There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween in Los Angeles, from theme park haunts to family-friendly events, and even immersive and interactive experiences. Whether you want to shoot zombies in a post-apocalyptic maze or take a fun, kid-friendly train ride, one of these dozen L.A. attractions should provide the fright level you desire.
Universal Studios Hollywood is overrun with monsters for Halloween Horror Nights. Guests experience any of eight mazes, a horror-filled tram ride, creepy scare zones and performances from hip-hop dance troupe The Jabbawockeez. Maze themes include Insidious , The Shining , American Horror Story: Roanoke and others, as well as the permanent Walking Dead attraction. On the Titans of Terror Tram, your host, serial killer doll Chucky, navigates the backlot of some the scariest sets. Select year-round attractions are also available. Halloween Horror Nights are hosted on select evenings September 15 through November 4. Tickets start at $69 (though splurging for a front-of-the-line pass is advised if you want to see everything).
At Night Shift, guests take on the roll of an employee at a shipping-and-receiving warehouse that has seen better days. When a particularly strange shipment arrives, chaos ensues. This hour-long event combines elements of a traditional haunt, plus escape rooms and immersive theater. Guests can choose a regular experience or full-contact, which is a fully tactile —actors may touch you, there are additional smells and visuals and some nudity. Tickets are $50.
The family-friendly Knott’s Berry Farm takes a sinister turn come Halloween, offering nine mazes—including one that’s an interactive zombie laser tag experience—and multiple foggy scare zones. This is also your last chance to see Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, who has been performing a comedy variety show at the park off-and-on since the 1980s. Available select nights September 21 though Halloween. Tickets start at $40 (though, once again, a front-of-the-line pass is advised for those who want to see every maze).
This Pomona haunt takes visitors through a three-part journey. First, watch a video online about a group of filmmakers and paranormal explorers who search for the Black House, said to have been occupied by the Black Family in the late 19th century, who dabbled in the occult and were allegedly behind the disappearances of several people. Upon arriving, visitors can first embark on a virtual reality experience before entering the house itself, one at a time—you won’t have a friend to grab when it gets scary. Select dates October 6 through Halloween. Tickets are $29 for the haunt and $13 for the VR experience.
This year’s Six Flags Fright Fest in Ventura will feature seven mazes, six scare zones, three live shows, plus numerous rides and coasters. Themes vary, but expect to face off against the Joker and Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad scare zone, as Six Flags is linked to DC Comics. Select dates September 16-October 31. Tickets from $50.99.
The people behind Creep LA and The Willows have partnered with Amazon for what is sure to be an eerie, immersive adventure into fable and folklore. Aaron Mahnke’s podcast, Lore, which investigates various folklore characters across history, is now a six-episode anthology series for Amazon Prime, debuting October 13. Creep LA: Lore brings groups of eight face-to-face with these creatures, which might include evil dolls, werewolves, vampires and more. Be prepared to spend at least one hour. Tickets start at $65.
This year’s Haunted Hayride jumps on the coulrophobia bandwagon with a clown-themed event. Hop on a wagon through Griffith Park, now teeming with wicked clowns. Mid-ride, guests will also navigate a corn maze, and there are two additional haunts: House of Shadows and Trick or Treat. Guests may also hang out in Purgatory, the haunted village that encompasses the events, where you’ll find food, a skeleton “Scary-Go-Round” and live performances. Select dates September 29 through Halloween. Tickets start at $35.
Always one of the more inventive haunts, this small indie theater puts on an especially creepy show. Guests will first wind their way through a maze full of horrors via flashlight before enjoying a series of disturbing vignettes. That’s not all, however—you’ll also be forced to back through the maze to escape, and things might not be as you recall. Select dates October 6 through Halloween. Tickets are $15.
Boney Island is a fantastic, family-friendly haunt in a quiet Sherman Oaks yard that is transformed into a fantastical skeleton playground, featuring a musical water fountain, animatronics, a tree house and more. They’ve been running since 1998, and this year, they’re going to creep to the yard across the street, as well. Owner Rick Polizzi is raising funds to secure a permit to block off the street to ensure a safe run. Boney Island runs October 21-31. Guests are advised to show up early, as it gets crowded. It’s a free event, though donations are typically required to enter the tree house.
Los Angeles Live Streamers Railroad Museum Ghost Train
The family-friendly LALSRM Ghost Train is back. Arrive at Griffith Park to ride the small model train through a series of spooky, funny scenes and vignettes that last just shy of a half hour. Proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Live Streamers Railroad Museum, and it’s perfect for those who want a little Halloween chill without the gore of other more adult-oriented haunts. Select dates October 16-31. Tickets are $20.
In this immersive theater production, guests walk through three horror shorts while a fourth unfolds during the course of the evening. Set at the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery, each play is staged in a different area, so dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. This year’s works include Ambrose Bierce’s The Damned Thing, Thoth’s Labyrinth adapted by Jonathan Josephson, Margaret Oliphant’s The Open Door and Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm’s Lilliom. Select dates September 29 through November 11. Tickets range from $40 to $80.
Don’t let the Thousand Oaks shopping center location fool you—this is among the largest haunted houses around. Reign of Terror is set over more than 23,000 square feet and offers eight themed walk-through attractions that consist of more than 100 different rooms. Attractions include the Haunted House, Miner’s Revenge, Infected, The Asylum, Backwoods, Casa Blood, Fun House and Quarantine, and each is connected, so as you survive one zone, you’ll progress into the next. If that sounds too scary, try the lights-on tour for $5 on October 21 and 28 from 1-4 p.m. Select dates September 30 through Halloween. Tickets range from $15 to $35.