Man, HAUNTOWEEN is so chill. But worth $70 a car at the lowest? Well…
As LA event producers scramble to adjust their events already in motion or create a whole new experience within LA county Covid guidelines this season, one thing becomes clear. Halloween in LA is always really freaking expensive. I grew up in the sticks in the age before you could check out anything on stranger’s IG videos ahead of time so I have a lot of experience in Halloween events existing in the “hit or miss” dimension. I’ve been on $20 haunted hayrides at the local farm that were still better than any I’ve done as an adult and I’ve walked through haunted houses requiring a reservation who really took advantage of trash bags as load-bearing decor.
Halloween events in LA have always been really pricey. I mean, typically every year we budget for a few weeks to do one of the cheapest nights (Wednesday usually) at Universal Halloween Horror Nights (around $60) and maybe have enough cash and time to hit an indie horror house (range from $40 to $80). Despite changes to format to adhere to safety guidelines, prices have remained relatively exactly the same for events still running this season. And that seems… unfair. Getting startled in my car is just not the same as a creature’s hand dropping on my shoulder as I walk through the dark.
Anywho, HAUNTOWEEN isn’t about scares. It’s a 5 mph max self-driving tour through innocent Halloween vignettes with a free pumpkin and “trick or treating” without ever leaving the car seat. It’s cute, it really is. I gasped a little (just a little) as we began (as I drove) through the Tunnel of Pump (what I call their tunnel made of plastic pumpkin faces). From there, several mini set pieces including the What We Do In The Shadows sponsored piece of which FX graciously gave another tunnel made entirely of blown up photos of the actors in character. Following that, was the “Pumpkin Patch” (sponsored by Hershey’s) where a very enthusiastic young man gave me “the best pumpkin he could find”. I took his word for it, who am I to argue with a stranger in a drive thru pumpkin patch in Topanga? Delighted with my pumpkin (it is a nice pumpkin), we continued on through the final still scenes where I got to see not one, but TWO of the famous 12 foot skeletons from Home Depot plus all the variations of their pals like Skeleton Dog Sitting and Skeleton Weiner Dog Smiling and Skeleton Slightly Smaller than Human But Not a Dog (not official names).
And then the finale. Trick or Treating from your car through a neighborhood facade designed with each house decorated to its own theme accompanied by a performer brandishing a church donation basket on a stick full of candy. They just dump it on you. I cannot stress enough how funny it is to rock up in your 15 year-old Prius on someone dressed as a 1950’s space… person… who sticks a church confessional basket through your open window and just dumps Kit Kats and Ring Pops on your person. I’m being 100% sincere, it was hysterical.
All in all the weather felt like fall, a welcome respite during fire season, especially when cruising with my foot grazing the break and a fresh breeze spilling in through the windows. The music was Halloween and jaunty, the pumpkins numerous and the scene very, very… chill.
It’s just, for $70 a car, you might want to split that cost with whomever has been in your Covid pod this season. But your kids will love it! For more on HAUNTOWEEN and to purchase tickets, visit hauntoweenla.com.