Get Spooked with the Best Halloween Events in L.A.

You’re a bad witch and your ghouls are bad, too

It’s that time again when we start seeking out ways to scare ourselves for fun. Halloween in L.A. brings out some of the most creative and wild experiences of the year–and the chance to be anybody (or anything) you want to be for a night. Make the most of the month with L.A.’s best haunts, parties, and other Halloween events.


Haunted Houses and Mazes

Dark Harbor 2018 at the Queen Mary

Whether or not you believe the Queen Mary is actually haunted, there’s no doubt you’ll see some spooky stuff at this annual Halloween attraction. The scale might be the largest of any haunt in town, with 200 different monsters and ghosts in six different mazes, plus secret chambers, a 4D “panic experience,” a haunted hookah lounge, live entertainment, hidden bars, rides, and more. You can even book a stateroom to stay on the ship overnight. September 27-30; October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28; and October 31-November 2; from 7 p.m. to midnight. 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach; tickets $20-$229. 

 

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Horrorworld

Horrorworld boasts that it has the scariest haunted houses in town. The complex involves three distinct walk-through mazes, each with a different theme: Psycho Sanitarium, the Fleshyard (a “bloody chainsaw murder on the livestock farm” concept), and Into the Black (your “horned demon devil worship ancient evil” scenario). Steel yourself for lots of gore, actors jumping out, darkness, isolation, and the whole scary shebang. September 28 & 29; October 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, and 26-31; from 6 p.m. to midnight. 1600 S. Azusa Ave., Rowland Heights; tickets $15-$45.  

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

This will be the the tenth year for the annual haunted hayride in Griffith Park. Hop aboard for a ride through the creepy Old Zoo area (abandoned after a 1926 flood and mostly closed off), transformed for the season with eerie fog, sound effects, and ambience. As you roll, actors and monsters will pop out, chase you down, and startle. Fridays through Sundays in October at 7 p.m. 4801 Griffith Park Dr.; Griffith Park; tickets $35.99-$59.99. 

CREEP: AWAKE

This year’s production by the avant-garde theater troupe behind CREEP is an all-new storyline, delving into the idea of dreams–and nightmares. While you may be expected to crawl, be touched by actors, and explore hidden areas, the organizers don’t want it to be seen as a haunted house, per se. Think of it as a play in which you’re surrounded by the action, rather than a passive member of the audience. Performances September 27 to November 4. ROW DTLA, 777 Alameda St., downtown; tickets $89. 


Family-Friendly Halloween Events

Ghost Train at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

If a hayride sounds too itchy, hop on a ghost train instead. This 23-minute, family-friendly train ride is mildly spooky, but free of gore or major frights. You’ll chug past dragons, witches, castles and graveyards, all crafted by a team of theatrical animatronics specialists. After the ride, visit Boney Island, an adjacent on-foot attraction. October 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, and 31; 7 to 10 p.m. 5202 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park; tickets $25 – $30.

Hocus Pocus Halloween Boutique at Roger’s Gardens

For the Halloween season, Roger’s Gardens has converted its space into an immersive (if not technically authorized) ode to the Harry Potter franchise, with lots of whimsical, wizard-y decor and photo ops. After you explore the space, you can shop the limited-edition products to take your favorite bits of this faux-Hogwarts home. Daily through Halloween, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar; free.

 

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Nights of the Jack: a Halloween Jack O’Lantern Experience

Decorative gourd season is in full effect. Thousands of hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins are on display along a half-mile trail. Expect to see squash of all shapes and sizes, decorated with images from pop culture, traditional scary motifs, and some creative interpretations of the form. Vendors will be on hand with seasonal snacks and drinks to sustain you during the self-guided walk. October 11-14, 17-21, 24-31; from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. King Gillette Ranch, 26800 Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas; tickets $20 – $25.

Marina Spooktacular

Haunted pirate ships moor in Marina del Rey for this event that mixes elements of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. The Ballet Folklorico Ollin from Veracruz and Danza Mexica Cauauhtemoc will perform traditional dances, and there are costume contests, food trucks, mazes, and trick-or-treating. Note: tours of the “pirate ships” get freakier after the sun sets; nighttime sessions are only recommended for ages 13+. October 27 and 28; 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey; free. 

Tick or Treat at the Original Farmers Market

For a safe and fun trick or treat experience, let the kiddos loose at the Original Famers Market. There will be chocolates and candies to collect from vendors and other surprises. While you’re there, stop in for some pumpkin ice cream at Bennett’s, pumpkin doughnuts at Bob’s, or pumpkin pie at Du-Par’s. October 31; 6333 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove; free. 

Illusions of Horror at Madame Tussauds

Walk though this special attraction at wax museum Madame Tussauds featuring Halloween-ed up vignettes and spooky (or occasionally silly) reimaginings of celebrity wax figures in horror-inspired settings. They’ve carted out lots of classic horror figures too, so you can snap a selfie with Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, and more. Through October 31; 6933 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Tickets from $16.99. 


