Haunt on Hibiscus: 2018 Review

Haunt on Hibiscus, Placentia, CA

Aaaaaand, we’re back! Yes, we’ve got another week’s worth of Halloween updates to catch up on, so we’re plowing through them. Plus, for those of you on Halloween withdrawal and unwilling to jump right into Christmas season, consider this therapy!

Today’s stop is the Haunt on Hibiscus, a thoroughly densely filled yard display in Placentia, not too far from Perdition Home (just 10-15 minutes west on surface streets, specifically). This residential haunted attraction is the result of owners Kelly and Lorri O’Brien’s absolute adoration of Halloween. For the past 11 years at this location (another decade at their previous home), this husband-and-wife duo have been proudly displaying their passion for the autumn holiday in the form of an elaborate display that has grown to encompass a front yard graveyard full of animatronics and props, spooky projections on the garage door and second floor bedroom windows, Halloween lights draped across the eaves of the house, and a synchronized music and light show.

 The Haunt on Hibiscus features a plethora of Halloween theming, just on its front lawn!

The Haunt on Hibiscus features a plethora of Halloween theming, just on its front lawn!

There is a lot to take in on this cozy, suburban property—much of it right from the sidewalk. Kelly and Lorri have been collecting all sorts of Halloween items for the past thirty years. Unsurprisingly, the two are big Knott’s Scary Farm fans and have Scary Farm season passes. They’re also fans of Disney—particularly the spooky stuff—and inspiration from attractions like the Haunted Mansion can be readily observed at the Haunt on Hibiscus. Kelly and Lorri even gift each other Halloween decorations and props for Christmas. And every fall, they amass it all out on their yard and throughout their house for a truly spectacular tribute to their favorite holiday.

 Care for the witch’s brew?

Care for the witch’s brew?

The front yard display is a time capsule of their passion. The various animatronics mark off the years from which they were purchased, while theming elements like the rotted pumpkins on a wagon were personally handmade by Lorri in a bit of macabre crafting wizardry. Many of the props have motion triggered effects, providing some startling fun to unsuspecting passers by.

The projections and light show on the house are synchronized to a soundtrack that plays audibly across the front yard. Guests driving by or just waiting in their cars can also turn to 88.9FM while they’re on the street to hear the soundtrack from their automobile speakers too. Just as many homes decorate, bling out, and program elaborate light shows for Christmas, the Haunt of Hibiscus provides a dazzling visual spectacle, for Halloween!

 This fog-spewing Cerberus was pretty awesome.

This fog-spewing Cerberus was pretty awesome.

The entire effort is a multi-month undertaking to set up. Kelly and Lorri start their preparations inside during July, setting out and arranging their indoor Halloween decorations. electrical and lighting set-up occurs in August, prepping for the projections, light show, and wiring to run to the front yard. The front yard begins filling up throughout the month of September, and everything is up and running by October 1st.

As elaborate as the outside of the home is, the inside is even more ornate with Halloween ornaments. A whole miniature Halloween village is displayed right in front at the living room, as are a collection of figurines, jack-lanterns, and gothic furnishings. Illuminated in orange twinkle lights, it’s a veritable Halloween wonderland. The theming extends throughout the house, into the kitchen and dining room as well. It’s a clear statement of love for a couple that has long lived Halloween!

 A miniature Halloween model village inside the O’Brien house.

A miniature Halloween model village inside the O’Brien house.

 Spooky and beautiful!

Spooky and beautiful!

The inside of the house is not open to the public, just family and friends. But Kelly and Lorri invited me in during my visit after they saw my impressed interest in their massive Halloween diorama. Their gracious and welcoming spirit was absolutely charming, and their ardor for the season shone through in the gleam they shared while speaking about their work. I had only intended to stop by for about 15 minutes when I arrived. I stayed for more than double that, leaving only because my next stop of the night would be closing soon. It was a joy to just take in and appreciate everything offered at the Haunt on Hibiscus!

Haunt on Hibiscus is located on 718 Hibiscus Way, Placentia, CA 92870 and was operational nightly the entire month of October, from around sundown to 10pm. This yard display has no live scares and is considered appropriate for all ages. It’s a worthy stop for haunt seekers in the area, and we look forward to seeing it arise again next year!

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