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A person in theatrical makeup reaches through a broken wooden barrier.
Inside a Knott’s Scary Farm maze.
Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm.

16 haunted attractions to freak you out this Halloween

From theme parks to home haunts, here’s where to scare yourself silly

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Inside a Knott’s Scary Farm maze.
| Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm.

October is here, and Halloween is right around the corner. The time for costume planning, pumpkin carving, and candy collecting is nigh. Above all, it’s the season for haunted hayrides, zombie mazes, and any number of other spooky encounters.

For those looking for some fun, controlled terror this Halloween, we've mapped some of the best haunted attractions across Los Angeles. Some have high production values (and high ticket prices); others are homemade and completely free. All are scary in their own ways.

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Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

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Located at the old Griffith Park Zoo—already a pretty creepy location—this good old fashioned hayride lasts about 25 minutes and features a diverse array of set pieces and characters, from satanic worshippers to demonic puppets. Now in its 10th year, the attraction also includes two mazes and a haunted village where costumed characters roam. Tickets start at $36.

Three fake severed heads on wooden pikes. Photo by Scott Feinblatt, courtesy Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

The Queen Mary: Dark Harbor

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The Queen Mary's haunted mazes have a leg up on the competition given that the ocean liner may actually be haunted. At least, that's the reputation management likes to play up, providing tours themed around the vessel's unusually macabre history all year round. Tickets for the themed mazes start at $20.

The exterior of a haunted house. There is a sign that reads: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Eugene Powers | Shutterstock

Knott's Scary Farm

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Orange County’s other theme park is at its best during the Halloween season, when zombies and ghouls roam the grounds and guests can enjoy a host of themed attractions. Tickets start at $40.

A person in theatrical makeup and a white gown stands in a hallway.
“Shadow Lands Maze” at Knott’s Scary Farm.
Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

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Universal Studios opens its spooky attractions at 7 p.m. during the Halloween season. Many of the park's horror mazes are based on popular movies and television shows like Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and the Poltergeist and Halloween franchises. Admission starts at $69.

Warner Bros. Horror Made Here

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Universal isn’t the only film studio with scary intellectual property to capitalize on. Warner Brothers has its own Halloween attraction and this year it will include haunts based on It, The Conjuring, Batman, and Friday the 13th. Horror Made Here will be open weekend nights in October between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Tickets start at $79.

Reign of Terror Haunted House

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This huge Thousand Oaks attraction has more than 100 rooms and 23,000 square feet of floor space to explore. The haunt includes eight different mazes, and general admission gets you into all of them. There’s also a “lights on” option for kids and anyone nervous about monsters jumping out at them from the shadows. Tickets start at $15.

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And now, some words of gratitude. We send a HUGE ** THANK YOU ** to each and every one of you who attended our Special Event last night! It was a WET, COLD and DREARY night outside, but that wasn't enough to stop true Haunted House fans and those willing to help support this year's cause, Thomas Fire Victims. In fact, the gloomy, doomy weather last night might have set the PERFECT stage for your immersion into our unique, dreadfully delightful world waiting INSIDE at Reign of Terror! It was so great to see good friends and familiar faces this time of year, especially all of you wearing ROT t-shirts :) ! We also loved meeting so many first-timers and fellow Haunters who made the effort to check us out. Thank you also on behalf of the folks who were horribly impacted by the recent Thomas Fires. Proceeds from your ticket and t-shirt purchases will be used to make a meaningful contribution to help them, during the difficult journey to rebuild their lives. Reign of Terror also sends continued thanks to Janss Marketplace and the Conejo Recreation and Park District! Their ongoing support makes Reign of Terror events possible. We encourage all ROT visitors and fans to also patronize the merchants and eateries at Janss Marketplace and participate in the programs, facilities and locales supported through the Conejo Recreation and Park District. EVERYONE: Please come back and see us for our Fall 2018 season! Keep following @rothauntedhouse to get updates and announcements and visit www.ROThauntedhouse.com #haunt #hauntedattraction #rothauntedhouse #reignofterrorhauntedhouse #horror #horrorfan #hauntedhouse #halloween #thomasfire #thomasfirefundraiser #thousandoaks

A post shared by Reign of Terror Haunted House (@rothauntedhouse) on

The Backwoods Maze

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This backyard maze in Burbank has been going strong since 2003 and costs nothing to enter. The attraction will be open Saturdays and Sundays starting October 12 and Halloween night from 7 and 10 p.m.

Rotten Apple 907

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Another home haunt, this ambitious production has been going strong in Burbank since 2003. This year’s attraction is called Killpetto’s Toy Shop. It will be open to visitors October 20, 21, 27, 28, and 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be collected for Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter.

