If you are looking for something to do this Halloween season in Northern California, look no further. Here's a small list of some of the more popular haunts you can experience in the month of October:
Dare to be Scared Haunted House - An all volunteer home haunt where proceeds benefit PHS/SPCA and the San Carlos Children's Theater. This year's theme is an insane asylum!
Benicia Haunted Depot - The normally mild-mannered Southern Pacific Railroad Depot has been mysteriously transformed into a frightful depository of ghosts, goblins, and spirits daring you and your family to pay a visit.
Tilden's Haunted Caves of the EEC - Come venture through the dark and spooky Halloween caves … if you dare! Crafts, refreshments, and Halloween lore will greet you at the end of the darkness. For ages 6 years and over.
The Missing Arm of William Waddell - History takes tall tale twist as the saga of this early pioneer unfolds. The silly, slightly haunting tours around the redwood loop trail begin at 7 pm. Enjoy the redwoods on an autumn night with music, storytelling, and “Ranger Apple Pies” around the campfire. All participants must register at Park Headquarters starting at 6:30 pm.
Fright Planet World of Fear - The biggest haunted House in Sacramento, Fright Planet "World of Fear" features four massive haunts, over 75 actors, and 60,000 square feet of pure terror! Kids 13 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Cursi House of Screams - Dr. Satan is back, chilling bones to the core at the Cursi House of Screams. The Cursi House of Screams is a home haunt that welcomes all ages, but is not recommended for small children. Strobe lights, smoke, and sudden spooks are not the only things to be afraid of. For the faint of heart a less haunting experience can be arranged.
Pirates of Emerson - Located deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Pirates of Emerson takes the art of scare to a new, higher level. They make extensive use of special effects, robotics, actors, realism, and animatronics. This is real adrenaline pumping excitement - definitely not for the faint of heart!
Candle Lighters Ghost House Haunted Train - This is the Candle Lighter's 40th year! Using a different theme each year, they transform the Chadbourne Carriage House into an arena of goblins, ghosts, witches, and warlocks, providing fun for the community. In addition to the Ghost House itself, a midway of games, caramel apples, a country store, and delightful food treats are created, again geared to entertainment for the entire family.
Ardenwood Halloween Train - Come out to the farm for an evening of Halloween fun! Climb aboard Ardenwood’s train for an evening ride through fields and woods. Join the Halloween goblins and have a hauntingly good time! This slightly frightful evening is designed for families with kids 12 years of age and under.
Dr. Evil's House of Horror - Doctor Evil's House of Horror returns! Voted "Best Place to Scare Your Kids Witless" in North Bay Bohemian 2007, this is the haunted house you do not want to miss, located in lovely GuernEVILle at the site formerly known as J’s Amusements. This show is scary and not appropriate for kids under 12 years. However, there will be a safe and free Haunted Maze for the kids Halloween night from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm.
Jimenez Community Center Haunted House - Come join in the fun and dare take a trip through the Community Center as it is transformed into a scary place. Experience a night of ghosts and spooks in a fun environment enjoyable for the whole family. All ages welcome.
Conover Mystery Ranch - For the first time, the doors will be open to those who dare test their wits at the new Sinisterium haunted attraction. A new design brings out the most extreme fear with a open free-for-all layout. What that means is that there are no set paths, no easy way out, paths to nowhere and monsters you can't trust to keep you in! Ever been to a haunted house that won't let you out? Come test your skills and see if you can survive! There's also the ever scary Conover Mystery Ranch, which is bigger and completely new for 2009. The wicked family of crazy farmers are up to no good again and have a taste for blood. They've made some changes to the farm and its most likely not for your comfort. Traps and chainsaws are at every turn! Don't for get the 40 acre corn maze. Explore the intense maze in total darkness. No lights, no help, no way out?
Lafayette Haunted House - Join the City of Lafayette for a ghoulishly good time at this community haunted house.
California Independent Film Festival Haunted House - The California Independent Film Festival Haunted House is at Dania Hall, where the outside comes inside and the inside is upside down! This 100-year old building has had its share of strange happenings, but nothing like this!
