It was thriller, thriller night at the historic Hayvenhurst Jackson home on Friday (Oct. 25), where Michael Jackson‘s sons, Prince and Bigi, transformed the property into a haunted house for their third annual event to benefit Prince’s Heal Los Angeles foundation.
Guests, including Jackson’s cousins and extended family members, piled into the mansion’s front yard decked in costume, and took part in all the spooky, fall-themed fun, including hot dogs and drinks, “Thriller” on loop, and mile-long mazes in the themes of clowns, Michael Myers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all curated by the Jackson boys themselves.
(And despite HBO’s widely covered ‘Leaving Neverland’ documentary, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” seems to remain part of the Halloween canon: his music has actually seen an increase in streaming since the special’s January air date — on-demand streams of Jackson’s songs increased by 22.1% in the 31-weeks following, narrowly outpacing the industry’s 21.8% growth in that same time.)
“Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, it’s almost one of the only ones I actually celebrate,” said Prince, who was dressed as Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation (his girlfriend’s idea). “It’s fun to dress up and scare people—my family’s always been pranksters and we always play tricks on each other.”
The holiday also marks a special bonding experience the 22-year-old remembers fondly of his late father. “It was one of the holidays I could celebrate with my dad because he could put on a costume and no one would look at him weird.”
Heal LA, founded as a continuation of the King of Pop’s Heal the World organization, recently got its nonprofit status and works to improve the conditions of those in Los Angeles, focusing on child hunger, homelessness and abuse.
As for what inspired the philanthropic launch, Prince tells Billboard that it’s all in his (famous) DNA. “Growing up, I saw the impact my father had on the young children he would visit in the hospital. He was really just trying to make somebody’s day in any way that he could,” he explained. “Being the big celebrity that he was, he was able to more than just brighten your day a little bit, he was able to make a real lasting impact, especially with the inspiration that he provided from his music. I don’t feel that I’m gifted and talented in the ways that he were, obviously, but I feel that I have a need and a calling to continue that message of love and inspiration, to be kind and to help one another. It’s an honor for me to continue that legacy.”
He hopes to instill positive habits in underprivileged communities in order to “fill the gaps where we feel that the education system and political system have dropped the ball.”
“It’s really coming from the belief that if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for the rest of his life,” he added.
Prince has big plans for his organization in 2020, the first of which being a partnership with Common Threads to bring cooking classes to inner city youth.
“I don’t know what we’re going to see from it, but I believe we’re going to see an increase in grades, and an increase of happiness,” he explained