When it comes to Halloween, the City of Angels knows how to have a devil of a good time. From the world's largest Halloween street party, to family-friendly Halloween events at museums and other cultural institutions, Los Angeles attractions, tours and parties offer fiendish fun and spooky scares for everyone.
SEPT. 19 - NOV. 2, 2014: HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
After 80 years of blood-curdling horror film production, Universal Studios brings you the most terrifying 360-degree Halloween event in Los Angeles. This year, experience an all-new nightmare, featuring scares from some of Hollywood's most terrifying movies, TV shows and music at Halloween Horror Nights® 2014 at Universal Studios Hollywood. For 22 nights from September to November, Universal Studios Hollywood is transformed into an immersive Halloween experience, filled with haunted walk-through attractions, intense scare zones, roaming scare-actors and nightmare-inducing rides and attractions.
Face seven new mazes, featuring The Walking Dead, Alien vs. Predator, From Dusk Till Dawn, An American Werewolf in London, SyFy's Face Off, Dracula Untold and Clowns 3D: Music by Slash. Experience the all-new Terror Tram: Invaded by The Walking Dead, plus five new scare zones featuring The Purge: Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Mask-A-Raid, Dark Christmas, and Skullz. And back by popular demand are the urban movie sets of the world-famous Universal Studios backlot as the backdrop for more mazes than ever.
Halloween Horror Nights takes place from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on select nights from Friday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 2. Many dates sell out, so purchasing presale tickets online is strongly recommended. Ticket options include a Front of Line Pass (cut to the front once at each maze and attraction) and the VIP Experience, which includes unlimited front-of-line access to all mazes and rides; private VIP Horror Lounge (includes exclusive Scare Zone, DJ, drinks and dinner buffet); valet parking and VIP entrance.
Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Facebook
OCT. 3-31, 2014: LOS ANGELES HAUNTED HAYRIDE - THE OLD ZOO
The area surrounding the "Old Zoo" and "B Rock" in Griffith Park has been called one of the most paranormally active sites in California, and is once again the site of the annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. The sixth edition of the Haunted Hayride is called “Echoes from the Rift,” featuring a haunted hayride with “leviathans;” "The In-Between" (dark maze);House Of The Horsemen and Seven Sins Sideshow (new scare zones); and "Purgatory" haunted village, featuring the new Theatre Macabre interactive theatre. The Haunted Hayride also features nightly performances by the Blood Drums. Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday-Saturday, and 7-10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Ticket prices start at $30 General Admission, with options for VIP (front-of-line), an All-Season Pass, and a Private Wagon for up to 30 guests.
OCT. 25, 2014: HAPPY HARBOR HALLOWEEN - PORT OF LOS ANGELES
Happy Harbor Halloween welcomes the entire family to the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Happy Harbor Halloween takes place at two locations: in San Pedro, along the Promenade on Harbor Boulevard between 3rd and 5th Streets; and Wilmington Waterfront Park on West “C” Street.
OCT. 25, 2014: EEK! AT THE GREEK
On Saturday, Oct. 25, bring the whole family to The Greek Theatre for the fourth annual EEK! at The Greek, a symphonic Halloween extravaganza. EEK! at The Greek features the 60-piece Symphony In The Glen orchestra with Maestro Arthur B. Rubinstein, presenting a program of frightening favorites such as "Infernal Dance" from The Firebird by Igor Stravinksy, Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens, Funeral March of the Marionette with children conductors, "Gnomes" from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, and the Devil Dance by John Williams. The concert includes a world premiere live performance of the cartoon Skeleton Dance, from Disney's 1929 "Silly Symphonies," featuring the original music by Carl Stalling. There's also Edgar Allan Poe's gothic masterpiece, The Tell-Tale Heart, with music by Maestro Rubinstein and narration by a special guest (to be announced). The Greek Theatre's front plaza will be transformed into a "Trick-or-Treat Village," welcoming families to bring their children for safe trick-or-treating and Halloween activities from 4:30-6:30 p.m. There will also be a pre-show costume contest, with the finale taking place on stage during intermission.
