With every October comes the challenge of finding a haunted house that blows the ones you went to last year straight out of the water. It’s quite the mission, especially with the great variety Los Angeles has to provide its natives and travelers alike, but you will know once you come across that special, wicked gem. This year I did just that when I went to the LA Haunted Hayride that is held where the “Old Zoo” used to be at Griffith Park. Surely in the morning it looks fit for child’s play, but come nightfall you will be tentative with every step you take.
Given it is now in its sixth season, the Haunted Hayride has toyed with several ideas. This year they most certainly stepped up their game by bringing back some old favorites and combining them with fresh concepts – like a 40-foot Leviathan you will not see anywhere else.
There are four distinctive attractions: the House of the Horsemen, the In Between Dark Maze, the Seven Sins Sideshow, and naturally the famous hayride itself. In addition, there is also middle ground known as the Purgatory that serves as a scare zone, supplies psychics to look into your future if you’re willing, provides pumpkins for carving, and plays host to an interactive theater production and merry-go-round of skeleton steeds. Altogether this Halloween site has a unique collection of talent.
What really impressed me was the creativity behind the two new attractions. House of the Horsemen is a maze in storytell fashion – mind you, a form that the LA Haunted Hayride has authentically made its own. In small groups you are escorted by four “horsemen,” known as pestilence, war, famine, and death, through a narrow set that flows with character in every dimly-lit corner. Death is at the end for very good reason you’ll find out.
Also new is the Seven Sins Sideshow, which defines a whole new take on voyeurism. You know the sins, but have you seen them play out right under your nose? These performers take such lengths in embodying each sin, you will hazily leave the tent as you mull over your own immoral existence.
Ani is a twenty-something SoCal native driven by all things pop culture. Armed with a Master’s in communication studies, she spends her days analyzing her surroundings, enjoying live shows and film, traveling the world, eating pho, and being an opinionated individual. She also happens to be the biggest I Love Lucy fan of her generation.