Entertainment » Culture

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

by Michelle  Sandoval
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Oct 6, 2017
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Griffith Park has been invaded by a clan of murderous clowns with one thing in mind -- your demise! As we all welcome in the Fall and creep our way closer to Halloween, the haunted adventures are plentiful and are sure to spook even the bravest of souls. One Los Angeles classic will take you deep into the depths of Griffith Park at night, in the middle of a clown fueled nightmare. So, leave your fear at the door and embrace this frightening celebration of chaos and mayhem.

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is one of LA's most popular Halloween attractions. The masterminds behind the popular haunt, Ten Thirty One Productions, live and breathe horror 365 days a year. Whether they're hosting an outdoor screening of a classic horror film, or giving fans a real terrifying camping experience with their Great Horror Campout, the talented team, led by Melissa Carbone, know how to do horror right.

With clowns at the heart of this year's haunt, scare seekers will have four zones to experience, each one more terrifying than the last. There is Purgatory, a haunted village overrun with clowns ready to torment you. A Scary-Go-Round lies at the center, with skeletal creatures you can ride backward into the night.

Here you will also find psychics if you wish to know your (un)fortune. Before you make your way out check out the Theatre Macabre. The talented hosts will invite members of the audience up on stage to recreate classic scenes from horror movies. It is a nice change of pace from all the panic and terror around you.

One of my favorite things at the Haunted Hayride is the Trick or Treat tents, where you will come face to face with creepy creatures as you go in search of sweets. This will make you rethink the fond memories you have of going door to door as a child. Knock on the door of numerous houses in this scary adventure, but don't expect to come away with too many treats. Mostly you'll be run off the porch by all sorts of monsters, making for a very different trick or treating experience.

There is also the House of Shadows, better known as the Dark Maze. This one is not for the faint of heart, it will leave you lost in the dark and boasts to be Southern California's only true labyrinth maze. This particular experience is easily one of the scariest you will find in Los Angeles, and one of the only ones that I can honestly say truly scares me.

All of these great adventures lead us to the star of the night -- the Haunted Hayride Clown. This year's ride will once again take you through the abandoned zoo that once called Griffith Park home, a lonely and desolate place, especially once the sun goes down. You and a small group will be led into a small fenced-in area before climbing aboard your doomed transportation, a hay-padded tractor trailer.

During your ride, you will encounter clowns and other creepy inhabitants waiting around every dark corner. They are not afraid to get up close and personal with the riders either, they will jump up on the tractor until they are a bit too close for comfort.

Halfway through this circus nightmare, you will be asked to jump off the tractor, from here you will have to make your way through a long corn maze infested with vicious jesters. Once you make it to the end, you can find solace in the safety of your tractor once again -- but not for long.

Your adventure continues as you are led through more disturbing areas, such as a clown jail where all the inmates have escaped, and a clown biker bar which you will be chased out of by clowns on actual motorcycles. As the ride starts to wind down, you will encounter one last clown, perhaps the biggest of all. A clown mimicking our president will bid you farewell, calling you "losers" and "fans of CNN," and shouting insults at you as you drive away.

It seems like clowns are everywhere nowadays, making millions at the box office and getting high ratings on the small screen. There is just something about white face paint and big puffy noses that invoke terror in a lot of people. For myself, the magic of the circus is still associated when I think of clowns, the sound of a balloon popping makes me jump more.

One thing is always certain though: clowns will continue to absolutely terrify the masses, and this season they are calling Griffith Park home.

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride runs through October 31 at Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Ave. in Los Angeles. For tickets and information, visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com or follow them at @Losangeleshaunt or @LaHauntedHayride

10 Days of Halloween

This story is part of our special report titled "10 Days of Halloween." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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