7 Of LA's Most Immersive And Intense Halloween Haunts
Los Angeles has so many incredible Halloween attractions, you could find something legitimately spooky and awesome to do every night between now and October 31st. While we love a good maze, whether it's in a theme park or a San Fernando Valley backyard, we prefer experiences that go beyond masked actors jumping out and shrieking "Boo!"
From dinner parties set among carnivorous plants to a twisted cabaret that changes based on your choices, these immersive haunts will transport you away from SoCal to grittier, gothier worlds.
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Creep LA: Awake
In its fourth year, Creep LA returns with a new show rooted in nightmares. Details are vague but we can tell you that previous experiences have been an unsettling combo of sinister and sexy. Maybe you'll see a creepy doll burlesque routine or be forced to hide in a box to escape a demon. Perhaps you'll lay in a coffin until you're awakened by a consumption-stricken bride or participate in a bizarre ritual to access another dimension. It's best to be prepared for anything.
Groups of 25 people will be led on a 75-minute journey through a series of surreal rooms, each one housing a unique horror. You may encounter complete darkness and moments where you'll be asked to climb stairs or crawl. Performers might also touch you. Located in a 60,000-square-foot space at ROW DTLA, Creep has partnered with fellow ROW tenant Rappahannock Oyster Bar, which will offer participants exclusive menu options. Because nothing helps you decompress from abject terror like raw seafood, right?
Ideal For: If you sometimes wish you could live in the intro credits for American Horror Story.
Sep. 27 - Nov. 4
ROW DTLA: 777 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
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The Flowering of the Strange Orchid
Disco Dining Club, the champion of indulgent dinner parties, is throwing an upscale "botanical horror" experience. Long before Little Shop of Horrors, H.G. Wells's 1905 short story The Flowering of the Strange Orchid, told the story of a dull man who finds excitement when he purchases a rare orchid but discovers that his plant prefers human blood to photosynthesis.
The event takes place on the grounds of a house, built in 1906, in the Pico-Union neighborhood. In a lush greenhouse suitable for Poison Ivy, you'll enjoy a five-course meal from chef Laurent Quenioux accompanied by with wine and cocktails from Baxter Speakeasy. Adventurous guests can sample edible insect dishes from Bugible. There's also a ceremonial tea house and an array of desserts and coffee. As you dine among creeping flora and carnivorous plants (you can thank The Grim Wreather for the macabre decor), you'll encounter actors and creatures who roam around and interact with you. You'll also get to watch puppetry, theater, music and dance performances.
IDEAL FOR: If you're a foodie who loves elaborate dress-up parties and will spare no expense to indulge your passions.
Oct. 26 - 28
COST: $300; 21+.
Address will be revealed to ticket holders; attendance is capped at 50 people per night.
Drunken Devil: Bacchanalia
What do you get when you cross a warehouse rager with a haunted house? Drunken Devil parties. While you drink and dance, you can engage with monsters and strange creatures. Doing so reveals a narrative, which you can choose to follow — or not.
"Bacchanalia" takes us waaaay back in time, to ancient Rome when it was ruled by the emperor Caligula, legendary for his cruelty and perversion. The "monsters" are members of his court and they spend the night schmoozing with guests. Other entertainment includes DJ sets, burlesque performances and strolling magicians. An open bar with cocktails, wine and beer helps lubricate these interactions.
Ideal For: If you want to rage — but not at a club.
COST: $85; 21+
The secret location, somewhere in Los Angeles, will be revealed to ticket holders in the days leading up to the party.
The team behind the cult-themed Tension Experience have teamed up to create one of the most immersive haunts this season. Inspired by the graphic theatrics of Paris's Grand Guignol, Theatre Macabre plunges you into a 90- to 120-minute experience in which you'll make choices that shape the narrative and determine whether you're a hero or a villain. The venue is being kept secret but we can tell you it sprawls across multiple floors and theaters with 20 different environments, each full of potential interactions. Some suggested narratives include helping a gang of elite assassins or locating a hidden cache of jewels.
