There are so many spooky events going on this weekend in L.A. that resistance is futile - you're going to just have to resign yourself to not one, but two glorious weekends of Halloween fun. Here are my top picks for tonight, tomorrow and the week to come...
If you hurry, you can still catch the 8 PM showing of Robert Wise's 1963 haunted house masterpiece The Haunting, one of my favorite movies of all time, at the allegedly haunted Alex Theatre in Glendale. Psychic/medium and paranormal investigator Michael J. Kouri will appear before the film to discuss the haunted history of the Alex. The theatre is located at 216 North Brand Blvd. in Glendale, and tickets are $13.50.
Also tonight is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery's annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, which features ceremonial tributes, processions, decorated altars, live music, food, vendors, and thousands of costumed revelers. The celebration runs until 11 PM and costs $10 per person (free for children under 10). I am very excited to finally check this out for myself!
Tomorrow, stop by CreepyLA's Haunted Speakeasy, "a night of storytellers...[sharing] true tales of the supernatural." Click here for more information, including location and the secret password that's required for admission. The fun begins at 7 PM tomorrow night and costs $15 per person.
If you're looking for some extremely wallet-friendly fun, I highly recommend that you visit Burbank's own Backwoods Maze, which is hands down the best yard haunt I've ever experienced (review to follow shortly). The maze is located at 1912 N. Pepper St. in Burbank, and will be operating tonight and tomorrow night, as well as the 29th, 30th and 31st from 6:30 until 10 PM (11 PM on Halloween night). While the maze is free, donations are accepted, and you should absolutely throw in a few bucks, because the quality and commitment are astounding. Read CreepyLA's review here or visit their MySpace for more information. (Above photo taken from their MySpace.)
Another chance to check out the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, which was the site of a real life unsolved murder and is rumored to be haunted, occurs next week thanks to the first annual Wicked Literature Halloween Theatre Festival. The festival, which features dramatic readings of three chilling tales by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving, takes place in various locales within the house and on the grounds of the mansion. The event runs October 27-31, and tickets are $45. Call 818-242-7910 for reservations.
Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax has all sorts of ghoulish seasonal offerings in store, but I particularly recommend TV Horror Host Night on Tuesday the 27th, which features a screening of the documentary American Scary, an examination of the rise and fall of the horror host phenomenon. The evening will be hosted by Mr. Lobo, and following the film there will be a surprise screening of a "rare" TV movie from the '70s. Tickets are $12 and the show begins at 8 PM.
The New Beverly Cinema at 7165 West Beverly Blvd. also has a host of horror goodies on their calendar for next week, with my favorite being the William Castle double feature on October 25 and 26. The bill includes Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, a documentary about the passionately schlocky filmmaker, and the 1960 version of 13 Ghosts.
And, finally, on Halloween night itself, Cinespia will be screening John Carpenter's 1978 opus Halloween, which bears the distinction of being my #1 favorite film of all time, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. If you missed your chance to catch a movie in the cemetery this summer, or you're simply looking for a fun activity for Halloween night, you could do a lot worse - but be warned, this event will be especially crowded (even for a cemetery screening), so get there early! Gates open at 5:30 PM and the movie begins at 7, and tickets are the usual $10 donation at the gate. Don't forget to bring snacks and boooooooze!