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46 Things To Do This Halloween in Southern California

'Natural History of Horror' opens at the Natural History Museum, mixing science and movie monsters, including the 'Creature from the Black Lagoon.' (Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLC)
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Halloween is more than a month away, but there are ample ways to start celebrating in Southern California right now. From immersive experiences to theme park scare zones, zombie walks and horror flicks, we found 40 essential Halloween happenings.


Natural History of Horror
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County -- 900 W. Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park
The exhibition links science, history and the art of movie making by exploring scientific discoveries that inspired some of the most iconic movie monsters. With 17 objects from NHM's collection and four early Universal monster movies (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and Creature from the Black Lagoon), museum visitors explore the inspiration behind the monsters through rare movie props, film footage, hands-on installations and specimens from NHM. Included with museum admission.
COST: $5 - $12; MORE INFO

Experiences / Immersive Haunts

Haus of Creep
ROW DTLA, Building #2 -- 777 S. Alameda St., downtown L.A.
The latest installment of the horror museum and surreal art experience skewers "grammable" culture. Guests will be immersed "in a bizarre and shocking world where reality and performance art blur together." The 75-minute installation reminds people that art is alive -- i.e., you will be touched -- and is recommended for mature audiences 21+. Trigger warning: There will be simulated violence, disturbing content and nudity.
COST: Tickets start at $69; MORE INFO

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Queen Mary's Dark Harbor
The Queen Mary -- 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach
The ocean liner earned its nickname The Grey Ghost when, while transporting American troops during WWII, it was hit by a rogue wave en route from New York to Scotland. For this Halloween season, a new maze called Rogue will immerse guests in "the panic and chaos of Rogue's impact with deafening water effects, complete darkness, floor to ceiling seafoam, and even experience the feeling of being capsized." Ticketholders will also have access to areas that were closed off to guests, including Door 13, dubbed one of the most haunted areas on the ship, and a secret bar in the boiler room. In all, there are six mazes, 13 bars, fire shows, aerialists, zombies and other haunting experiences.
COST: General admission tickets start at $20; MORE INFO

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has been transformed for this season, including the addition of a little town called Midnight Falls. (Courtesy of Thirteenth Floor Entertainment)

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Old Zoo at Griffith Park -- 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park
Now in its 11th year, the Griffith Park grounds are transformed into Midnight Falls, an eerie and mysterious village set in 1985, where it's always Halloween. The haunt has upgraded experiences and added attractions, characters and a ghostly theme. Guests can tour the local funeral parlor, the Midnight Mortuary Haunted House; take part in the Roadkill Ranch open-air maze; take a Haunted Hayride; or play one of three short escape room experiences (for $5 extra).
COST: $34.99-$109; MORE INFO

Freeform's Halloween House
Hollywood Athletic Club -- 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
The house returns for its second year, bringing cult classics like Hocus Pocus, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Addams Family to life. Check out an interactive Halloween Town, The Sanderson Sisters' cottage from Hocus Pocus, and Oogie Boogie's Lair from Nightmare. Oogie hosts some ghostly games with prizes. This experience is recommended for those 13+. Some sessions are reserved for adults only.
COST: $27 - $37; MORE INFO

Scenting the Bates Motel
The Institute for Art and Olfaction -- 932 Chung King Rd., downtown L.A.
Artist and writer Catherine Haley Epstein leads a discussion and working session on "exposing the dark side of scent." Epstein shares what she's learned about scenting public spaces such as hotels and reveals curious research about the ever-present creepy smells around us. Then, with hypothetical client Norman Bates, the group will conduct a collaborative, hands-on exercise to formulate the perfect scent for the Bates Motel.