OCT. 25-26, 2014: SCARIUM OF THE PACIFIC
At this family-friendly weekend event, the Aquarium of the Pacific presents the annual children’s costume contest, the creepy coloring contest, magic shows, underwater pumpkin carving, spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, eerie animals in the Great Hall, and more. Scarium of the Pacific takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Admission is free with General Admission, and free to aquarium members. Members' guests receive 20% off admission.
Photo courtesy of Lucha VaVOOM, Facebook
OCT. 29-30, 2014: LUCHA VAVOOM - MAYAN THEATRE
Lucha VaVOOM is an action-packed scream-a-thon, featuring heroic Mexican masked wrestlers performing breathtaking acrobatic feats while battling evil luchadores. Taking place at the historic Mayan Theatre in Downtown L.A., Lucha VaVOOM is inspired by the bizarre world of 1960’s Mexican Lucha Cinema, where masked wrestling crime fighters saved the world from evil brains, vampires, Martians and more, always with an obligatory stop at the local go-go club. Between the wrestling matches, burlesque acts from around the world entertain the audience with raucous aerial acts, pogo-stick peelers, hula-hoopers and much more. An all-star roster of comedians provides commentary, including Dana Gould, Jeffrey Ross, Patton Oswald, Sklar Brothers, Fred Armisen and special guests. This year’s theme is "Night of the Vampire" and costumes are encouraged - “the crazier, the better!” Tickets are $40 for General Admission, $55 for Ringside Seating.
OCT. 30, 2014: MARIACHI DE UCLATLÁN - FOWLER MUSEUM
On Thursday, Oct. 30, enjoy Mexican treats and experience Mariachi de UCLAtlán at a special pre-Día de Los Muertos amphitheatre concert at the Fowler Museum. During this free event, the award-winning group will perform music from the diverse regions of Mexico while highlighting the special musical traditions of Día de Los Muertos. Mariachi de UCLAtlán dates to 1961, when UCLA established the first academic mariachi program in the world.
OCT. 31-NOV. 1, 2014: DANNY ELFMAN - NOKIA THEATRE
Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton features Oscar-nominated film composer Danny Elfman, who takes the stage for two nights of rare live performances. The concerts take place at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Downtown L.A., featuring the Hollywood Studio Symphony and choir conducted by John Mauceri. The program includes newly created suites from all sixteen film collaborations between the legendary composer and visionary director Tim Burton. The concerts also feature clips from Burton’s films and his artwork, including Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and more. Elfman - the former frontman of 80s New Wave band Oingo Boingo - will perform Jack Skellington’s songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
OCT. 18-19, 2014: PUMPKIN FESTIVAL - KIDSPACE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
The 20th Annual Pumpkin Festival takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-19, at the Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena. The family-friendly event is hosted in Brookside Park, directly in front of the museum. The all-ages fun includes a petting zoo, pony rides, bouncers, carnival games, and seasonal crafts. The kids can participate in a costume parade, make their own take-home fall crafts, enjoy face painting, and select pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. Parents will love the book and costume sale, and the tasty picnic treats. Festival admission is free and includes live music/performances, selected crafts, promotions at the Radio Disney tent, and a photo opportunity at the pumpkin patch. Tickets are available for purchase to enjoy the bouncers, pony rides, games, food, and other festival attractions. There is plenty of free parking in Lot I of the Rose Bowl, adjacent to Brookside Park.
OCT. 25-26, 2014: HALLOWEEN & MOURNING TOURS - HERITAGE SQUARE
The annual Halloween & Mourning Tours takes place at Heritage Square Museum on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25-26, from noon to 4 p.m. each day. On Saturday, learn about death and mourning etiquette during the Victorian era, the movement of Spiritualism, and how other cultures celebrate and remember their loved ones. Sunday is more family-friendly - children ages 2 to 12 can play period games, make 19th-century harvest crafts, and listen to spooky stories. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors over 65, $8 for children age 6 to 12. Free for children under 6.
