Southern California’s Scariest Haunts

A Good Hue, Scary Haunts

Ahhh, Halloween is just one week away! One of my favorite ways to get in a scary mood is to check out one (or more!) of the many frightening haunted attractions in the Los Angeles area. From terrifying theme park scares to haunted hay rides and ghost-filled ships, here’s a few hair-raising haunts that will give you goose bumps:

1)      Knott’s Scary Farm
This month I went to Scary Farm not once… twice! We were able to go through all the mazes, including the new Special Ops: Infected, an interactive haunt where guests, led by squad leaders, use laser guns to shoot and fend off zombies and complete a mission. Very cool experience, I hope they keep this one around and better it in years to come! Aside from Infected, the best mazes were Tooth Fairy (they got me a few times, plus just going to the dentist on a regular basis is freaky); VooDoo, which had really well done décor and scares; Forevermore, based on macabre Edgar Allen Poe stories where the rooms were amazingly done but the scares could have been better; and of course just walking through ghoulish Ghost Town will scare your socks off. With mazes, rides, shows (including Elvira!) and haunted areas, Scary Farm is always a good time.

2)      Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
I didn’t get a chance to go to this one this year but in past years it was always really good… and creepy. It’s Universal so costumes and makeup are extremely well done and the frightening mazes are definitely worth the wait. My favorite is the Terror Tram through the backlot taking you and then dropping you off on real movie sets. Word on the street (or at least the review world) is that Dracula Untold and Alien vs. Predator mazes had the best scares. Between the mazes, the set designs, the terrifying scares (including The Walking Dead and The Purge: Anarchy scare zone) you are sure to get in a good scream or two.

3)      Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
I have never been to this one, or any haunted hayride for that matter, but this sounds pretty cool. Located up in Griffith Park at the old LA zoo grounds, the hayride is about 25 minutes long taking guests through a unique set of special effect scares and frightening scenes. The hayride isn’t all that is offered as there are a few other attractions set up to check out as well. One of my co-workers went last year and said it was good, although she recommends going during the week or as early as possible during the weekend as it gets extremely packed.

4)      Queen Mary Dark Harbor
It’s been years since I’ve been to this haunt but it’s definitely one to check out as the ship itself is reportedly haunted! The creep factor is definitely high as you meander your way through scares amongst the eerie ship, including an unnerving haunted encounter, and if you’re feeling particularly bold you can even stay the night in a room aboard the ship. This attraction also offers live entertainment with bands and DJs, and you can even wear costumes on Halloween night and Nov. 1 and 2 for Dia de los Muertos (costume registration required).

5)      Coffin Creek
This haunt is over in my neck of the woods (Inland Empire) and features 5 haunted houses, including a spooky hay ride, and a magic show. It’s fairly inexpensive, about $33 for all 5 haunts and close enough so it’s definitely on my list to check out.

Other notable haunt attractions in the Los Angeles area include ALONE: An Existential Haunting (Um, haunted house by myself? Full contract? I am WAY too much of a wuss to do something disturbing like this), Fright FairScreampark at Pierce College, SixFlags Fright Fest at Magic Mountain and SinisterPointe's Beyond the Mirror.

Southern California Haunted Houses

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