VanOaks Cemetery: 2017 Review

VanOaks Cemetery, Sherman Oaks, CA

For our Halloween nightcap, we submit--appropriately--our 31st update of this Halloween season.  That means 31 review-style posts about haunted attractions or Halloween events from the plethora of offerings we have visited this season so far, and would you believe that we're not done yet?  Yeah... it's definitely been a thorough Halloween season this year--the best yet!

 The projection on the front window as recorded and edited by Derek himself, not purchased from a third party vendor!

The projection on the front window as recorded and edited by Derek himself, not purchased from a third party vendor!

Our visit tonight takes us to a haunted yard display rather than a full-fledged maze. VanOaks Cemetery is an elaborate front yard cemetery in Sherman Oaks crafted by Derek Young, a lifelong Halloween lover and exceptionally talented creator who has literally custom made every single aspect of this beautiful spooky exhibit.  The gravestones, the statues, the animated props, and even the ghostly projected apparitions on the window were all designed and created personally, not purchased off the shelf.

 The combination of lighting, props, and a few moving elements gives this front yard cemetery a very cinematic feel.

The combination of lighting, props, and a few moving elements gives this front yard cemetery a very cinematic feel.

 This statue was hand crafted.  It's not actual stone, but it looks quite realistic!

This statue was hand crafted.  It's not actual stone, but it looks quite realistic!

On top of that, VanOaks Cemetery features sumptuous lighting and a fantastically brooding soundscape to really bring a creepy and moody vibe to the yard.  The result is something extremely photogenic, and as you can see from all the photos I took, incredibly striking.  There are no live actors or active scares in this yard display, but there doesn't need to be.  Nor does Derek feel a need to attract giant crowds.  It's simply a labor of love presented for any passer by to enjoy.

 The detail on the tombstones is meticulous and amazing.

The detail on the tombstones is meticulous and amazing.

VanOaks Cemetery runs through 11:00pm tonight.  The location is conveniently located off the I-405 freeway, just north of the 101.  And if this looks like something you want to stop by next year in conjunction with other nearby haunts, target the second half of October as the anticipated time frame of operation, since that's been the pattern these past two years.  

Kudos to Derek for a wonderful haunted yard display.  Happy Halloween!!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.