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Candle Lighter's
Ghost Gulch 2003

Chadbourne Carriage House, Fremont

Reviewed by Hauntmaster: 10/15/2003

Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch

Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch

Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch

Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch

The Candle Lighter's is a non-profit organization of nearly 130 women volunteers dedicated to raising funds for non-profit groups and community-based projects in the Fremont, Newark, and Union City areas. Money is raised solely through their annual haunted house held every October in and around the historic 19th century Chadbourne Carriage House at the Fremont hub in Fremont.

2003 marks the 34th year of haunting for the Candle Lighter's and this year's haunt is called Ghost Gulch and is filled with the sights and sounds of an old west ghost town.

After being greeted by a very spooky yet friendly witch we were ushered into the haunt by an ominous disembodied hand. Allowed in, in our own small group, we hesitantly passed through a black curtain and back in time to the old west.

As we wandered a dark twisting path past scenes of the haunted southwest with wide desert vistas, a graveyard, an assay office, a bloody barber shop, and a skeleton filled saloon, we were really impressed with the quality of acting.

All the haunters at Ghost Gulch were local children. They have obviously been instructed well because they stayed in perfect character and knew their lines well. Each had a story to tell relating to the room he/she was in. One particularly spooky little girl running the assay office creepily warned those who would try to give her "fool's gold" motioning to part of the last person who tried. In the barber's shop a spooky shop keeper asks the passerby if they would, "Like a cut?" amongst the gore splattered set.

Separating the various scenes were dark drapes and mirrors. More than once, while turning a corner, the Hauntmistress walked directly into her reflection releasing a small scream. 

If all of this sounds too scary for your little one don't worry, there is a separate line to get in for "Good Fairies". Entering from this line they'll make sure there aren't too many frightful characters so even the youngest can enjoy the event.

It was surprisingly spacious inside Ghost Gulch, even though the carriage house is quite small looking from the outside. They really planned the visitor's route well, packing in a lot of fun into a small space. And at $2 (that goes to help charity) it is a great bargain.

In addition to the Ghost Gulch haunt, in the square next to the carriage house there is a small carnival area with games, face painting, photo booths, food, toys, and crafts for sale.

On October 25th at 3 pm there will be a kiddie costume parade and contest.

Although aimed primarily at a younger audience we had a great time at the Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch. If you're in the Fremont area this is a haunt your whole family will enjoy.

Be sure to take a look at our Events Calendar to find all the other great events going on in the Bay Area. Or if you're reading this review in a year other than it was written, please check our Events Calendar for current dates and hours of operation.

Have you visited Candle Lighter's Ghost Gulch? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion in our forums!

When Oct. 15 - 30: Mon. - Thur., 6 pm - 9 pm; Fri., 6 pm - 10 pm; Sat., 1 pm - 10 pm; Sun. 1 pm - 9 pm
Where The Chadbourne Carriage House, at the Fremont Hub on Fremont Blvd. at Mowry, Fremont
Admission $2
Contact 510-796-0595 (General Info)
925-831-9721 (group and pre-sale tickets)

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