LA’s Dia de los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

I had been told by numerous people that  Dia de los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the things to do Halloween weekend in LA.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I was vaguely familiar with the Day of the Dead culture and history, but actually experiencing it felt much different than I anticipated.

At the start of the festival, there was a larger than life opening ceremony, followed by a very somber funeral procession through the cemetery. Some of altars were incredibly touching and sad, some were humorous, and all were created with love. I’m glad I attended, but I will admit that I felt a bit like I was intruding, even though everyone there was extremely welcoming.

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Fade Out, Fade In – House at Haunted Hill Puts on Quite a Show!

It’s finally Halloween! Halloween seriously needs to last longer than just one night. How about a full week? There’s just not enough time to do everything!

I heard about House at Haunted Hill through the online grapevine and put it on my MUST SEE list for this year.  I knew upfront that it wasn’t a maze, but an experience.  The people who put on this show really love Halloween and it clearly shows by the amount of love and detail put into this installation.  I went on Friday night, after checking out the Burbank’s Nightmare at the Museum, and left House at Haunted Hill ready to kick off the Halloween weekend.

The House at Haunted Hill has been around since 2000 and has grown and expanded over the years due to its popularity.  Original  music, script, and high quality special effects? Oh, yes! To read more about their story, check it out here.

Tonight is the last night, so go early and beat the crowd. The house is located on Saltillo St, which is blocked off for the event. You’ll need to park on Canoga Ave (adjacent to Saltillo) and be mindful of the other neighbors. The “show” is free and runs from 7pm-midnight.  I really loved it, I wish there were more places like this.

House at Haunted Hill
4400 Saltillo Street
Woodland Hills, CA, 91364

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Burbank’s Nightmare at the Museum is Tons of Fun!

As you can probably tell, I’m really excited about the volume of Halloween-themed activities here in Los Angeles.  I’m completely set on doing as finding as many Halloween things as possible (or as my budget allows). So far, I’ve checked out the LA Halloween heavyweights: Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, and the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.

I was in the mood for something different this night, so I decided to check out Nightmare at the Museum in Burbank.  This is an amateur haunted house of epic proportions! When I got there around 9pm, the line was thick and stretched a few houses down. It’s all street parking, but make sure to read the street signs carefully. I was able to find a spot on California Street about ten houses down, but I think I just missed the crowd because while waiting in line, I saw tons of cars on the street.

I won’t give too much away about this maze, but I’ll say this: it’s cute. Super cute. Not like Hello Kitty cute, but creative scary cute. I was surprised by the amount of detail in each of the rooms. I did let out a scream more than once. This maze is great for old and young alike if you’re looking for something different to do this Halloween.

This event is free, but donations are accepted (and suggested, in my opinion). The proceeds from the event are donated to a charity and this year’s pick is the Family Service Agency of Burbank, which I think is pretty awesome. I tried to take a few pictures while hanging out in line, so be sure to check it out.

Click here for more info!

Nightmare at the Musuem
907 N California Street
Burbank, CA 91505

Dates/Times:

-Friday 29th & Saturday 30th (7-10pm)
-Sunday 31st (7-9pm)

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It Gets Better – Lexi from Seattle, Washington

Dear friends, let me tell you how my life has changed since making my video contribution to the It  Gets Better Project.  I didn’t expect anyone to watch my video (other than my friends and a few random youtube people), but I received numerous emails from people who said thank you for being brave and others who needed someone to talk to. We all have the power to change and effect the world in a positive way. We all have the power to make things a little better for someone who is in pain.

My awesome friend Lexi has made a blog contribution to the It Gets Better Project and I highly encourage you to take a read at her website Trial and Error. Her story, like many others, broke my heart, but also gave me hope that things will get much better for all of us who are suffering.  She has also listed her email address if you need someone to talk to, so be sure to drop her a line if you need a friend.  She’s a really sweet and funny individual, definitely a friend you want in your corner.

Want to help too? Check out the It Gets Better Project and see how you can contribute to the Trevor Project and other noteworthy organizations.

If you would like to be featured here, send me an email at kristel[at]slowdancingwithstrangers.com.

Check out Lexi’s story at Trial and Error here.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is a Scary Delight!

My Halloween in LA adventures continues with a trip to the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.  It was a long drive to Long Beach, but I’m really glad I made it.

Parking is $10 (cash only, from what I can tell) and allows you to park in the lot right next to the ship.

You can purchase tickets online, but I decided to buy mine at the box office there so I could gauge if I needed a fast pass or not. Thursday night at 9pm, pretty empty. Since there are only a few days left, I can imagine it might be pretty packed. Plan accordingly.

Overall, I had fun. I’ve heard that the Queen Mary is actually haunted, which really adds to the creepout factor while there.  If you’re looking for a fun and unique Halloween haunt, definitely check it out.

Here’s a map of the event:

MAZES
1 & 2
are attractions, which are like mini mazes.  We ended up getting lost in that main area for a good 15 minutes until we stumbled out of there and reached the ship.

3. Submerged – this maze warns those afraid of drowning that this might not be for them.  I loved the water theme, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Well, besides the dead crewmen lurking the shadows.

4. Hellfire – I’m feeling hot, hot, hot.

5. Containment – this maze is all about torture.  Lots of shrill screaming, fake blood, and ghosts yelling in agony. If I remember correctly, there was a hospital ward in this maze and it was ALL KINDS OF MESSED UP.

6. Village of the Damned – a creepy little town with a creepy ass maze.

7. The Cage – Okay, now this was a maze, like the kind with no clear path. Use your cell phone as a flashlight for the first half, it’ll come in handy, I promise.

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