Halloween lovers start living their spooky nightmares as soon as October begins, putting out the witchy/undead decor, having horror movie marathons, and contemplating costumes, parties and events. It all flies by like a bat outta hell, doesn’t it?  But if you’re just starting to feel the Fall freaky season vibes, we’re here for ya. You still have a full week and two weekends to get into the spirit. COVID-19 is still around, but people just aren’t scared of it the way they used to be, and most are ready to partake in dark experiential delights in spite of the risk. Here’s our annual guide to “HalloWeekly” amusements, attractions and happenings with plenty to do (and boo) from now through the end of the month, and in some cases beyond. Check out each event’s website (links below) for dates, times, covers and other important info.

Universal HHN 2022 The Weeknd After Hours 1

(Courtesy Universal Halloween Horror Nights)

Scream Parks

The scariest thing you’ll encounter at all of the big theme parks? Hourlong (or two!) waits to get into individual mazes. If you’re not connected or loaded enough to get “fast passes” at the big parks, prepare for very long lines. Luckily, the scare zones, interactive walk-throughs and stage shows at each locale are just as unnerving and entertaining as the more elaborate walk-inside haunts.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights tops the big-budget jump scare production list once again this year. They make a great spectacle of the scare zone area, too, with a circus-like intro opening the night and a parade of choreographed orange-and-black clad ghouls closing the night. In between, this year’s mazes include Killer Klowns from Outer Space, John Carpenter’s Halloween and Blumhouse’s The Black Phone. The Weeknd brings a fresh new spin on the horror hap with his “After Hours Nightmare,” a haunted nightclub environ wherein the singer (rocking his weird bloody bandaged head look) “stalks your squad through the surreal nightmare of his After Hours music.” There’s a clubby murder set, an extreme plastic surgery scene, a mannequin masquerade moment and lots of flashing lights in this one, which we give props for its uniqueness, if not any actual scares. We also liked The Weeknd’s themed bar (with fancy syringe adorned cocktails), the Jabbawockeez dance show, and the Terror Tram featuring a walk thru Jordan Peele’s NOPE sets alongside classics like the Psycho house and hotel. universalstudioshollywood.com/hhn/ –LL

CarnEvil 1

(Courtesy Knotts Scary Farm)

As for the other biggies, we’re still missing Elvira at Knotts Scary Farm, but it does have a colorful new “Le Magnifique Carnaval du Grotesque” show that offers an atmospheric old timey feel, plus a “Conjurers: Dark Magic Show” and a variety of interesting scare zones. Returning mazes include Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind, Wax Works (about a weirdo who kills guests with a cauldron of bubbling goo), Origins: The Curse of Calico (where the old West meets witchcraft), Pumpkin Eater (you walk into a giant, stinky pumpkin) and longtime favorite Dark Ride (a carnival and funhouse freakout). By the way, Knotts has modified its underage guardian/ chaperone policy, increasing the number of minors per adult over 21 and giving complimentary passes to anyone with five paid underage guests. knotts.com/events/scary-farm –LL 

Over at Six Flags Fright Fest, they’re offering a variety of hellish haunted houses with names like Vault 666 and Truth or Dare, scare zones called CarnivHELL and the Devil’s Triangle, and shows themed to voodoo and monsters. You also can do some of their big drop and dizzyingly fast rides in the dark,and don’t be surprised if a ghoul happens to join you.  sixflags.com/magicmountain/events/fright-fest-event/  –LL

Disneyland never goes full scare fair due to the family heavy crowds, but it does manage to create its own sort of magic with its classic Main Street Pumpkin Festival and parade, the hot ticket Oogie Boogie Bash (sold out) and the now-classic Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas makeover.  There’s also mascots in Halloween gear, a special tricky treat menu, projections and Halloween music, and beautiful Dia de los Muertos displays. disneyland.disney.go.com/events-tours/halloween-time-at-the-disneyland-resort/  –LL

Nights Of The Jack 4

(Courtesy Nights of the Jack)


It’s pumpkin spice and everything nice time, and everywhere you look you’ll find lit-up gourds galore bringing color and wonder to kiddies and adults, at the following:

Nights of the Jack is one of the longest strolls in town with monster-themed light displays and hundreds of jack-o’-lanterns real and fake. nightsofthejack.com/ while  Hauntoween, the family friendly 150,000-square-foot trick-or-treat and pumpkin-carving event is the best place to show off your pumpkinhead skills.  hauntoween.com/los-angeles/  –LL

Annual Haunted Little Tokyo also will offer a pumpkin patch and carving, scavenger hunt, contests and more.  littletokyola.org/haunted/  Spooky displays, trick-or-treating, open-air live shows, animal pumpkin feedings, photo ops and more take place at the Boo at the Zoo the next two weekends. Costumes are encouraged and Mars candies is the sponsor, making this L.A. staple event an animalistic alternative to walking your neighborhood. lazoo.org/plan-your-visit/special-experiences/boo/  –LL

Visitors wander the paths of the forest at Carved © Jake Fabricius

(Courtesy Descanso Gardens/Jack Fabricus)

Carved at Descanso Gardens. For three weeks in October, hundreds (thousands, maybe) of carved pumpkins line a mile-long meander through the grounds and woodlands of the famous Camellia Forest. This year’s nighttime hours event features fresh activities, and new and classic installations along with all the pumpkins ever — such as the extremely Instagrammable pumpkin house and hay maze, UV “black light” experiences, a special Día de los Muertos installation at the amphitheater, and live artisanal pumpkin-carving — plus holiday-themed (aka pumpkin-spiced, probably) food and beverages. descansogardens.org/ –SND

Cemetery Lane, presented by Black Cat Orange, the company who put on Midsummer Scream, is a trick or treat experience featuring a wicked walk through Victorian manors and haunted houses located within the gated Heritage Square Museum. There’s 13 themed candy collecting stops and other amusements to get you into the Halloween spirit, but for a lot of us just marveling at the beatiful homes is treat enough. cemeterylane.com/ –LL

Shaqtober Opening Night McDowell 238

(Courtesy Shaqtoberfest)

Nightmares in the Flesh

If you liked Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary, you may or may not like Shaqtoberfest, which replaces it this year. It’s a more family friendly event by day, but after dark, the Shaquille O’Neal co-partnered hap’s eerie elements come alive, including a boardwalk filled with ghastly creatures, a Shipwreck Graveyard, Deadman’s Wharf filled with deathly wanderers, and more. shaqtoberfest.com/

Haunted Hayride highlights the inherent creepiness of Griffith Park and takes it to new heights with its riveting ride through the darkness. Jack-o-lantern creatures, clowns, crazies and creeps are seen, heard and interacted with along the classic woodsy cruise. There’s a few mazes and a stage show, too.  losangeleshauntedhayride.com/

UD Laura1 1

(Courtesy Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre)

NoHo’s horror theater company Zombie Joe’s Underground (JZU) should be at the top of your freak list, especially if you’re the type who likes to support local arts.  ZJU’s “Urban Death Tour of Terror” is more inventive than ever, if what we saw at the media preview is any indication. Dark and demented vignettes are presented at this adults-only dramatic show exploring themes of violence, mental anguish, and ghostly evil amidst a weird maze, and in the theater, where perspectives are skewed with bizarre lighting and sound effects.  zombiejoes.com/

Delusion from Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group returns with a new theme called “Valley of Hallows” concerning a deadly cult. Patrons walk the leader’s estate and play the role of “deprogrammers” to help rescue its disturbed/possessed inhabitants.  enterdelusion.com/ 

A creepily curated experience inside of an actual car wash in the O.C., Tunnel of Terror features an array of performers popping up throughout a demonic drive-through with special effects, lights and “terrifying ambiance” adding to the good clean (but decidedly menacing) fun.  tunnelofterroroc.com/



Scream (Paramount Pictures)

Scary Movies

Streaming services have turned into “screaming” services for the season, with Halloween-themed sections on Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Freeform and Hulu (Huluween). But some of us like to be with others watching on-screen thrills and chills. Angelenos have more to choose from than maybe anywhere else in the country. We are the city of make believe, after all.

