by Sophie Werwage
As soon as the calendar hits Sept. 1, major halloween events open their front gates and prepare for the hoards of guests to enter their attraction. Some are cheap and some are a little more pricy, but with so many horror and non-horror events happening around Southern California, it can be hard to decide which ones to attend this season.
1. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Disneyland’s Halloween event may not be the scariest or the darkest, but it provides the family with a spooktacular night. This Disneyland after hours event is separately ticketed and runs from 7 p.m. to midnight. During this spooky night you can trick or treat on the provided “treat trails” that Disney has set up along your path. You’re also able to ride the attractions with special additions or changes. For instance riding Space Mountain in pitch black darkness, with not a single light on, or having live actors inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. You are also able to view specialty parades and fire works that only run during this event. So I can assure you that this event is worth every penny that you would spend.
2. Sea World Spooktacular: Sea World is known for its family friendly brand, and Halloween time is no different. This event lets you trick or treat along their treat trails. This event is very close to us, and provides you with lots of candy. Though this event may not be the scariest or have and horror for that fact, this event is perfect for families with young children looking for a day of fun filled activities.
3. LEGOLAND Brick-Or-Treat: LEGOLAND’s family Halloween event allows children to collect candy around the park and have a safe and fun themed event. The event also provides exclusive meet and greets and special Halloween shows. This event is very worth it if you are looking to bring young children to a Halloween event.
4. Scream Zone: This local event is held at the Del Mar Fair Grounds from 7 p.m to midnight. This event includes a haunted hayride which takes you around sets filled with scare actors armed to the brim with weapons ready to scare you, all while you ride on the back of a cart pulled by a tractor. This event also includes two scary mazes that are sure to scare you. These mazes are not the biggest or scariest but they are sure worth the cheap price of admission.
5. Queen Mary Dark Harbor: This event, located in Long Beach, Calif., is not for the faint-hearted. The mazes are located on the haunted Queen Mary ship. The six mazes that lie inside of the gates of this events are truly scary. You walk onto this gigantic ship to only begin a truly horrific maze filled to the brim with actors lurking around every corner.
6. The Haunted Trail in Balboa Park: This is a stranger event, this long haunted walk involves a dimly lit trail in the dead of night. You walk through the entrance of this event just to find yourself in the middle of Balboas woods with scare actors surrounding you. This event artfully plays with the natural fears of the dark and not knowing what you cant see. This event is truly terrifying especially if you are afraid of the dark.
7. The Haunted Hotel: This event, located in downtown San Diego takes you through a real hotel during the maze. This maze is stocked full of trained actors with the props necessary to scare you senseless. This event is very intense, especially when they periodically shut off all the lights in some of the mazes. This makes the walk through attraction even more terrifying than before.
8. Knott’s Scary Farm: This terrifying event is held at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Vista, Calif. from the hours of 7 p.m to 2 a.m. This horror event features nine truly scary houses stocked full of trained actors ready to scare you. This event is not recommend for children due to its blood and gore that is used in the event. This annual event continues to draw crowds every year due to their ability of being able to bring you inside of the horror. Knott’s provides original mazes every year, that are sure to immerse you inside of the horror.
9. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood: This production company takes you into their working movie studio for a night of scares. This event presents you with 5 terrifying houses to experience. They offer you a IT themed maze, a Joker from Arkam maze, The Conjuring Universe maze and the Exorcist and Nightmare on Camp Crystal Lake. These mazes are movie quality built inside of sound stages stocked full of scare actors ready to scare you. If you finish the five mazes this event offers a behind the scenes look at Tim Burton movies with real screen used miniatures from many of his movies. This event is well worth the price of admission not only for the mazes but also for the behind the scenes look at the movie making process.
10. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights: This is the crown jewel of Halloween events. This is professional grade Hollywood come to a horror event. The mazes take you through your favorite Netflix shows and movies. This year they have 11 houses including “Stranger Things” and Poltergeist” . This event hires actors and speciality maze designers who do their absolute best to immerse you in the story that they have created. This event is a little bit more expensive, but if you were to attend it would be a night that you wouldn’t forget.