Halloween is the BEST! When else can you dress up, eat tons of candy and see horror decor everywhere? LA loves this holiday and they go big. Here is a list of some events going on through the beginning of November.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Located in Griffith Park, the haunted hayride consists of several haunted houses and mazes in addition to the main attraction, the hayride itself. Be prepared to hear a lot of screaming and laughter as you watch your friends jump and run from the creepy performers. $29.99+; Daily through November 2nd: Monday – Thursday, 7 – 10:30 pm, Friday & Saturday, 7 pm – 12 am, November 1-2, 7 pm – 11 pm; reserve here.
Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios has one of the biggest horror attractions with 10 mazes, including Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and Jordan Peele’s Us. $72+; Through November 3rd: (October 24 – 27, 7 pm – 2 am, October 30 – November 3, 7 pm -1 am); reserve here.
This is one of my favorite things to do at Halloween time. The lights go out at Six Flags Magic Mountain as performers in costumes jump out and scare you at every corner. There are tons of haunted houses and who doesn’t like riding their heart-pumping thrill rides in the dark! $67.99+; Through November 3rd: Friday & Saturday, 7 pm – 1 am, Sunday, 7 – 11 pm; reserve: here.
Knott’s Scary Farm
Theme park Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into a den of haunted houses, scary mazes and of course, the famous Knott’s roller coasters in the dark! $45+; Through November 2nd: Thursday & Sunday, 7 pm – 1 am, Friday & Saturday, 7 pm – 2 am; reserve: here.
Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
This massive cruise ship, that was bigger, faster and more powerful than the Titanic is known as one of the most haunted places in the world. If the mazes and other attractions don’t scare you, one of the 150 known spirits onboard the ship will. $34+; now through November 2nd; reserve here.
Both parks become immersed in Halloween complete with costumed characters, the Main Street Pumpkin Festival and fireworks. Halloween at Disneyland parks is perfect for the kid in all of us. Price vary by date; now through October 31st; reserve here.
WeHo Halloween Carnaval
Grab your costume and some comfy shoes and get ready to strut at the annual WeHo Halloween Carnaval on October 31. Santa Monica Blvd. turns into a massive costume party so dress to impress! Free (bring money for drinks and food); 6 – 11 pm; west Hollywood, CA
Illusions of Horror at Madame Tussauds
This immersive exhibit captures the most iconic characters in horror, including Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. $16.99+; reserve here.
Haus of Creep
This fully immersive experience will put you in the horror story. You will be crawling, climbing stairs, and undergo moments when you are in complete darkness. Haus of Creep is “shockingly intimate – disturbingly fun.” $69; Through November 3rd, times vary, reserve here.
For those of you who prefer to skip the crowds and enjoy this Halloween season from the comfort of your own home, here is a list of horror movies that I love to watch this time every year.
Ariel’s Halloween Movie Picks
- Halloween (1978): You can’t mention Halloween movies without shouting out one of the greatest horror villains of all time. Donning a white mask and normally carrying a large butcher knife, Michael Myers has been stalking the residents of Haddonfield since John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic hit theaters. Grab some popcorn and your favorite candy as you watch Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis come face to face with the boogeyman.
- Hatchet: This VERY bloody, gory, horror comedy will have you screaming and laughing as the ghost of Victor Crowley stalks a group of tourists on a New Orleans haunted swamp tour. Even the Candyman himself, Tony Todd has a cameo.
- Trick ‘r Treat: Five clever horror stories all set on Halloween night will leave you with an eerie chill while also making you want more. Trick ‘r Treat delivers the perfect mix of camp stories told around the fire and your biggest fears come to life.
- Sinister: Ethan Hawke does what he does best, play weird characters in dark movies. Expect no less from this 2012 sleeper hit. Sinister tells the story of a true-crime writer looking to score his next bestselling novel. While researching his next story, he and his family encounter a supernatural presence. Be ready to have cold chills go up and down your spine.
- It Chapter 1: Stephen King, a creepy clown and a group of fast talking kids, come on, it doesn’t get much better than this. Based on the terrifying King novel, It Chapter One is so good you will want to add this to your horror collection immediately.
- Friday the 13: He is one of the Ol’G icons in the horror genre. Jason Voorhees has been hacking campers and naughty teenagers since the 80s. The first film sets the tone of the franchise and will make you think twice about going into the woods again.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street: Wes Craven’s horror franchise introduced us to a sadistic Sandman who kills you in your dreams. A creepy nursery rhyme, a man with a glove of knives and a fresh-faced Johnny Depp are sure to make you want to add this movie to your list of Halloween classics.
- The Strangers: This slasher movie will make you get up while watching to make sure all of your doors are locked. A creepy storyline is combined with eerie camera angles, brilliant editing and those masks…. those masks.
- Carrie: The master of horror himself Stephen King gave us this classic about a mistreated girl with telekinetic powers. This movie will remind you that you shouldn’t make fun of anyone or laugh at their misfortunes. If the creepy religious artifacts at Carrie’s house don’t reel you in, John Travolta’s fabulous hair will.
- Hocus Pocus: Ok, I know this isn’t a horror movie, but it does have a zombie and witches. This Disney film features Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witches who have been awoken on Halloween night. The plot is cute and although it’s technically a kid’s movie, the funny lines and Bette Midler’s buck teeth will have you cracking up.