By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FRIDAY, October 27
Here’s an event that aims for an “immersion experience that will shatter preconceptions, transcending notions of horror-genre theatrics and Halloween maze experiences to take visitors to a state of extreme dread, shock and terror.” No, it’s not rush hour on the 405, but Halloween Horror Nights. For the first time ever, you can prowl the back lot of Universal Studios and get your scary fill while you tiptoe around the Psycho House, the Bates Motel and the War of the Worlds disaster scene. The Carnival of Carnage brings you face to face with torture artists, fire-eaters and icky, crawling things. The Mutaytor will perform with stunts and fire, too. Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 27-28 & Tues., Oct. 31; $34 & $39; www.halloweenhorrornights.com.
During the day, the Halloween Harvest Festival provides good old-fashioned Halloween fun: a corn maze — where you can pretend not to panic as kiddies scream in glee while running into numerous dead ends — a haunted house and a haunted trail. After dark, things turn a little more sinister, with a tour of the Factory of Nightmares and Sinister Dreadford’s Mansion of Lost Souls. Pierce College, 6498 De Soto Ave., Woodland Hills; thru Oct. 31; corn maze is $10 adults, $6 children; costs vary for other rides & attractions in what is definitely the most confusing pricing plan in Halloween history. (818) 999-6300.
If you’re the type who thinks no Halloween is complete without an underwear contest, you’ll want to go to Highways for its Trick or Treat: A Nightmare Halloween Bash. On hand will be the performance troupe the Discount Cruise to Hell, “an ever-morphing rock & roll choir horror musical de macabre” headliner, with additional performances by the gay comedy duo Three Dollar Bill, the electronica band Hayden and the Headphones, the burlesque troop/condiment lovers the Miracle Whips, “X-rated children’s musician” Melissa, plus the aforementioned skivvies contest, zombie go-go dancers and glitter galore. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., Oct. 27-28, 8:30 p.m.; $20, $15 students. (310) 315-1459.
The parking lot of a mall in Northridge that was once a cemetery is the site for The Haunt, a spooky offering where you dare to enter Nightmare Factory, Extreme Madness and ZombieVille. Northridge Fashion Center, 9301 Tampa Ave., Northridge; Thurs.-Sun., thru Oct. 31; $10 one haunt, $15 two, $25 three. (323) 272-7326.
SATURDAY, October 28
Shipwreck 2006 at the Queen Scary, which is rumored to be haunted any time of year, has seven dizzying mazes, including the 3-D House of Hallucinations, which will put you through the spin cycle. Walk through its dark decks and corridors, but watch out for the “monsters, mutants and maniacs” hiding at every turn. After the demons have been exorcised from your body, join the dance party at X-Hall, with live bands pounding your skull. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; Fri.-Tues., Oct. 27-31, 7 p.m.-mid.; $30 (not recommended for children under 12; no costumes allowed). (562) 435-3511.
Hospitals are scary enough, but when the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce gets through transforming the Northridge Hospital Medical Center into Spooktacular North Valley Community Festival, you’ll be shaking in your boots. Good thing there are health screenings, along with trick-or-treating, a kids’ zone, entertainment and much more. Northridge Hospital Medical Center, 18300 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge; Sat., Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free. (818) 700-5668.
If you make it to morning after American Cinematheque’s Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon, you will have sat through Night of the Living Dead, Re-Animator, House by the Cemetery, Castle of Blood, Pumpkinhead and Burial Ground. Breakfast will then be served, and you will go home and fall asleep to Teletubbiesreruns. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.-6 a.m.; $12, $10 students & seniors. (323) 466-FILM.
This year The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Pageant tries something new, featuring the Jethro Tull Dancers and the One Minute Horror Film Festival. Comic C.J. Arabia has wrangled Charlyne Yi, Michael Busch, Laura House, Ari Shaffir, David Taylor, Dana Gould, Wayne Federman, Janet Varney, Chris Hardwick and more to come up with supershort, funny, scary flicks (probably more funny than scary). UCB Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Sat., Oct. 28, 10 p.m.; $8. (323) 908-8702.
Join Jamie Lee Curtis and enjoy Halloween while helping the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation at Dream Halloween. Sure, the tickets are steep, but the cause is extremely worthy and the food way better than candy corn and Tootsie Rolls. And Sharon Stone and Maria Shriver will be there, while kids can play games, trick-or-treat, make art and meet cartoon characters. Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Air Center, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 28, 5-9 p.m.; $250, $300. (310) 201-5033.
SUNDAY, October 29
UCLA Live’s Far-Out Halloweekend continues with rocking avant-gardians Pere Ubu performing live to a screening of Roger Corman’s 1963 sci-fi classic X, the Man With the X-Ray Eyes, which features X-ray vision and Don Rickles. Royce Hall, UCLA, Wstwd.; Sun., Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; $20-$38. (310) 825-2101.
MONDAY, October 30
“Unknown voices singing from the rehearsal rooms, line recitals whispered from empty rooms and a mysterious man spotted high on a catwalk” are just some of the spooky things you’ll encounter on the Sony Pictures Halloween Walk. Sony Pictures Plaza, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City; Fri., Oct. 27 & Mon.-Tues., Oct. 30-31, 7 p.m.; $25. (323) 520-TOUR.