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Candle Lighters Ghost House

The Chadbourne Carriage House, at the Fremont Hub
on Fremont Blvd. at Mowry, Fremont

Reviewed: 10/16/2004

The theme for this year's Candle Lighters Ghost House is Ghoul Gardens, and it's not to be missed.

When we showed up it was quite crowded, with families and children of all ages having a good time. The line for the Ghost House ran down the street, but moved surprisingly quickly, even though you're admitted with just your party. For the less than adventurous there is a "Good Fairies" line that offers a less scary experience. We found it odd that the short "Good Fairies" line was filled with moms and not small children. You chickens know who you are!

In the Ghost House, you walk through the grounds of an extensive cemetery, a garden of ghouls, with graveyard scenes and actors who are both part of the scenes and surprising you from concealed locations. The actors are primarily children and while they aren't scary in the traditional sense they do have a particular spooky charm as they heckle the passersby to join them in their ghoulish activities. A laugh out loud moment came when we passed a haunted tree and it said, "Boo, I'm a talking tree! I'm a big scary tree." This was balanced by an encounter with a piece of classic cemetery statuary that made the Hauntmistress nearly jump out of her skin.

At $2, this haunt is a super bargain.  It's a good size, actually it's quite amazing how much they can squeeze into the Chadbourne Carriage House, which is by no means a large structure. The sets and props are first-rate and very detailed - high quality you would expect from professional haunts that charge 10 times what Candle Lighters charge. They have an amazing talent for the use of color and lighting, and the sets and props look vibrant and real.

In addition to the Ghost House, Candle Lighters has set up a mini-carnival adjacent to the haunt that was also packed with people.  They offer food (corn dogs, caramel apples, lollipops, etc.), drinks, and games such as a ring toss, pumpkin walk, and football toss.  They also have a General Store, face painting, photo booth, and well-costumed characters roaming around!

Given the price, quality, carnival, and with proceeds going to local charities we wholeheartedly recommend you visit this fun community haunt. In fact, we recommend you go two or three times!

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.

Do you think we got this review totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this haunt in our forums!

When Oct. 16 - 30, 2004, Mon. - Thurs., 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 www.thecandlelighters.com

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