The 8 Best Haunted Houses in Town (Including One for Fraidy Cats)
In fact, there’s one for every personality type
You’re looking for a new diversion for your next date night or group hang, and a haunted house sounds intriguing. But which one out of the many (there are a lot, trust us) is worth your time? And which one won’t be too cheesy or have you speed-dialing 911 while you’re panicked in a closet? Here’s our rundown of the spooooooky haunted houses in town and which is best for you.
For History Buffs: The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
You’ve been to haunted houses, but have you ever been on a haunted ship? That’s the draw aboard the Queen Mary. Now docked in Long Beach, this 1930s-era luxury ocean liner was later pressed into military service and transported hundreds of troops to their doom in WWII. So yeah, its haunted factor is cranked up to 11 and you can expect a good amount of startle as you make your way through the various mazes on the ship. Shiver. Me. Timbers.
For News Junkies: CarnEvil at Knott’s Scary Farm
You’ve heard about the scary clown epidemic sweeping the nation, and now you can experience it in the safe environs of a theme park at Knott's Scary Farm, where the CarnEVIL attraction is full of the most freaky orange-haired entertainers this side of Ronald McDonald.
If You Hate Crowds: “Alone”
Forget stock characters like hokey vampires: Alone is high-concept theatrical production that’s based on the scariest place on earth: the space between your two ears. And each year, to keep patrons on edge, the location of the show is a surprise until the day before. (This year, the one-time event is on October 30.) Visitors in past years reported being led solo and in small groups through a maze of rooms that play with perception, from soothing to startling. You never know what’s next, and that’s the thrill.
For Fraidy Cats: Reign of Terror
For those who want to visit a haunted house without taking home nightmares, the Reign of Terror has thoughtfully arranged a couple of lights-on viewings, sans actors, on two Saturdays (October 22 and October 29). Visitors can see how the sausage gets made without actually fainting from fright. But beware: The normal show is truly unsettling, including eight distinct attractions each capitalizing on a different fear…you know, like quarantine and the asylum.
For Nature Lovers: Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
See popular hiking spot Griffith Park in an entirely new (dimmer) light on the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. You’re loaded onto a wagon and slowly driven across fields and down paths, along which you’ll see skeletal animals and hanging bodies while zombies and ghouls jump out at you. It sounds tame, but the gory costumes and enthusiastically frightening ghouls make it too intense for kids. Oh, and there’s a spooky starlit maze. Ah, the great outdoors.
For Horror Fans: Creep Los Angeles
If you enjoy watching twisted tales of murderous mentally ill people, then you’ll appreciate Creep Los Angeles, the story of Erebus Burwyck, a bizarre artist-turned-cult leader. Imagine American Horror Story: Abandoned Warehouse.
For Puzzle Doers: Trapped in a Room with a Zombie
You think you know your friends and neighbors, until you're all together trapped in a room with a zombie. That’s the conceit of this escape room, in which a dozen people have an hour to find hidden clues to help them figure out how to exit. Added incentive: a zombie is chained to a wall, with his chain loosening a foot every five minutes. If he touches you, you’re considered “eaten” and out of the game.
For Non-Claustrophobes: The Virus
Ever feel like the walls are closing in on you? At The Virus, they really are as you join a group of scientists in a lab to try to find the antivirus for a deadly plague that’s ravaging the planet. Think of this as an escape room for germophobes.