2018 marks the 10th Anniversary of LA’s Haunted Hayride, and I’m ashamed to admit we’ve never been! As frequent attendees to such theme parks as Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal Horror Nights, Richard and I were eager to check out this new-to-us event. We even brought along a TOTAL Halloween newbie all the way from the UK – Creature Performer and actor Dee Tails! In the UK, Halloween is not as big as it is here, and Dee had never EVER gone trick-or-treating before.
What is LA’s Haunted Hayride?
LA’s Haunted Hayride is the most popular independently owned Halloween attraction in the country. The event transforms the authentically haunted Old Zoo area of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA every Halloween season. Despite what the title says, it is more than just a mere hayride. This section of Griffith Park comes alive at night with creepy fog, flickering lights and roaming monsters. The area is comprised of 3 Halloween Mazes, one of which is the 20 minute Hayride. There’s also themed food for purchase and benches scattered throughout to chill and watch others roam the park.
From the press release:
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (@LAHauntedHayride) returns with the most immersive ride yet as guests are completely transported back to hayrides past. The annual celeb favorite event, which has drawn household names like David Beckham, Pete Wentz, Katy Perry, Nicole Richie and others, is sure to be another Instagrammable feast with the return of the legendary Haunted Hayride, the heart-pounding House Of Shadows Dark Maze, the disturbed neighborhood of Trick Or Treat and everyone’s favorite haunted village, Purgatory.
For fans that have been to every hayride, it will be an unforgettable ride through the nightmares the hayride has been inducing for years. You will also be treated to new surprises and some larger than life additions that one would expect for a celebration as grand as a 10 Year Anniversary.
Become a part of the show at Theatre Macabre, ride the ‘Scary-Go-Round’, enjoy fair food & drink faves at the Grub Shack, have a clandestine encounter with a psychic, and don’t forget to grab your limited run anniversary swag in the Bootique.
We entered the event through a fog-filled tunnel which completely blocked line-of-sight over 6 inches in front of your face. Dee was so scared he decided to run through the tunnel so as to limit the amount of time he was inside. He ended up running smack into a monster!
After composing himself, it was time to begin our journey. What should we do first?
Well, since this place is called the Haunted Hayride, we decided to try that first! It did take a little convincing…
After braving the hay bale maze, we made it to the front of the line where employees were shoving people into big fenced-in pens like cattle in preparation for putting you on massive tractor trailers covered in hay.
We were packed in and off on our 20-minute Hayride!
Now I don’t have any pictures of this because we were enjoying the ride! Dee, Richard and I were herded onto the very back of the trailer, which worked in our favor. The tractor pulled us to one scary stop after another. Monsters and witches and zombies (depending on the scene) would do a skit and then break into a run towards the trailer, scaring anyone inside. Since we were at the back corner, the monsters interacted with us the most. We also had the benefit of being able to rest our backs against the sides, which really helped as there were no formal seats and you are basically sitting on hay over a hard floor.
Overall, we were super impressed by the sheer amount of scares during the hayride. Production value, makeup, costumes were all top notch. We give it 5 Screams!
Trick Or Treat
After the Hayride, we rushed over to the next maze: Trick Or Treat. I love the concept of this maze – to continue on you must knock on every door you see and say “trick or treat!” You then either receive a trick or an actual treat from a monster, witch or scary creature inside. It was Dee’s first time EVER trick or treating!
The park attendants gathered a group of 5 people and told us to knock on the front door and say “Trick or Treat!” A monster opened the door to the maze and in we went!
We give this maze 5 Screams as well!
House of Shadows
We headed to the final Maze: House of Shadows. Another conceptual marvel – it is truly a DARK maze and an ACTUAL maze. Aside from a strobe light blinking intermittently, you couldn’t see a thing. We ended up keeping our party together by essentially doing a conga line throughout, holding each other’s shoulders. House of Shadows is also a Maze – with dead ends, circles that lead nowhere, and scary creatures giving you wrong directions. It took us about 15 minutes to find our way through!
I give this maze another 5 Screams!
Overall, LA’s Haunted Hayride is a complete thrill. It’s perfect for a night out with friends to celebrate the Halloween season. There’s even themed Halloween food available at the Grub Shack.
The Pumpkinhead Fritters rival Disneyland’s Mickey Pumpkin Beignets – they are THAT good!! Wash those down with hot cider and you are good to go for a night of frights! We were able to hit all 3 mazes, take some time for pictures, and eat within 2 hours with VIP (front-of-line) passes.
Oh, and we also checked out the merchandise store, conveniently located at the entrance to LA’s Haunted Hayride! Here are some more pictures to entice you to attend.
Listen to Our Experience
Head to timestamp 34:30 to hear Richard, Dee and I discuss LA’s Haunted Hayride that very night!
Ticket Info and More
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride begins on September 29th and will be open select nights until October 31st. Operating hours are Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7 pm – 10:30 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 pm – 12 am, with the exception of September 29th when they close at 11 pm. General Admission and VIP passes that surpass the line are available, as well as a Platinum pass that includes VIP parking! Visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com for exact nights of operation and other details.