By Ashley FILIPEK and Mary O’KEEFE
What fun is going on in town on Oct. 31? Well, on Halloween night, the Montrose Shopping Park Association is rolling out the red – or perhaps the black and orange – carpet for the annual Montrose Halloween Spooktacular. The 2200, 2300 and 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue will be festively decorated, and merchants will be giving out candy from 5 p.m. until they run out of treats. This fun-filled family event will offer families a chance to spend some time together enjoying some classic Halloween fun, as well as some fun surprises.
This year’s Spooktacular will include games, food booths and bounce houses. Some of the food options include hot dogs and lemonade, hot popped kettle corn and roasted corn on the cob. Kids can enjoy a two-story slide, a 40-foot obstacle course and a magic bounce castle.
Andersen’s Pet Shop will host its annual “Howloween” Pet Parade and the little costumed cuties can walk across the scenic stage to show off their Halloween spirit. There will also be some fun for the more grown up attendees, ages 12 and up, with a costume contest to find the spookiest, cutest, funniest and most original costumes out there. There will also be some face painters on hand for anyone who wants to indulge in a little bit of painting fun.
Over at the Crescenta-Cañada Y, 1930 Foothill Blvd., the public is invited to visit their facility before going trick-or-treating.
The Y will be transformed into a haunted house on Halloween. This event is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the community. There will be a haunted house, bobbing for apples, caramel apple treats and much more fun. The whole family is invited.
Another option is a long-standing tradition for local community members. The Haunted House at Vista Court, with lines trailing down the block and screams echoing in the air, is the brainchild of David Krohn and friends. About two years ago, Krohn and his family moved from Vista Court to Whiting Woods. He brought his frightening tradition along with him, which he renamed Nightmare in Whiting Woods.
“I have been doing this for 11 years,” Krohn said.
The haunted house structure had to change in his new Whiting Woods home due to a city of Glendale ordinance, which he did not know about when he opened the house last Halloween.
“We were shut down,” he said. “But the city has worked with us.”
Krohn and the city came to an agreement and the haunted house is back up and running, with a few minor changes.
He used to put up a 600-foot temporary structure with a haunted maze. Now the haunting is taking place in the backyard … his entire backyard.
From design to construction and operation, the task of scaring people is a daunting one. The group of friends meets early in the year and begins talking about a theme for the next Halloween. Then in early August they begin working, and come late September they work on creating the haunted house almost everyday.
By now the team has the show running like a well-oiled machine. There are people at the entrance that warn those actors inside of the type of crowd that is on its way. If there are younger kids, they adjust their scare, but there’s no mercy if guests are between the ages of 17 to 50.
“The gloves come off,” Krohn said.
Talking with Krohn, it is obvious this is not as much an obsession as it is just pure fun. He almost laughs as he explains how long the team works and how they plan each and every scare. But when asked why he devotes so much time, and money, to each year’s haunting he describes a neighbor’s reaction.
Krohn has not been in the neighborhood that long, but this year when he was out in his yard a little girl and her mother stopped. They asked if there was going to be the haunted house again this year, if everything was worked out with the city. Krohn said yes.
“The little girl walked away, she jumped and said ‘Yes’,” he said.
That’s why he does it … that and – “Its fun!”
Nightmare in Whiting Woods is located at 413 Whiting Woods Dr. It is open on Halloween night from sundown to 11 p.m.
Right around the block at 3794 Cloud Ave., on the corner of Cloud and Honolulu avenues, trick-or-treaters can check out expansive decorations by the Nelson family. Traditional ghosts and goblins will be popping out around the family’s front yard promising a fun scare.
Many local churches are also offering treats at their locations.
The Crescenta Valley Youth Town Council and the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation will have a Haunted House at CV Park, 3901 Dunsmoe Ave., on Saturday, Sunday and Halloween night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the park’s community room. Admission is free.