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Visiting The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride 2021

Bringing hometown style haunts to Hollywood!

by Jacob Davison
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Halloween tends to be the time of year that really brings a community together. Whether it be through trick or treating, costumes, or haunts, everyone loves to put on a show for the town. Whether it be in the neighborhood or a big city wide event. I have a lot of fond memories of these kind of local events, so it was particularly fun to check out The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride!

The event has been a Hollywood Halloween mainstay for decades and continues growing strong even to the present. The layout retains much of its small town scare roots, having an almost carnival styled format to it. The main area is a scarezone entitled ‘Midnight Falls’ which is also the basis for the story and aesthetic of the haunt. Midnight Falls is a town that loves Halloween so much, it’s scary… with all sorts of ghoulish residents and madmen on the loose during this time of year. There are a number of scare actors and photo ops to be found in this central hub, each being the gruesome citizens of Midnight Falls as they enjoy the revelry and try to scare any people nearby. As well as a stage featuring a fun and ghoulish rockabilly show.

The main draw and attraction of course being the Haunted Hayride itself. As the name implies, you are placed on a the back of a tractor with ample hay cushioning and driven across a haunted trail in the foothills of Griffith Park. So, if you’re actually allergic to hay or may suffer hay fever, I recommend preparing beforehand. The ride itself goes through several different themed sections. From a vampire nightclub, to a haunting animatronic pizza party palace, to a monster infested lake, and even a UFO with go-go dancing aliens and more! Using a combination of scare actors, animatronic, and fx traps, it conjures up some fun frights. Be prepared for ghouls to try and jump at you while you’re seated on the tractor among other surprises. Some of the timing felt a little off on certain sections and the ride felt pretty safe and open at several points, but overall it was pretty inventive.

After that,t here are three Midnight Falls themed haunts to journey through. There’s ‘Trick Or Treat’ which as the name implies has you walking through an accursed neighborhood where the homeowners are more terrifying than the trick or treaters! Including a pretty entertaining feature where you can press the doorbell at various points in the maze and summon a scare actor, effect, or animatronic to create more frights. This did create a bit of a backlog in the line at certain sections however.

Next, there’s ‘Midnight Mortuary’ where you’re sent into Midnight Fall’s premiere mortuary and graveyard, encountering all manner of undead citizens and zombified scare actors.  Lastly, and my personal favorite was ‘Dead End Diner’ where you enter Midnight fall’s local greasy spoon only to discover you’re on the menu! And while there’s the usual backwoods cannibals, expect to encounter a number of werewolves and scarecrows in this menacing maze. And emphasis on maze! Scare actors will try and misdirect you and there are a number of dead ends and twisting trails to throw you off, so choose your path wisely…

 

While The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride isn’t the biggest budgeted haunt in the land, it has a lot of charm and bloody, ripped out heart to make it worth giving a ride. Featuring three entertaining mazes and one of the most famous haunted hayrides around, it’s an experience worth trying and reliving that small town terror.