OCT. 25-26, 2014: FISHY FEST - SANTA MONICA PIER AQUARIUM
Fishy Fest is an annual celebration of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, taking place at Heal the Bay's Santa Monica Pier Aquarium on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25-26 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The “fintastic” fun includes a glow-in-the-dark deep sea laboratory, craft stations to create Dia de los Muertos masks, face painting, and the aquarium's regular exhibits and presentations. All ghosts and goblins are invited to join a 3 p.m. parade on Sunday.
OCT. 25 & NOV. 1, 2014: NOCHE DE OFRENDA & DIA DE LOS MUERTOS - GRAND PARK
Ancient traditions of remembrance come to Grand Park, which is hosting two free events: Noche de Ofrenda on Saturday, Oct. 25 and Downtown Dia de los Muertos on Saturday, Nov. 1. Noche de Ofrenda takes place from 7-9 p.m. and kicks off the festivities with 50 altars on display all week; music and poetry; and dance representing the Aztecan, Oaxacan and Michoacán traditions. The celebration culminates a week later at Dia de Los Muertos, which takes place from 3-10 p.m. and features music by Palenke Soultribe, La Chamba, and Very Be Careful; traditional dance; altars, sculptures and installations; and food vendors.
NOV. 1, 2014: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS FESTIVAL - SAN PEDRO
On Saturday, Nov. 1, historic downtown San Pedro is the site for the Dia de los Muertos Festival, presented by the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District. The Sacred Altar Exhibition and Competition showcases a variety of perspectives in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries. The public is invited to leave a picture, personal note or other small item in memory of a loved one at the community Altar of Remembrance. Live entertainment on 6th Street includes traditional and contemporary Latin American performers. Attendees can shop for unique, handcrafted treasures in the Artists’ Village, then sample delicious Latin American cuisine and international offerings from dozens of San Pedro restaurants. At the ¡La Muerte Vive! Children’s Activity Center, kids can have their faces painted and make an art project to take home. The festival takes place from 5-11 p.m. Admission is free.
NOV. 1, 2014: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS - HOLLYWOOD FOREVER
The 15th annual Dia de los Muertos returns to Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, Nov. 1 from noon to midnight. This quintessential Los Angeles Halloween event takes place in the historic final resting place of Hollywood luminaries, and is based on the indigenous Mexican ceremony that celebrates life and ancient traditions, fused with modern culture. The event features over 100 altars created to honor ancestors and loved ones; musical and dance performances on three stages; hundreds of Aztec ritual dancers in full costume; an art exhibition in the Cathedral Mausoleum; arts, crafts and food vendors; and a children's art project area presented by LACMA. Dia de los Muertos attire is strongly encouraged - come dressed in your finest calaca (skeleton) apparel and enter the costume contest. The Ceremonial Altar Set-Up takes place on Friday, Oct. 31 beginning at 3 p.m. General Admission is $20 per person. Children eight years old and under, and seniors age 65 and over, are admitted free until 4 p.m.
American Horror Story House | Photo courtesy of Dearly Departed Tours, Facebook
DEARLY DEPARTED TOURS
Dearly Departed Tours explore the twisted underbelly of Los Angeles, everything from celebrity scandals and deaths to infamous crime scenes. Options include the Hollywood Tragical History Tour and the Helter Skelter Tour. Just for Halloween, Dearly Departed will take you on a Halloween tour devoted to famous horror film locations around Hollywood and Pasadena. Check the Dearly Departed website for tickets and schedule.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS - OLVERA STREET
The oldest street in Los Angeles is Olvera Street, which spends much of the week before Halloween celebrating those who have traveled to the other side. Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) is a traditional Mexican holiday that reunites and honors beloved ancestors, family and friends. Head Downtown for several days of festivities, including piñata breaking, children’s workshops, face painting, strolling Mariachi and Ballet Folklórico. Beautifully decorated altars, entertainment and Novenaria processions make Olvera Street a uniquely local place to spend Halloween.
