The Best Ways to Celebrate Halloween in L.A.

Dress like your favorite comic book character at Stan Lee's Comikaze this Halloween weekend.
Dress like your favorite comic book character at Stan Lee's Comikaze this Halloween weekend.
Hannah Verbeuren

HAUNTED HOUSES, CREEPY COMEDY, HORRIFYING BURLESQUE, ZOMBIE TRIVIA & MORE!

Why pay big bucks at those elaborate theme-park Halloween haunts when you can go to a comedy club and laugh and get scared — and possibly wet — at the same time? Directed by Groundlings member Chris Eckert, You Paid to DIE* Tonight (*laugh) turns the club into its own haunt filled with smoke, strobe lights, costumed characters, sketches and stories about The Groundlings' spooky past and even a parody song inspired this year's scariest woman — Kim Davis. Wear a rain slicker and hold a friend's hand. The Groundlings Theatre, 7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; Tue., Oct. 27, 8 & 10 p.m.; $15. (323) 934-4747, groundlings.com. —Siran Babayan

Directed by Groundlings member Chris Eckert, You Paid to DIE* Tonight (*laugh) turns the club into its own haunt filled with smoke, strobe lights, costumed characters.
Directed by Groundlings member Chris Eckert, You Paid to DIE* Tonight (*laugh) turns the club into its own haunt filled with smoke, strobe lights, costumed characters.
Michael Minto

The thrilltastic of American burlesque and Mexican wrestling known as Lucha VaVoom presents its annual Halloween spooktacular, Mexican Horror Story. This strange and hilarious carnival features such fearfully farfetched acts as transvestite wrestlers who swan-dive from a third-story balcony to pin their opponents to the floor and high-wire acrobats stripped nearly naughtily naked and spinning high above the clamoring crowd. Howls of fright and glee will greet this year's wicked selection of masked maniacal marvels, including Japan's Kikutaro and Mr. Cacao, Dr. Cerebro and Dr. Maldad vs. Vampiro Blanco and Relampago, Marawa the Amazing, aerial-pole star Leigh Acosta and an all–mini monster match. Mayan Theatre, 1026 S. Hill St., downtown; Wed.-Thu., Oct. 28-29, doors open 7 p.m., start time 8:30 p.m.; $40-$75; 21+. (213) 746-4674, luchavavoom.com. —John Payne

Think you know The Walking Dead? Then test your knowledge Wednesday night at Stupid Gets You Killed: A Walking Dead Quiz. Pub-quiz pros Geeks Who Drink have a knack for stumping even hard-core fans with their hyper-detailed quizzes on pop culture properties ranging from Game of Thrones to Star Wars. Rewatching the series won't be enough preparation; in addition to testing fans on the first five seasons of the show, there may be questions about the comics and other parts of the franchise. Get a group together and tackle this challenge as if it's the zombie apocalypse. Don't forget your walker makeup, as costumes are welcome. Pitfire Pizza, 108 W. Second St., downtown; Wed., Oct. 28, 8 p.m.; $5. (213) 808-1200, geekswhodrink.com. —Liz Ohanesian

Y'know those evangelical groups that put on "hell houses" to scare sinners away from fornicating, lying and other things God hates? KillJoy's Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is a queer, sex-positive take on that concept, providing a view of a nonpatriarchal reality that may frighten the mainstream. Originally a Toronto installation by artist Allyson Mitchell, the Kastle comes to WeHo through the support of the City of West Hollywood, the Andy Warhol Foundation and ONE Archives. Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed.-Fri., Oct. 28-30, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; free. otherwild.com/collections/events. —Sascha Bos

KillJoy's Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is a queer, sex-positive take on a hell house.
KillJoy's Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House is a queer, sex-positive take on a hell house.
Allyson Mitchell

The annual pop culture convention Stan Lee’s Comikaze is a costume lover’s paradise — you can come dressed for Halloween or check out the exhibit hall to find those last-minute odds and ends to complete your look. On Friday, hit up a cosplay panel for costuming tips, check out the latest in pop culture clothing with the Le Geek So Chic Fashion Show and catch comic book master Stan Lee onstage. On Saturday, enter your kids in the costume contest or check out the Cosplay National Championship. Look out for big guest appearances during the three-day show, including Carrie Fisher, who is set to appear on Saturday, plus comic book creator Grant Morrison, burlesque star Dita Von Teese, actors Summer Glau, Greg Grunberg and James Hong, and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtwon; Fri., Oct. 30, 1-7 pm.; Sat., Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $30-$75. (213) 741-1151, comikazeexpo.com. —Liz Ohanesian

