October 19, 2007

Halloween Happenings

150th Halloween at The Whaley House

“America’s Most Haunted” celebrates its sesquicentennial this Halloween season with extended hours, ghostly tours, book signings, period music and 150 years of San Diego history

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) which operates the historic Whaley House Museum in Old Town will keep the venerable old house open to the public for special guided tours and after-hours tours this Halloween Season.

The Whaley House was built by San Diego pioneer Thomas Whaley to house his growing family and his general mercantile store, and is believed to be the oldest two story brick building in Southern California. Completed in 1857, it served at various times as the county seat and courthouse, San Diego’s first commercial theater, a granary, store, kindergarten and Sunday school, party venue and ballroom, polling place, and meeting place. Before the house was built, the land it stands on was used for the public hanging of one Yankee Jim Robinson, a boat thief who was executed in September of 1852. Legend has it that the spirit of Yankee Jim never left the spot where the gallows stood and now roams the halls of the Whaley House.

“The Whaley House is one of the most actively haunted mansions in the world today,” says famed ghost hunter Hans Holzer, who has written more than 120 books on the subject. Its reputation has brought visitors from around the globe and in recent years has lead to numerous televised ghost investigations by shows such as Most Haunted and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2005 Life Magazine declared it “the most haunted house in America.” Spirits believed to inhabit the historic home include Thomas Wha-ley and his wife Anna, their daughter Violet, their great-granddaughter Marion, their fox terrier Dolly Varden, and of course Yankee Jim.

Full Moon Friday—Open till Midnight!

October 26
Open 10am-Midnight
Daytime Admission: $6 for adults; $5 for seniors (55+); $4 for children (3-12); 2 and under are free.
Some paranormal investigators believe that ghosts are more active during the full moon.
After Hours Admission (5pm-Midnight): $10 for adults; $5 for children (3-12); 2 and under are free.

Saturday, October 27
Open 10am-Midnight
Daytime Admission: $6 for adults; $5 for seniors (55+); $4 for children (3-12); 2 and under are free.
After Hours Admission (5pm-Midnight) $10 for adults; $5 for children (3-12); 2 and under are free.

Monday, October 29-30
Open 10am-7pm. After Hours Admission (5pm-7pm)

Wednesday, October 31- Halloween Night
Halloween Night Admission (5pm-Midnight)
Period music and historic lighting help set a ghostly mood. $15 per person

To purchase tickets call 619-297-7511 or visit the SOHO Museum Shop at The Whaley House Complex at 2476 San Diego Avenue, Old Town San Diego.

Museum of Man Celebrates ‘Day of the Dead’ with free interactive event

The San Diego Museum of Man will host its second annual “Day of the Dead” celebration on Sunday, Oct. 28. Day of the Dead is a celebration of ancestors, a time to remember loved ones and to honor them. The origin of the celebration in Mexico can be traced back to indigenous populations such as the Aztec and Maya. Families and communities pay homage by erecting altars for their deceased family members. Altars are traditionally decorated with sugar skulls, photographs, fruit, flowers, bread, candles, religious figures, and cut paper (papel picado).

The Day of the Dead event at the Museum begins with the construction of altars at 8 a.m. Altars will be available for viewing in the Museum’s outdoor central plaza throughout the day. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., event festivities will include food, performances, and a special slide presentation, Dias de los Muertos, by Grace John-son, emeritus curator of Latin American Collections, San Diego Museum of Man. Take-home art activities will be available for children and their families. Visitors will also be able to participate in an art auction. Hundreds of people are expected to attend this event. It is free to Museum of Man members; $5 per person for visitors with membership cards from other Balboa Park institutions; and $10 for the general public.

Scream Zone haunts wireless phones

The scariest haunting in San Diego County offers wireless phone users with free tones to ring in the special Halloween season, with an Evil Laugh, Wolf Howl, Creaky Door and a unique Hispanic “La Llo-rona” call for her children. These ultra creepy calls are available through the all new Scream Zone Web site; visit www.sdfair.com/screamzone and get a scream out of the holiday. The Web site offers directions to download the ring-tones. Some wireless service carriers may charge a fee for downloads; ringtones may not be compatible with certain phone model.

Chills will run up your spine at the 10th anniversary of The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Scaregrounds. It is haunted once again with three attractions sure to scare the bravest of people. Get into the Halloween spirit early because the attractions are now open and will operate on select days through Oct. 31, 2007. Admission prices range from one haunt, $13.99, to all three haunts, $26.99.

The House of Horror, not for the weak of heart, brings you up close and personal to the scariest ghouls, ghosts and zombies this side of Hollywood!

The Haunted Hayride takes you to some of the spookiest and creepiest areas of the Fairgrounds. Those brave enough are encouraged to go for a ride; just be sure to hang onto your loved ones.

Spirited family and pet fun at Old Town San Diego

Haunts, Graves and Ancestors

Old Town- The Boosters and Ghosts of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park present Haunts, Graves and Ancestors, Saturday, October 27th, 12:00pm-4:00pm; San Diego Avenue, between Twiggs St. and Harney St. This multicultural festival unearths the origins of Halloween; who brought the holiday to America? How diverse cultures celebrate their concept of the afterlife, pay reverence to their ancestors and the tender attention shown at their gravesites.

Uncover how various cultures customs influenced a spirited journey towards present day Halloween. Come celebrate Samhain, Hungry Ghost Festival, Feast of Wagy, Dia de los Muertos, All Saints and All Souls Day and many more. Enjoy this exciting day of free crafts, fortune telling, ghost stories, live entertainment, various booths, the Blessing of the Animals, pet costume contest, Children’s area, Halloween Safety, Pin-the-ear on Van Gogh, book singing by Author, Gail White, Victorian Paper Theatre, pumpkin carving demo, and much more. Following the Boosters event, children can go Trick or Treating and watch a Halloween movie at the San Diego Old Town Market.

Free Admission

MUERTOS: A Day of the Dead Play

University of San Diego undergraduates will be performing “Muertos: A Day of the Dead Play” beginning Oct. 24. This original production is written and directed by Evelyn Díaz Cruz, USD assistant professor of theatre arts. Through the journey of Carmen, a photography student, audiences will transcend images of crossing the Great Divide. The play is a celebration of life in the San Diego/Tijuana region featuring visual imagery, live music, song and dance. Community members have also been asked to participate by creating altars outside the theatre that will be part of the production.

MUERTOS: A Day of the Dead Play
Performance Schedule: October 24, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Shiley Theatre, Camino Hall at USD

Tickets: $11, general admission; $8, students, seniors. Available at the Hahn University Center Box Office (619) 260-2727. Tickets also available one hour before curtain .

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