HAUNTED HOLLYWOOD - STARLINE TOURS
Starline Tours presents Haunted Hollywood, a special two-hour tour that examines the paranormal activity around Tinseltown and Beverly Hills. Among the stops is a landmark hotel (aka "Hollywood's Most Haunted Building"), TCL Chinese Theatre and the Witch’s House. Tours depart from the Starline Tours Terminal at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Selected hotel pick-ups are also available.
OCTOBER 2014: NIGHTS OF FRIGHT - ARCLIGHT
ArcLight presents Nights of Fright, a month-long series of scary films screening at various locations. The movie line-up spans 77 years, from iconic Universal Studios monsters like Dracula, to modern classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, and international favorites such as Ju-on: The Grudge and Let the Right One In. For the full 31-day schedule and to reserve seats, visit the ArcLight website.
OCT. 14-23, 2014: SCREAMFEST - TCL CHINESE THEATRE
The largest and longest-running horror film festival in the U.S. is taking place Oct. 14-23 at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre, located in the Hollywood & Highland Center. Founded in 2001 by film producers Rachel Belofsky and Ross Martin, Screamfest premieres and showcases new work from American and international independent horror filmmakers. Nicknamed the “Sundance of Horror,” Screamfest gives filmmakers and writers in the horror/sci-fi genres a venue to have their work showcased to people in the industry.
OCT. 18, 2014: HALLOWEEN & MOURNING MOVIE NIGHT
The Heritage Square Museum presents its annual Halloween & Mourning Movie Night on Saturday, Oct. 18, featuring an outdoor screening of a classic scary movie (TBA). Admission is free for museum members and $10 for the general public. The gates open at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at 7:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear warm clothing and bring a picnic, blankets and chairs to watch the movie under the stars.
OCT. 24 - NOV. 2, 2014: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS 4D - EL CAPITAN THEATRE
The Nightmare Before Christmas 4D is screening exclusively at the landmark El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood from Oct. 24 to Nov. 2. No matter how many times you’ve watched the movie, the interactive 4D sensory effects and Disney Digital 3D will help you experience Tim Burton's wonderfully macabre classic like never before. On select dates, guests can enjoy the “Treat-Tastic” dessert party after the movie, which includes desserts, activities and a souvenir photo.
OCT. 25, 2014: DUSK-TO-DAWN HORRORTHON
On Saturday, Oct. 25, American Cinematheque presents the ninth annual Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon, an all-night horror movie marathon at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The Horrorthon starts at 7:30 p.m. with Creepshow, followed by Gargoyles, The Thing, The Night of a Thousand Cats, The Deadly Spawn, Basket Case, and Zombie Holocaust. The Horrorthon includes between-film free food, giveaways, trailers, crazy shorts and a few surprises. The Aero is offering special Horrorthon prices: General Admission is $20, Student/Senior $18, Members $15 - includes all-night snacks and coffee. No vouchers.
OCT. 26, 2014: HOLD THAT GHOST - HAMMER MUSEUM
The UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hammer Museum have teamed up for Family Flicks, a matinee screening series of new and classic family-friendly films from around the world. To get in the spirit of Halloween, the Hammer presents Hold That Ghost on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. Abbott and Costello are in top form as bumbling gas station attendants who accidentally inherit a gangster’s creaky old estate, which may or may not be haunted. Family Flicks, like all Hammer public programs, is a free event. Tickets for assigned seating in the Billy Wilder Theatre are required and available at the box office one hour before the program. Tickets are available, one per person, on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival is recommended. All ages are welcome, recommended for ages 7 and older.
