30. Hours are from 6:00pm to10:00pm. Also, there will be a free kid-friendly daytime event on October 30th.
The location is the Jack Bones Equestrian Center at 26983 Tapia Canyon Road in Castaic. Tickets are $20. Get more information at bonesgulch.com.