House of Spirits
Secret location halfway between Culver City and downtown L.A.
Roam a mysterious mansion and experience a night of cocktails, dark magic, séances, tarot readings, live music, Ouija boards, secret games and roaming spectres. The experience includes six mini-cocktails, inspired by each of the themed rooms. This event is 21+. Each session lasts two hours.
COST: Tickets start at $60; MORE INFO


Boo at the L.A. Zoo 2019
Los Angeles Zoo -- 5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park
Families can take part in spooktacular Halloween fun this month with daily daytime activities, including a Boo Bird Show, a hay bale labyrinth, pumpkin patch and special tours. The weekend adventures include special craft sessions, science shows and demos, a puppet show, trick-or-treating (Oct. 19-20, 26-27), and special seasonal treat feedings for some of the zoo's residents. (The feedings may also include carcasses, so guest discretion is advised. A special "Boo" Creature Camp Out takes place on Oct. 26-27 (tickets extra).
COST: $17 - $22, children 2 and younger get in free; MORE INFO

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Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch -- 10100 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City
Pick up a pumpkin while the kids explore activity areas, the pumpkin village, take pony rides, face paint, and check out the petting zoo, mazes and superslides. Some activities cost extra.
COST: $5 - $60; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, OCT. 19 - SUNDAY, OCT. 27; 5:30 - 8 p.m.
Boo at the Zoo
Santa Ana Zoo -- 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana
One of the longest-running Halloween events in the O.C. returns for two weekends in October, offering a fun and family-friendly event for trick-or-treaters and children of all ages. Don costumes and explore 10 prize stations along the Trick-or-Treat Trail, play Halloween-themed games and activities (rides, storytelling, sing-alongs, costume parade and nocturnal animal visits). For older teens, there's a special haunted house on site.
COST: $24.95 for nonmembers; $12.95 for zoo members (children 3 and younger get in free); MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23 - SUNDAY, OCT. 27; 6:30 - 10:30 p.m.
Descanso Gardens -- 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge
Walk a one-mile path through the Camellia Forest, lined with 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins (some weighing 100 pounds). The evenings also feature live carving demonstrations.
COST: $25 - $30; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, OCT. 25; 6 - 8 p.m.
3rd Annual Halloween Costume Contest & DJ Dance Party
Redondo Beach Pier -- 500 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach
This all-ages and family-friendly night offers free Halloween-themed balloons, boat rides (free for those in costume between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.), DJs spinning tunes, sponsor giveaways trick-or-treating on the boardwalk and pier, and a costume contest with prizes.

Haunted Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo -- Downtown L.A.
Go Little Toyo will present a number of Halloween-themed happenings for the whole family throughout the month (pumpkin patches, Halloween movie screenings, "haunted" walking tours, drink specials), the big block party and costume contest takes place on Oct. 27.


Beyond Fest
Egyptian Theater -- 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
One of the largest genre festivals returns in time for the Halloween season with a program of shorts and 39 features, including the West Coast premieres of Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, Dolemite is My Name, Color out of Space, The Lodge and the world premiere of Mister America.
COST: $12 - $25 per screening, with some screenings FREE; MORE INFO

Shriekfest Los Angeles
Raleigh Studios -- 5300 Melrose Ave., Larchmont
The bi-coastal indie horror and sci-fi film festival and screenplay competition returns for its West Coast installment. Up-and-coming screenwriters and filmmakers present their short films and features beginning on Friday night. The opening night party takes place on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Boardners by La Belle.
COST: $10 per screening/party - $120 for festival pass; MORE INFO

Screamfest Horror Festival
TCL Chinese 6 Theatres -- 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
The long-running horror/thriller/sci-fi film fests in the U.S. The screening schedule and screenplay competition winners will be announced in the coming weeks.
COST: $11 - $300 (full festival pass); MORE INFO

Cinema Phantasmagoria
Million Dollar Theater -- 307 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Street Food Cinema presents a new horror film series that runs the whole month. Guests are encouraged to bring food from the Grand Central Market next door to enjoy during the movie. There are two screenings each night to accommodate early birds and night owls. Spooky VIP tours of the theater are also available through the evening ($12 - $15 extra).
COST: $22 - $33; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, OCT. 12 - SUNDAY, OCT. 13; 2 p.m.
Reels from the Crypt
Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth -- 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake
Secret Sixteen, Friday Night Frights and The Voyager Institute present a 16mm horror anthology movie marathon. Instead of showing a half dozen feature films, this screening features more than 20 different horror stories, in which several shorts are bundled together under one theme. These anthologies are equal to "one gruesome, mammoth cinematic centipede of terror." Bring a dish for the opening potluck (and that means more than chips or drinks). Concessions will be available for sale during later screenings. The titles remain a secret until they're unveiled on screen. This event is 18+.
COST: $25 - $30; MORE INFO