Ideal For: If you've dreamed of being in a horror movie where you're convinced you'd be a chaotic neutral but you need to know for sure.
Delusion: The Blue Blade
A longtime favorite of both immersive theater and haunt fans, Delusion is a "haunted play" that essentially makes you a character in the show. You're required to interact with actors and props in order to survive whatever horrors unfold around you. After taking a year-long break to partner with Skybound Entertainment and produce a VR version of their 2015 show, Lies Within, Delusion has returned with a sci-fi adventure.
The secret society charged with protecting "The Blue Blade," a mysterious artifact that lets anyone who holds it manipulate space and time, has been betrayed by one of its own. Audience members will have to track down traitor Evelyn Lowell, the professor who stole the Blade and has been charging wealthy people a premium to time-travel. You'll stalk him through various eras and, hopefully, restore the artifact to its rightful keepers.
The audience is capped to eight people at a time. Guests may arrive a half hour before their show time to hang out in the themed lounge and bar. Although Delusion is mostly sold out, previous runs have been extended due to popular demand. Become a Delusion subscriber to get those announcements.
Ideal For: If you dream about starring in a fantasy/sci-fi movie and you're certain you'd be more like Rupert Giles and not at all like Quentin Travers.
Sep. 21-Dec. 16
Located in Mid-City, exact address will be revealed to ticket holders.
Although it's rooted in virtual reality, The VOID calls what they do "hyper-reality." Guests don't just see and hear the fantastical worlds inside their headsets. They feel and smell them, too. This could mean picking up a whiff of sulfur and a wave of heat as your transport approaches the surface of a molten planet or getting your controller-free fingers tangled in cobwebs as you venture deeper into a haunted house. Earlier this year, the Utah-based company opened its first L.A.-area location with Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. Just in time for Halloween, The VOID has added two ghostly experiences to its roster.
For a mild fright, there's Ghostbusters: Dimension. Players are Ghostbusters interns sent by Dan Aykroyd to A) get him a coffee and B) bust some ghosts. Teams of up to four people will be equipped with "proton packs" to explore a haunted apartment building. Inside, a variety of specters, including some fan favorites, will make their presence known. The action is similar to a first-person shooter but far more immersive. Your teammates will appear wearing tan jumpsuits and your vest will vibrate when you take damage. There are rails and walls to duck behind and there's a great olfactory joke that we won't spoil. Although it has some frights, Ghostbusters: Dimension is light-hearted and Aykroyd's running commentary offers both nostalgia and levity.
Then there's Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, a much darker experience. Players travel back in time to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to explore an exhibit that was shut down after its guests vanished. You'll see your teammates as various characters in full Victorian garb. Instead of shooting ghosts, you'll have to solve puzzles while a demon pursues you. The atmosphere is appropriately creepy with plenty of surprises and jump scares. All players will be outfitted with a vest and headset. Expect to spend about 30 minutes on-site, which includes an onboarding video as you suit up.
Ideal For: If you get really excited about the possibilities of VR and love brainteasers.
Experience availability varies by date
Glendale Galleria: 100 W. Broadway,Glendale.
Zombie Joe's Tour of Terror
Fresh off their month-long stint at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the weirdos of Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre are back for their annual Halloween show. The Urban Death Tour of Terror is a series of sometimes raunchy, frequently funny, always disturbing vignettes that take place in their small NoHo theater. Sometimes, there's blood and gore. Sometimes, there are... well, other fluids. Between the vignettes, which typically last under a minute, you're enveloped in pitch black darkness, ratcheting up the tension. What separates Tour of Terror from the year's other Urban Death productions? The maze. Instead of strolling through the lobby, you'll navigate a short maze to get to the theater. Then you'll have to brave it again to get out.
Ideal For: If you want to laugh while you're scared and disgusted — and you aren't easily offended.
Oct. 5 - Nov. 3
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre: 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood.
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