The Haunted Horrors Of The 2012 Los Angeles County Fair!
by: -RoG-

After living out here for over six years now, we finally took the time to check out the Los Angeles County Fair, and it was bigger and more entertaining than I had ever imagined. I've been to my share of state and county fairs in the past, but none of them were anywhere near as huge or packed with people as the L.A. fair was. As with all fairs, if you're a fan of deep-fried ANYTHING, then you'd be in heart attack heaven at this place. It also features all the classic rides you can imagine from Ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirls to giant slides and bumper cars.

Now one thing didn't cross my mind when we decided to go there, was the possibility that they might have a horror attraction of some sort. Sure, I expected a typical house of mirrors maze and things of that nature, but for some reason, I never considered they would have a classic haunted house ride. Holy crapballs, was I ever wrong.

To my Halloweeny delight, I discovered that the the L.A. County Fair had not one, but three haunted attractions! We're not talking modernized haunted attractions here either. No, we're talking about the classic, rickety old cart ride through a simple haunted house full of strobe lights kind of attraction. An absolutely barebones ride with an exterior that's covered in flashing lights to draw in hordes of horror fans throughout the night. It's the kind of throwback haunt that you just don't get to see enough of these days, and I couldn't have been more excited about it.

Considering the possibility that I would never see these same attractions again, I had to document every square inch of them, because they looked absolutely amazing on the outside. I was already in full-on Halloween mode since September 1st, but seeing the incredibly colorful facades of these three haunted attractions put me into spook season overdrive. With that in mind, I present you with photos and video of all the Los Angeles County Fair horrors. Be sure to read through it all, because I saved the best horror for last!

Attraction #1: Haunted Mansion!

First up is the Haunted Mansion, and boy did this thing ever hit my face like a flaming jack-o-lantern straight from the hands of the Headless Horseman himself. Incredibly bright and flashy, the facade of this attraction had all kinds of graphics that just screamed of Halloween cheesiness. The photoshopped dripping blood, the triple skull pillars on each side, the hands and splatters on the windows that looked like those cheap window clings you can buy from the 99 cent store... what's not to love? But there's so much more...

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you... they actually made a giant recreation of the poster art from the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. It appears as if Freddy Krueger is bursting through the left side of the mansion exterior to pay a visit to all the children of Elm Street. Call me crazy, but I'm guessing they didn't pay the rights to use that art either.

There's a closer shot of the triple skull pillars with a man below them who is so terrified that he's scratching his own face off. I'm not sure why though, for he appears to be a giant (especially when you compare the size of his head to the silhouette of hands in the window to the right), so I don't know what he really has to be afraid of.

The Haunted Mansion sign itself is beautifully lit with a big vampire bat sitting beneath it with its wings spread out.

Jason Voorhees (or at least a Jason imposter) also stands idly by in the window just to the right of the logo. He looks kind of sleepy, but maybe that's because he already killed everybody inside and now he's just grown weary of waiting for people to pay to go on the ride. The other set of triple skulls has a menacing clown beneath them, but I guess he's not too scared since he's not trying to tear off his face like that giant guy was.

On the far right side of the Haunted Mansion, the Grim Reaper sits upon his throne of skulls in front of a sign pointing you to the local cemetery, Elm Street, and the Bates Motel. I had no idea Elm Street and the Bates Motel were so close to each other... must be really hard to sell real estate in that town.

You may also notice a giant set of hands gripping the Reaper's throne...

Oh, that's just Pennywise the clown, only he appears to be suffering from some kind of biohazard radiation poisoning. Hey, if you're gonna hang out in the sewers, that's the kind of risk you run.

Here we have the sad grave of Al Cohaulic. It's sad because not only did they try to bury him in mulch, but they actually forgot to bury his casket underground. The past 50 years haven't been too kind to Al, as his face appears to have yellowed and his beer gut somehow still remains. Then again, maybe he doesn't have it so bad...

I can't tell you who this is, because his tombstone literally fell on top of him. Maybe he was a groundskeeper who was Killed by his own sloppy work? Then again, I can't really pick on a guy who apparently had two bent metal hooks for hands... it's gotta be hard doing ANY kind of yard work with those things, let alone digging graves.

Moving back towards the middle, we see a gaping monster mouth that also doubles as a door situated next to a metal ward zombie. I feel bad for the zombie, as you can just tell just from the expression on its face that the annoying, big mouth door has talked its ears off for ages.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: nothing makes me think of a Haunted Mansion more than a cloaked condor man holding the Staff of Ra while a floating carnival head with glowing white eyes looks on approvingly.

