Want to know where the best haunts are? It may be a trek outside of Studio City, but here are things close by . . .
Pumpkin Festival: The Calabasas Pumpkin Festival features live bands, contests, wildlife shows, carnival games and more. There will be food and drinks, crafts and pumpkins available for purchase. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 and 21 at Juan Bautista de Anza park, 3701 Lost Hills Road, Calabasas. Admission is $5.
Mayall Street Scare: Swirling fog, frightening flashes and thunder claps accompany skeleton and pirate vignettes plus live music at this home display at 22050 Mayall St. in Chatsworth.
Fall Harvest Festival: Underwood Family Farms' 15th annual Fall Harvest Festival continues from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Halloween. The event takes place on a working farm and features a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay pyramids, an animal center and more. Weekend admission, which is $12 per person, also includes live entertainment, pig races and a tractor-drawn wagon ride. Week day admission is $3 per person and the farm is located at 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark.
Big Worm's Sherwood Scare: Using film making and craftsmen skills, some Hollywood professionals have built Big Worm's Sherwood Scare, a 2,000-square-foot maze with the best illusions and scares their imaginations would dream up. The attraction is open from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21 and 26-28 and 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 31. The maze is at 8856 Encino Ave., Northridge. Admission is $3, with all proceeds going to Big Worm's Cystic Fibrosis Life Foundation.
Boney Island: Abracadaver: Boney Island is a residential display featuring illusions to thrill and amaze. See the magic-themed display from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Oct. 31 at 4602 Morse Ave., Sherman Oaks.
Mourning Rose Manor: With a crypt, tombstones, ghosts, gouls, spiders and more, this home display has plenty to see. It's on display through Halloween at 5250 Aurelia St., Simi Valley.
Historical Ghost Tours: Learn the history of the area from ghosts at Strathern Park in Simi Valley. The walking ghost tours last about 1 and a half hours and are wheelchair and stroller accessible. The event is appropriate for all ages and is not a haunted house. Tickets are $10 (children 9 and younger get in free). The park is at 137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley. Tours take place Fridays and Saturdays. Hours vary, so check the website for more information.
Reign of Terror: What started as a home haunt has grown and now takes place at the Janss Marketplace mall at 197 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. Visit the Haunted House, The Asylum, Blood Manor and Miner's Revenge from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19, 21, 26, 28, 30 and 31 and 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27. General admission is $15. See the attraction's website for special "lights on" times for children and various ticketing options.
Halloween Harvest Festival: The annual festival at Pierce College features kids' activities and rides, farm animals, a corn maze, a hay ride and haunted trail, a Factory of Nightmares haunted house and, of course, pumpkins. The festival continues daily through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at the corner of DeSoto Avenue and Victory Boulevard in Woodland Hills. Night "FrightFair Screampark" activities begin after 7 p.m. Prices vary, beginning with a $5 festival admission-only ticket. For a full price list, visit the Harvest Festival's website.
House at Haunted Hill: Thousands annually visit the House on Haunted Hill, a privately-owned home with effects inspired by those of the Disney haunted mansion. Vignettes tell the story of a young newlywed couple who comes to celebrate their wedding night. "Unbeknownst to (the wife) he was previously married to another Hollywood actor who, along with her daughter, mysteriously disappeared," the attraction's website says. The house is at 4400 Saltillo St., Woodland Hills. Visitors do not enter the house. The attraction runs Oct. 26 through Oct.31. Hours are 7 to 10 p.m. except the first two nights. On Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 27, hours are 7 p.m. to midnight. For parking information, visit the house's website (click on "map").
The Forest of Mirrors: Described as "the graveyard that never ends" on its website, the Forest of Mirrors is another home display. The display was featured on HGTV's Halloween Tricked Out (see it again on Oct. 27) and uses virtual and real actors as well as tombstones, skulls and ominous sounds to thrill and scare. The display, located at 6124 Lederer Ave. in Woodland Hills, is open on Halloween night only. See it from 6 to 11 p.m.
Halloween Horror Nights: And what Halloween events list would be complete without Universal Studio's group of scary mazes. This year, they're based around The Walking Dead, Silent Hill, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D and the La Llorona legend. There is also a Universal Monsters Remix maze. There's an all-new Terror Tram and a Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure Show. Horror Nights is open from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31. General admission tickets are $66. Special VIP tickets and Front of Line passes are also available. The park suggests buying tickets online. The event is recommended to those 13 and older.
A LITTLE FURTHER OUT
Disneyland's Halloween Time: "Eat, drink and be scary" says the Disney website in regards to the theme park this time of year. The Magical Kingdom is decked out with pumpkins and other signs of the season and some of the rides have been altered as well. Also, the park is offering Mickey's Halloween Party, which, for a special admission price, offers trick-or-treat stations, a Halloween scream fireworks show, dance parties throughout the park and photo ops with costumed Disney characters. The only nights with Halloween party tickets left are Oct. 29 and Halloween night. Tickets those nights are $69 and the hours are 6 to 11 p.m.
Knott's Scary Farm: The Knott's Haunt is now in its 40th year with more fear. "Fully ripened, fully infected zombies. Evil clowns. And the Green Witch are back with a vengeance," according to the park's website. Tickets are $36-$40 online (check the site for prices on the night you plan to attend).
Know of another event in the Valley or nearby? Add it in the comments!