L.A. is always full of life but when it comes to All Hallow’s Eve it seems there’s nothing we delight in more than ghouls, blood suckers, and the undead.
Whether you’re a fiend for all things terrifying and dark or you prefer a lot less scary and a lot more of the fun stuff there’s something on this list for everyone.
Most of these events are for the entire month but there are some events occurring on Halloween so you can find ways to celebrate several times till the big day arrives.
While there may some homebodies out there who plan on staying in to watch “Hocus Pocus” – because really, what’s Halloween with the Sanderson sisters?- this list is full of opportunities to get in the holiday spirit and take advantage of the kind of fun you can only find in L.A. so Netflix will just have to wait.
Enjoy this treat full of tricks!
1. LA Haunted Hayride
No need to look under your bed because the boogeyman is roaming the grounds in Griffith Park. The revamped LAHH includes two new mazes plus the famed Dark Maze which now includes maniacal clowns (guests are also provided a clown mask to wear but no lanterns). Purgatory includes the Theatre Macabre and the Scary-Go-Round plus a pumpkin carving shack and roaming ghouls so don’t get too comfortable.
2. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with Danny Elfman
Here’s your chance to hear “I’m a master of fright and a demon of light and I’ll scare you right out of your pants,” sung by Jack Skellington himself accompanied by a live orchestra. Elfman is the film’s composer and the voice behind Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s classic. Before the show, guests can participate in preshow activities including a costume contest so it’s time to bring your A-game because you know the competition will be fierce. Even if you don’t dress up, there will be plenty of Instagaram-worthy moments in the Bowl itself as it’s transformed into the film’s Halloween Town. If Halloween is sold out keep in mind a second show has been added on November 1. Keep in mind the folks at Goldstar have some discount ticket options for this event.
3. Bob Baker’s Halloween Spooktacular
No one does a puppet show quite like the Bob Baker Theatre. The Halloween Spootacular features a ghoulish collection of marionettes that come to life in the historic theatre, an L.A. landmark.
4. The Tingler
If you’re familiar with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” –who isn’t? – then you’ll finally be able to put a face on the voice and cackling laughter that starts off the song. Vincent Price stars in this cult classic from 1959 about a parasite that feeds on fear and literally makes your spine tingle when you’re scared- if that doesn’t scream campy thriller I don’t know what does. The film was originally presented in ”Percepto” where patrons were shocked with a buzzer to mimic the monster’s attack, and this screening is keeping the tradition alive with their own wired seats so prepare for the 4D-like experience that’ll give you literal chills up your spine.
5. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at LA Phil
The 1920 silent film starring John Barrymore just got a little sonic accompaniment courtesy of the monster organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The film is inspired by the stage adaption so there’s a little romance and a lot of ghastly visuals of Mr. Hyde. The organ is unofficial instrument of the season and the Hall acoustics take it to another thrilling level.
6. Warner Bros. Tour “Horror Made Here”
In the “Stage 48: Script to Screen” experience, props and prosthetics from WB and New Line Cinema films are on display exclusively for Halloween. From Freddy Krueger’s glove to the doll from “Annabelle,” there’s something to give anyone the chills.
7. Zombie Joes’ “Urban Death: Tour of Terror”
This is not for the faint of heart! The show is gruesome and straight-up bizarre at times but it’s a twisted nightmare that horror fiends love. It’s a small theatre so you will be at a close proximity to the horrific scenes (note: there is nudity) but that’ll make the experience all the more. For Halloween they include some short mazes before and after the show so hold tight to your loved ones and prepare to scream. I repeat- this is not for the faint of heart.
8. Dracula & the Black and White Ball
There’s no vampire like Bela Lugosi’s character and there’s no vampire classic like the 1931 “Dracula,” this time accompanied by a live performance of the film’s score by Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet. On Halloween the screening will be followed by the Black and White costume dance party with themed rooms at the Ace Hotel, perfectly gloomy with its Spanish Gothic design.
9. Hollywood Monster Night
There’s no party like a Hollywood party and better yet a Halloween party. It’s touted as the biggest Halloween party in L.A. and since it takes place in Greystone Manor.
10. Dungeon of Doom
If you love scary films and look forward to Halloween partially for the horror film marathons then this is for you. The Hollywood Museum exhibit features classic villains Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Chucky and the creepiest of them all (in my opinion) the Crypt Keeper. You can also see some film props from contemporary favorites including “Dexter” and “The Walking Dead.”
11. The Groundlings, “You Paid to Die* Tonight (*laugh)
Funny may not be the first word people associate with Halloween but if anyone can put the “Ha” in Halloween it’s The Groundlings. The sketch and improvisational troupe have given us the likes of Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon so suffice it to say these people know what they’re doing. You’ll die laughing… just kidding, but you may get wet (no, seriously.)
12. Ghoulmaster’s Haunted Playhouse
It’s one part goofy and one part creepy and entirely fun. The self-proclaimed appeal of this theatrical experience is for “Hollyweird” folks so if you’re curious to see what happens when humor, drama, and horror collide then look no further. Costumes are encouraged.
13. Escape Room LA: The Theatre
The setting: a haunted theatre. The players: the quick-thinkers v. the victims (which one will you be?). The game: Explore the theatre to find the clues that’ll lead you to the items you need to create the magical concoction that’ll release the phantom. The results: You have one hour to free the ghost by figuring out the puzzle or you become a theatre prisoner forever. May the odds be ever in your favor. Keep in mind the folks at Goldstar have some discount ticket options for this event.
14. Carrie- The Killer Musical Experience
Stephen King’s classic about a shy high school girl who uses her newly-discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who teased her is a Halloween movie staple. The immersive nature of the show means you might have to stand and move with the actors so it can be equal parts thrilling and daunting. There will be (pigs) blood.