A product of Spanish colonial influence on an ancient Aztec festival honoring the goddess of the underworld, Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico every Nov. 1 and 2 by visiting the graves of loved ones and making ofrendas (offerings), calaveras (skulls, usually of sugar) and pan de muerto (sweet bread). In Boyle Heights, Self Help Graphics & Art presents its 42nd Día de los Muertos festival, complete with performances by Brenton Wood and Barrio Stomp and dozens of food and arts vendors. SHG has collaborated with downtown’s Grand Park to create a community altar, which stands alongside sculptures and installations exploring both the history of the holiday and current issues, from gang violence to immigration reform. If you want to get a little closer to the dead, head to Santa Monica’s Woodlawn Cemetery for a traditional celebration that includes a tour of the graves of famous Angelenos. The only museum in the world dedicated to contemporary Latin American art, Long Beach’s MoLAA, presents a family celebration that features an altar exhibition, as well as the opportunity to create your own crafts. Die-hard Día de los Muertos fans can watch Olvera Street’s Novenario processions every night through Nov. 2, and Grupo Folklórico de UCLA keeps the party going until next week, with an annual performance showcasing dance styles from multiple regions of Mexico. Mendez Learning Center, 1200 Plaza del Sol E., Boyle Heights; Sun., Nov. 1, 4-10 p.m. (323) 881-6444, selfhelpgraphics.com. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; through Mon., Nov. 2, all day (20-minute weekday lunchtime tours). (213) 972-8080, grandparkla.org. Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St., Santa Monica; Sun., Nov. 1, 1-4 p.m. (310) 458-8688, smgov.net. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Nov. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org. El Pueblo Historical Monument, 125 Paseo de la Plaza, downtown; through Tue., Nov. 3, 7 p.m. (213) 625-7074, olvera-street.com. UCLA, Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom, 308 Westwood Plaza, Westwood; Sun., Nov. 8, 5:30-11 p.m. (562) 965-9476, happenings.ucla.edu. All events are free. —Sascha Bos

A MARATHON OF SCARY MOVIES, FROM GHOSTBUSTERS TO DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE — PLUS A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS WITH AN ORCHETRA

As your non-Halloween-related options are essentially nil this weekend, the more horror-averse among ye might consider taking the comedic route with Ghostbusters. The all-female version will soon be upon us, which means this may be your last opportunity to see the original on the silver screen before getting irrationally angry at the fat cats in Hollywood for daring to alter another childhood favorite. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.; Hlywd.; Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

"We're exterminators. Someone saw a cockroach up on twelve."EXPAND
"We're exterminators. Someone saw a cockroach up on twelve."

As for those explicitly Halloween-themed events, the New Beverly is going hard with its eighth annual All-Night Horror Show. The precise identities of the six movies that comprise the program are a closely held secret that shan’t be revealed until each one starts, but we have it on good authority (read: the theater’s website) that they’re of the utmost rarity. Also on the 12-hour program: a variety of trailers, cartoons and shorts to be played between the half-dozen features. As your alt-weekly, we advise you not to wait until the night of to buy tickets, as they’re expected to sell out in advance. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com—Michael Nordine

The holiday that almost every repertory theater in town has tied an entire month of programming to arrives at last, and what have we to show for it? For starters, UCLA’s 35mm presentation of The Bat Whispers is a genuine treat. An understated chiller from 1930, this avowed influence on Batman makes inventive use of miniature sets and curious set designs; its antagonist, a masked killer called the Bat, is just as memorable. The feature will be preceded by a seven-minute interview with Bela Lugosi, also on 35mm, that took place at his home in Los Angeles. UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

Or, for a more canonical experience, there’s always The Shining. Few upper-echelon horror movies have earned their reputation quite like Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, not that the author himself would agree; the Overlook Hotel is like a living, breathing organism that gets into your head and doesn’t let go. Pay special mind to Shelley Duvall’s underrated performance and ask yourself why one of the greatest actresses of her generation hasn’t graced us with her presence in so many years. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave.; Santa Monica; Sat., Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-3456, americancinemathequecalendar.com—Michael Nordine

Upcoming Events

Get your creepy thrill on under the stars — or are those demons’ eyes? — at the Hollywood Bowl screening of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas accompanied by a live musical performance. Composer Danny Elfman will sing the role of Jack Skellington, with conductor John Mauceri leading an orchestra, a full choir and loads of promised special guests. Enhance your 360-degree-pumpkinhead-spinning buzz by dressing in garishly ghoulish gear (a costume contest is promised). Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 31, 8:15 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m.; $29.50-$255. (323) 850-2000, hollywoodbowl.com—John Payne

For vintage-fright freaks, there’s a screening of the 1920 silent classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Disney Hall, featuring Clark Wilson on the venue’s big, scary pipe organ. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Sat., Oct. 31, 8 p.m.; $38-$68.50. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com. —John Payne

Summoning sweet transvestites from transsexual Transylvania: Prepare the transit beam to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a screamtastically super setting in which to join Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Janet, Brad, Riff Raff and freaky friends doing the time warp again. Fans can picnic while enjoying a DJ set and explore a “Halloween circus” tent with contortionists, jugglers, magicians and more, as well as a photo booth with a custom-built Rocky Horror–themed set. A costume is required to enter the screening — you know the drill. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., Oct. 31, 7 p.m.; $25, under 17 admitted only with parent or guardian. (877) 987-6487, cinespia.org. —John Payne


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >