Fall Fun

Scare Up Fun for Everyone During the Spookiest Month of the Year

Photo courtesy of Nights of the Jack

As the home of that mystical land of make-believe called showbiz—not to mention serious goth roots and plenty of other intriguing types who like to get a little weird themselves—it’s no surprise that Los Angeles loves the spookiest month of the year. Here’s how to do it big in a city chock-full of top-notch production values and no shortage of zombie makeup experts.

EAT

Photo courtesy of Drunken Devil/Facebook

Bloody Brunch
Nothing goes together quite like brunch and some Blood…y Marys. Halloween meets the weekend’s most important meal at this match made in hell, which promises magic, burlesque, and more to liven up your Saturday food and drink intake. Blood, partial nudity, and a 21-plus age requirement make this one culinary creep show to leave the kids at home for. October 5. El Cid, 4212 Sunset Boulevard

DRINK

Malibu Lights: Haunted Nights
When Malibu Wine Safari’s usual giraffes and zebras turn in for the night this October, spooky sights will come out to play in the winery’s gorgeous mountaintop setting. Thankfully the wine tasting will still be there to beckon you through a world of haunted forests and dazzling light installations. Just don’t feed the ghouls. Through November 3. Malibu Wine Safari, 32111 Mulholland Highway, Malibu

DO

The Boo Boys: Halloween Spec-SPOOK-ular
With the trick-or-treat tradition of Halloween in mind, accomplished comedian tricksters Zach Broussard (who annually pranks the world of comedy with his Top 1,000 Comedians list) and Nate Fernald (who did a send-up of WTF With Marc Maron by making it seem like he was a secret cohost that Maron ignored during episodes) are putting on a special show. It’s hard to say what exactly they’ll have up their sleeve (or whatever they’ll be wearing), but it’s sure to be incredibly meta, silly, and clever. October 29. Lyric Hyperion Theatre & Cafe, 2106 Hyperion Avenue

Photo courtesy of American Contemporary Ballet/Facebook

Inferno & Burlesque
The most tantalizing event this Halloween season is this double feature from American Contemporary Ballet, which will transform the company’s 32nd-floor performance space into a sky-high trance of dance and chills. If you’re brave enough, join them on Halloween itself, when the annual Hellraiser fundraiser brings together performance, food, and an appearance by one Dita Von Teese for a scintillating way to spend the year’s spookiest evening. October 11–November 2. American Contemporary Ballet, 700 South Flower Street #3200

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Playhouse

The Haunting of Hill House
Long Beach Playhouse welcomes Halloween season with F. Andrew Leslie’s notorious adaptation of the classic horror story, about paranormal investigators in a haunted mansion, each uniquely affected by the home’s psychic manipulations. Through October 19. Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach

Minimal Effort All Hallows’ Eve
The only thing scary about Minimal Effort’s Halloween bash is how good the lineup is, headed up by a DJ set from the increasingly rare Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Bonobo, and JETS, the moniker of duo Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum. October 26. Downtown location revealed upon ticket purchase.

Photo courtesy of L.A. Opera‎/Facebook

Psycho – Live With Orchestra
Hear the stabbing violin strikes that forever changed horror movies live when the L.A. Opera Orchestra holes up in the Theatre at Ace Hotel to score these seven screenings of Hitchcock’s landscape-altering masterpiece Psycho, leading right up to Halloween night. October 25– 31. Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 South Broadway

Screamfest
Screamfest’s 10 days of scary movie madness is just what the doctor ordered—the psychopathic horror movie doctor, of course. The freaky flicks are mostly new arrivals and indies, with a smattering of all-time classics thrown in. October 8–17. TCL Chinese 6, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Descanso Gardens

Carved
Head to Descanso Gardens’s annual jack-o’-lantern showcase for a festive walk through more than 1,000 prettied-up pumpkins. October 23– 27. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge

Freeform’s Halloween House
While Freeform keeps the spooky movies coming all October with its 31 Nights of Halloween, Angelenos can take the frights from their TV screen to reality at this experience. Explore the worlds of Halloween favorites Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Addams Family with photo ops, immersive re-creations, and, of course, candy. Through October 7. Hollywood Athletic Club, 6525 Sunset Boulevard

After Dark Tour: Tales From the Other Side
Dark secrets haunt the long shadows of Paramount Studio’s towering soundstages, and stories unfit for celluloid linger in its howling halls. Explore the creepy side of Old Hollywood with an extensive nighttime walking tour of the Paramount lot and the adjacent Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where even more ghosts of showbiz are buried. Through November 16. Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, 5515 Melrose Avenue

Photo courtesy of Halloween Horror Nights-Hollywood/Facebook

Halloween Horror Nights
Your most terrifying movie memories come to bloodcurdling life at the best haunted house/studio backlot/theme park combo in L.A. (and maybe the world?). The stories of Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, The Walking Dead, and more jump from the screen to the scream in the form of 10 fully realized mazes of varying fright levels. Need a break from the terror? Select daytime rides will stay open late into the witching hours, as well. Through November 3. Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
This local Halloween favorite has evolved into so much more than a creepy ride behind a tractor. This year, experience the terror of the forever-stuck-in-1985 town of Midnight Falls, starting from the haunted town square, where you can head off to haunted houses, an outdoor maze, and, yes, the classic hayride itself. Through November 2. Griffith Park – Old Zoo, 4730 Crystal Springs Avenue

Photo courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm/Facebook

Knott’s Scary Farm
Knott’s Scary Farm is ready to harvest fear in the whole family with a 2019 edition full of scary mazes, shows, and Scare Zones situated between the attractions to make sure you’re never far from a fright. If you want to get your heart pounding in a different way, head to the park’s dozens of rides, which stay open all through the night. Through November 2. Knott’s Berry Farm, 8309 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park

Dark Harbor
Of all the L.A. attractions that transform into spooky scare-grounds for Halloween season, the Queen Mary is by far the most likely to actually be haunted. Explore labyrinthine mazes in the ship’s depths, but avoid the monsters—many based on actual Queen Mary urban legends—that stalk the halls. Once you’re ready to disembark from your nightmare, there is plenty of entertainment, food, and drink to enjoy just off the ship on terra firma. Through November 2. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

Photo courtesy of JFI Productions/Facebook

Haus of Creep
L.A.’s latest immersive horror wonderland, Haus of Creep, takes the pop-up museum fad and turns it into something evil. As you strive to snap that one—ahem—killer selfie, you’ll encounter installations with dark twists, disturbing shows, and demented performers who, in a break from the usual fright-fest rule, are allowed to touch you. There’s nothing in town quite like it. Through November 3. Row DTLA, 777 South Alameda Street, Building 2, Level 1

Nights of the Jack
This family-friendly event’s rows upon rows of vividly carved pumpkin creations is the main draw, but the fun doesn’t stop there. There will also be food and drink, live pumpkin carving, a special SpongeBob-themed area, and an Are You Afraid of the Dark? experience to dredge up ’90s kids’ traumatic memories of the show just in time for its reboot this month. Through November 3. King Gillette Ranch, 26800 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas

Fright Fest
With no shortage of screams coming from the stellar roller coasters and clever haunted mazes, Magic Mountain’s Fright Nights is well worth the pilgrimage to the northern reaches of the L.A. area to get your spook on. Make sure to try the Aftermath 2 maze, a sprawling zombie apocalypse that feels less like a haunted house than a Hollywood action-horror blockbuster. Through November 3. Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia

Haunted Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo is throwing down for all sorts of Halloween fun this year, including a pumpkin patch, movie screenings (some scary, some not), and a spooky walking tour of the neighborhood. It all culminates in a block party and trick-or-treating night on October 26, where you can support some great local restaurants and businesses. Various locations and dates through October 26.