Theme Park Haunts

Knott’s Scary Farm

This theme park haunt features over 30 attractions, including roller coasters and carnival-style rides, magic shows, art installations, and tons of mazes and environments, all populated by a cast of 1,000 costumed characters. New concepts this year include Dark Entities–a supernatural space station maze–and the Forsaken Lake “scare zone.” September 27-30, October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 24-28, 31. 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park; tickets $42-$149.99.  

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Each year, Universal Studios creates attractions based on its horror movie and television properties. For 2018, that means environments based on Stranger Things, Poltergeist, The First Purge, and others. One special attraction throws it back to the Old Hollywood monster movie days–and has a custom soundtrack composed by Slash. September 27-30; October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 24-28, 31. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City; tickets $65-$97. 

 

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Happy Hauntings at Disneyland

For a Halloween that’s more cute than creepy, Disneyland is a perfect choice. You’ll find festive touches around the park, drawn from Nightmare Before Christmas and other properties. There’s a pumpkin festival, “Villains Square,” trick-or-treating, and a special parade. New this year is a chance to interact with Vampirina, a darling little vampire character with her own Disney Junior series. Daily through Halloween. 1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim; tickets $97-$135. 

 Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain

If you thought there was nothing scarier than riding roller coasters operated by high schoolers, you were dead wrong. Magic Mountain’s annual Fright Fest has scare zones and themed haunted mazes, which this year include a Sewer of Souls and a maze based on the new movie Hell Fest. But the best part? Riding roller coasters (operated by teenagers) in the dark. September 28-30; October 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28. Six Flags Magic Mountain, 2601 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia; daily passes are $53.99 in advance.


Spooky Tours and Historic Sites

Echo Park Book of the Dead Tour

Guides from Esotouric–the experts in L.A.’s underbelly–will take you on a tour of the creepy secrets of the neighborhoods once known as the “streetcar suburbs,” Echo Park, Angeleno Heights, Elysian Park, and Silver Lake. Learn about the crimes, mysteries, and murders behind the historic architecture, and pay an inside visit to Sister Aimee Semple McPherson’s famous parsonage. October 13 at 11:30 a.m. Departure from 1820 Industrial St., downtown; tickets $58. 

 

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Mourning and Halloween Tours at Heritage Square Museum

Step back to 1918, as the Spanish Flu epidemic is claiming victims and funerals are a staple of Edwardian social life, in violation on “gathering bans” intended to stop the contagion. Inside the historic Heritage Square Museum, you’ll learn about the era’s funeral etiquette and mourning dress, and experience the Spiritualism, séances, cults, and Phantasmagoria of the time. October 27 and 28 at noon. Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., Montecito Heights; tickets $8-$20 (children may attend, but are encouraged to only participate in a concurrent family-friendly program at the museum, not the mourning tour) 

Art Deco Society of L.A. Tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Experts steeped in Old Hollywood lore (and scandals, of course) guide three hour walking tours through the city’s most iconic burial ground. The 120-year-old cemetery is the final resting place for Douglas Fairbanks, Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, and many others. October 13, tours departing 10 a.m. to noon. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; tickets $20.


Eerie Performances and Screenings

The Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary Live Score Performance at the Hollywood Bowl 

Danny Elfman, composer of the original score for The Nightmare Before Christmas (and erstwhile Oingo Boingo frontman), oversees this three-night celebration of the film that launched 1,000 Hot Topic tee shirts. Tim Burton’s film will be accompanied by a live orchestra and singers, special guest performers, live scenery projections, and other surprises. October 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; tickets $37-$199. 

Otik Records Annual Halloween Covers Night

We’re not sure when bands playing one-night-only cover sets became a Halloween tradition, but it’s certainly here to stay. Otik Records puts together this showcase of local bands and ad hoc super groups embodying their idols. Look for Who Cares (covering the Who) and Won’t-Co (as Wilco), and several more to be announced. October 29 at 8 p.m. The Hi Hat, 5043 York Blvd., Highland Park; tickets $8. 

“The Witching Hour” Magic Show

Black Rabbit Rose is a cocktail bar and magic theater in a Hollywood building that, they say, has been a speakeasy frequented by Rudolph Valentino–and maybe even the headquarters of some occult activities of the era as well. This spooky limited-run magic show is all about connecting with some of those Old Hollywood ghosts and conjuring supernatural secrets. Performances October 11 to November 30. Black Rabbit Rose, 1719 N. Hudson Ave., Hollywood; tickets $40. 

 

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Lucha VaVoom Circo de Vampiros Halloween Spectacular 

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with masked Mexican wrestlers, burlesque dancers, and comedians? For this Halloween edition, the theme is vampires–but sexy, silly, wrestling vampires, of course. October 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. Mayan Theater, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown; tickets $40-$55. 

