Halloween Carnival, Los Angeles
Jonathan Moore

LOS ANGELES

October Facts & Stats
Average high/low temperature: 79/59 degrees Fahrenheit | Average rainfall: 0.66 inches
Sunset on Oct. 31: 6:01 p.m.

COLOSSAL CARNIVAL: Starting at 6 p.m. on Halloween night, all adult persuasions except the overly timid or easily offended are welcome to participate in — or just gape at — West Hollywood’s Halloween Carnaval, aka “the largest Halloween street party in the world,” which attracts about 400,000 attendees. Multiple music stages and booths line several cordoned-off blocks of Santa Monica Boulevard. The night’s headline draw is the parade of outrageous costumes. www.visitwesthollywood.com/halloween-carnaval

SCREAMIN' THEME PARK: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood is back with a vengeance, immersing guests in film-production-quality mazes, Scare Zones and a back-lot “Terror Tram” experience that isn’t recommended for kids under 13 or the particularly squeamish. Runs through Nov. 2. www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2013

CREEPY COCKTAIL: The Black Dahlia Martini, served at the legendary Gallery Bar at downtown’s Millennium Biltmore Hotel, is named after Elizabeth Short (aka The Black Dahlia), a young woman who was last seen at the hotel before her 1947 murder launched L.A.’s most infamous unsolved mystery. Short’s ghost is said to have returned to haunt the property’s lobby. www.millenniumhotels.com

FLOATING FRIGHTFEST: Famed ocean liner and Long Beach attraction Queen Mary is reputedly swimming with ghosts year-round. Its annual Dark Harbor (through Nov. 2) ups the vessel’s fright quotient with a monster-filled, macabre makeover. This year’s theme, The Captain’s Circus, features terrifying freak shows, rides, games and six chilling mazes. www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor

BONUS LATE-OCTOBER EVENT: Hopping a one-hour ferry to Catalina Island is L.A.’s great offshore escape. In October, Avalon’s historic Casino Ballroom hosts the 27th annual Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival, one of the nation’s top jazz events. The lineup from Oct. 17-20 includes Afropean sister act Les Nubians and smooth-jazz godfather George Duke. www.jazztrax.com.