Halloween Horrors & Fun

Oct 24, 2012

Poster from "The Cat and the Canary" 1927Experiencing Halloween can produce a vast range of reactions like the glee of counting the candy stash at the end of the night and finding 10 king-size Hershey bars and a treasure trove of Air Heads, Necco wafers, Twix and Kit Kat bars, and the holiday standard, candy corn.

Anyone remember Sugar Babies, old fashioned bottle caps, Candy Buttons, Mallo Cups, Boston Baked Beans, Atomic Fire Balls, Abba Zaba, Turkish Taffy, Bit o’ Honey, and Jujubes? Remember the taste of wax fangs by Wack-O-Wax?

Halloween can also be measured by fear factor: flailing arms, lurching backwards, rushes of adrenalin that feel like a menopausal hot flash, and garbled verbal stammerings.

We know of one particular yard, down a remote lane, with one little house, from a long time ago. A cluster of trees made a semi-circle in front of the house, the guardians at the gate, and the wind rustled the remaining leaves, heavy gusts forcing the branches to clack against one another. Wind blowing through the pine needles of the outlying evergreens created a surround-sound, constant, low, look-back-over-your-shoulder, ghostly moan. Two mini, strategically placed amps emitted tortured screams.

All of this froze adorable trick or treaters in their tracks, their eyes widening as they watched the older kids—somehow so calm and casual—stroll up the walk, step up onto the stoop, raise their fist to knock on the door, and scream like banshees when a “creature” jumped out of the bushes and encased them into a bear hug. Needless to say, the young’uns watching from way out on the sidewalk were not enticed. The required courage, worldliness, cynicism, or apathy would be waiting a few more years down the road.

So, terror or laughs? What’s your pleasure?

For the kids:

One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley, will host their “Spooktacular” this coming Saturday, the 27th, as well on Halloween itself. Visit
Sat., Oct. 27th, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., pumpkin decorating with free pumpkins provided. Old Town Haunted House “lights on” tour for the wee ones, Raymond Ave., just north of Colorado Blvd, 12-4 p.m., $10.

Wed., Oct. 31st, 5-8 p.m., over 100 area stores will hand out candy to costumed trick or treaters. Popular Halloween characters will be walking around and guides will be handing out special Halloween eggs with prizes inside. One Colorado courtyard will have a professional photographer providing free haunted photos.

Photo courtesy of

Baby Polka Dot, Paseo Halloween Party, 308 E. Colorado Blvd
Wed., Oct. 31st, 4:30-8 p.m., $20 per child accompanied by 2 adults
Halloween arts and crafts, treasure hunt, photo booth, costume contest (with winner receiving a gift bag), face painting, dancing, and snacks and games. For tickets, visit the store or call 626.577.2214.

Various branches of the Pasadena Public Library has Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre, “Monsters, Spiders, and Ghouls, Oh My!” and “Halloween Thrills & Chills.” Check their calendar for locations and times.

South Pasadena is hosting their free “Spooktacular” on Fri., Oct. 26, 5:30-7:30 at Orange Grove Park, 815 Mission Street.

Test your mettle with horror:

Old Town Haunt, 20 N. Raymond Ave., open Oct. 25-28 & last nights Oct. 30th and Halloween. General admission, $17; VIP fast pass, $22. For details, go to

Boston Court, The Cat and the Canary, Sat., Oct. 26th, 8 p.m. General admission, $15; students/seniors, $10
A cobweb-filled mansion located behind a imposing iron gate, a deceased family member’s will read at midnight, hidden passageways, erratic electricity, inexplicable sounds and sights, trying to survive the night without losing one’s mind—from where do all these Halloween clichès come? It is said that “many of these notions come from the 1927 comedy horror film The Cat and the Canary.”

German film director re-imagines the story with a “decidedly expressionist bent with great visuals and a marvelously creepy story.” An added plus is bassist Tom Peters providing a live score. For complete info, visit

WickedLit is rather corny, we’re told, but it’s corny in a good way, and having it located at the Moutain View Mausoleum and cemetery is definitely a spooky plus.

And don’t forget, the creepy, entertaining, and rather grotesque Sweeney Todd at Porticoes Theatre this weekend.

Whether in between candy bites or soul-shaking screams, Happy Halloween, everyone.




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