Continuing our countdown of the best Halloween destinations in the country:
Located in southern California, Los Angeles is a sprawling city with hundreds of diverse and eclectic experiences to help you get into the Halloween spirit. The center of America’s film and television industry, L.A. is ready to amp up the theatricality to bring you the most terrifying attractions and family-friendly activities the country has to offer.
Here are our top picks for the best events in Los Angeles this season:
Although this annual Halloween convention has already passed us by this year, organizers are already gearing up for August 2016. Growing from 3,000 to 10,000 visitors this past year, Scare LA is the largest Halloween convention on the west coast. Every year, they bring fans and professionals together to share the latest and greatest Halloween has to offer. Scare LA hosts panels made up of notable stars and creators of film and tv, exhibitors from across the country, and screenings of new horror movies. The convention culminates in a Bloody Ballroom Costume Party where guests can rock out to Halloween themed music and enter to win a plethora of prizes. We will most certainly see you there next year!
Known for bringing iconic characters from film and television to life, Universal Studios offers one of the country’s most popular Halloween attractions. They offer six mazes based on your favorite horror programming: The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far, Insidious: Return to the Further, Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home, This is the End-3D, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak: Mazes of Madness, and AVP: Alien vs. Predator. They also bring back their annual Terror Tram with Terror Tram: Survive the Purge. This year, they offer a high energy live stage show from the Jabbawockeez and four Scare Zones: Exterminatorz, Dark Christmas, Corpz, and The Purge: Urban Nightmare. Guests who attend each year recommend buying your tickets early and in advance in order to get the best deals.
Each Halloween, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park transforms into the nation’s oldest and largest Halloween theme park with over 160 acres of pure horror. Offering 12 mazes (Black Magic, Dead of Winter, Forevermore, Fright Lane with Skeleton Key, My Bloody Clementine, Pinocchio Unstrung, Paranormal Inc, Special Ops: Infected- Patient Zero, The Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon Rises, Tooth Fairy, Trick Or Treat, and Voodoo- Order of the Serpent), this haunted attraction has dozens of activities to keep you on your toes. The Farm also hosts two live shows (Elvira’s Asylum and The Hanging) and offers 13 rollercoaster thrill rides to keep the adrenaline pumping. Watch out! More than 1,000 monsters and madmen roam the park waiting to scare you through the night.
Even Disneyland gets into the Halloween spirit every year by offering family-friendly Halloween activities and a total seasonal makeover of the park. With parades, Mickey’s Halloween Party, and rides like the Haunted Mansion and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, there is plenty of fun to keep parents and children alike entertained.
To really get an immersive Halloween experience for an extremely affordable price, visit Dark Harbor. Climb aboard the haunted ship to experience true terror. The attraction offers six mazes (including an all new maze, Scary Mary’s Lullaby Maze), monsters, stage shows, and rides to fill the night with entertainment.
Presented by Ten Thirty One Productions and featured on the hit TV show Shark Tank, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is held annually in Griffith Park and the abandoned LA Zoo. This year’s theme, Boogeyman, is sure to send terror down the spine of visitors with 5 Scare Zones: LA Haunted Hayride, In-Between Dark Maze, Trick or Treat, House of Shadows, and Purgatory. The event also hosts returning crowd favorites: Theatre Macabre, Death Row, Jack’s Carving Shack, Scary Go-Round, and many more activities to bring fright and excitement.
Enjoy the largest Halloween street party in the world in West Hollywood this October 31st. This celebration (where admission is FREE!) features live music and entertainment across multiple stages on Santa Monica Blvd. The event runs from 6pm to 11pm, but most local bars and restaurants continue the celebration into the night. Make sure you’re decked out in your Halloween best for this smashing event!
This insanely awesome shop located in Burbank will easily become a Halloween junkie’s happiest place on earth. In business for 15 years, this shop began as a popular seasonal supplier of costumes and decor. The store is now open all year long and spans three different buildings on the same block: Halloween Town, Halloween Town Costumes, and Halloween Town Kids. The interior is decorated from floor to ceiling and provides enthusiasts with apparel, toys, decor, costumes, and almost anything Halloween or Horror related that one could imagine.
Run by the husband and wife team of Sue and Del Howison, this horror themed bookstore and collectible shop opened in 1994 and is only a few blocks down from Halloween Town. A key feature of the shop is their monthly signing events featuring top horror authors, directors, and actors. Click here for a full list of their upcoming events. Stop in to see the latest in horror literature, collectibles, and merchandise.
Established in 1961, this occult shop offers spell kits, literature, herbs, oils, candles and assorted supplies for Pagan and Wiccan rituals. The store was purchased by The Craft actress Fairuza Balk in 1995, and she brought in Jymie Darling and Vicky Adams in 1997 to manage the location. Darling and Adams purchased the Panpipes in 2001, and they’ve been running the store in Hollywood ever since. Call ahead before your trip to check their hours and availability.
Also located in Hollywood, “the Museum of Death houses the world’s largest collection of serial murderer artwork, photos of the Charles Manson crime scenes, the guillotined severed head of the Blue Beard of Paris (Henri Landru), original crime scene and morgue photos from the grisly Black Dahlia murder, a body bag and coffin collection, replicas of full size execution devices, mortician and autopsy instruments, pet death taxidermy, and so much more!” This 45 minute self guided tour provides an education on the subject of death and man’s mortality. This one is not for the faint of heart!
On this celebrity and Hollywood themed multimedia bus tour, guests ride through the streets of Los Angeles learning about the city’s eccentric and morbid past. “Explore cases like Manson, Janis, Whitney and Michael, and lesser-known celebrities with even more spectacular exits.” There are several variations of the event, including The Tragical History Tour, G-G-G Ghost Tour, Helter Skelter Tour, and a Horror Film Locations Tour. Each tour begins at the Dearly Departed Galley on Sunset Blvd. Before and after the tour, visitors can view a collection of celebrity death memorabilia, including “tiles from the pool in which Rolling Stones drummer, Brian Jones drowned, the door to the hotel room in which cult-film actor Divine died, Rock Hudson’s death bed, a piece of the Hindenburg, Karen Carpenter’s bathroom sink from her last home and loads more… ”
Did we leave out any L.A. events that can’t be missed? Leave your favorites and additions in the comments section below!
Be sure to follow us to find out which city’s the next stop on our countdown of the best Halloween destinations.
If you missed any of the previous cities on our countdown, click below to enjoy!