Psycho Live
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller about a peculiar motel attendant (Anthony Perkins) with mommy issues is accompanied live by the LA Opera Orchestra.
COST: Tickets start at $29; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, OCT. 31; 8 p.m.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Walt Disney Concert Hall -- 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The LA Phil presents a screening of the 1923 silent film directed by Wallace Worsley and starring the legendary Lon Chaney. The film will be accompanied live by Clark Wilson on organ.
COST: Tickets start at $36; MORE INFO


TUESDAY, OCT. 15; 8 p.m.
Tunes Of Terror - A String Quartet Tribute To Horror & Halloween
The Frida Cinema -- 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana
Nostalgic Nebula presents a night of horror music performed live by a string quartet. Listen to movie themes and other killer tunes with intros by composers in attendance, including John Massari (Killer Klowns From Outer Space).
COST: $15 - $20; MORE INFO

THURSDAY, OCT. 31 - SATURDAY, NOV. 2; 7:30 p.m.
Beach Goth Halloween
Hollywood Palladium -- 6215 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
The Growlers headline each night of their annual Halloween shows. In addition to surprise guests, expect art installations, oddities and a little bit of heaven and hell. The show is all ages and costumes encouraged.
COST: Tickets start at $39.50; MORE INFO


SATURDAY, OCT. 19; 8 p.m.
Black Magick
Secret location
The Drunken Devil's annual Halloween party transports guests back to the 1920s and the height of magic. They'll meet characters inspired by famous magicians like Harry Houdini, Howard Thurston and Charles Carter, and enter Hollywood's dark past and ties to the occult. Ticket prices include an open bar featuring magic-themed cocktails, wine, beer; burlesque acts, close-up magicians, tarot readers, live jazz and dancing. Guests are invited to dress up in theme. This event is 21+.
COST: $75 - $85; MORE INFO

Three Day Rule's Halloween party takes over the Viceroy in Santa Monica. (Courtesy of Three Day Rule)

SATURDAY, OCT. 26; 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Three Day Rule's 6th Annual Haunted Hotel
Viceroy Santa Monica --1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
The Westside's largest Halloween party returns -- with five bars, two dance floors, two DJs, psychics and more than 1,000 revelers. The costume contest will be MC'd by Eric Bigger from ABC's Bachelor in Paradise with other Bachelor cast in attendance.
COST: $30 - $85; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, OCT. 26; 10 p.m.
A Hitchcock Halloween
The Theatre at Ace Hotel -- 929 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
After the Saturday night screening of Psycho, accompanied by the LA Opera Orchestra, the theater throws a Hitch-themed party with DJ sets by Restless Nites, special guests and dark potions available.
COST: $25 admission (does not include film); MORE INFO

West Hollywood's Halloween 'Carnaval' is one of the largest celebrations in the country. ( Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

THURSDAY, OCT. 31; 6 - 10:30 p.m.
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval
Santa Monica Blvd. -- between La Cienega and Doheny
Party, dance and people watch for really inventive and entertaining costumes along the boulevard. Listen to live music and DJs, and patronize the local businesses along the route. Contrary to popular belief, you can't drink on the streets, but there are plenty of party spots along Santa Monica (The Troubadour, La Boheme) and on the nearby Sunset Strip (The Den, The Grafton on Sunset).

Scavenger Hunts / Walks / Runs / Crawls

SATURDAY, OCT. 26; 9:30 a.m.
Haunted Halloween Hunt
Various locations -- Downtown L.A.
Race/LA presents its annual scavenger hunt-adventure race-escape game, leading teams of two to four people on a Halloween-themed adventure around DTLA. Solve puzzles and take on challenges in a race to finish first with the highest score. Costumes are optional, but bonus points are awarded to the team with the best costume. Recommended for ages 14 and up.
COST: $45 per person; MORE INFO

Practice that zombie shuffle because zombie walks are scheduled for Long Beach and Hollywood this Halloween season. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)

SATURDAY, OCT. 26; 8 - 10 p.m.
Long Beach Zombie Walk
Shoreline Village 2019 -- 401-435 Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach
All stinking corpses and brain eaters are welcome to take part in a celebration of the undead, featuring live music, vendors, outdoor movies and a walk/shuffle down Rainbow Harbor.