OCT. 31, 2014: NOSFERATU - WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL
On Halloween night, experience Nosferatu, the classic 1922 German Expressionist silent film, projected at Walt Disney Concert Hall with live organ accompaniment by Clark Wilson. Directed by F.W. Murnau, Nosferatu stars Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok.
OCT. 31, 2014: HALLOWEEN CARNAVAL - WEST HOLLYWOOD
The Halloween Carnaval is the largest Halloween street party in the world, taking place in West Hollywood on Friday, Oct. 31. Every year, nearly 500,000 people fill Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard to experience mind-blowing costumes, fantastic live entertainment and delicious food vendors. Two of the evening’s highlights are the Halloween Costume Contest and the crowning of an Honorary "Queen of the Carnaval." Admission is free and the event runs from 6-11 p.m.
OCT. 24, 2014: NIGHT OF THE LIVING ZOO - LA ZOO
Night of the Living Zoo transforms the Los Angeles Zoo into a theatre of macabre delights from 7-11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24. Gasp as animals such as the komodo dragon devour their All Hollow’s Eve feasts. Hear true tales of nature’s blood-suckers, as well as creatures odd, slimy and strange. Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey features performances of haunting Edgar Allan Poe tales such as The Raven and The Black Cat, and Edward Gorey’s ghastly Gashlycrumb Tinies. Enjoy the rockabilly beats of So-Cal Rocket Dynamics and spooky tunes spun by DJ Johnny Hawkes. Guests who are named Scariest, Best Animal and Most Original in the Costume Contest will win the to-die-for grand prize: VIP behind-the-scenes docent tours. Only select portions of the zoo will be accessible during the event. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to maximize animal viewing opportunities. This is an 18 and over event. Pre-sale tickets are $46 per person, $41 for GLAZA members. At the door, tickets are $51 per person, $46 for GLAZA members. Ticket price includes two drinks (beer, wine or soft drinks).
Crowd at KCRW's Masquerade | Photo by Jeremiah Garcia, courtesy of KCRW, Facebook
OCT. 25, 2014: KCRW’s MASQUERADE - PARK PLAZA HOTEL
KCRW's Masquerade returns to the historic Park Plaza Hotel on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The sixth annual costume ball and dance party takes over the entire venue, including five themed ballrooms and surrounding spaces. Music throughout the night includes live performances, 13 KCRW DJs, and special guests. Other delights include the Vaudeville circus troupe Lucent Dossier, neo-burlesque by the Bella-Donnas, ghost stories from L.A.'s finest storytellers, Matt Elson’s “Infinity Boxes,” food trucks, and more. Masquerade is a 21 and over event. Presale tickets are $100 per person - purchase includes a one-year KCRW membership. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $125.
OCT. 25 & 31, NOV. 1, 2014: HAUNTED HOTEL & FRIGHT NIGHT - W HOLLYWOOD
The W Hollywood presents a triple threat of Halloween parties this year: the Brazilian-themed Annual Festa on Saturday, Oct. 25; Spooky Hotel on Friday, Oct. 31; and Dia de los Made on Saturday, Nov. 1. All three events are hotel-wide parties, with different music genres showcased in the W’s venues: Living Room (Top 40), Station (Video DJ/Hip Hop), and Delphine (House). Early Bird tickets start at $20 for Annual Festa, and $25 for Spooky Hotel and Dia de los Made, with a variety of VIP tickets, couples and group packages available.
OCT. 31, 2014: CABARET DE L'ENFER - THE EDISON
On Halloween Night, The Edison presents Cabaret de L'Enfer, where guests will experience “the Unique, the Unusual and the Wondrous.” Downtown L.A.'s spectacular underground event venue invites you to an otherworldly gathering of diabolical attractions and apparitions from across the globe, including El Radio Fantastique and DJ Joe Greto. Doors open at 7 p.m. To reserve “your plot,” call 213.613.0000 or email [email protected]. Pre-sale General Admission tickets are $25 per guest, with a limited number of tickets held at the door for $30 in costume or $35 as yourself.