Haunted Happenings in Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento is thick with thrills this October with a variety of Halloween and fall activities for all ages! Whether you celebrate Halloween or Dia De Los Muertos, are looking for the perfect costume, ghost tour, or spirited bar to enjoy some drinks in – Old Sacramento has you covered. Grab your spookiest mask and explore the haunted happenings.
Encounter the paranormal
With such a vivid history in Old Sacramento, it’s no surprise that our streets might just be haunted by residents who once called it this mining town their home. Hear chilling tales of those who lived and died in our eerie town on a Ghost Tour through the ins and outs of the district. We give you permission to be a little frightened. Tours are recommended for ages 8+ and are offered Friday and Saturday nights October 9 – October 24.
Get your costume and drink on!
Everyone knows that the 21+ crowd is just as excited about dressing up as the little ones, and we’re happy to give you an excuse to do so with a Halloween Bar Hop ! 11 bars, 2 blocks, 1 giant party. There’ll be no shortage of thrills with a night of DJ beats, dancing, karaoke, comedy and drink specials.
Cruise or Ride
Whether you feel like floating down the river or chugging along the rails, both our Spooky Hornblower River Cruises and our Spookomotive Train Rides are decked out for the season! Jump aboard the train that’s crawling with spiders, cobwebs and staffed by a “skeleton crew” or cruise the river with Halloween music and activities. Combo tickets are available if you want thrills galore. Both the train and the cruises run Saturdays and Sundays October 17 – November 1 .
You can never have enough candy, and you certainly can’t find a safer place to trick-or-treat than Old Sac during the daytime. Bring the little ones down to the Schoolhouse Museum between 12pm-4pm on Halloween to pick up a map of participating businesses and wander the streets at your own pace while collecting delicious treats!
Dia De Los Muertos
We love celebrating all cultures in the district, including Dia De Los Muertos ! Join Sol Collective in front of the Sacramento History Museum for pop-up art labs that showcase “Day of the Dead” traditions. Guests will enjoy crafting festive sugar skulls, altars and paper flowers with these hands-on activities. Then, we invite you to come back and join us November 1 st for the culmination of the month-long celebration with a traditional altar lighting, games, family activities and live music!
Last Minute Costume Hunters Rejoice
CANCELED: Downtown Haunted Pub Crawl Returns with Spooky Thrills
Happy Hours You Won’t Want to Miss in Downtown Sac
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Old Sacramento Ghost Tours
Please Note: This event has expired.
Presented by Sacramento History Museum at Sacramento History Museum , Sacramento CA
Come join the “ghosts” of early Sacramento as you search for clues and solve true tales of Sacramento’s phantom past! Beware of wronged soiled doves, misidentified remains, and colorful Gold Rush characters. Hear tantalizing tales of how folks lived – and died! – in the fair city.
INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*
This guided walking tour lasts approximately one hour.
101 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.
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Watch CBS News
The Best Haunted Tours In The Sacramento Area
October 20, 2012 / 11:00 AM PDT / CBS Sacramento
Travel is the theme for the adults looking for a howling good time or for the parents with older children looking for a family outing. Below are some Halloween options to walk you through the gruesome holiday. Take a spooky trip down memory lane at the movies or a ghost tour through Old Sacramento. Visit the Scarecrow Corral or take a lantern tour through the cemetery. Each trip is sure to entertain you in the spirit of the holiday.
1 st Annual Scarecrow Corral 2012 Pioneer Village, Folsom Historic District Wool St. and Sutter St. Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 985-2707 www.historicfolsom.org
Dates: October 20-21, October 27-28
Take a ride and check out the scarecrows at Pioneer Village in the Folsom Historic District. This town has begun a new tradition with its first annual Scarecrow Corral. The Scarecrow Corral contest will cover the themes of railroad, farmer/agriculture, pioneer, gold panner, blacksmith or miner. Organizations, businesses and individuals have been invited to enter a scarecrow. Prizes will be awarded to the three scarecrows with the most votes and they will be listed on the Scarecrow Corral plaque at Pioneer Village.
Related: Fun For The Road – Car Games For Your Next Road Trip
Old Sacramento Ghost Tours Eagle Theatre 925 Front St. Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 808-7059 www.historicoldsac.org
Dates: October 19-20, 26-27
Another tour to add to your agenda is presented by Old Sacramento Living History and the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation. They are bringing back the season's popular ghost tours. Travel back in time on the streets of Old Sacramento while listening to ghost stories from the Gold Rush era. Hear tales of how folks lived or died in the area. Sacramento's spookier side will take you to visit murder victim Mary Shaw, a pair of star-crossed lovers, railroad robbers and other characters from the past. These tours are not recommended for children under the age of five.
The Haunted Fort Sutter's Fort State Historic Park 2701 L St. Sacramento, CA 95816 (916) 445-4422 www.parks.ca.gov
Dates: October 26-27
Another great place to visit this month is Sutter's Fort, a historic icon in the Sacramento area, which will again bring forth a family friendly event called The Haunted Fort. Previously a safe haven for weary pioneers, the fort now serves as a place to share the tales of the lives of pioneers that came through its gates. Take a step back into the days of the Gold Rush with all of its trials on this special tour of the fort. Walk through the rooms that John Sutter walked when he ran the fort, welcoming travelers from the east.
The Scarecrow Expo and The Pumpkin Smash Bash Heidrick Ag Historic Center 1962 Hays Lane Woodland, CA 95776 (530) 666-9700 www.aghistory.org
Date: October 27
The Heidrick Ag History Center is a great place to add to your howling fun tour for this season. The Scarecrow Expo kicked off on October 13th and will continue to be on display through The Pumpkin Smash Bash fundraiser at the Heidrick Ag History Center on the 27th. This will be the first year for the Bash and it is sure to be a smashing success. Along with the pumpkin smashing there will be adult trick-or-treats (beer tastings), brats, chili and sweet treats. Tickets may be purchased online.
Sacramento Historic City Cemetery Lantern Tours Broadway at 10th St., between Muir Way and Riverside Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95818 (916) 448-0811 www.oldcitycemetery.com
Dates: October 19-20 and 26-27
You will want to take a flashlight along for the last tour of the night at the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery for one of its seasonal Lantern Tours. Visitors are encouraged to wear Victorian-era costumes but are requested not to wear Halloween costumes. Walking through the past, you will hear of murder, suicide and espionage while encountering visitors from beyond. The cemetery offers four tours on each of the four evenings where light refreshments and entertainment will also be offered.
Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Lake Tahoe
Deb Ling is a freelance writer covering all things Sacramento. Her work can be found on Examiner.com .
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The Most Haunted Places in the Greater Sacramento Area
Halloween will soon be here, and little ghosts and goblins will take to the streets for a bit of trick-or-treating. But once they’ve turned in for the night, who’s left behind? Ghosts and goblins who can’t take off their masks, perhaps? Those poor souls who are trapped between this world and the other side?
The greater Sacramento area is said to be rife with troubled spirits who haunt the region’s historic buildings and landscapes. From the earliest settlers to the Gold Rush, the region has a long and storied history. It is believed that some of our predecessors still walk among us, rattling the nerves of the living with their mischievous shenanigans.
From cemeteries to hotels, restaurants to entire city streets, following are some of the most haunted places in the greater Sacramento area.
Sacramento old city cemetery.
Located off of Broadway, the Sacramento Old City Cemetery is said to be one of the most haunted places in the greater Sacramento area. And it’s no wonder — it’s the oldest cemetery in the city, with tens of thousands of souls laid to rest here. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions of a young girl playing, a railroad engineer standing over his own grave, even a black pitbull who appears and disappears at will. The cemetery even hosts nighttime ghost tours for those interested in learning more about the undead apparitions.
With its Gold Rush-era buildings, cobbled streets and series of underground tunnels, Old Sacramento is another of Sacramento’s haunted hotspots. In fact, sightings have been reported in just about every corner of the historic district. For starters, the River City Saloon , which dates to the 1800s, is said to be haunted by a former saloon girl and a young child. There have been reports of glass breaking and furniture moving on its own. Another supposedly haunted spot is the Delta King, a moored riverboat that has a hotel and restaurant and was once used as a floating hospital during World War II. Visitors have reported footsteps on the creaky old decks, water glasses flying off the tables and a mysterious captain wandering the ship
Ghosts are also said to wander the tunnels beneath Old Sacramento, created when the original city was raised up in the 1860s–70s due to repeated flooding. Workers have reported hearing voices, laughter and footsteps, as well as seeing apparitions, including a cowboy and a woman in a white gown. Visitors can take a tour of the tunnels through the Sacramento History Museum , and can even participate in a paranormal investigation.
Many urban legends surround the rural, tree-lined road that is Dyer Lane in Placer County . Legend has it that numerous murders have taken place here, and the victims still haunt the road. Reports include a ghostly farmer on his tractor, a police cruiser following travelers down the lonely lane, a group of witches, and a hitchhiker. The road has even been the subject of several paranormal investigations.
Commercial Street | Old Town Auburn
Old Town Auburn is a bustling tourist destination lined with restaurants and shops. During the 1800s, it was equally vibrant, with prospectors stopping here on their way to the gold fields. But one stretch — Commercial Street — was known for a different reason: it was home to undertaking and embalming operations. Today, the buildings are believed to house the spirits of those whose corporeal selves passed through, including an old-timey man smoking a cigar. Nearby restaurants have reported hooded, shadowy figures and ethereal wisps. You can check it out for yourself by joining in a Gold Country Ghost Tour .
El Dorado County
Cary house hotel | placerville.
Photo courtesy cultivar413 via Flickr
Downtown Placerville is a window into the past, with Gold Rush-era buildings lining the streets. The Cary House Hotel , built in 1857, is especially charming, with period furnishings and antiques, not to mention a guest registry that includes such notable names as Buffalo Bill, Mark Twain and Elvis Presley. In fact, some of the former guests and employees are said to still be lingering about. Guests have reported objects moving around the room, the elevator going up and down on its own and disembodied voices. Some have even seen the spirit of a former front desk clerk named Stan hanging out in the lobby. Ghost tours take visitors to the hotel and other locations in town and include a paranormal investigation.
Georgetown Hotel & Saloon | Georgetown
Photo courtesy Visit El Dorado
Another historic hotel with a colorful past in El Dorado County is the Georgetown Hotel & Saloon . Today, it’s a hotspot for live music and hearty food. During the Gold Rush, it was a fixture of the community. Built in 1856, it was destroyed twice by fire and rebuilt in 1896. One of the regulars said to haunt the hotel is a lady of the night named Myrna who died here. Guests have reported seeing faint apparitions of a woman in period clothing, as well as voices and swaying curtains.
Woodland opera house | woodland.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Built in 1885, the Woodland Opera House is a registered historic landmark that continues to host theatrical productions. Along with much of Woodland , the structure was destroyed in a massive fire in 1892, but it was rebuilt in 1896. During the fire, a local fireman, William Porter, died while trying to save the building. His spirit lives on, not just through his heroism, but in odd happenings occurring in the opera house. Visitors have seen his ghost and even smelled smoke on occasion, which faded out as quickly as it arose. Other people have seen the ghost of an actress who performed here, and have witnessed objects moving on their own, including a grand piano.
Old City Hall | Davis
City offices in Davis were previously housed in a downtown building built in 1938. The offices have since moved, and the building has been used as a fire station, police station and most recently, a restaurant. Rumor has it that the building, known as the Old City Hall , is occupied by a wild red-headed woman, who often makes her appearance in the women’s restroom. Some people have reported that she tears her face off before disappearing into the second stall.
Category Local Events
Elizabeth Penney is a content writer for Lyon Real Estate and the Lyon Local blog. A Sacramento native with a marketing background, she shares her insider knowledge on restaurants, attractions and outdoor activities throughout the greater Sacramento area and beyond.
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