Scorching heat has given way to the tell-tale signs of fall—cooler mornings, earlier sunsets, pumpkin spice, and shrines to my favorite holiday, Halloween! For some, the holiday is nothing more than a visit to a pumpkin patch, costumed cuteness, and massive amounts of candy consumption.
For others, like me, there are masquerade parties, elaborate regalia, complex decorations months in the making, and themed events all over our city. And every year there is more and more of us. In fact, in 2016, Americans spent more than 8 billion dollars on Halloween, an increase of over 1 billion dollars from 2015. Good stuff!
It all makes sense. Due to the body’s inherent fight or flight response, being scared gives many people a natural high. We can’t get enough. This may be what has given rise to the countless horror events popping up everywhere. Ticket demand is high, and many events regularly sell out. In other words, you need a game plan for the month. You need to be prepared.
Fortunately, JamiePNation has your back. We’re coming out early with our second annual listing of our favorite seasonal offerings. Make sure you plan.
Haunted Hayride - Griffith Park
Killer clowns in an abandoned zoo with a giant corn maze…what could go wrong? The attraction has grown in size and features a “scary-go-round,” food options from the Grub Shack, trick or treating in a suburb of hell, the hayride with a corn maze, and the House of Shadows, which is the city’s only true “dark maze.” Steven King will be in line. Will you?
Halloween Horror Nights – Universal Studios, Universal City
Zombies, jump scares and a terror-filled tram ride! This year’s HHN features eight mazes, the Terror Tram hosted by Chucky and multiple scare zones. Some of this year’s “themes” include Ash vs. The Evil Dead, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and Insidious.
Knott’s Scary Farm – Buena Park
Knott’s Berry Farm has once again been transformed into a horror-filled park where fear reigns supreme. Southern California’s largest scale event with 13 haunted mazes, thrill rides, and countless ghouls hiding in the mist that permeates the park. This year’s themes include CarnEVIL, Fiesta de Los Muertos, The Hollow and more.
Dark Harbor – Long Beach
Already billed as one of the most haunted places in SoCal, the Queen Mary is creepy year-round. Musty boiler rooms, creaking metal, maniacal children’s laughter, ghosts and that’s just the everyday stuff. This year’s spooktacular horror fest includes The Big Top Terror Circus, Intrepid, Deadrise, and more.
Zombie Escape Room – DTLA
Imagine being trapped in a room with a hungry zombie chained to the wall. You must use your wit to follow the clues, solve puzzles, find a key, and get the hell out before you are eaten alive. Wait, the zombie’s chained to the wall…that helps buy some time, right? NO! Every 5 minutes a buzzer sounds and the zombie’s chains are released a foot from the wall. Don’t let the fear cloud your wits or you are zombie chow!
For those with a younger set, there are several great kid-friendly attractions as well. Mickey’s Halloween Party has already sold out for 2017, but you can still visit the following:
Boo at the Zoo – Griffith Park
Special entertainment includes live performances, pumpkin carving, and animal feedings. On October 28th and 29th, there will be trick or treating throughout the zoo. Costumes are not only welcomed but encouraged.
Boney Island – Sherman Oaks
One of Los Angeles’ best DIY haunted houses. The animatronic heavy home is located at 4602 Morse Avenue in Sherman Oaks and billed as “A fully animated amusement park for fun-loving skeletons of all ages.” The free event runs from October 21-October 31, 2017. Singing pumpkins with a timed water/light show, photo booth opportunities, a “Boo-tique” with shirts and treats and a mind-reading skeleton who probably knows as much about you as your parents.
In short, my friends, there is something for everyone. So, please, by all means, buy your Snickers bars, put pumpkins on your porch, dress up as your favorite witch or warlock, but don’t stop there!
Step out of your safe homes and explore the beautiful city of Los Angeles. Allow yourself to experience the ghoulish holiday in all its horrifying glory!