Livermore Haunted Barn - Screams, thrills, and chills! If you are up to being scared then the Haunted Barn is the place to be. You will enjoy the fear and excitement as you walk through this haunted experience. This is recommended for ages 10 years and older.
18th Annual Manteca Halloween Carnival and Haunted House - Parents, bring your children for a fun Halloween celebration. Games for all ages, prizes, costume contests for various ages groups and treats! Costume contest will take place at 2:30 pm. The haunted house may not be suitable for all children.
Haunted House of Moss Beach - This home haunt features a tight maze configuration. Each passageway leads to different scene. Dark, very scary environment that includes static and pneumatic props and creative interaction with lurking spirits, plus flashing lights, strobe lights, smoke, loud soundtracks, ghouls, and gore! Rain cancels.
DC Cemetery - DC Cemetery, a home yard haunt, offers a wide array of custom designed and hand built props and effects that range from simple lighting to over-life-sized robotic/animatronic creatures. Each year they add new and more life/death like props and effects to heighten the scare factor as well as spend countless hours preparing shows that have never been seen or imagined. During the kid-friendly times younger kids can experience the haunt with some of the more scary effects turned off. Please note, the dates and times below may change depending on weather. Please see the DC Cemetery's website for the most up-to-date information.
Slaughter Haunts Haunted House - Get lost in the ghost tunnels as darkness plays with your senses and visit the Slaughter House where your nightmares come true. Come between 5:50 pm-7:30 pm for a Kid Friendly Ghost Maze. Come after 7:30 pm to scream!
Heartstoppers Haunted House - Heartstoppers Haunted House is once again terrifying Sacramento! For 2009 they will again be joining forces with the great Callson Manor, to create the area's largest Halloween haunted event. This year you will experience even more as you walk the expanded decaying town where Hex had to fight off the incoming hordes. If you thought The Deadlands was terrifying last year, wait until you experience what they have in store for you now!
Callson Manor Haunted House - Callson Manor offers a total emersion of your senses in our environment. Look forward to seeing real caskets and embalming equipment from the turn of the century. Gravesites, tombs, crematoriums and body lockers are just the start. Take a trip in The Afterlife where demons, zombies, imps, spirits, apparitions and ghosts will visit your fears and dreams. Once again this year, Callson Manor has teamed with Heartstoppers Haunted House to bring the scare to the Placer County Fairgrounds.
Fear Overload Haunted House - You will be plunged into darkness as this haunt forces you to explore numerous horrific scenes and walk carefully down endless pitch-black narrow hallways. The haunt has been overrun by its inmates who now lurk around every corner! Psychotic serial killers and savage mutated zombies hide and wait in silence for the perfect time to strike their victims and torment anyone who crosses their paths. Their goal is to shock, terrorize, and paralyze you. Now you have a chance to experience the true fear by walking through this living haunt. If you choose to enter, you will forever remember what lies waiting behind these walls.
Stoneham Asylum Haunted House - In the year 1612, times were quite different. People who believed in mysticism and were open minded were often feared and sometimes accused of witchery. To be accused of witchery in the year 1612 meant an untimely death. A death for which no mortal or witch could possibly survive. Or could the spirit of an immortal really ever relinquish life within? Could the spirit survive the centuries and come back to life in the shell of yet another mortal, or shall we say immortal? Let Stoneham Asylum take you to a world unknown. Meet Mary, a poor soul who came to Stoneham Asylum for the Mentally Insane not so long ago. A place few enter and even fewer ever leave!
Gyro's 4D Fear Factory - As you come through the 4D underworld, no need to be scared, everything looks normal. Did something move in the corner? Did something brush you? As the hair on the back of your neck stands up and chills run down your spine you realize that things are not what they seem in this haunted house. In addition to its 3D experience, Gyro's has added the dimension of smell to the haunted house making it now a 4D experience.
