The Best Halloween Events in LA 2016

Photo by Inside the Magic via Flickr

Photo by Inside the Magic via Flickr

You may have noticed that The LA Beat is obsessed with Halloween. There are so many events, how do you decide? We offer a hand-selected list of events, and have weeded out the douchey ones. Check out last year’s list of events and attractions, our kitschy picks, but make sure they are still up and running before you go. Sadly, we lost the Ghost Train in Griffith Park this Year.

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2016

Lucha VaVOOM Halloween Madness! 8pm $40

What could be better than Mexican wrestling? Or burlesque? How about both! Lucha VaVOOM has made a name for themselves with this genius mash-up. Entertainment for Wednesday night includes Violet Chachki, an international hula hoop star, spooky strippers, wrestling gals, comedy, music, a costume contest and a wrestling chicken. Top that! Get your tickets now–Thursday is already sold out. The Mayan 1038 S Hill St, Los Angeles, California 90015.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 27, 2016

Memento Mori Panel 7pm – 9pm FREE

Join Paul Koudounaris (author of “Empire of Death,” “Heavenly Bodies” and “Memento Mori”), Richard Carradine (the eminent leader of Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles (GhouLA)) and author of “The Park After Dark,” and “Spirits with Spirits”) and Pam Bacich (author of “Day of the Dead”) as they discuss “Ghosts, Skeletons, and other Friends.” Paul Koudounarison promises us “…excessively weird stories.” Located at 1010 Foothill Blvd, La Canada Flintridge, California 91011.

Jonesy’s Jukebox Presents the Damned 6:30pm $46.86 – $106.59

Despite celebrating their 40th anniversary, The Damned will never grow old. They were forerunners of any subgenre of gothic rock you can imagine. Perhaps the most melodic of the original British punk bands, they write songs that make the entire audience sing along. They may look gloomy, but The Damned are all about fun, perhaps best personified by their happy-go-lucky guitar player, Captain Sensible. They promise a 40-year retrospective and have been known to play some of their albums in their entirety. This is the only US stop on their anniversary tour. They are the perfect band for Halloween. I have seen them twice on Halloween myself, and there is nowhere better to celebrate.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 28, 2016

Haunted Garage with The Mormons & 3rd Grade Teacher 8:30pm $5 – $10

Come enjoy the horrorshow antics of Haunted Garage, LA’s Quintessential Halloween band at our favorite watering hole. Also on the bill is 3rd Grade Teacher, who do not use special effects or makeup, but can leave you in a voodoo trance, and The Mormons, who are very polite and seem to have been influenced by DEVO and the Minutemen to create their own trademark awesome sound. Cafe NELA 1906 Cypress Ave, Los Angeles, California 90065.

Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl $79

Danny Elfman will be performing the soundtrack live as Nightmare Before Christmas screens, accompanied by a full orchestra and choir led by John Mauceri. Danny Elfman not only voices the lead character, the ennui-driven Jack Skellington, but also Barrel, one of the trio of mischevious trick-or-treaters. Even more exciting, Catherine O’Hara will reprise her role as Sally, Jack Skellington’s rag doll love interest who is always falling apart at the seams. She also voiced naughty trick-or-treater Shock. Add Paul Reubens as Lock and Broadway performer Ken Page as the villain, Oogie Boogie and you have the whole cast!

There was such an overwhelming response to the announcement of this event that a third show was added on Friday, October 28th. Special pre-show activities include a costume contest, unique photo opportunities and trick-or-treating stations. Tim Burton-inspired costumes are encouraged. Tickets start at $35, but you can expect to pay around $79 dollars. Tickets max out at $199.50. Buy them now!

The Cramps – Halloween Tribute Night at Pure Trash  8pm $10 at door

This is billed as the best party in town, in the spirit of The Cramps’ annual Halloween concert. “The world’s greatest Cramps tribute band, Teenage Werewolves will ‘channel the campy, debaucherous and glamorous side of The Cramps.'” Special guests, costume contest and more! A donation to The Cramps’ favorite charity, Best Friends Animal Society, will be made from door money. Presale tickets at $15 guarantee entry and now waiting in line. TICKETS 21+ at the Monty Bar 1222 west 7th st DTLA.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29, 2016

