The spooky season is upon us and many Halloween haunts are already in full swing! Do you relish in a good scare? Enjoy being made to scream? Seek out dark and frightful experiences? Well, I do, so I’ve compiled a list of a few of this year’s most talked about haunted attractions happening in and around the LA area. I’ve included not only big-name theme parks, but also a few interactive and more intimate haunts. Some I’ve done in the past and others I’m hoping to do for the first time this year. Here are my picks of the Top 10 Los Angeles Halloween Haunts for 2018.
Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights (September 14 – November 3)
I’ve done Halloween Horror Nights the past few years and enjoyed it each time. Scare LA attendees got a teaser of what to expect at this year’s HHN event and one of the most anticipated mazes is Universal Monsters. The terrifying attraction will feature Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolf Man and more with a spine-tingling soundtrack composed by Grammy award-winning musician Slash. Other mazes include Stranger Things, The First Purge, Poltergeist and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers. There’s also the Terror Tram, which picks up passengers, then drops them off in the studio’s backlot to fend for themselves amid whatever horrors await. Prices vary by date and start at $60. Visit the official website for more information.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour: Horror Made Here (October 5 – October 28)
This is a newer Halloween event entering its third year this season. It will be my first time attending and from the sneak peek I got at Midsummer Scream, it’s going to be fun and frightening. Set up in Warner Bros. Studio’s backlot, attractions will include It, Arkham Asylum, The Conjuring Universe, The Exorcist: Forbidden Screening and Nightmare on Camp Crystal Lake. Plus, there will be a special exhibit dedicated to the films of Tim Burton! A live DJ and “The Lost Boys” retro arcade will also be part of the festivities. Prices vary by date and start at $59. Visit the official website for more information.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (September 27 – November 2)
The Queen Mary is a nearly century-old ship believed to be plagued by paranormal activity. This means you could have a real ghost encounter during a night at Dark Harbor. There will be six horrifying mazes (including one that takes you down to the haunted swimming pool), more than 200 monsters and fiends lurking in the shadows, a hookah lounge, rides, plus a live DJ and dancing, all overseen by the demented Ringmaster. If you’re planning to attend and don’t mind splurging a little, I recommend doing V.I.P. admission ($99+) which comes with many perks, including access to the R.I.P. Lounge aboard the ship where you get an awesome view of the scares happening below. Tickets start at $20. Visit the official website for more information.
Knott’s Scary Farm (September 20 – October 31)
Billed as SoCal’s largest Halloween attraction, there are more than 1,000 ghoulish creatures roaming the theme park, designated scare zones and dozens of mazes that will include Dark Entities, Paranormal Inc. and The Depths. Plus, guests can get their thrills on roller coasters and other adrenaline-pumping rides. Prices vary by date and start at $42. Visit the official website for more information.
Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest (September 15 – October 28)
Another theme park pulling out all the stops this Halloween season, Fright Fest features monsters, scare zones and blood-curdling mazes on top of the already very scary thrill rides. New attractions for this year’s haunt include Sewer of Souls, Condemned – Forever Damned and Red’s Revenge. Take note that you must purchase a separate maze pass to enter. A hypnotist will be on site to mesmerize willing participants, plus DJs and go-go dancers take to the stage for Voodoo Nights. Prices start at $69.99. Visit the official website for more information.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (September 29 – October 31)
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is set up on the grounds of the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. The event is a nice alternative to the larger events happening at theme parks while still offering plenty of frights and delights. As is apparent by the name, the hayride is the star attraction. Passengers board a hay wagon that takes you into the surrounding dark woods where all sorts of scares await. You’re then dropped off to roam through the corn maze. Other attractions include a scary-go-round, interactive shows and an all-knowing psychic. A bonus — its location among the hilltops offers sweeping views of the city. Prices vary by date and start at $30.99. Visit the official website for more information.
Delusion: The Blue Blade (September 21 – December 16)
Although it is not strictly a Halloween attraction and is sold out, I had to put Delusion on this list. I heard about this event from a former co-worker who told me tickets go fast every time it happens. To begin, it’s touted as “the first ever interactive horror & suspense theatre company.” The storyline changes each year, so even if you have been before, no two experiences are the same. The location is in Los Angeles, but you’re not given specifics until you purchase your entry. Guests will embark on a journey to recover the Blue Blade, a mysterious object wielding formidable powers, and the professor that stole it. The level of scare depends on how tied you become to the story. There is a waiting list, but if you luck out and can’t score tickets, at least you can mark this in your calendar for future reference. Be sure to join the emailing list so you can be one of the first to know when tickets go on sale for the next event. Visit the official website for more information.
Reign of Terror (September 29 – November 3)
I have yet to experience Reign of Terror, but according to the website, it’s been voted the best haunted house and is recognized as the biggest indoor haunt in Southern California. It’s made up of eight themed attractions that are connected, which means as soon as you exit one, you enter another. In total, there are 105 petrifying rooms that you must make your way through. There is no time to stop to catch your breath or calm your nerves, so be prepared. The Haunted House, Miner’s Revenge, Casa Blood and Infected are just a few of the frightening realms that await. If situations get too intense, there are several emergency exits, but no refunds are given for an unfinished walk-through. Prices start at $15. Visit the official website for more information.
Sinister Pointe’s Scary Place (September 28 – October 31)
Sinister Pointe will be sprawled across three floors, encompassing 150,000 square feet in Laguna Hills, California. The scares, I hear, are more intense, and light touching from the actors is allowed. There will be three attractions, one of which is PHOBIAS — an interactive maze that will play on guests’ worst fears. Be prepared to encounter the grotesque through live performances and acts. Prices start at $62 if you purchase before September 27. After this date, starting rates are from $67. Visit the official website for more information.
The 17th Door: Crybaby (September 21 – October 31)
This Halloween attraction requires you to sign a waiver to participate. It takes nearly 40 minutes to complete, making it one of the longest haunts in California. Although not as intense as The Blackout Experience, it’s designed to titillate, or should I say torture, all five senses. Vulgarity, sexual innuendo, grabbing, insects, foul smells and electrical shock are all things you might experience. Groups of six to eight people enter together. You will not be forced to do anything, but in case things get too extreme, yell the safe word “Mercy.” Prices start at $23. Visit the official website for more information.
So, if you weren’t sure what to do in LA this Halloween season, now you have a few ideas. If you’ve been to any of these attractions or have a favorite haunt elsewhere that you recommend (it doesn’t have to be in Los Angeles), please feel free to leave a comment!