SUNDAY, OCT. 27; 4 p.m.
11th Annual Hollywood Subway Zombie Walk
Various locations throughout Hollywood Blvd.
Join the reanimated corpses who'll ride the red line and then walk and crawl along the boulevard. Pick one of two places to meet: Gather at 4:10 p.m. at the North Hollywood Red Line Station to hop on the train to Hollywood & Highland at 4:48 p.m. Or meet at the Hollywood & Highland Metro Station by 5 p.m. From there, the herd of zombies lurch toward Hollywood and Vine and then loop back around. Haunted house rules apply -- meaning no touching allowed and no scaring unwilling participants/bystanders.
COST: Subway fare, but zombie walk is free; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, OCT. 27; 8 a.m.
Terrifying 10-Miler & Halloween 5K-10K-Kids Run
Salt Creek Beach -- 33333 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point
Run off the forthcoming Halloween candy, choosing between a 10-mile, 10K or 5K route along the Salt Creek Regional Corridor Path. Younger kiddos can run the Super Hero 1/2-mile run. In addition to great views along the course, watch out for spooks, ghosts and goblins. All participants are encouraged to dress up for the run. There's costume contests, kids pumpkin painting contests, a pumpkin patch and expo booths.
COST: $20 - $89; MORE INFO

Theme Parks / Amusement Parks

Through SUNDAY, NOV. 3
Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios -- 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
The studio opens up new scary attractions based on current and classic TV shows and films. Wander through 10 mazes, including ones based on Stranger Things, Jordan Peele's Us, House of 1000 Corpses and Creepshow. Explore five scare zones (with tons of monsters), jump on rides or watch an all-new, high-energy show from dance troupe Jabbawockeez.
COST: General admission starts at $64; MORE INFO

Through SUNDAY, NOV. 3
Fright Fest
Six Flags Magic Mountain -- 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia
Zombies, monsters and other creatures of the night rule the park after dark. Muster up the courage enter mazes like Vault 666 Unlocked, Condemned - Forever Damned And Willoughby's Resurrected. Beware of Scare Zones especially City Under Siege and Exile Hill.
COST: Single-day tickets start at $55.79; MORE INFO

Knott's Scary Farm
Knott's Berry Farm -- 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park
The theme park boasts the largest immersive Halloween experience in Southern California. The transformed theme park includes haunted houses, mazes, Halloween-themed shows, scare zones -- including a new, eerie abandoned wax museum -- and more than 1,000 creatures prepared to jump out of the fog and scare you nearly to death.
COST: Tickets start at $43; MORE INFO

Theater / Performance

The Edgar Allan Show
Two Roads Theatre -- 4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City
Who knew Poe could be funny? Actor and musician Ari Stidham (CBS' Scorpion) presents a comedy and musical celebration and re-telling of the writer's works. Watch re-enactments and recitals of The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher, directed and featuring original songs by Stidham. Thee shows run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. All ages.

Urban Death Tour of Terror
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre
Blending theater and immersive horror, ZJU returns to scare and shock audiences for its 7th year with this show and new maze for those who dare. Trigger warning: The shows (16+) feature graphic content and full nudity. There is a "family-friendlier" version on Saturdays, so be sure to select the correct times.
COST: $16 - $20; MORE INFO

FRIDAYS from OCT. 4 - DEC. 6; 9:15 p.m.
Impro Studio Theatre -- 1727 N. Vermont Ave. #208, Los Feliz
The all-women improv team Ripley presents a fully-improvised, hour-long play inspired by their Alien namesake, Arrival and the book Annihilation. The show begins with an audience suggestion and blends sci-fi and horror, "unpacking the emotional and psychological impact of a meeting with benevolent extraterrestrials, malevolent predators, and entirely unexplained forces."

The Tragedie of Macbeth
Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles -- 1238 W. 1st St., downtown Los Angeles
Featuring nine actors playing 30 characters, this fast-paced immersive production tackles The Scottish Play. The audience moves from the Scottish moors to the castle in Inverness to the Macduff house, all throughout the 22,000 square-foot building. Spectators will encounter floating daggers, tapestries that come to life and bleeding walls. Recommended for those ages 9+.