Historical Cemetery Tour 9am – 3pm $1 – $20

Performers in period costume will bring to life both noted and everyday people who are laid to rest in the Sunnyside Cemetery. They will not literally bring them to life. It is not a zombie event. This 2-hour “living history” tour is family-friendly and all ages are welcome. Kids’ tickets are almost free. There is some parking inside the cemetery, overflow parking is behind the cemetery at Willow Springs Park (enter from Orange Ave.), and there is also open street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Comfortable shoes and a sweater or light coat are recommended. 1095 E Willow St, Long Beach, California 90806.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 29 & SUNDAY OCTOBER 30, 2016

Aural Fantasy Theater: Tales from the Crypt Boo-HAHA! 7:30pm $20

Captured Aural Fantasy Theater combines classic radio shows with an entertaining variety show. Don’t miss their special Halloween show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. This year, the troupe will present “multi-media performances of classic horror stories from legendary ‘Tales from the Crypt’ comic books LIVE on-stage along with spooky music, macabre magic acts and other Halloween thrills including haunting performances by the Bob Baker Marionettes!” Getcher tickets here.

Fear and Fantasy Film Festival Various times the 29th & 30th $10

Enjoy films from around the world, including horror, fantasy, science fiction, and cross-genres. It does appear that it is mainly horror short films. For a full roster of films, check out their website. Saturday show times at 12:30, 2:00, 4:00, 5:30, 7:30. There will be two showings on Sunday Oct. 30, at 12:00 and 2:00. Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. This is just east of Pasadena. There is ample free parking behind the Playhouse.

NEVERMORE Tour  11am – 4pm $30 – $40

In this haunted bus ride, the works of Edgar Allan Poe are re-imagined as local stories. NEVERMORE METRO Immersive Arts Festival is a site-specific theater production with a virtual reality (VR) station, live poetry readings, live music, theatrical performances, installations, a community open-mic and dining with local street vendors. Participants will receive METRO Day Passes, then choose their own adventure, or take a haunted tour. Each tour will commence at the Van Nuys Civic Plaza, traverse through Laurel Canyon shops and the Eclectic Company Theatre, and culminate at the North Hollywood Park. Costumes are encouraged.

Check-in is at the Van Nuys Civic Plaza (14400 Erwin St, Van Nuys, CA 91401) starting at 11am until 6pm on Sat, Oct 29.  Free Parking is available on Erwin Street. Tickets for the guided tours start at $30 (reduced-priced and free tickets available for those who cannot afford them).

Phantom Carriage Brewery Party 8:30pm

The Brewery that has been a favorite amongst steampunks and horror fans alike has licensed Universal’s “Dracula” for a large-format outdoor film screening. Before the film there will be a special appearance by Bela Lugosi Jr. It is part of the release party for their new high gravity, dark, wild sour ale, “Lugosi.” There will be outdoor seating, but you are welcome to bring a folding chair. You can purchase food and drinks from outdoor stalls. Plus live music and a costume contest. If you dress as Dracula you can win a special prize.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 30, 2016

Grand Opening of the Spider Pavilion at The Natural History Museum 10am Adults, $17

The Spider Pavilion at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) will open on Sunday, October 30, 2016 in NHM’s new outdoor pavilion. A Spider Den will house various species –including the pink toe tarantula and the jumping spider –in enclosed habitats. Inside the pavilion, visitors will walk among orb weavers and their intricate webs, while learning from Gallery Interpreters about these remarkable arachnids. The Spider Pavilion is open daily from October 30 to December 11, 2016. 10 am–5 pm. You can order timed entry tickets on the website.

Candy Class at The Gourmandise School 2pm $95

Learn how to make your own Halloween candies and shame the other parents and all of your office mates! Head to “DIY Halloween Candy: Marshmallow Ghosts to Peanut Butter Cups” and make your own delicious treats without additives or corn syrup. The 3-hour afternoon class will also teach you how to make Pumpkin Oreos and Spooky Chocolate Ginger Cookie Ghosts. Please wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes. Pre-registration required. Ages 16 and up. Located in the Santa Monica Place Shopping Center on 4th Street between Broadway and Colorado “Classes are BYOB & BYOC (Bring Your Own Container!).” Hmm, which wine pairs best with pumpkin Oreos?

