Halloween 2012: Los Angeles Haunts opening on October 5

free-animated-halloween-clipart

The Queen Mary, Haunted Hayride, Reign of Terror, and other must-see Halloween haunts open this weekend.

This is it! The Gates of Hell have opened! The tombs have been torn asunder! The graveyards have disgorged their ghosts, and the bats have flown the belfry! In short, all of the major Halloween events in Los Angeles have unleashed their  demonic denizens upon the legions of frenzied fright fans now queuing up to savor the wonderful witch’s brew being offered throughout October. If you have yet to begin your annual Halloween revels, you are seriously in danger of missing much of the menace and mayhem. So why are you even wasting time reading this? Purchase your advance tickets now – before it’s too late!

Here is a rundown of professional Halloween events opening in Los Angeles this weekend:

Blumhouse of Horrors artwork

THE BLUMHOUSE OF HORRORS

This new Halloween haunt actually got a jump on the competition by opening on Thursday, October 4. Named after the production company responsible for such movies as Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Sinister, the Blumhouse of Horrors is set in the old Variety Arts Theatre in downtown Los Angeles – which, according to the back story, is haunted by a magician who literally disappeared from the stage, along with another man’s wife, decades ago. Since then, the theatre has been closed, but now brave paranormal investigators may weave their way through the venerable building from top to bottom, encountering scares provided by a cast of 50 actors. With a 25-person behind-the-scenes crew, the Halloween haunted house attraction cost several hundred thousand dollars to produce.

The Variety Arts Theatre is located at 940 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90017. The Blumhouse of Horrors is open October 4-6, 11-13, 18-20, 25-27, 29,31; November 1-3.

More Information: Click here

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Los Angeles Haunted Hayride 2012 posterTHE LOS ANGELES HAUNTED HAYRIDE.

Ten Thirty One Productions promises us more Halloween horror than ever with their 2012 theme, “The Congregation,” which is said to feature an expanded hayride and a 360-degree scare experience guaranteed to get you wet. (Panchos will be provided in case you forget to bring your rain coat.) Besides the Hayride, there will be a “bigger and taller” In-Between Maze that plunges you into near-total darkness, and also a carnivalesque sideshow title Purgatory.

The L.A. Haunted Hayride jumped immediately to the top of our funeral pyre when it made its debut back in 2009, and subsequent years have only confirmed it as one of the must-see Halloween attractions in Los Angeles.

This year, the Haunted Hayride will be open on October 5-6, 11-14, 18-21, 24-28, 31. You can find the Hayride in the Griffith Park Old Zoo, at 4730 Crystal Springs Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027

More information: Click here

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fright fest snickersSix Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest.

This theme park event features half a dozen walk-through mazes of various intensity (some too scary for younger children, some not); a handful of scare zones; and several seasonal shows. Your ticket allows you entrance to the park for the entire day, with all its rides and roller-coasters, but there is an additional charge for entrance to the night-time Halloween attractions.

For Halloween 2012, there are two new mazes, Black Widow and Blackout. Also, the old Willoughby’s Haunted Mansion has been refurbished and rechristened Willoughby’s Resurrected. And don’t miss your chance to ride the Colossus roller-coaster – backwards – it’s a thrill like no other, and worth the wait in line

Fright Fest runs on weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays) throughout the rest of the month: October 5-6, 12-13, 19-21, 26-28. Six Flags Magic Mountain is located at 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

More information: Click here

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Old Town CreepTHE OLD TOWN HAUNT HALLOWEEN ATTRACTION

Pasadena’s darkest lair is back to scare this Halloween, promising an even longer labyrinth filled with subterranean shivers new attractions. Housed in an actual underground location, Old Town Haunt offers claustrophobic thrills galore – and gore – in a dank atmosphere that truly impresses. This is one of the best ways to enjoy Halloween in Los Angeles, so mark your calendars! Old Town Haunt claims to be so scary that they had to eliminate their old lights-on kiddie tour, in favor of a Old Town Haunt a matinee recommended for children ages 7-12; there are some effects, no live monsters, and fewer scares.

