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Halloween Haunts

Across Los Angeles County, Halloween spirits come alive with haunted houses, horror stagings and visual delights. Here are a few ghostly tours, all designed for scary fun:

October 24, 1998|CECILIA RASMUSEN

1. An Old West Haunt

Hart Park, 24151 San Fernando Road, Santa Clarita

The Saugus Train Station and the onetime home of silent Western Film star William S. hart provides the settings for ghostly entertainment with a trek through the station and Old Newhall Ranch house haunted by Martha, "the lady in blue." The trip can be made from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Admission $5. (805) 259-0855.

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2. Haunting Grounds

4343 Babcock Ave., Studio City

Every Halloween for 26 years, freelance film editor Gary Corb has transformed his parents' suburban frontyard into a spooky nether world. A sophisticated sound system helps set the atmosphere in the graveyard. Shows are from 7 p.m. to midnight, Thursday through Sunday. Free.

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3. Halloween Spooktacular

401 E. Mountain St., Glendale

As the sun sets on Halloween, Charles Cooley's 13th annual haunt comes alive at the intersection of Campbell and Mountain streets. The entire front yard of his parent's home is transformed into a dimly lit horror landscape of fog, lightning and sound machines creating a haunted graveyard and fright-filled shows starring the Glendale Presbyterian Church youth group. The bats that lunge and swoop in a nerve-racking journey over wires to a neighbor's house across the street give a few added thrills and chills. Halloween night, free.

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4. Royal Treatment

17153 Kingsbury St., Granada Hills

Her home is her castle. Artist and teacher Lyla Paakkanen imbues her teaching with theatrical flourishes, including a forest of intrigue, complete with babbling brook and a fire-breathing dragon. A cold autumn fog drifts among the branches of gnarled trees beckoning visitors up mossy steps. Halloween night, free.

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5. Double Trouble Graveyard

529 N. Florence St., Burbank

Take a stroll through the annual haunt of 17-year-old Keith La Prath, featuring mummies, zombies and gory monsters popping out of coffins. In the cemetery, a body emerges from a gave and what happens to the gravedigger is worse than death--but not as bad as what happens to those who sit in the electric chair. Halloween night, free.

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6. Raiders of the Los Museum

390 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena

An alternative to a blood-drenched horror feast is Kidspace Museum's "creatively creepy" haunted house. Parents travel and interact with their children as they are led by an archeologist on a quest to discover the Lost Eye of Horace. Explorers encounter ancient caves, a ghost ship floating on the Nile and even a snake charmer. Included in the event is a "Field of Screams" carnival on Friday and Oct. 31 with pony rides, a giant slide and petting zoo. Admission is $5, all ages. (626) 449-9144.

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7. Mysteries in History

200 N. Michillinda Ave.,

Sierra Madre

Writers' tales are woven into chilling scenes in the Italian-style Villa del Sol d'Oro on the grounds of Alverno High School, a private Catholic girls school. There's nothing like such legendary chillers as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, the French Revolution or a bewitching scene filled with the hysteria that fueled the Salem witch trials 300 years ago. Two hair-raising nights: Sunday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Admission is $3 for terror seekers ages 7 and older. Special event for tiny trick-or-treaters on Sunday, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Friday, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., $1. All proceeds benefit local charities. (626) 355-3463.

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8. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

101 E. Alegria Ave., Sierra Madre

Humongous carved candle-lit jack-o'-lanterns with twisted smiles and outlandish pointed teeth will line the Switzers' curvy, 250-foot, tree-lined driveway on Halloween. For the past 20 years, the father-and-son team has turned what many consider a chore into something of an art. Their unique Halloween ritual from 6 to 9 p.m. attracts thousands each year.

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9. FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER AND THE 13TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN HAUNT

Citrus and Alosta Avenues, Azusa Halloween revelers with a taste for terror can get theirfill as the Azusa Community Services department volunteers' screeching monsters stage their annual "Halloween Haunt," benefiting youth sports programs, from 7 to 10 p.m. through Friday, and again on Halloween from 6 p.m. to midnight Admission is $5 for adult and $3 children. Group rates are available for 20 or more. (626) 812-5220

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10. CRYPT HORROR SHOW

Electric Cafe

181 W. 2nd St., Pomona

In Pomona, no one can hear you scream. Well, maybe someone can, but it really doesn't matter because everyone else is screaming in the basement of a record store. It's gore galore and unexpected jolts in the dark with authentic-looking simulations of grotesque events and gruesome monsters. Its creator, Laume Conroy of Dark Dimensions Entertainment, discourages small children from entering. Open from 7 p.m. to midnight nightly through Halloween. The midnight shows on Saturdays will put visitors in the state of fear or at the very least cause a powerful adrenaline rush. Admission $5; midnight show, $7. All proceeds will go to a needy San Bernardino family. (909) 620-6220 and (909) 384-0015.

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