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Hair-Raising Fun

Have a frighteningly good time at some of the East Bay’s favorite Halloween events.



Ghoulish Golf

Hole nine was my favorite; I got a hole in one. Hole one made me giggle; a ghost scolded me for playing putt-putt golf through the cemetery. And hole eight made me shriek. Sorry. Late spoiler alert.

Ghost Golf in Concord is not gory-scary, or even really very scary, but it will make you jump and scream. Then, you will chuckle because while coffins open and statues are clearly possessed, none of them is terribly blood thirsty.

I would think twice about taking young children here. I brought my hard-to-impress 13-year-old son, and we played the nine holes once and immediately played them again because it was quick and fun. We will go back for Halloween. Besides, we still want to know what creepy thing is behind the door on hole four.

For information, visit ghostgolfconcord.com

—Susan Safipour


Real Live Ghost Town

Forget the beautiful waterfront, antiques shops, or even that family of adorable beavers. There’s another reason to visit Martinez: The city is hella haunted.

You can meet the ghosts—or at least hear their stories—on one of the new Main Street Martinez ghost walks, lead by Crystal Willett, founder of the Central Valley Paranormal Team. The 90-minute walks go by the Old Train Depot, which is said to be visited by a pair of teenage ghosts who make their presence known by tinkering with the brightness of flashlights.

Willett will try to contact Jose Antonio, who was convicted of stabbing a man to death in 1852 and was the first Native American to be hung from Martinez’s former hanging tree. She will also be looking for Millie, a prostitute who was jailed for working on the floating brothels that used to cruise the Carquinez Strait in the late 1800s. “Prostitutes were fined $25 for their first offense and $100 for repeats,” says Willett. “Millie said she had to pay $100 to get out of jail the last time.”

Not all of Willett’s ghosts date back to Martinez’s Wild West days. “I’ve been working on a big one about a former editor of the Martinez Gazette, who was a suspect in the Zodiac killer case,” she says. She hopes to have an update in time for the ghost walks, which are scheduled for 8 p.m. on October 26, 27, 29, 30, and Halloween.

If you go, don’t park close to the Clock Tower, unless you want a poltergeist draining your battery. “People have told me stories about not being able to start their cars,” she says.

For tickets ($25) and info, call (925) 228-3577, or visit mainstreetmartinez.org

—Peter Crooks


More Hot Haunts

Cornfield Maze: Solve puzzles to find your way through this six-acre maze at night, when figures lurk around corners and chainsaws buzz nearby. October 1–31, Livermore, gmfarms.com.

Pirates of Emerson: Explore six haunted houses—a dollhouse, western saloon, and mental asylum—if you dare. September 28–October 31, Pleasanton, piratesofemerson.com.

That Old Blackhawk Magic: This costume party for adults at Blackhawk Museum features multiple bars, hit music from DJs, tarot card readings, and prizes. October 27, Danville, scottseastbay.com

Monster Bash: Board the “Grey Ghost” (the USS Hornet is rumored to house dozens of ghouls) for live dance music, a costume contest, and haunted tours. October 27, Alameda, uss-hornet.org.


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