Michael Myers is back in Halloween Ends, but let’s face it, John Carpenter’s classic will never really die. The South Pasadena home that served as filming site for the 1978 classic remains popular with locals and tourists alike, especially thanks to SugarMynt Gallery next door, which exists solely to celebrate the iconic horror movie. For October, they’ve got a multitude of Mike Meyers movies and a lot more fearsome entertainment. sugarmynt.com/event-details/halloween-7/

Scary Movie Month at Melrose Rooftop Theater features outdoor cinema utilizing wireless technology and individual headsets for films including Scream (both the 1996 and 2022 versions), Ghostbusters, Edward Scissorhands and American Psycho. melroserooftoptheatre.com/movie-schedule/

nightmare on elm street movies in order index 1632944846

A Nightmare on Elm Street (New Line Cinema)

Over at Street Food Cinema, they’ve got a Slasher Cinema schedule that celebrates the ‘80s this coming weekend and the ‘90s next weekend at the Million Dollar Theater (two showings each) in Downtown. Screenings of A Nightmare on Elm Street (Oct. 22) and Scream (Oct. 29) also will feature an underground haunted walk-through, photo opps, music, a costume contest, popcorn and a full cash bar (it’s a 21+ event). streetfoodcinema.com/

Now through Halloween, Rooftop Cinema Club‘s various locations have some real ghoulish good flicks including: Interview with a Vampire (the original), Hocus Pocus, The Shining, Get Out, Silence of the Lambs, Beetlejuice,  Cruella, The Ring, Donnie Darko, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Paranorman and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, just to name a few. rooftopcinemaclub.com/los-angeles/

Electric Dusk Drive-In has been doing its monthlong series called “Halloween Movie Madness,” and you can still catch some including old fashioned fiendish films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Casper, The Exorcist, Jeeper Creepers, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more. Electricduskdrivein.com/

Cinespia is practically a Halloween tradition at this point, and they’ve been showing some great films this season. Unfortunately, the next two weekends (Carrie on the 22nd and Bram Stoker’s Dracula on the 29th) are sold out. As of this writing, there still are tickets available for the Ace Hotel screening of Run Sweetheart Run this Thursday, Oct. 20, which also is the closing night for the Screamfest horror film festival. If you miss all of this, catch the movie on Prime Video on Oct. 28.  Cinespia.org/


Expanding the definition of horror to include pitch-black surrealism, psychological torment in suburbia, haunting dark comedy, undisputed champions of abject fear-inducing hellscapes, creeped-out kitsch and movies with surprise endings we already know that don’t make them any less affecting, the Hocus-Focus Film Festival at Alex Theater’s three-night lineup includes Donnie Darko (2001), Hellboy (2004), The Sixth Sense (1999), The Shining (1980), Beetlejuice (1988), The Omen (1976), and Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Before each screening, the curators share a new student-made horror short inspired by these formative giants of the genre. alextheatre.org/event/hocus-focus-film-festival/    –SN

horror toy Insta story3

(Courtesy Mystic Museum)

More Freaky Fun

Horror fans and toy collectors are often one in the same and those who meld both interests make for a particularly fervent fandom. The Mystic Museum’s The Lost Toys- a new immersive vintage horror toy exhibit featuring retro and antique toys from the 50’s-90’s is perfectly timed for Halloween, featuring the coolest and creepiest play things ever made.  MM has previously curated some killer exhibits, from Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead artshows to Slashback Video (a throwback to VHS stores of the 80’s and 90’s) to “90s Slashers” celebrating the bloodiest cinema. This one takes over a second location a few blocks down from the main store. themysticmuseum.com/   –LL

