by Christina Morgan Cree
Santa Cruz has something for everyone when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Whether it’s participating in a family friendly costume parade or partying half the night away with the local undead-look no further. Take your pick of spooky train rides, walks through the cemetery, join a Thriller flash mob or do some pumpkin painting on the Esplanade.
Things to do:
Halloween Ghost Train at Roaring Camp Railroads, October 25 & 26
Ride the Ghost train through a haunted forest as the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is narrated. Costumed actors re-enact scenes from the famous tale on lighted stages along the tracks. A haunted house, games and other activities add to the fun. Departs from Roaring Camp in Felton!
The Halloween Ghost Train is a lot of fun. The train ride takes around an hour and a half to make the full loop. On the way, the story of Sleepy Hollow is narrated and the train makes stops along its route at several stages where scenes are played out. The spookiest part is the trip in between the stages as you travel through the pitch black, with the cold air whipping around you and nothing but the sound of the engine rushing along.
What really sent shivers down my spine though was a story one of the actors told me. She would have to wait at her spot, all alone and with no cell phone coverage, for over an hour in the middle of the woods until the train came to her stop. She would do her bit by the light of her flashlight and then wait another 45 min for the train that came around to pick up all the actors after the “show.” One night after her part was done, her flashlight went out and she had to wait in the dark in the middle of the forest all alone for almost an hour hoping the train would know where to stop as she had no way of flagging them down. Now that’s scary!
Spooky Tales at Evergreen Cemetery October 26 1-2 p.m.
Break out your costume a little early and get into the Halloween spirit at this festively fall Evergreen event! Journey through the grounds with friends and family on a “spooktacular” scavenger hunt. Listen to spooky stories told by local actors, Evergreen docents and the Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters as you make tombstone rubbings to remember some of the most buried stories of Santa Cruz. More scary stories can be read in a ghostly hearse hosting a haunted book nook.”
Zombie Bash at the Cocoanut Grove October 26 at 8:30 p.m.
Calling all undead! The apocalyptic party bash is here! Break out your creepiest zombie gear and join the invasion for a night of undead rocking to DJ Frank Zummo and a don’t-miss performance by Street Drum Corps’ Blood Drums. The Halloween bash includes creepy costume contests with cash prizes, photo booths, cash bar and undead delicacies available all night long.
21 and over. ID required. No masks allowed, makeup only please.”
Purchase Tickets Now – boardwalkzombiebash.eventbrite.com
Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade, October 27 at 2 p.m.A really fun event for smaller children. Come in costume and meet at 1:30pm in the Pacific Cove Parking Lot above Capitola, where you’ll be directed through the parade route down Capitola Ave to the Esplanade. After the parade, the local businesses welcome trick-or-treaters and there will be refreshments and pumpkin painting in the park.
Trick or Treating on the Wharf, October 31 4-6 p.m.
On Halloween day the businesses on the wharf welcome trick or treaters at their door with candy and treats.
Thriller Dance “Thrill the World Santa Cruz” October 26 at 2 p.m. at Louden Nelson and November 1 at 7 p.m. in front of O’Neil’s surf shop downtown
“Join HUNDREDS of zombies LOCALLY, dancing THRILLER! Join MILLIONS, as THRILLER is danced SIMULTANEOUSLY, AROUND. THE. WORLD!”
Rehearsals are October 19 Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center 1:30-3:30 10+$ suggested donation, and Friday, October 25 Motion Pacific 6:30-7:45 p.m. 10+$ suggested donation.
This will give an idea of what it’s like:
Thrill The World Santa Cruz 2011 (The THRILLER DANCE!)
Check out more of Christina’s Santa Cruz articles in our travel section.