Witch’s Castle

Best of LA, October 2008

Because so many TV and movie crew members call the San Fernando Valley home, neighborhoods there are expert at playing dead: Front yards feature creatures on hydraulics, intricate light shows, “live” ghouls, scary sound effects, and professional stuntmen. One area in Studio City—bordered by Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue on the east and west and Moorpark Street and Valleyheart Drive on the north and south—starts teeming with kids at dusk. The busiest street is Shadyglade Avenue, thanks to the Witch’s Castle (witchcastle.com). Staged in part by production designers near the corner of Valley Spring Lane, it frequently pulls in about 1,000 gawkers. A lack of access to Ventura Boulevard means that streets are relatively traffic free, though they’re not closed to cars.