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Halloween events in Los Angeles for spooky fun

Get in the Halloween spirit with these festive events in L.A., from family-friendly festivals to ghostly plays and tours

Drama After Dark.
Photograph: Courtesy the Huntington Library Drama After Dark.

Not all Halloween events are hell-bent on scaring you straight. Sure, we’ve stocked our list of festive favorites with plenty of frights, but you’ll also find bar crawls, Halloween attractions and family-friendly festivals. Watch theaters stage spooky shows or explore the best things to do this fall—thrill-seekers should check out the best haunted houses and real-life haunted places, too. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s no shortage of worthwhile Halloween events in Los Angeles.

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Halloween events & attractions

Halloween & Mourning Tours.
Photograph: Courtesy Heritage Square Museum
Things to do, Talks and lectures

Halloween & Mourning Tours

History buffs, make your way to the Heritage Square Museum this Halloween. On the first day of their annual event, learn all about death and mourning etiquette during the Victorian era, including how even the intricate details on clothing played a role in showing the loss of a loved one. You'll also get the scoop on the Spiritualism movement, and can have your fortune told, if you dare. Then, take place in a funeral held inside one of the museum's historic homes. For family-friendly fun, children can play period games, make 19th-century harvest crafts and listen to (only slightly) spooky ghost stories.

El Jimador at Lucha VaVOOM
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Things to do, Festivals

Lucha Vavoom: Circo de Vampiros

If you haven't experienced the epicly overstimulating combination of burlesque dancing, Mexican luchadore wresting, comedy and acrobatics, the annual Halloween extravaganza is a great place to start. Head to the Mayan to witness the out-of-body-experience of Lucha VaVoom, which will take on a vampire theme this October. See good vs. evil played out in a sinful circus featuring Cavanario, Flamita, David "Infinito" Arquette and more. For this Halloween spectacular, expect high octane car performers, live music and plenty of fangs.

West Holiday Halloween Costume Carnaval
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Things to do, Festivals

West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval

This is the largest Halloween street party in the world, and there's really no better place to be on October 31st. Sure, the crowd is huge (like, a half million people huge) and a bit belligerent, but the amazing display of costumes and general merry-making spirit deem it at least a worthy stop, if not your main destination for the evening. There will be dancing, drinking, and many mid-parade costume contests. Even if you don't plan on entering one, it's best to still come dressed to the nines—no one likes a party pooper in jeans and a t-shirt. 

Drama After Dark.
Photograph: Courtesy the Huntington Library
Things to do

Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey

The actors of the Guild of St. George present an evening of chilling drama, enacting some of the most haunting tales of Edgar Allen Poe and Edward Gorey, two masters of the macabre. Expect to see "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Tell Tale Heart" (one of our favorites), and more. Arrive early for free cookies and hot cider, dress warmly and be prepared to walk as the vignettes take place across the sprawling Huntington Library grounds. Tickets go on sale end of August.

Dusty Hess and Eric Keitel in "From Beyond."
Photograph: John Thvedt
Theater, Interactive

Wicked Lit

Spend a night in an Altadena cemetery as you're led across the grounds for two spooky theatrical productions. Wicked Lit stages classic horror stories and invites a limited number of patrons to experience the immersive performances each night. This year's stories include The Chimes: A Goblin Story and the word premiere of Teig O'Kane and the Corpse.

Long Beach Zombie Fest
Photograph: Courtesy Long Beach Zombie Fest
Things to do, Festivals

Long Beach Zombie Fest

Join the horde at this annual Long Beach outbreak, where would-be-zombies descend upon Rainbow Lagoon Park for three days of scares, makeup workshops and costume contests. Each evening kicks off with a zombie walk through Shoreline Village.

Horror Made Here
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros. Studio
Things to do, Walks and tours

Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights

Hop on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour this October for a special horror-themed edition. You'll embark on a special nighttime visit to sets and stages where horros like The Exorcist and Gremlins were filmed, plus a visit to the Stage 48: Script to Screen experience to see props and costumes from classic horror films like Sweeney Todd and Beetlejuice. This year, the tour even includes an encore of the wildly popular It-inspired house that popped up in Hollywood.

