What's Halloween without a few good scares? The best haunted houses in Los Angeles run the gamut from big-budget amusement park productions to more homegrown horrors. Whatever thrills you, we've got it in our list of the city's best haunted houses in L.A.
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7 haunted houses in L.A. for Halloween scares
Far from those kid-friendly rides through a pumpkin patch, this hayride unleashes all sorts of demons, and bogeys on Griffith Park. It's an actual hayride—a long one—paired with a "scary-go-round" for wee ones (and 'fraidy cats), a number of scare zones and a pitch black maze filled with "demons and maniacs," and probably lots of frisky teenagers. This year's theme, "Secret Society," drags attendees through a trail of nightmarish characters, including an on-foot section.
Confront familiar foes at Universal Studios' annual Halloween festivities, where big-budget scares meet iconic horror movie characters. Navigate seven mazes, scare zones and the "Terror Tram" with tie-ins like The Walking Dead, The Purge, Halloween, Freddy vs. Jason, American Horror Story, The Exorcist and more. They do make for some pretty fun walk-throughs, but there's something about that level of corporate partnership that just ceases to be scary for some.
Evenings around Halloween, Knott's Berry Farm transforms into Knott's Scary Farm, with more than 1,000 monsters roaming 10 mazes, four "scare zones" and two live shows. It's one of the largest (and oldest) Halloween events held at a theme park and includes the classic Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, for a twice-nightly big top show.
The only thing better than a haunted attraction is a haunted attraction on a giant boat. You'll find all the usual horrors here—fog, mazes, and monsters—as well as a vintage Ferris Wheel and a full bar. The dark, cramped confines of the Queen Mary are already pretty spooky even without monsters—just be prepared to climb a lot of skinny staircases. There's also an R.I.P. Lounge (see what they did there?) if you're looking for a first-class experience (fewer monsters, more booze, made-to-order taco station). Tip: Arrive before 8pm for $20 "Happy Haunting Hour" tickets.
Monsters are scary, but the demented things regular humans can do are downright disturbing. Inspired by fictional 1970s artist and outcast Erebus Burwyck—"I don't live in darkness; darkness lives in me"—this immsersive and interactive haunt experience takes guests on a 45-minute interactive tour of various dark vignettes. The event takes place at 2316 N San Fernando Road in Glassell Park.
No killer clowns, no chainsaws, no gore; just you and whatever else is lurking in the dark. Alone takes equal parts interactive theatre and psychological haunting to craft a solitary experience of survival in the dark. This Halloween's haunt finds participants partaking in a cult-like ritual designed to herald the oncoming epoch—what could possible go wrong? Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes; you'll need them to run. Also, a warning: This is one of those haunted houses where they can and will touch you, apparently with a heavy-handedness in the past that some of our readers didn't appreciate.
This homegrown haunt has been bringing thrill-seekers to Torrance since 1997. This driveway maze is low on gore but filled with hand-built props and effects—to give you a better idea, the haunted house's creator describes himself as that guy on your block who always plans an over-the-top Halloween. You can visit the house (5112 Maricopa St) in groups of two to four, and best of all, it's completely free.