Wicked Lit
Mountain View Mausoleum -- 2400 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena
Because of scheduling conflicts, Unbound Productions is unable to bring a full season of the immersive theater experience to the mausoleum grounds this year. But, for one night only, the company offers two different one-hour experiences, each featuring excerpts from four iconic Wicked Lit plays. In addition, staged readings and special performances will be held throughout the grounds. A silent auction, cash bar and bites will also be available.

Lucha Va Voom returns with its Halloween special for two nights in October, featuring masked wrestlers, performance artists, burlesque and comedy. (Timothy Norris)

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23 - THURSDAY, OCT. 24; 8:15 p.m.
Lucha VaVoom Halloween 2019
The Mayan Theater -- 1038 S Hill St., downtown L.A.
Watch Mexican masked wrestling, burlesque and comedy bits during the spooky ghost party, Fiesta Fantasma! The nights feature performances by Michelle L'Amour, Bryona Ashly, hula-hoop star Karis Wilde and aerialist Kate Minwegan. Hosted by comedian Blaine Capatch. Ages 21+.
COST: $40 - $75; MORE INFO

Sweet Sorrow™ A Zombie Ballet
Manoukian Performing Arts Center -- 2495 E. Mountain St., Pasadena
The Leigh Purtill Ballet Company presents its third annual production of this ballet, which is being touted as the only Halloween-themed ballet and a precursor to Nutcracker season.
COST: $20 - $25; MORE INFO


THURSDAYS in OCTOBER; 2 - 2:30 p.m.
Halloween Tours: Unsolved Mysteries at the Bowers Museum
Bowers Museum -- 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana
If you visit the museum in October, there are special docent-led tours on Tuesday afternoons. Explore the Historic Wing for a spine-tingling journey that highlights the mysteries surrounding the Bowers' oldest artifacts and a ghostly presence often felt in the museum's original building, dating back to 1936. The tour is included with general admission.
COST: $10 - $15, children 12 and younger get in free; MORE INFO

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30; 6 - 9 p.m.
Ghostly and Ghastly Pueblo de Los Angeles (Halloween Special)
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (meet in front of "La Tienda" Bookshop) -- 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A.
Barrio Boychik (Shmuel Gonzales), a Boyle Heights historian and community organizer, leads a walking tour of the Old Pueblo's most haunted and creepy historic sites. Hear L.A. lore with stories about places including The Avila Adobe, Fort Moore Hill, Pico House and Union Station. Get your tickets early because Barrio Boychik's Halloween-themed tours are selling quickly.

Día De Los Muertos

SATURDAYS, OCT. 5, 12, 19 and 26; 12 -3 p.m.

Día de los Muertos Free Community Arts Workshops
Self Help Graphics & Art -- 1300 E. 1st St., Boyle Heights
Every Saturday in October, the community arts organization offers free art workshops where participants learn about and then create traditional crafts to honor the dead. All materials are included. The workshops are open to all ages, but registration is required, and minors must be accompanied by guardians.

Día de los Muertos
Ford Theatres -- 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood
The two-day celebration includes a free family event and community celebration on both days from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. with face painting, live music, food, craft activities and live mural painting. At 8 p.m. each night, Lila Downs headlines the concert, Día de Muertos: Al Chile, which also features performances by Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, the all-female Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas and art installations by LORE Media & Arts.

SATURDAY, NOV. 2; noon - midnight
Día de los Muertos
Hollywood Forever
-- 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
For its 20th year, the celebration embraces the Monarch butterfly as a "symbol of Dreamers and Immigrants whose personal journeys echo the annual migrations the butterflies make between Mexico and the U.S." Commemorate the Day of the Dead by wearing your best Calaca attire, gaze upon the beautiful altars and costumes and listen to the music from Café Tacvba, Lido Pimienta, La Doña, The Delirians and Sávila. Children 8 and younger and seniors 65 and older get in for free until 4 p.m. Please plan ahead and carpool or rideshare.
COST: $25 - $300; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, NOV. 2; 12 - 9 p.m.
Día de los Muertos
El Centro Cultural de Mexico -- 837 N. Ross St., Santa Ana
Night of the Altars encourages participants to build altars in memory of deceased loved ones or to bring awareness to a social issue. The night includes cultural performances, live music, face-painting, art workshops and wares from local artists.

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