No plans for Halloween? Not looking forward to trying to park in WeHo for the parade Monday night? Check out these seven other weekend events.
We won't say they're spook-tacular. If we did you'd have to shoot us.
Maybe you'll have a real ghost encounter at the haunted-year-round Queen Mary. You could, say, take a wrong turn and end up lost in one of the many creaky corridors all by yourself. Ghost experts say that if there is a sudden change in temperature or a feeling of a rise in energy, there might be a ghost present. But back to the party: The big, beautiful ship becomes “the Most Terrifying Place on Earth” for Dark Harbor 2011. Tiptoe through “mazes and madness” while live (or are they ghosts?) bands play. Better leave the young ones under 12 at home. Queen Mary, Long Beach Harbor; thru Oct. 31; $20-$39; queenmarydarkharbor.com. –Libby Molyneaux
In three short years, Long Beach Comic & Horror Con has become the Halloween event for the fan convention set. The main draw? Comic books, and lots of them. The annual event has a knack for packing the exhibit hall of Long Beach Convention Center filled with the artists and writers who keep you turning pages. This year, you'll have a chance to see legends of the medium, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, alongside a slew of up-and-comers. Don't forget to check out the minicomics and convention exclusive prints. But LBCC has more than just comics. The new horror portion of the convention will feature an appearance from none other than John Carpenter. For people interested in comedy, Seth Green and the team behind Robot Chicken will host a Q&A, and Felicia Day will be on hand for a screening of her hit Web series The Guild, which was filmed at the convention's April event. Make sure you stick around for Saturday night's Masquerade Ball, where top cosplayers compete for prizes. Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25, $45 weekend ticket; longbeachcomiccon.com. –Liz Ohanesian
They're finally developing that parcel of land in the 5500 block of Hollywood Boulevard on which the Velaslavasay Panorama stood for many years. The Panorama — the only modern immersive artistic experience apart from 3-D and that tank in Altered States — is an all-encompassing 360-degree creative discipline, other examples of which stretch from Australia to Iraq. The Velaslavasay Panorama lived on that Hollywood lot in the Tswuun-Tswuun Rotunda from 2001 through 2004, at which point the Rotunda and its lush gardens gave way to an Eden of filth and weeds. Fast-forward to its current home in West Adams at the old Union Theatre, and this year's Panorama of Horrors Spook Show. Captured Aural Phantasy Theater — a longtime local troupe combining all of the virtues of radio and live vaudeville with none of the scratchiness of either airwaves or suits — brings pre-Code comic-book terror to life with enough horror to make Dr. Fredric Wertham spin in his grave. Also on the schedule: a seance, some siren's sultry singing and music by members of the ghastly surf band the Noble Gasses. Oxygen not available at press time; wear masks! 1122 W. 24th St.; Fri., Oct. 28, 8 p.m.; $10. (213) 746-2166, capturedauralphantasy.com. –David Cotner
Compared with the parade of near-naked flesh in nearby West Hollywood, LACMA's annual Muse Costume Ball is the wholesome side of freaky. This year's Halloween party, themed “Dead Man's Ball,” is part of the museum's weekend of closing events in conjunction with the landmark Tim Burton exhibit. Featured are live music by East L.A.'s 25-piece jazz collective Killsonic, performances by theater troupe Sneak Nietzsche, more music by DJ Jeremiah Red and sets by Labyrinth of Jareth (organizers of the annual fairy-themed Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball). In the past, we've seen guests dressed as everyone — and everything — from living works of art to Siegfried and Roy dragging plushy animals across the museum's courtyard. Prizes will be handed to best Burton-inspired, best movie monster and most creative costumes. Kudos to anyone who can hold a cocktail with scissors for hands. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd.; Sat., Oct. 29, 8:30 p.m.; $100, $75 museum members. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. –Siran Babayan
For years now, Long Beach has been the epicenter of a bitter controversy: Should zombies be given the same rights as humans? Zombies have been beaten, denied service in restaurants and viewed as vermin worse than rats. Zombie activists cite the tension as a result of unfair biases and stereotypes in movies like Zombieland and Night of the Living Dead. These intellectual zombies state that their hunger for brains has been grossly overexaggerated. And on Saturday in Long Beach, thousands of zombies will be gathering in epic proportions to try to raise awareness for the zombie cause and throw a kick-ass block party. Well, sort of. Gates open at Broadway and Pine Avenue at 2 p.m. for Zombie Walk, a five-street-long block party filled with music, art and makeup artists who will transform you into a zombie. Then the zombies will walk throughout the city. And here's the best part: The LBC is trying to break the record for most zombies in one place. Seriously. At 7 p.m. is another record-breaking attempt, for the most people dancing to “Thriller” in one place. Seriously, if you're looking for something different to do this Halloween, then zombie Michael Jackson block parties takes the cake. Long Beach Promenade, corner of Third and Ocean, Long Beach; Sat., Oct. 29, 2 p.m.; free; zombiewalklb.com. –Joe Lapin
Doing their part to ensure that 2011 is remembered as the year the dance-music megafest broke, Gary Richards and his homies at HARD bring yet another star-studded bill to this year's two-night Haunted Mansion bash. As usual, the assembled talent crosses all kinds of genre lines: Friday's lineup pairs party-starting headliners Fatboy Slim and Rusko with Canadian electro-house vet Tiga and SBTRKT, the moody English enigma who's collaborated with Drake; on Saturday Soulwax and Skrillex rule the roost, with supporting appearances by dubstep dons Skream & Benga and Major Lazer, the digital dance-hall act pairing Diplo and Switch. That's hardly a complete list, but if you're headed downtown this weekend, you're doing it for more than musical reasons, right?Shrine Auditorium & Expo Center, 649 W. Jefferson Blvd.; Fri., October 28 and Sat., October 29, 6:00 p.m. –Mikael Wood
“Through the Eyes of a Child” is the theme of hayride that takes “a deeper look into the minds of the Clifton Twins, the daughters of Zoo Keeper Ferdinand Clifton who were rumored for years to suffer from violent nightmares so uncontrollable they were treated for sleep disorders. Their journals, which documented these ghastly visions, were found in their entirety and the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has recreated their contents for a 25-minute experience through the woods that leaves guests as prey.”
Old Zoo/Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive; through Mon., October 31 –Libby Molyneaux
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