Haunted Hangovers: The Haunting 2pm – 4pm

Robert Wise’s 1963 adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s “Haunting of Hill House” is my favorite scary movie, perhaps my favorite movie of all time. The Haunting’s use of lights and shadow equals such cinematic greats as “Frankenstein.” Add in creepy sound effects and the terrified reactions of an expert cast, and this film scares the hell out of you without you actually seeing anything happen. In fact, it’s never quite clear whether or not all of this is simply occurring in everyone’s overactive imaginations, or perhaps only in the main character, Eleanor’s, own troubled mind.

MONDAY OCTOBER 31, 2016

Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Spooktacular

Animation historian Jerry Beck will screen vintage prints of Halloween-related cartoons at The Cinefamily, previously known as “The Silent Movie Theater” on Fairfax. Cartoons include Betty Boop, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Popeye, plus lots more creepy, kooky cartoon fun. The Cinefamily 611 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, California 90036

LA Opera Off Grand presents: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror 8pm $19 – $89

Even if you have not seen F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror,” you have definitely seen clips of the clawed vampire as he casts his menacing shadow. On Halloween, LA Opera will perform a live score created by its own incoming Artist in Residence, Matthew Aucoin. The score includes contemporaries of Murnau, as well as new music composed by Aucoin. The Theatre at Ace Hotel 929 S Broadway Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90015.

ONGOING

Screamfest Horror Film Festival Varies. $11

The Screamfest Horror Film Festival provides a platform for emerging Horror filmmakers to show their work. There are screenings throughout the day and night. Tickets may be purchased separately for the films and shorts. $11 for each screening. See the website for the complete list of films. On Lankershim just north of Magnolia and the train station. 6801 Hollywood Blvd, 90028 Los Angeles, Ca.

Boo at the Zoo 10am – 5pm $20 (Adult ticket)

On weekends this month at the L.A. Zoo, you can participate in Spooky Crafts, a dance party, watch a sweet-and-spooky Halloween puppet show, a pumpkin carving demonstration, see a mad scientist’s exciting demonstrations, and meet spooky and fanciful characters.

Don’t miss trick-or-treating on October 29 and 30!

Boney Island 6pm – 9pm (10pm Fri & Sat) FREE

Chosen by Offbeat LA as the pick for most creative attraction, Boney Island is a free non-scary decorated backyard with animatronics, talking flowers and bushes, and a treehouse you can climb for a charity donation.  4602 Morse Ave. Sherman Oaks 91423

URBAN DEATH TOUR AT ZOMBIE JOE UNDERGROUND

Friday 10/30 and Saturday 10/31 Every hour on the hour starting at ZJU Theatre 4850 Lankershim North Hollywood 91601 $15 (818) 202-4120

“…a total mind fuck of a collection of sketches ranging anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes long.” – Dukey Flyswatter. Also check out Zombie Joe’s maze, which even made our fearless Dukey jump. Tickets are available online. Reservations: (818) 202 – 4120. Cash/MC/Visa/Debit card accepted at door.

Disney Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS 4D Various $14 – $23

This showing of Nightmare Before Christmas in 4D including smog, sprinklers, and a ripoff of the tingler has become an annual tradition at El Capitan. Park across Hollywood Blvd. at the Hollywood and Highland Center.

RISE OF THE JACK O’ LANTERNS

6:30pm – 10:30pm Times vary $22-$28

See the beautiful spectacle of 5,000 Halloween jack o’ lanterns glowing in the darkness. You can choose between the LA Convention Center and the Fairplex. Refreshments are available for purchase. Expect a big crowd. Buy your tickets now as they are selling out fast. Read our review here.

The Backwoods Maze 7pm – 10pm weekend

Selected as creepiest attraction by Offbeat LA last year “This incredible, extremely professional and frightening home haunt is one of the best out there, and the kicker is that it is 100% free and located in a residential home on a side street in Burbank. Operating seasonally since 2004, this backyard spook show is full of authentic scares, screams, laughs and much adrenaline. The actors here play their parts with gusto and the sets are spectacularly created….The setting is similar to exploring parts of a dangerous otherworldly planet. This maze, while brilliant, is not suitable for young children, but should throw a scare into even the most jaded horror aficionado. Friday 10/28 – Monday 10/31 from 7-10PM. 1912 N. Pepper St., Burbank, 91505.” Backwoods Maze on Facebook (written by Nikki Kreuzer)

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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