A good scare, at least once in a while, serves its purpose to elicit a scream that is both appropriate in the moment and perhaps an outlet for releasing built-up frustrations over the past year. So, take a deep breath and get ready to make some spine-tingling noise, though make sure you don’t hurt your throat, and aren’t too loud that you deafen the person next to you.
Historically, Southern California has been the place to be around the time that pumpkins start popping up everywhere. One reason is the cool, but not too chilled weather, when you can wear costumes that require little clothing and not likely catch a cold. But the better reason is that there are a variety of affordable ($15-30 per person) Halloween-themed events to choose from.
There are your usual masquerade nightclub balls and garden-variety haunted houses, but only a few extravaganzas truly stand out from the parade of ghouls, goblins, and now zombies:
- Griffith Park’s Haunted Hayride (in progress). This event prides itself on overturning the cynicism of Halloween aficionados who think they’ve seen it all. The state-of-the art special effects deaden the line between reality and fantasy, making it for a tremendously traumatic experience! (4730 Crystal Springs Avenue, Los Angeles / www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com)
- Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights (in progress). If you love popular culture, then you’ll love this event! Certainly, you’ll recognize several of the grisly creatures you come into contact with, including zombies from AMC’s The Walking Dead! (100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City /www.halloweenhorrornights.com)
- Santa Monica Zombie Crawl. Unlike the top two selections, this would afford you the chance to be the aggressor, not the shrill-seeking reactor, albeit one that is sluggish and slovenly. And who knows, in the midst of the zombie procession on the pier, you might get to know some likeminded individuals. The only downside to this event is it happens on only Halloween night! (Rusty’s Surf Ranch, 256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica / http://urls.ht/2ZE)
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