Before I met Gypsy Taylor, I'd heard the legends: tales of elaborate Halloween costumes and kick-ass parties (there she is, above, as Jon-Benet Ramsay, Wilson and Jackie Kennedy). I'm sad to say I never attended one of these Sydney shindigs, but then I moved to LA and was introduced to the Queen of Halloween by a mutual friend and I've seen firsthand her deep love for all things horror-related. When she's not designing costumes for films, illustrating beloved children's book characters or painting up a storm, she's planning her next fright fest. So when the Queen of Halloween offered to provide a gory, gut-wrenching and ghoulish guide to a hell-raising Halloween in our adopted city, which takes October 31 almost as seriously as Gypsy herself, I jumped higher than a scaredy-cat in a haunted house. Here's her toe-tagged top 13 (and yes, she's going to them all!)
NOTE FROM GYPSY: Pack running shoes and leave small children at home with a teenage babysitter to stay truly in theme.
1. HAUNTED HAYRIDE
A classic experience in Griffith Park. Haunted by dead lovers and creepy animals. I hope we get put in the pig pen again this year!
2. LUCHA VAVOOM presents - NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE
Kitsch, loud, boisterous and down-right dirty Halloween fun. This year PEACHES is the special guest performer. Hell yes!
3. HOLLYWOOD FOREVER presents Dia De Los Muertos
Join the decaying bodies of Vampira, Joey Ramone, Toto and Jayne Mansfield for some bright, festive and muy authentico Mexican celebrations.
Who wants to paint their face as a skeleton every single day?!
4. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HORROR NIGHTS
You’re bound to get chased by something evil the moment you enter the gate and that classic tram tour? Get ready to run it - it's infested with zombies!
5. DARK HARBOR on the QUEEN MARY
Fake and REAL ghosts scaring the bejeezus out of you on this giant Art Deco ship. Calm your nerves with a dirty martini in the deco observation bar
6. THE PURGE BREAKOUT
By far the most terrifying interactive experience - the film comes to life! Stay close to your friends, you might not see them ever again...
7. CICACA CLUB presents DEAN MORA AND HIS HAUNTED ORCHESTRA
Refined, glamorous ghouls take to this DTLA Art Deco haunt. No scary antics here, just a whole lotta dancing, downtown history and delicious Manhattans.
Billed as an existential haunting, trust us: the creepiest things happen in the dark. You’ll never sleep with the lights off again.
9. MUSEUM OF DEATH
If you're not in town for the celebration, this kooky Hollywood museum is open year round. Dedicated to serial killers, it's home to a Siamese turtle named after Chang and Eng the famous Siamese twins
10. DEARLY DEPARTED TOURS
Particularly good on a cold fall or winter evening, this is another way to get your thrills year round (phew!)
11. DISNEYLAND’S HALLOWEEN PARTY
Delightful and delicious entertainment (think toffee apples, not tequila shots). Go for the classic Haunted Mansion or pray you survive the Hollywood Tower of Terror!
12. SIX FLAGS FRIGHT FEST
A whole lot of screaming and clutching, and that's just on the roller coasters!
13. KNOTTS SCARY FARM
The title alone wins me over every year. Th perfect play on words and a perfectly terrifying
What are you doing for Halloween this year? Are you addicted to scares or is trick or treating as terrifying as it gets for you?