15. The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Frank N Furter’s Halloween Ball
Santa Clarita’s biggest Halloween bash includes a screening of the cult classic plus live music, food trucks and a cash bar. The event will take place in a “Spiegltent” at Wolf Creek Brewery made with wood and decorated with mirrors and stained glass. If you needed an extra incentive to dress to the nines there’s a $100 prize for the best costume.
16. Eek! At the Greek
A 60-piece symphony meets a wicked collection of music makes for a sonic treat for young and old alike. The program includes “Ride of the Valkyries,” “The Devil’s Dance” from The Witches of Eastwick and the premiere performance of the classic Disney cartoon “Hell’s Bells.” Armin Shimerman, of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame, will narrate Edgar Allen Poe’s Gothic piece “The Tell-Tale Heart,” about a haunting and grisly murder. There will also be a “Trick or Treat Village” for, you guessed it, trick or treating and Halloween activities. Keep in mind the folks at Goldstar also have some discount ticket options for this event.
17. Nosferatu: A Symphony in Terror
The 1922 classic is one of the top-rated horror films of all time showcasing a truly terrifying Dracula long-gone in the age of glittering vampires. This stage production brings to life the silent film through music, dance and special effects. Fun fact: The word “Nosferatu” is an archaic word that’s become synonymous for “vampire.” The film is inspired by Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” but the studio never obtained the rights to the novel so certain details were changed.
18. Trapped in a Room with a Zombie
“The Walking Dead” fans can now get a taste of what life is like for Rick Grimes and the gang. There’s a zombie locked in the room and there’s a hidden key that you must find in order to escape the hungry menace. You have one hour and several riddles to solve and should you fail your good-for-nothing brain will make a delicious zombie-approved meal.
19. Rocky Horror Picture Show at Cinespia
It’s the 40th anniversary of this cult favorite and what better way for Angelenos to celebrate than in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery? There will be a themed photobooth, circus performers and surprise guests and you can’t beat the ambiance considering you’re surrounded by the gravestones of Hollywood icons including Rudolph Valentino. Costumes are required for entry and there will be a costume contest so here’s your chance to do Rocky Horror proud.
20. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This acclaimed adaption by Charles Morey tells the classic tale of Count Dracula, a character Stoker made famous, and his battle with Professor Van Helsing. The Gothic novel was published in 1897 and is still the classic upon which all other vampire stories are stacked against.
21. Beware the Dark Realm
Scream for a good cause at this haunted house in Santa Clarita with donations going to the local food pantry. This is a high-intensity walk-through haunted house experience with the works including special effects and live ghouls and monsters.
22. WeHo Carnaval
There’s no party like a WeHo street party and this year it’s all about the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is a notoriously wild and fun event and the largest Halloween street party in the world so it’s definitely worth a visit. Come for the wild costumes and stay for the live entertainment and the Queen of the Carnaval, Lisa Vanderpump of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fame.
23. Santa Monica Zombie Crawl
The beach city is known for being home to lively and eccentric characters but come Halloween it’ll be infested with the undead. Participants MUST remain in character and the ticket includes a free zombie makeup session because the rolled-out-of-bed look isn’t enough. Keep in mind the folks at Goldstar have some discount ticket options for this event.
24. LA Boo at the Zoo
Take a walk on the wild side this Halloween with the help of some creepy crawlers and other furry friends. There are daily activities including a Graveyard Safari where you trek through a hay maze and a photo op in a haunted gallery. Weekend activities include pumpkin carving demonstrations and creepy crafts so basically it’s more treat than trick unless you choose to check out the Fearsome Feedings.
25. 1920’s Halloween
Revisit “The Great Gatsby” era in full-swing at the White Horse Lounge featuring Prohibition cocktails because what’s a roaring ’20s inspired party without libations. When you RSVP you’ll get the special password for entry to the party featuring casino tables and live Electro Swing.
26. Costumes and Cupcake Decorating
Now you can have your (cup)cake and eat it too, all you have to do is dress up and show up. Duff’s Cakemix is the first DIY dessert design studio and they’re setting you up with a spooky cupcake kit including six pre-baked cupcakes and decked out with all the tools and ingredients necessary to design a boo-tiful cupcake. No experience necessary and there will be prizes for best costume and cupcake.
27. A G-G-G-Ghost Walking Tour of Hollywood
The Dearly Departed Tours are some of the most well-received, informative, and downright creepy guided tours you’ll find in the entire city. If you’re looking for an afternoon activity on Halloween, check out their two-hour walking tour of Hollywood where your undertaker guide will “reveal the scary sights, spooky sounds and stinky smells that define the Tantalizing Tarnished Star that is Tinseltown.” Spooky!
28. Zombie Apocalypse Training
The folks at REI, in conjunction with The Great Company, aim to help you find the answers are offering a free Zombie preparedness class that will teach you valuable survival techniques that could save your life if L.A. ever actually ends up looking like an apocalypic wasteland. The class at 1:00pm is full but a second class has been added at 10:00am (but RVSP soon but it’s sure to fill up fast).
29. The Wiltern Night of Horror
On the day before Halloween The Wiltern theater will be transformed into a haunted house as they host a huge halloween themed party and film showcase, including back-to-back-to-back-back horror movie screening (including An American Werewolf in London and Cabin in the Woods), a dance party hosted by Henry Pope, costume contest, virtual reality horror film showcase and live hollywood FX makeup presentation by Cinema Makeup School.
Know of anything else happening on Halloween that sounds like fun? Let us know in the comments below or email us at [email protected].