Halloween in Hollywood and the surrounding Los Angeles area is a frightfully fun destination for horror haunt enthusiasts looking for more than events based on the latest scary movie franchises.
In an entertainment industry town oozing with creatives, there’s no shortage of attractions delving into macabre madness inspired by movies and original folklore. Look no further than the originator of West Coast haunts Knott’s Scary Farm: the Buena Park theme park celebrates 50 years of its own bewitching and haunting maze lore during its annual event. The seasonal festive horror vibes extend at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, which features its own fictional town full of campy, B-movie inspired realms. And for those with the flair for the theatrical, Delusion returns with a greatest hits story in Nocturnes and Nightmares, while a newcomer on the scene—Angel of Light at the Los Angeles Theater—unveils a devilish debut that’s not to be missed.
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Knott’s Scary Farm’s slate of mazes this year honors the haunt titan’s 50 years of frights with a throwback maze incorporating popular themes from over the years, The Chilling Chambers. I love a maze that brings out characters and lore from the park’s spooky archives; it feels like a madcap recap of the years I missed. All over the park, history comes to life in the fog—but also definitely keeps its grips on the future of horror haunts.
My favorite maze this year was Cinema Slasher, a series of rooms that take you into the worlds of fake horror films. So on top of Knott’s bringing out its old lore, the park is also incorporating it into fake movies for its new attractions in a cool, meta way.
For Cinema Slasher, you literally walk through the screens, which is magical and terrifying at the same time as you enter each movie. Being the sort of haunt enthusiast I am, it’s one of those mazes where I wish I could stop and take more peeks at the worldbuilding details. Knott’s needs to continue to make fake movies based on its lore, and change this up every year. (We need a Green Witch movie!)
Take a look at some of the scares and Knott’s fun including moments from Cinema Slasher and Chilling Chambers. Scary Farm runs most nights this October until Halloween. Visit here for more info.
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is the spiritual campy younger cousin of Knott’s Scary Farm. And it makes sense because Knott’s vets 13th Floor currently operate the event.
Hitch a ride on the back of a hay tractor for a rollicking good time through the town of Midnight Falls. Here, you’ll find weird and bizarre but bombastic blasts through sci-fi horror, with classic nods to Hammer and pulp fun too, with some Ed Wood camp thrown in.
There’s no shortage of characters who improv as you make your way through the terror thoroughfare, with an additional set of mazes and live monster mashing music. For more info visit here.
New for 2023 in the heart of downtown, Angel of Light at the Los Angeles Theater painted the town red in a killer debut.
The historical building was turned into an immersive walkthrough that raised the dead from Hollywood’s heyday as they invited you along for quite a special show.
There were even ghosts around the bathrooms! My biggest irrational fear is of a creature outside my bathroom stall and that very nearly came true, even in the comfort of the fancy old Hollywood ladies’ parlor it was in.
Angel of Light is part haunted attraction, part show performance; you’re taken through various levels of purgatory with some spirits luring you, stalking you, or screaming at you to get out. It’s gorgeously designed and immaculate. I didn’t want to leave certain environments as they shuffled us along.
It’s like Meow Wolf but make it horror in certain parts, and then very Sleep No More in others, capped by a Suspiria-esque performance that ties the unholy mystery of the night together. For tickets visit here.
Returning for a celebration of its run so far is Delusion with Nocturnes and Nightmares. The mysterious mansion that hosts the interactive theater company is now taken over by a figure known as the Author, who is behind every Delusion story and whose fate is in the hands of guests as they embark through stories from over the years.
Like the LA Hayride, Delusion is currently managed by 13th Floor Entertainment. Creator Jon Braver seems keen to move on and the story this year does feel like a send-off of sorts. It’s awesome to get to redo some of the coolest scares I’ve ever experienced in an immersive event, like the fireplace that suddenly is a fire monster. Oh, and I actively got stalked by Manny the puppet in his human form.
For VIP ticketholders, there’s a cool experience that lets you watch some behind-the-scenes fun and even play your part as the dead rising off the floor in one of the rooms. I really hope it’s not the event’s last year, and that new hands continue the run with more storytellers.
For more information and tickets for Delusion visit here.
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