Creep LA

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This theatrical haunt focuses more on psychological terror and disconcerting imagery than traditional jump scares. During the 75-minute experience, audiences explore a 60,000-square-foot performance space, filled with creepy sights and sounds based around this year’s theme: nightmares. Tickets cost $89.

View this post on Instagram

Inside Your Head #CreepLA

A post shared by JUST FIX IT PRODUCTIONS (@jfiproductions) on

Urban Death: Tour of Terror

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Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group puts on offbeat and psychologically disconcerting stage productions year-round, but during Halloween, the theater company offers a haunted theater tour chock full of gore and disturbing imagery. Tickets are $15 online.

Haunted Adventure

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This haunted maze at Burbank’s Stough Canyon Park is only $5 and promises to be scary enough that children under six years old aren’t allowed. The attraction, put on by the city’s very fun-seeming parks and recreation department, will be open October 12, 13, and 19. This year’s theme is “’80s Fright Night.”

Wicked Lit

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For a more highbrow Halloween experience, try Wicked Lit, a theatrical event performed annually in an Altadena mausoleum. Audiences will be led through the venue as actors perform a pair of plays themed around the supernatural. Tickets for the 75-minute event run between $30 and $45.

A person in theatrical clothing stands in front of a doorway which has smoke billowing out of it at Wicked Lit. Photo by Daniel Kitayama

Spooky Hollows

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If it isn’t clear yet, the Valley is the place to go for home haunts. This spooky Van Nuys attraction is located just north of the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area and takes its theme from the “now-drained swampland” surrounding the basin. The event is open October 26, 27, 28, and 31, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Horror World

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This attraction includes three different haunted mazes, including “Into the Black,” which debuted last year at the Pomona Fairplex and requires guests to venture through by themselves. Tickets for individual haunts start at $15 and can be purchased separately or in the form of a $45 all-access pass.

Griffith Park Ghost Train

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The popular Griffith Park Ghost Train is back in 2018, offering rides weekend nights starting October 13, as well as October 30 and October 31. The ride probably won’t scare adults much, but it offers a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit for those with younger children in tow. Tickets start at $25.

Dragon at Griffith Park Ghost Train Courtesy Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

Boney Island

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Long-running Sherman Oaks attraction Boney Island is moving to Griffith Park and can be found right next to the Ghost Train this year. Featuring animatronic skeletons, water and light shows, and a closet-full of skeleton puns, the event is open October 18-21 and 25-31, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $15.

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Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Three fake severed heads on wooden pikes. Photo by Scott Feinblatt, courtesy Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Located at the old Griffith Park Zoo—already a pretty creepy location—this good old fashioned hayride lasts about 25 minutes and features a diverse array of set pieces and characters, from satanic worshippers to demonic puppets. Now in its 10th year, the attraction also includes two mazes and a haunted village where costumed characters roam. Tickets start at $36.

Three fake severed heads on wooden pikes. Photo by Scott Feinblatt, courtesy Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

The Queen Mary: Dark Harbor

The exterior of a haunted house. There is a sign that reads: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Eugene Powers | Shutterstock

The Queen Mary's haunted mazes have a leg up on the competition given that the ocean liner may actually be haunted. At least, that's the reputation management likes to play up, providing tours themed around the vessel's unusually macabre history all year round. Tickets for the themed mazes start at $20.

The exterior of a haunted house. There is a sign that reads: Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Eugene Powers | Shutterstock

Knott's Scary Farm

A person in theatrical makeup and a white gown stands in a hallway.
“Shadow Lands Maze” at Knott’s Scary Farm.
Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm

Orange County’s other theme park is at its best during the Halloween season, when zombies and ghouls roam the grounds and guests can enjoy a host of themed attractions. Tickets start at $40.

A person in theatrical makeup and a white gown stands in a hallway.
“Shadow Lands Maze” at Knott’s Scary Farm.
Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios opens its spooky attractions at 7 p.m. during the Halloween season. Many of the park's horror mazes are based on popular movies and television shows like Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, and the Poltergeist and Halloween franchises. Admission starts at $69.

Warner Bros. Horror Made Here

Universal isn’t the only film studio with scary intellectual property to capitalize on. Warner Brothers has its own Halloween attraction and this year it will include haunts based on It, The Conjuring, Batman, and Friday the 13th. Horror Made Here will be open weekend nights in October between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Tickets start at $79.

Reign of Terror Haunted House

This huge Thousand Oaks attraction has more than 100 rooms and 23,000 square feet of floor space to explore. The haunt includes eight different mazes, and general admission gets you into all of them. There’s also a “lights on” option for kids and anyone nervous about monsters jumping out at them from the shadows. Tickets start at $15.