Well I guess that sign pointing to the Bates Motel wasn't just for show, because there's Norman Bates himself, peering through a fake doorway near the mansion carts that you ride in.

Of course, they had to include one of the sadistic torture nutjobs from Hostel. What makes it less scary looking is that he has a lightning backdrop and moving techno club lights flashing all around him. Then again, I can think of few worse ways than to be chainsawed to death while at a rave.

Just a couple of old folks, reminiscing about the good ol' days of the Haunted Mansion and how it's now gone straight to hell.

And for my last shot of the Haunted Mansion, I thought you'd like to see how it looks in the daytime. Still looks nice, but nothing beats that frightful facade when it's lit up at night!

So you've seen the Haunted Mansion... now it's time to move onward to our next attraction: The Zombie Mansion!

There's still more L.A. County Fair horror to see!
Click here to continue onward to page 2!


Reader Comments



Forum Virgin
Oct 2nd, 2012, 03:56 PM
Wow three haunted attractions at one fair, I think that's unheard of. I love when they throw in all these horror characters in from all over. The cyclops is from "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" and the demon in the sixth picture of the "Creep Show" looks like the demon from the The Doctor episodes The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. Is that a flying monkey from the Wizard of OZ in the last pic of page 3?!
Oct 2nd, 2012, 08:44 PM
Nice article as always.

You know I've got to think that adding all those lights and wrapping all of that artwork and stuff would have to cost a lot of money. I wonder why they don't just spend some of that money on the INSIDE instead and make a better ride.
Cranberry Everything
Oct 2nd, 2012, 10:35 PM
I'm amazed those things still exist. I remember every one as a kid being nearly identical to the video (almost nothing) and yet I was never once disappointed.
Forum Virgin
Oct 3rd, 2012, 02:25 AM
Mr. Chainsaw with the lightning behind him reminds me of those old USA Thunder shirts that the redneck kids used to wear when I was in middle school. I'm pretty sure they were Wal-Mart exclusives at the time. If they brought them back now with Mr. Chainsaw, I'd totally rock one.
Forum Virgin
Oct 3rd, 2012, 02:39 AM
And I'm pretty sure that Satan on the exterior of Creepshow is supposed to be Darkness from Legend. A friend of mine bought a pretty cool mask based on that character many Halloweens ago. After hours of stuffing the huge horns and other prosthetic parts with toilet paper, meticulously gluing down the edges, and filling in the gaps with makeup he discovered on the way to the party that he was allergic to the spirit gum adhesive. Ouch.
Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:27 AM
That is definitely Darkness. Between that and Pennywise on the Haunted Mansion, I have to assume that dark ride designers have some kind of Tim Curry fetish. I'm sure if you look close enough at the Zombie Mansion facade you can find the butler from Clue.
Recovering Lycanthrope
Oct 3rd, 2012, 10:47 PM
HowardC, that's obvious - they spend the money on the outside, because once you've paid your admission, THEY DON'T CARE.

Great article, RoG! What did it sound like inside the rides? As much as I enjoy a good chiptune, I'm curious if there was music, sound effects, or just the crash and hiss of pneumatic actuators...
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 4th, 2012, 12:54 AM
Thanks for the clarification on some of the characters on the facades.

- Yeah, I couldn't believe they had three horror attractions. I've never seen more than one, unless you count the traditional house of mirrors / funhouse to be a horror attraction.

HowardC - What JohnnyQuest said. They lure you in and then it doesn't matter to them afterwards.

JohnnyQuest - It was mainly pneumatics, but there were a few sound effects like lightning crashes and ghostly "ooohs" 'n "ahhhs" in there.
an organism
Oct 4th, 2012, 10:16 PM
@ A-bomb: who DOESN'T have a Tim Curry Fetish?
I shot Wilhelm.
Oct 5th, 2012, 03:08 AM
Man, I miss L.A. something fierce. It's still in the high 90s here and doesn't feel like autumn at all.
Also, Al Cohaulic wasn't even at legal drinking age and he died of alcohol poisoning.
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 5th, 2012, 03:30 AM
For what it's worth, we did have quite a heat wave here recently. It was in the upper 90s and even 100s in parts of Southern California last week. That said, there's definitely a ton of Halloween stuff to do out here. When I moved out to L.A. about six years ago, I wasn't expecting much, but they really do celebrate the hell out of my favorite holiday here.
Forum Virgin
Oct 8th, 2012, 05:02 PM
GREAT article -RoG-!!! Once again you have been able to take all of us who are either to far away, or otherwise engaged, right along with you! Awesome Artwork, and totally sweet how you concentrated on each part to get the full effect!

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