Get Totally Freaked Out at These Halloween Events in LA
From annual faves like Knotts Scary Farm and Halloween Horror Nights, to haunted hayrides, family-friendly trick or treating, scare mazes, and a horrifying harborside pop-up from Shaq.
When it comes to Halloween, there are few places that do it like Los Angeles. From mid-September through early November, we shift into a new identity (City of Demons?), one that welcomes spooky stories, ghoulish characters, confusing corn mazes, haunted hayrides, and a host of spellbinding, immersive attractions. And thanks to our status as the entertainment capital of the world, those creepy sets, costumes, and hair-raising tales are all the more terrifying and realistic.
After a couple of calm seasons during the pandemic, Halloween is back in full force this year, with bigger and scarier attractions than ever before. If you’re looking to parse the truly horrifying haunts from the more candy-driven, kid-friendly experiences, we’re here to help. Here are the best Halloween events in LA to get dressed up for this year:
1851 W. Orangethorpe (Fullerton)
Thursdays through Sundays, and October 19, 26, and 31
This beloved Orange County haunt returns with an all-new, off-site add-on called The Field Trip that adds nearly an hour of scares to your experience. Whether or not you bite that bullet, though, this haunt will immerse you in Perpetuum Penitentiary, where escaped prisoners who are thirsty for blood hunt you down.
The Queen Mary (Long Beach)
Wednesdays through Sundays, and October 19, 26, and 31
The king of Halloween is…Shaquille O’ Neal? That’s what his new haunt in Long Beach is out to prove. Taking over the space formerly occupied by Dark Harbor, Shaqtoberfest blurs the line between family-friendly and adult with massive ghoulish animatronics, nautically-themed mazes, trick-or-treating routes early in the night, and a mini-carnival with the scariest thing of all: a ferris wheel that looks like it was built in the ‘70s. There’s also a ton of campy Shaq branding, and a stage with live hip-hop acts every night.
Cost: $29.99 and up
6627 Hollywood Blvd (Hollywood)
Not exclusively a Halloween-themed event, this pop up supper club promises a steam-punk show inspired by American Horror Story. Get ready for over-the-top costumes, ridiculous high-wire acts, contortionists, sword swallowers, fire eaters, psychics, and other “freakish” acts, alongside Lobster Mac and Cheese Balls and Duck Tacos.
Griffith Park (Los Feliz)
Thursday-Sundays through Halloween; and October 12, 19, 24, 25, 26, and 31
Now in its 14th year, the Haunted Hayride has become synonymous with Halloween fun in LA, toeing the line between campiness and actual horror. This year is no exception, with the newest edition involving a revamped version of their (S)Laughterhouse maze, plus attractions that include a Midnight Mortuary with a staff that’s eager for new business, a themed town called Midnight Falls, and everything from killer clowns to killer aliens on the hayride itself. VIP affords you shorter wait times, which is always a plus when it gets busy.
Big Wave Car Wash (Anaheim) and 7460 Cherry Ave (Fontana)
Thursday-Saturday through Halloween
Billing itself as “Southern California’s First Haunted Carwash,” because why not, ToT is possibly the safest option for scaredy-cats, since you don’t even need to leave your own car to enjoy it. Expect creepy clowns, Purge-ers, and more to mess with your vehicle, although if you’re hoping for it to get cleaned, this is probably the wrong haunt for you.
Universal Studios (Universal City)
Thursdays through Sundays, plus October 19 and Halloween Night
Basically the granddaddy of LA’s obsession with Halloween, HHN is back in full force this year after last year’s testing-the-waters moment. There’s a ton of mazes, though the highlights are probably the totally-ridiculous Killer Klowns From Outer Space getup and The Weeknd’s “After Hours Nightmare,” about the horrors of arena superstardom and plastic surgery. Another added bonus: the Gold Rush theme park complete with carnival games that you’ll recognize as the actual set from Nope, complete with electricity-busting alien invasion. VIP is totally worth it: without the upgrade, the lines are the scariest thing you’ll see all night.
