If you’re looking for a really unique and cool Halloween-themed date idea, check out Wicked Lit, an immersive outdoor theater experience running from late September to mid November at the Mountain View Mausoleum & Cemetery in Altadena.

What Is Wicked Lit?

If I had to describe Wicked Lit in one sentence, I’d say it’s sort of like Shakespeare in the park, but you walk around and the actors and sets are all around you, and the plays are horror-themed.

There are three short plays and a “frame” which is an overarching play that happens at the beginning, end, and between the plays. Each play is around 40 minutes long. The material comes from both modern and classic literature with dark themes.

Wicked Lit is designed for the Halloween season, with spooky sets, sound effects, and stories. But just so you know what to expect, it’s definitely not “Knott’s Scary Farm”; there won’t be monsters jumping out of the shadows. It’s more like being inside an Edgar Allen Poe play. It’s definitely “literature”, and not “slasher movie”.

The Altadena Mausoleum is the perfect location for this type of event. It is truly creepy at night, especially with the effects and lighting that the Wicked Lit production adds.  It’s been hosting it for the past eight years.

Here’s the sizzle reel from 2016:


2017 Wicked Lit

After you arrive and check in, the “framing” story immediately starts. Actors in costume start talking to you. This year, the frame story, “Liliam”, is that the actors and audience are in some sort of pergotory. The mayor walks around asking audience members, “how did you die?”, which I found amusing.

The audience is split into three groups, each seeing the plays in a different order. We started off with “Thoth’s Labyrinth” which takes place in the mausoleum. I’d say it was less horror and more “Indiana Jones”, with the characters searching for six amulets and a secret “Book of Thoth”.

Our second play was “The Open Door”, which is a more classic ghost story: a young boy is haunted by unexplained voices. His skeptical parents investigate and find he’s telling the truth. Eventually a priest is brought in. I found this one to be more in keeping with the dark theme of the evening.

My favorite play was the “The Damned Thing”, a story of two friends, one of which has been recently killed. But, we see the play from his point of view as he exists in a state unseen by the living.

Should You Go?

Wicked Lit is a very unique and well-produced experience and can be a great date idea. If you’re into Shakespeare in the park, live theater, or the macabre, or you’re just into really unique experiences, you’ll enjoy Wicked Lit.  But it’s not for everyone.

If you need entertainment with lots of stimulation or are easily bored, you might find Wicked Lit too slow-paced, despite the quality of the production. Also, it’s not a good first date idea because you can’t really talk to each other for most of the time. It’s much better as a third or fourth date.

Wicked Lit involves lots of standing, sitting, and walking outside. If you have trouble walking at a brisk pace, for example, this is not be for you.

Finally, maybe I’m the only one who has thought of this, but some people might have reservations about seeing Halloween entertainment in a real cemetery where people’s loved ones are buried. A few times I wondered if this was really an appropriate thing to be doing.

With those caveats in mind, I would say Wicked Lit is a truly unique date experience that almost everyone would say was worth seeing once.

The Details

Ticket prices vary from $70 to $75 and they sell out fast, so get yours as soon as you can!

The actual show starts at 7:30PM, but I recommend getting there for the pre-show at 7:15PM (and just to be safe, plan to arrive at 7PM).

Definitely bring a jacket!!! Even if it was 100 degrees that day, bring a jacket, as it gets a lot colder in that part of town at night, and you’ll spend lots of time outside.

Altadena is north of Pasadena, which has lots of great restaurants.  I recommend having dinner there before heading to Wicked Lit.

What did you think of Wicked Lit?  Please leave your comments below! – Brian


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