View this post on Instagram

And now, some words of gratitude. We send a HUGE ** THANK YOU ** to each and every one of you who attended our Special Event last night! It was a WET, COLD and DREARY night outside, but that wasn't enough to stop true Haunted House fans and those willing to help support this year's cause, Thomas Fire Victims. In fact, the gloomy, doomy weather last night might have set the PERFECT stage for your immersion into our unique, dreadfully delightful world waiting INSIDE at Reign of Terror! It was so great to see good friends and familiar faces this time of year, especially all of you wearing ROT t-shirts :) ! We also loved meeting so many first-timers and fellow Haunters who made the effort to check us out. Thank you also on behalf of the folks who were horribly impacted by the recent Thomas Fires. Proceeds from your ticket and t-shirt purchases will be used to make a meaningful contribution to help them, during the difficult journey to rebuild their lives. Reign of Terror also sends continued thanks to Janss Marketplace and the Conejo Recreation and Park District! Their ongoing support makes Reign of Terror events possible. We encourage all ROT visitors and fans to also patronize the merchants and eateries at Janss Marketplace and participate in the programs, facilities and locales supported through the Conejo Recreation and Park District. EVERYONE: Please come back and see us for our Fall 2018 season! Keep following @rothauntedhouse to get updates and announcements and visit www.ROThauntedhouse.com #haunt #hauntedattraction #rothauntedhouse #reignofterrorhauntedhouse #horror #horrorfan #hauntedhouse #halloween #thomasfire #thomasfirefundraiser #thousandoaks

A post shared by Reign of Terror Haunted House (@rothauntedhouse) on

The Backwoods Maze

This backyard maze in Burbank has been going strong since 2003 and costs nothing to enter. The attraction will be open Saturdays and Sundays starting October 12 and Halloween night from 7 and 10 p.m.

Rotten Apple 907

Another home haunt, this ambitious production has been going strong in Burbank since 2003. This year’s attraction is called Killpetto’s Toy Shop. It will be open to visitors October 20, 21, 27, 28, and 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be collected for Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter.

Creep LA

This theatrical haunt focuses more on psychological terror and disconcerting imagery than traditional jump scares. During the 75-minute experience, audiences explore a 60,000-square-foot performance space, filled with creepy sights and sounds based around this year’s theme: nightmares. Tickets cost $89.

View this post on Instagram

Inside Your Head #CreepLA

A post shared by JUST FIX IT PRODUCTIONS (@jfiproductions) on

Urban Death: Tour of Terror

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group puts on offbeat and psychologically disconcerting stage productions year-round, but during Halloween, the theater company offers a haunted theater tour chock full of gore and disturbing imagery. Tickets are $15 online.

Haunted Adventure

This haunted maze at Burbank’s Stough Canyon Park is only $5 and promises to be scary enough that children under six years old aren’t allowed. The attraction, put on by the city’s very fun-seeming parks and recreation department, will be open October 12, 13, and 19. This year’s theme is “’80s Fright Night.”

Wicked Lit

A person in theatrical clothing stands in front of a doorway which has smoke billowing out of it at Wicked Lit. Photo by Daniel Kitayama

For a more highbrow Halloween experience, try Wicked Lit, a theatrical event performed annually in an Altadena mausoleum. Audiences will be led through the venue as actors perform a pair of plays themed around the supernatural. Tickets for the 75-minute event run between $30 and $45.

A person in theatrical clothing stands in front of a doorway which has smoke billowing out of it at Wicked Lit. Photo by Daniel Kitayama

Spooky Hollows

If it isn’t clear yet, the Valley is the place to go for home haunts. This spooky Van Nuys attraction is located just north of the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area and takes its theme from the “now-drained swampland” surrounding the basin. The event is open October 26, 27, 28, and 31, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Horror World

This attraction includes three different haunted mazes, including “Into the Black,” which debuted last year at the Pomona Fairplex and requires guests to venture through by themselves. Tickets for individual haunts start at $15 and can be purchased separately or in the form of a $45 all-access pass.

Griffith Park Ghost Train

Dragon at Griffith Park Ghost Train Courtesy Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

The popular Griffith Park Ghost Train is back in 2018, offering rides weekend nights starting October 13, as well as October 30 and October 31. The ride probably won’t scare adults much, but it offers a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit for those with younger children in tow. Tickets start at $25.

Dragon at Griffith Park Ghost Train Courtesy Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum

Boney Island

Long-running Sherman Oaks attraction Boney Island is moving to Griffith Park and can be found right next to the Ghost Train this year. Featuring animatronic skeletons, water and light shows, and a closet-full of skeleton puns, the event is open October 18-21 and 25-31, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $15.