October 21st, 2005

Hallowed Haunting Grounds - boo and hoo!

In the section on "Haunted Houses" in my book The Halloween Encyclopedia, I took a writer's privilege and gave a chunk (and photo) to my favorite, The Hallowed Haunting Grounds in Studio City. For over 30 years, this astonishing "soft yard display" (meaning no gore, no guys in rubber masks jumping out at you) has been recreating effects in the vein of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion; visitors are led through a quietly spooky graveyard past the front windows of the house, wherein we can see musical ghosts, a haunted nursery, and a talking statue. Over the years the Haunting Grounds have added to the display, and it now includes spectacular lighting effects, a gorgeous soundtrack, and genuine chills to tickle the spine.

Sadly, this will be the final year for The Hallowed Haunting Grounds. They'll be running October 27th through the 31st, and are located at 4343 Babcock Avenue in Studio City (near the corner of Whitsett and Moorpark). Oh, and I did I mention it's free? For more information (and photos and sounds!) check out the Hallowed Haunting Grounds website.

Y'know, you'd think that as the author of the only encyclopedic reference work on Halloween, I'd be swamped with stuff to do at this time every year. Well, I ain't. During the weeks leading up to the holiday, I like to buy Halloween doodads and photograph amusing home decorations; on the night itself we watch horror movies and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters and go to The Hallowed Haunting Grounds. (One year I decided to go very traditional and make an Irish "barm brack" cake. Unfortunately I got the worst stomach flu of my life that year, and I can't bear the thought of ever again eating another barm brack.) Now part of my tradition is being sundered. Oh well...maybe this'll inspire me enough to get brave and finally check out the West Hollywood madness next year. I'm already scared!