10 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, the attraction celebrates its 10th anniversary, so be prepared for an even more epic night that will haunt your nightmares to come.
Confront familiar foes at Universal Studios’ annual Halloween festivities, where big-budget scares meet iconic horror movie characters. Navigate eight mazes, scare zones and the “Terror Tram” with tie-ins such as Stranger Things, Poltergeist and The Purge.
Encounter free-roaming monsters, terrifying mazes—spanning themes like Paranormal Inc., Special Ops: Infected and Shadow Lands—and more haunting attractions on select nights at the OC theme park.
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 countless monsters. What sets Dark Harbor apart is its use of its surroundings; 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. Tip: Arrive early for the $20 “Happy Haunting Hour” from 6pm to 8pm, where you can calm your nerves with a spiked potion at a pair of tap rooms.
This year’s immersive haunted house, Awake, is a literal nightmare, taking place in a dreamworld made incarnate. It’s also a much longer show, at 75 minutes, than previous runs. Groups of 25 at a time will be led through a series of surreal rooms, each one its own multi-sensory horror. We’re also told there may be some “intimate encounters,” which may allude to the one-on-one scenes Creep shows typically contain in which lucky guests are secreted away from their group by performers.
Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group hosts a chilling series of vignettes. Armed with a shoddy flashlight to illuminate the their path, guests navigate a labyrinth of terror before enduring a series of shocking scenes that will unsettle even the most stoic of horror fans.
This multi-sensory haunt from Bone Yard Effects unfurls via a short film (which you can watch online) followed by an on-site virtual reality experience. It culminates in real life inside the Black House, a sprawling Victorian home. Oh, and scaredy cats beware: You must enter all alone.
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.
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. Look out for info on this year’s still-TBA haunt.
All aboard this family-friendly ride through a sort-of-frightening stretch of track in Griffith Park. The beloved Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum tradition has returned from the dead following some time off a couple of years back.
Looking for more Halloween fun?
Halloween parties are your best excuse to dress provocatively, drink excessively and be (or go home with) someone else for a night. After you've got in a few scares at a haunted house, it's time for more of a dance party vibe. So hit up a costume stop, get your posse together, and take your pick from these top Halloween parties in Los Angeles.