The 2023 LA Haunted Hayride has many new upgrades throughout the event. / Photo by Jessica Peralta
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has returned with a vengeance as it turns 15. The redesigned event has both added some new things and tweaked others.
“A lot of hard work and attention has gone into expanding and improving this event,” said Victor Mathieu, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride general manager. “And this is the year where we took into account all the feedback we have received.”
The creative process that goes into an event of this scale is no small feat. Mathieu offered a behind-the-scenes perspective on what it takes to make LA Haunted Hayride happen year after horrifying year.
He said CEO Chris Stafford works with creative designers and directors across the United States and in different locations to design new mazes and brainstorm new attractions for guests.
“Our sets are designed and built at our warehouse in Los Angeles, and at other warehouses across the country,” said Mathieu. “When it comes to starting to prepare for the event, we build onsite with the help of our build team.”
It’s a lot of moving pieces and collaboration is key to ensuring the event’s success.
“It takes an army to pull it off, and everyone works really hard, year round,” saidMathieu. “It’s beautiful to see it come together, and to share it with the public and experience it all in the celebration of Halloween.”
This year, LA Haunted Hayride underwent many new updates — including upgraded wagons with new hay bale seats for added seating comfort, new and innovative effects, and different horror scene redesigns in returning mazes from last year. Hellbilly Halloween is this year’s brand-new maze, and a personal favorite of Mathieu’s. Guests of the maze face-off against a long-rumored cannibalistic family with nefarious intentions.
“I am really excited about it, ” he said. “Tons of work has been put into the creation of this maze, and it looks pretty impressive, so I think that the guests are really going to enjoy it.”
In addition to the maze and hayride updates, there are brand-new add-ons to the experience for guests to explore — including Midnight Falls Axe Throwing, where guests can try their hand at axe training to fight off ghosts, and Zombie Splat, where guests launch jelly balls at live actors in a zombie apocalypse simulator.
The face of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Monte Revolta, also returned this year with “The Monte Revolta Show.” He performs on a nightly basis with his Band of the Living Dead.
LA Haunted Hayride creatives have made improvements in other ways as well.
“We’ve also noticed that our actor counts in the past were a little low, and we’ve made tremendous efforts towards increasing the number of actors at the event this year,” he said. “It is going to make for an extremely fun and even scarier experience for guests.”