Rebel Yell Haunted House - Rebel Yell is a home haunted house with scenes that include a cemetery, crypt, laboratory, bedroom, bathroom, hall, dining room, and library. Expect to see ghosts, corpses, skeletons, and some excellent special effects. The haunt is focused on special effects and is more automated than most.
Halloween Haunt at Great America - Join Great America for haunted mazes, scare zones, live stage shows, plus the park's rides.
Hopper House of Horror - Meet Dr. Horus Hopper, a gifted and very curious physician who grew up and still inhabits the Hopper House of Horror in Santa Rosa. Years of isolation and loneliness spent with a wide variety of grotesque and sickly pets sparked an interest in medicine. Over the years his curiosity grew and he became infatuated with the human body and its inner workings leading to a plethora of disturbing experiments. Many patients checked in for minor illnesses, but never checked out.
Dragon's Head InnIn its 17th the Dragon's Head Inn has 10,000 square feet of terror to envelope you in. From clowns to snakes if you have a fear the Castle will bring it out for you! There are special events going on each weekend. Check out Dragon's Head Inn's website below for updates, specials, and a $2 discount coupon!
Home Sweet HorrorA haunted house entitled Home Sweet Horror will make you scream!
Fright Fest at Six FlagsYou'll have a ghoulish good time with hair-raising shows, street entertainment, and haunted mazes. Plus experience all your favorite rides in the dark! There will also be special trick or treat stations just for kids. The haunted mazes include Bayou Hazard, where something is cooking...unfortunately for you, you could be next, and Holiday House of Horrors, where your holiday memories come to life in a terrifying way.
If haunted houses aren't your thing, no problem. There's a ton of balls and parties going on. Here's but a few of them:
USS Hornet Monster Bash - Is the USS Hornet haunted? (Yes, It is) Bring the whole family and find out. The USS Hornet Museum holds its annual Monster Bash onboard the “Grey Ghost.” Visitors will get a good fright throughout the evening with haunted tours, costume contests, and other treats. This family event features classic dance hits by The Cocktail Monkeys.
Le Bal des Vampires - The Period Events & Entertainments Re-Creation Society presents its annual Le Bal des Vampires. Waltz the night away in evening dress of the century and country of your “rebirth.” There will be simultaneous dancing on two separate floors. In the upstairs ballroom is the chamber ensemble Bangers & Mash. Haunting waltzes dominate the program, but the evening will feature a variety of dance music from across the centuries. The band’s first dance set will start at 7:45 pm. A more modern style of dance music and free-style dancing can be found downstairs as the Le Bal des Vampires’ Dracula’s Daughter’s Discotheque plays a varied repertoire of music from 6:30 pm to midnight. Hosted by DJ, Dark Moon, the disco also features a cash bar and light refreshments. The half-time show in the ballroom is a performance by the celebrated Le Theatre des Vampires. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Out-of-This-World Halloween Party: Lawrence Hall of Science - Explore space travel in the Facing Mars exhibit and make concoctions in the Martian’s Kitchen. Dress up in your favorite and most out-of-this-world outfit for the Halloween costume parade. Be entertained with juggling and comedy by the clowns of Cirque Do Somethin’.
Clos Pegase Haunted Halloween Party - Clos Pegase Estate Winery is hosting its first-ever Haunted Halloween Party! Count Jan and Countess Mitsuko Shrem invite you to attend their special Harvest Halloween Party in the Hauntingly Beautiful Caves of Clos Pegase! This ghostly afternoon will include a costume contest, games, trick or treating, and of course wine tasting! The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will present an abridged version of "Hamlet" from 3 pm-4 pm. At 2 pm go trick or treating and participate in the costume contest. Must be 21 years or older to attend. For reservations call (707) 942-4981.
Cupertino Halloween Party- Kids are invited to a costume party with stories and prizes.
Giammona Haunted Pool Party & CarnivalThe Giammona-Westmoore Pool is a year-round indoor, heated swim facility that features a large therapy pool and 10 foot waterslide. Come prepared for fun as they host a pool party and carnival in honor of Halloween, with games, arts and crafts, and a goodie bag!