You can find Old Town Haunt at 20 N. Raymond Avenue, Old Town Pasadena, CA 91103. This Halloween’s dates of operation are October 5-6, 12-13, 18-21, 25-28, 30-31. Hours vary. The matinees are on October 27-28 (Saturday-Sunday) from noon to 4:00pm, during the Old Pasadena Halloween Celebration 2012.

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An evil Master of Ceremonies presides of Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary

An evil Master of Ceremonies presides of Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary

THE QUEEN MARY DARK HARBOR

The venerable floating hotel resurrects its familiar mazes and adds a new one for Halloween 2012. This year, Dark Harbor actually exploits the Queen Mary’s own haunted history, offering frights based on allegedly documented events.  Tapping this rich vein seems like an excellent way to inject new vitality spooky ship’s Dark Harbor. The new maze, Deadrise, is named after an escort ship that guided the Queen Mary (then known as the Grey Ghost) through enemy waters in World War II – until a fatal crash sent Deadrise to the bottom of the ocean. This year, the Captain of Dead rise emerges from his watery grave, accompanied by his dead crew, as they seek control of Dark Harbor.

You visit The Queen Mary at 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802. Dark Harbor runs on Oct. 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31.

More information: Click here

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THE REIGN OF TERROR HAUNTED HOUSE.

Reign of Terror

“Haunted House” – that’s the phrase we often use when describing Halloween events in Los Angeles. Yet how many of them truly resemble haunted houses – rather than asylums, hospitals, and slaughterhouses? Reign of Terror is that rarest of scary seasonal entertainments – an attraction that really does suggest a haunted Victorian Mansion. Sure, there are other sections offering more gruesome forms of horror, but the real appeal here  is the old-world atmosphere that you will be lucky to find anywhere else. For 2012, the elaborately decorated walk-through includes three sections in addition to the haunted mansion: Insane Asylum; Blood Manor; and new for 2012, Miner’s Revenge.

The Reign of Terror is not actually located in Los Angeles, but we think it is well worth the journey to Thousand Oaks. You will the haunted attraction in the Janss Marketplace, above Gold’s Gym, at 197 North Moorpark Road Thousand Oaks, California. Reign of Terror opens its haunted doorways on October 5-6, 12-13, 19-21, 26-28, 30-31. On the last two Saturdays of the month, October 20 and 27, the Reign of Terror will be open from 1-4pm for this kid-friendly “lights-on” event, with no live actors.

More information: Click here

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Coffin CreekCOFFIN CREEK

If you don’t mind a lengthy sojourn beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles, this Halloween haunt in Corona has developed a reputation over the years. Hollywood Gothique has yet to savor its scary splendor, but we intend to rectify that oversight this Halloween. There are five haunted attractions: one hayride, two guided tours, and two unaccompanied walk-throughs. There are also vendors at the Dark Shadow Market Place. The proprietors suggest that Coffin Creek is not suitable for children under 12; hopefully, that means it is really scary.

Coffin Creek is located in the Crossroads Riverview Park at 14600 River Road, Corona, CA 92880. This Halloween is is open on October 5-6, 12-13, 19-21, 25-28, 30-31.

Link out: Click here

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It all sounds a bit intimidating, doesn’t it? Just too much Halloween horror to squeeze into one little month! Maybe it’s time to see about adding a few days to October; an extra week out to do it.


About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Steve Biodrowski owns and operates Hollywood Gothique. Since graduating from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema, Steve has worked as a film critic, script analyst, journalist, and interviewer. As a film journalist, his work has appeared in Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage (in France) and The Dark Side (in England). He served as the West Coast Editor of Cinefantastique magazine in the 1990s, then worked as the Vice President of Editorial Content at Fandom.com and, more recently, as the Executive Editor at Cinescape Online. He is currently the Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online, the website incarnation of Cinefantastique magazine.

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