Vampyr and Fanged Fête After-Party

Each year, the Gothic Theatre at Ace Hotel selects an eerie film from yesteryear to bring out from the vaults for a screening with a live orchestra performance, followed by a dark dance party that goes well into the night. For 2018, the film is the surrealist Vampyr from 1932, considered “one of the most unsettling vampire movies ever made.” October 27 and 31 at 8 p.m. 929 S. Broadway, downtown; tickets $25-$35. 

KCRW Masquerade

Your favorite local public radio station brings back its annual masquerade party, in a new location. Now housed in the Los Angeles Theater downtown, with it’s many levels and rooms to explore (and maybe a few ghosts to encounter), musical selections will include live sets from White Denim, Wajatta, and Cherry Glazerr, a performance by the Lucent Dossier cirque troupe, and DJing from Santigold, DaM-FunK, and KCRW DJs. Costumes are encouraged. October 27 at 9 p.m. 615 S. Broadway, downtown; tickets $89.90. 

 

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Hocus Pocus Screening and Halloween Dress-Up 

Beloved witch flick Hocus Pocus will screen at Melrose Rooftop Theater, and attendees are encouraged to dress up in spooky garb inspired by Bette Midler and co. There’s a full bar, snacks, and trick-or-treat-worthy candy to snack on. October 30 and 31 at 8:30 p.m. E.P. & L.P., 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; tickets $27.50-$65.00

John Carpenter Performing Halloween and All of His Greatest Scores 

Hollywood composer John Carpenter brings his memorable score from the Halloween films to the Palladium. Try not to feel the hairs standing up on your neck when those iconic strings get going. October 31 at 7 p.m. Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; tickets $45-$102


Halloween Parties for the Grown-Ups

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval 

WeHo’s annual costumed shindig is in a league of its own. The estimated turnout has been known to number in the hundreds of thousands–but it’s hard to know for sure, given the free-for-all block party atmosphere of this sprawling open-air street party. The main drag is Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheney Drive and La Cienega, and the wild scene is legendary. October 31 from 6 p.m. West Hollywood; free. 

 

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2nd Annual Carnal Carnival Halloween Block Party 

Make your way through two different creep-ified club experiences within the TAO Group complex in Hollywood. Upstairs, the Highlight Room features a Freak Show theme showcasing “eclectic oddities.” Downstairs, Avenue turns into a haunted insane asylum concept, with a dark Old Hollywood twist. October 27 at 9 p.m. TAO Group Los Angeles, 6417 Selma Ave, Hollywood; tickets $75-$100.

Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve

For five years, local events producers Minimal Effort have thrown events for the two most extra-effort holidays of the year: New Year’s Eve and Halloween. This time, they’ll be taking over DTLA’s Belasco Theater with performances going on in several nooks and intimate spaces. Talent includes Boys Noize, Ardy Pardy, Audiofly, and more. October 27 at 8 p.m. Belasco Theater, 1050 S. Hill St., downtown; tickets $69-$149.

Halloween Underworld Carnival

For a party that’s festive (but not too freaky), stop by the L.P. Rooftop Bar. Costumes are encouraged and the place will be decorated, but the entertainment comes from DJs and roving carnival performers, rather than terrifying monsters. Show up early for an open bar and complimentary passed apps between 8:00 and 9:30. October 27 at 8 p.m. E.P. & L.P. 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; tickets $65-$500.

Halloween Night with Guy Gerber

Israeli producer, DJ, and record label honcho Guy Gerber will be the first DJ to ever perform in L.A.’s year-old TAO at this special Halloween event. The fancy restaurant-lounge will be transformed into a Halloween-themed nightclub for you to dance the devil’s night away.  October 31 at  9 p.m. TAO Los Angeles, 6421 Selma Ave., Hollywood; tickets $100.

 

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DJ Snake at The Shrine

While perhaps not explicitly billed as a “Halloween” party, we would not be surprised to see some costumed characters in the crowd for this dance event. DJ Snake, hot off his recent collab “Taki Taki” with Cardi B and Selena Gomez, is playing only two U.S. shows this season, so catch this one if you can.  October 31 at  8 p.m. Shrine Expo Hall, 665 W. Jefferson Blvd., Exposition Park; tickets $39.50.

HARD Day of the Dead

For those who like to mix a little bit of spooky imagery in with their all-day dance-fest, HARD Day of the Day returns with performers including Justice, Die Antwoord, and Cashmere Cat. Costumes are not by any means required, but you might spot a creepy mask or two on revelers in the crowd (but don’t worry, they’re only hungry for bass, not brains). November 3 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 N. Spring St., downtown; tickets $69.99-$159.99.

 


RELATED: An Inside Look at the Scarier-Than-Ever Los Angeles Haunted Hayride


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