Atlas Obscura: How to Read a Gravestone (Virtual). Some of the oldest and most intriguing, artistic, unique graveyards in America are ready to give up their secrets. Stories in the Stones: How to Read a Gravestone With Dr. Elise M. Ciregna is a four-part seminar fittingly beginning Halloween weekend, focused on the emblems and codes of American cemetery traditions. A combination of research and field study, merging history with cultural trends, regional traditions, multicultural melding and displacement, religion, fashion, language, geology and aesthetic conventions from the garden bed to the mausoleum, this in-depth course covers a different era of US history, each week going back to the arrival of the first European colonists and the various practices they brought with them. atlasobscura.com/experiences/gravestone-reading-online-course/  –SND

House of Spirits

(Courtesy Haunted Spirits)

A haunted house party to die for, House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree, offers tarot readings, odd creature encounters, ghoulish games, and of course libations. This year’s affair focuses on the tale of Lady Medb, who “after being impregnated by a black-horned devil, gave birth to the devil’s child in Vaughan Hall. The fires of Hell instantly ignited and consumed the room in flames, burning all alive.” With recurring characters and backstories this  sinister shindig is an interactive experience that’s only heightened by the alcoholic spirits served.  houseofspiritssoiree.com/los-angeles/  –LL

FORT LA Witch Houses Trail. Basically Star Maps but for architecture history, Friends of Residential Architecture (FORT LA) curates themed self-guided architecture trails all over the city, and their new one is the third iteration of their popular and appropriately seasonal Witch Houses: Something Wicked This Way Comes, guest curated by novelist and actor Amber Benson, whose most recent work is the spooky Witches of Echo Park trilogy of novels. In her former life, Benson spent three seasons as the witch Tara Maclay on the television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and she still loves walking alone in dark alleys and otherwise tempting fate. She’s selected a tour of some of the most bone-chilling and otherworldly houses in Los Angeles — including the gargoyle-bedecked Weatherwolde Castle and Viking-themed Wiggins House in Tujunga, the Snow White Cottages in Atwater, the storybook Spadena House in Beverly Hills, and more — as well as short story pairings to get you in the scary moods. fortla.org/  –SND

“WITCH!” is an original immersive theater event based on the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612. Townspeople descend into madness as witch fever spreads and you become the accused. The production, from Downtown Repertory Theater Company, warns that you might get separated from the people you came with as you meet the “witches” and the “inquisitors” walking through a haunted forest and cemetery to the Mountain View Mausoleum and abandoned chapel. This is the kind of Halloween that makes L.A. great. eventbrite.com/e/witch-tickets-392221744797/   –LL

1796 copy

The original Frankenstein (Universal Pictures)

Frankenstein with Live Orchestra at the Theater at Ace Hotel. The annual Halloween mashup of film and opera at the Theater at Ace Hotel returns with the Boris Karloff macabre classic on the big screen, inhabiting the timeless gothic parable of mad genius, ambition, hubris, human frailty, and fear of the unknown. As shocking as the film might be, the real shocker is that the 1931 masterpiece was originally released without a musical score — a situation composer Michael Shapiro has rectified with the new original soundtrack which will accompany the screenings. Shapiro himself will conduct his evocative score, performed live by the LA Opera Orchestra in the perfect setting of the Ace Hotel’s equally classic theater. laopera.org/  –SND

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, is horror classic and an example of early German Expressionist cinema.  If you’ve never seen it, this is the best way: accompanied by the atmospheric sounds of a live organ player. Virtuoso Clark Wilson will be on the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s monster pipe organ for this Hallows Eve screening of 1920 silent film directed by Robert Wiene. laphil.com/events/performances/1920/2022-10-31/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari /         

ESC HW2022 32

(Courtesy Haunt-o-ween)



Looking for nightlife, clubs and dress-up/debauchery? Come back here next week for our party picks! Dia de Los Muertos picks coming too. See our Food Section for more Halloween fun.


This week’s print edition.

Further Reading:

Haunted: Halloween Brings New Forms of Immersive Terror to Town

































































































































Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.