Trick or Treat, Offbeatly, at LA Haunted Hayride

The bucolically eerie seasonal event has a weird spin on the candy-seeking tradition, plus that famous hayride, too.

What to Know

  • Old Zoo at Griffith Park
  • Through Oct. 31, select nights
  • Tickets start at $35.99

There are traditions in life we know so well that describing them, in detail, is actually probably far easier than describing the back of our own hand.

Take trick-or-treating, a Halloween pastime we might have engaged in as kids, and still do, as parents or the people handing out front-door treats. We know what will be said, we know that candy will be given, and we know how the goodbyes and well-wishes will go, too.

But what if an event gleefully topsy-turvy-ed that particular tradition, at least a bit, all while giving grown-ups a novel thrill?

An event is doing just that right now, at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, and while its centerpiece is the happening that happens to be in its name — an old-school hayride — there are other skin-prickling pleasures to be found around the grounds.

The low-lit, atmospheric grounds of the LA Haunted Hayride, that is, which is delivering nostalgic Halloween-style scares, on select nights, through Oct. 31. 

The main attraction, a lengthy hayride where, yes, you actually do sit on actual hay, and not hay bales, wends through numerous wicked and whimsical scenes.

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Some of the terrifying tableaux involve dancing, some feature music, all boast  costumes, and all include scary characters drawing very, very close to the wagon you happen to be sitting inside.

As in, feet or even inches away.

And while a monster-laden lane to roll down is quite a quirky treat come October, so is the chance to enter two maze-y experiences that are incredibly different from each other, not to mention a number of other mazes found around town.

House of Shadows is a real get-lost maze, complete with strobe effect and some scary, around-the-corner creatures. Exit, entrance, this hallway, that corridor...the choices astound, befuddle, and test your courage.

Trick or Treat is the event's trick-or-treating to-do, one that sends you out to knock on several doors, where you may get a treat, or, eek... a trick.

And the person behind the door? May actually not be a person at all, but something far more chilling.

Purgatory is the wander-through area brimming with wandering ghoulies, ghoulies who are up for a stand-together snapshot, if you desire one, and other sights, like a store, snack bars, and the Scary-Go-Round (there are horses, yes, but not the horses you probably expect).

A ticket to the hayride alone is $35.99, but there are lots of levels and plenty of ways to approach this nicely rustic, under-the-moon outdoor adventure.

An adventure that has a few modern ways of doing Halloween, but a lot of nostalic cred, too, courtesy of the hayride, some of the practical effects, and the friendly strolling scary characters, too.

It's eerie-ing up the Old Zoo, through Halloween, over several select and spooky evenings.

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