Cost: $69 and up
Janss Marketplace (Thousand Oaks)
Fridays and Saturdays through November 4; and October 23, 30, and 31
Originally a haunted house DIY attraction, Reign of Terror has become a must-visit for horror aficionados thanks to its expansiveness (the attraction is composed of over 130 different interconnected rooms) and its cast, who all know how to lurk until just the right moment for maximum fear. They’re claiming even more costumed ghouls this year as well as a new (presumably very claustrophobic) section called “Cave In,” for those who want to maximize their scares. The final night is a “Lights Out” edition of ROT, with the only illumination being one glowstick per group.
Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park)
Thursdays-Sundays through Halloween; and October 19 and 31
Knott’s Scary Farm claims to be the biggest haunt in SoCal and once you arrive, you’ll understand why. The entirety of Knott’s Berry Farm is overtaken by the Halloween holiday, with nine mazes (like the space-themed “Dark Entities” and the abandoned carnival ride “Castle of Chaos”), as well as spooky overlays on some of the rides and shows, including the hilarious improv-minded “Puppet Up!: Uncensored.” New this year is an add-on where you can head to the park early for behind-the-scenes tours that provide a sneak peek into how the most beloved mazes and craziest effects work.
2640 Pomona Blvd (Pomona)
Thursdays through Sundays until November 20; and Wednesday, October 12, 19, and 26
If Halloween Horror Nights serve as LA’s godfather of Halloween, Delusion is its gold standard: the ultra-interactive “haunted plays” have become deeply embedded in the city’s Halloween culture and are now produced by the same Mark Cuban-backed company behind the Haunted Hayride and Shaqtoberfest (both of which are included on this list). Like last year, the production has taken over the grounds of a historic mansion in Pomona with this year’s story acting as an extension of the storyline from last year, with an added creepy cult component. The VIP add-on is worth it, especially if you’re into storytelling or hate waiting in line for drinks. There’s a VIP-only bar, as well as a added bonus scene to the adventure.
Cost: $89.99 and up
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd (Woodland Hills)
Friday, September 30–Monday, October 31
Haunt O’ Ween is a family-friendly, Insta-ready event that leans more towards the treat side of trick-or-treating. Draped in 35,000 pumpkins, the 20,000-square-foot space includes nine themed environments, an interactive all-ages playground, with candy distributed throughout the event, plus Halloween-themed tunnels, carousels, face painting, and more.
ZJU Theater (North Hollywood)
Urban Death: Fridays and Saturdays through Halloween and October 30-31; Family Friendly version Saturdays through Halloween and October 30-31
Notorious in the underground haunt scene for full nudity and impressive gore, Zombie Joe’s may be the scariest haunt on this list. Their classic Urban Death attraction takes participants through an extraordinarily claustrophobic maze before a show that’s essentially a series of dark macabre vignettes (be prepared to be traumatized, seriously). A toned-down, family-friendly version of Urban Death is happening on Saturdays and on Halloween at 7 pm.
Magic Mountain (Valencia)
Fridays through Sundays through October, and Monday, October 31
Not only does Six Flags have the best rollercoasters in Southern California, but for Fright Fest, they deck the park out with a bevy of scare zones and mazes, including a new Truth or Dare-themed maze. There are also shows and themed snacks and cocktails, plus they turn the lights off on the rollercoasters at night.
Casa Vertigo (DTLA)
Fridays-Sundays starting October 15, and Halloween
If you can’t fathom conjuring the dead without a cocktail in your hand, this attraction’s for you: it’s one part interactive theater, one part haunted house, and many parts schmancy cocktail party. Each ticket comes with four drinks, which you’ll consume while exploring a 90,000-square-foot mansion that brings to life the legendary haunting of Loftus Hall in Ireland, plus other Irish folklore and myths, with tarot readings, secret games, and more.
King Gillette Ranch (Calabasas)
Wednesdays through Sundays and October 24, 25, and 31
The least scary attraction on this list by design, Nights of the Jack is the perfect Halloween experience for those who want to get into the spirit of the season without getting freaked out. Organizers create beautiful light installations using thousands of pumpkins on a totally immersive trail; there’s also live pumpkin carving, a craft beer bar, and a bevy of LA’s best food trucks.