Monday, October 8, 2018

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: 10 Years of Screams

Out in the hills, in the darkness, there resides a place of fear...and fun. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has come back for its annual haunt in Griffith Park...which is already a bit creepy at night.
(Though, we did see a group of night hikers who we mistook for people going to the haunt. I mean who want to go hiking around essentially a forest at night?) This isn't about night hikers, this is about 10 years of the haunted hayride. If you've gone on it before, there's some old memories coming back. If you've never done it before, it's a nice evening of crazy monsters and killers coming up to you as you sit back and get scared on a hayride.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Select Nights Sept 29-Oct 31
Griffith Park (OLD ZOO)
4730 Crystal Springs Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Prices varies by date
You can get Hayride Only starting at $$35.99 General admission $44.99
 Different options available

Just entering the Haunted Hayride is a delight, the glowing pumpkins beckoning you in and to take selfies with. As we entered we overheard a group of ghouls, we mean girls wanting to do the pie eating contest (sadly, we saw no signs of that happening this year). One of them asked their Dad if it was okay. He answered back, "I don't care." He truly was in the spirit of having fun...sheesh. Really though, people instantly get smiles at the sight of the grinning back at them jack-o-lanterns. Pass a enclosed passage with some monster waiting for you and you'll enter the main area.

What awaits you is passage to the hayride or possibly trying out the Trick Or Treat experience. There's also Purgatory. A place to watch the Theater Macrabe, get your palm read, play a fun zombie game and eat snacks.

Before entering the long lanes to get to the hayride you might want to snap a shot of a giant looking monster and his pals. He's got pumpkins for brains, but a winning personality in that he's much bigger than you.

After waiting in line and past possible pictures you"ll be put into a cage (not kidding) and then eventually loaded onto the hayride. This is with a big group of people. A lot people meat can get on the ride with you, so try and grab a good seat and make room for everyone trying to get on.

Before going into spoilers, we will say the ride is still a must to try at least once if ever in SoCal or if you've never been on it before. For fans of the ride who've gone year after year it brings back memories as scenes are cut and pasted from previous haunted hayrides.


Slowly, you make you way through the entrance and suddenly see a girl running away from a doesn't look like she's going to make it. That's the start on this anniversary session of the hayride. Old scares from past years are back to get you.

We believe the first hayride we went to was revisited with the demon cult showing up this time again. There's a cult worshiping in a dark church. They don't seem to like you visiting them unannounced. They head priest with horns rises up in the air to look down upon you.

In a later scene, we had what seemed like animatronic band members singing to us, only for them to spring to life and chase after us.

Next we were greeted by what looked like an ancient Egyptian dance troupe and witness some strange giant puppets.

We saw a wonderful take on game shows with people about to die in thrilling and exciting ways. Random people on the hayride had to decide who would go first. Acid looks like a bad way to go.

Soon we went past a man wrapping something up...oh, people. Though these plastic cadavers didn't stay dead long, harassing the riders.

Who wouldn't want to stay longer around the clown gal biker gang hideout. Sure, they're probably murderers, but hot clown girl muderers.

There was some homages to dead celebs. We think we spotted Marilyn Monroe trying to kill us with other dead people of note.

You get not one, but two past endings. One is a clown strobe light rock out and the other is watching demons come out of the Earth.

And like that it's over.

End of spoilers

We had fun going through Griffith Park again to some scary friends we missed. We do wish they chose some of our favorites from other past shows. Not appearing was the loved Krampus firing a bubble gun at us from years ago or the scarecrows that would dive into the ride from years back. Maybe a vote from fans should have been part of what came back to the ride this time.

For a familiar haunt to look back on head there before Halloween is over.

Other than the hayride, you can hangout in Purgatory. Purgatory is the main area outside of the hayride. And hats off to Theater Macabre for entertaining us. They have guests re-create scenes from horror movies. Watching people try their best to play a victim or monster in classic and cult horror movies will leave you in stitches.

Throwing brains into zombies heads anyone? Out in Purgatory you can also play Carne-Evil games. The only one we saw though is where you throw soft squishy brains into the open skulls of animatronic or mannequin zombies. It's a silly bit of fun we do recommend to try.

You have two other fun experiences to try if you want to pay for more than just the hayride. 

Trick or Treat is back. Now on this one you really go trick or treating in a small group. You can get a treat, candy. Or a trick...a monster scaring you maybe? It's a fun experience that gives you tension as what could be behind the next door. 

The House Of Shadows Dark Maze is now more of a strobe light maze. We loved it as you can get lost easily and the effect does start making it harder for you to see right. Monsters that dwell in the maze and some of it's wall use the strobe lighting effect o full advantage with colors and images sticking to your sockets creating an eerie after effect.

Shout out to...or should we say scream to the monsters walking around the park that both scare and care. They might win the costume contest for best design of all the haunts we've been to. Their creative yet spooky look will have you worried if they sneak up on you, but delighted to take a selfie with.

There's a place to get grub, though nothing that special. They did go out  of their way with giving everything a spooky name. It's mostly carny food, so don't expect dinner.

If looking for a shirt or a keepsake the gift shop is at the exit this year with plenty of goodies to remind you of your experience.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is back to scare again this year with plenty for your friends to be frightened about.