Photograph: Courtesy Paramount Pictures
Things to do, Walks and tours

Paramount After Dark Tour: Tales From the Other Side

Take a two-and-a-half-hour guided tour of the Paramount Studios, as well as the neighboring Hollywood Forever Cemetery, during this after-hours experience. The tour digs up the dirt on Hollywood's dearly departed and comes with a personalized souvenir photo and remembrance rose, as well as complimentary champagne and candy and popcorn hosted in an eerie location.

Escape: Psycho Circus
Photograph: Courtesy Insomniac Events
Music, Music festivals

Escape: Psycho Circus

The San Bernardino rave scene injects itself with a bit of Halloween flair at this annual music fest. Insomniac Events—the group behind EDC and the Wonderland series—is setting up multiple stages at the NOS Events Center; past headliners include Tiësto, Kaskade, Four Tet and more. Explore the grounds to find mazes alongside ominous artwork and freak show performers.

Stan Lee.
Photograph: Courtesy Comikaze
Things to do

Los Angeles Comic Con

There's no shortage of pop culture conventions, but not many can rival the annual Los Angeles Comic Con. Last year alone, the convention drew 90,000 comic fans to Downtown L.A. for one epic three-day expo. This year, expect comic book panels, anime screenings and celebrity appearances. Make sure to come in costume for the geek couture fashion show and cosplay contest.

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Family-friendly Halloween activities

Fall Festival.
Photograph: Courtesy Farmers Market
Things to do, Festivals

Fall Festival

Halloween time can be a bit scary for kids—we've all been there—so for a less frightening affair, head to the Farmers Market for their children-friendly Fall Festival: carnival games and a petting zoo are all mainstays at this annual harvest fest. Come in costume and catch a musical performance, explore the always delicious treats at the market or test your appetite with a pie-eating contest.

Things to do

Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park

Hundreds of lively jack-o-lanterns begin to dot Main Street and a pair of park staples get a festive treatment: Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and the Tim Burtonized Haunted Mansion Holiday. But only during Mickey’s Halloween Party can you trick-or-treat around the park and watch the Halloween Screams fireworks show and the Frightfully Fun Parade. Before Mickey's Halloween Party festivities begin, you can hop between Disneyland park and California Adventure for up to three hours for added fun. 

Things to do, Festivals

Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever

icon-location-pin Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood

Hollywood Forever Cemetery claims to host the largest Day of the Dead celebration in California, and we wouldn't doubt it: The cemetery grounds are covered with art exhibitions, dance rituals, musical performances, children's arts and crafts projects and food vendors (and crowds) aplenty. You'll see altars to the dead created by community artists, and can either watch or participate in the calaca (skeleton) costume contest. This year's theme, Coatlicue "Mother of Gods,” honors the Aztec goddess and mother of the moon, sun and stars. 

Annual Halloween Party for Downtown LA Kids
Photograph: Courtesy DTLA BID
Kids, Festivals

Annual Halloween Party for Downtown L.A. Kids

While Downtown may not be the easiest place to go when it comes to trick-or-treating, the locals know how to throw a party. The Annual Halloween Party for Downtown L.A. Kids at Grand Hope Park continues to thrive as parents celebrate the spookiest night of the year with bounce houses, puppet shows and faux trick-or-treat-doors. 

Calabasas Pumpkin Festival.
Photograph: Courtesy Pumpkin Passion
Things to do, Festivals

Calabasas Pumpkin Festival

Yes, there’s more to pumpkins than Halloween jack-o’-lanterns: pumpkin bowling, pumpkin beer, pumpkin bread and, of course, pumpkin pie. You might've guessed by now, but there'll be no shortage of pumpkin-related activities at the annual Calabasas event. Festive fact: Calabasas' name comes from the Spanish word "calabaza," which means gourd or pumpkin.

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