EVIL105’s Subsonic Halloween SpookfestSubsonic’s Debut Electronic Music Festival. In The Death Dome: The Faint (live), Basement Jaxx (DJ set), Infected Mushroom (live), Crystal Method (DJ set), Diplo, Freeland (live), Zombie Nation, Dyloot, and DJ Miles. In The Deadly Disco Dungeon: Flosstradamus, Steve Aoki, Le Castle Vania, Jonathan Davis (of KoRn), Designer Drugs, Paparazzi, Classixx, and DJ Omar. Artists subject to change. Ages 16 years and over.
Just Dance Ballroom Halloween Masquerade Party - Come dressed to kill or in your best masquerade costume to win the best costume contest or best makeup, best sexy costume, or best scary costume. Enjoy performances, parade of costumes, prizes, drawings, spooky snacks and bloody beverages, and dancing ‘til the bewitching hour!
Ballroom Dancing Halloween PartyHalloween party at Cubberley Community Center Pavilion. Costumes admired but not required. Prizes for best costumes, free treats, ghoulish gastronomic goodies, and other silly stuff!
Feast of Eden Halloween GalaThe Feast of Eden Halloween Gala benefits the Land Trust of Napa County and features fine wine, hors d’oeuvres, and silent auction followed by dinner, live auction, and Halloween tricks and treats. Bewitching black evening attire or fiendishly fun orange glamour is encouraged.
Sacramento Turner Hall Halloween PartyNot for children, but for the young at heart. Dress in costume!
SAN FRANCISCO / TREASURE ISLAND
Exotic Erotic BallIt's part Mardi Gras, part burlesque, and part rock concert, yet totally unique. The Exotic Erotic Ball is a celebration of human sexuality and freedom of expression. It's a lingerie, fetish, masquerade affair. For ages 21 years and older.
Haunted HistoryEnjoy trick-or-treating at the Historic Houses in the Park, a costume parade, rides on the historic trolley, a wrap-a-mummy contest, a jack-o-lantern contest, and Halloween stories read by the Story Lady.
Santa Clara Youth Halloween PartyYoungsters age preschool through 5th grade are invited to celebrate Halloween at this annual spooktacular party that includes carnival games, tiny tots play area, bounce houses, arts and crafts, balloon artists, and lots of treats! Refreshments will be sold by the Youth Commission, and there will be information booths from the Fire Department, Police Department, and Library. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume.
Pellegrini Vineyard's Harvest Halloween PartyCome celebrate a bountiful harvest and enjoy some ghoulish fun at the 7th Annual Halloween Harvest Party at Olivet Lane. Trick or treat for Halloween fare and taste some award-winning wines. Costumes are strongly encouraged, and prizes will be given in the following categories: best overall costume, best group costume, best wine-inspired costume, and best wine-inspired group costume. Register in advance by calling (800) 891-0244 x. 4.
Halloween Stomp with The Time OutsPut on a costume and join the Time Outs for a Halloween dance party. They will perform a lively mix of kid-centric indie pop, 60s garage, and good old-fashioned rock and roll. This high energy show encourages kids and adults alike to sing along, learn some new dance moves, and walk like a monster.
VPEF Halloween BallPlan your costumes and join in on the fun with the rest of the bedazzled and bedecked crowd at the Vacaville Public Education Foundation's 4th Annual Halloween Ball! Tickets include dinner, DJ, and live music by Gray Daze. There will also be a costume contest and a haunted house. Must be 21 years and over and costumes are required.
If these events still don't tickle your fancy, there's still lots more to see and do here in Northern California. From Oktoberfests to Pumpkin Patches that let you shoot pumpkins out of howlitzers, to Fall Festivals, there is something for everyone. For a complete list of what all fun stuff is going on in October or to find out more about the attractions listed above, please either click on the name of the event or go to Haunted Bay - Welcome to Haunted Bay . The site is run by one of my co-workers here and she's done a fantastic job with it.