Driving up to a pumpkin covered arc, the faux trees under are adorned with painted symbols on each pillar. A Christmas tree, a four leaf clover, a multicolor Easter egg. So introduces the “Nightmare Before Christmas” part of Freeform’s Halloween Road.
Freeform, a TV channel best known for its 31 Days of Halloween that starts every Oct. 1, put on a one weekend only Halloween event at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles.
Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, this event was the first of it’s kind to be a drive-thru rather than the usual trick or treat walk through of previous years. Halloween Road was extremely unique in its Covid friendly steps, not letting the virus stop creativity. The event was jam-packed with sights and activities that were fun for all age groups.
Candy was handed out along the route, with workers behind wooden cutouts using reacher grabbers to put candy in the free goody bags provided. There were even photo ops attendees could partake in while still staying in their car—the most unique one being the attendees car green screened atop the famous “Nightmare Before Christmas” curved hill. Qr codes were used for ticket admission and to be put on cars for activities such as the photo ops along the route. Attendees were told to keep a mask handy for the very limited interaction with employees.
Despite the Covid-19 limitations that could have easily rendered this event boring and uneventful, Freeform took extreme liberties to go above and beyond to keep attendees immersed in the experience. One of the stop points included an Oogie Boogie Wheel of Misfortune where attendees could either get a treat, trick or for the rare few- an oogie prize. There was also a stop point of three cars at a time where the Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus” lip synced to the well known “I Put a Spell On You” song from the movie.
The route featured many of the Halloween favorites such as elements and houses from “The Addams Family” and “Ghostbusters” but most of the extensive detailed scenes were from “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus.”
The level of detail was one of the things that took this event above and beyond anything ever expected of a free event. As a lover of all things Halloween and an avid watcher of all of these movies, it was the most exciting part. Actors in costume along the route were an extra step that elevated this event as well. Winifred Sanderson from “Hocus Pocus” was seen mixing a potion in a partial view of the Sanderson cottage, filled with books, spell ingredients and even the same windows and curtains from the movie. At the Addams family house, there was a Wednesday actor walking around the wrought iron fences and occasionally stopping to talk to Thing, the family’s sentient hand who was hanging around the fence.
The little details such as “Binx crossing” and “low flying witches” road crossing signs as well as a “Finklestein’s lab” in the window of his house with his hand seen silhouetted in the window were also cool touches. Other cool views along the route were the Town Hall building with the Halloween countdown clock. At the Ghostbusters house there was a ECTO replica car and true to size figurines of the ghostbusters team. They were seen trying to capture a large inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man villain from the movie.
This event is probably going to be the best of any this Halloween season and the extremely nice staff were a huge portion of it. The communication and instructions given to attendees were clear and concise and the obvious organization is no doubt why this event was such a huge success.
For more photos of this event, check out our gallery.