Community-Oriented Halloween Fun
Hollywood Gothique Says:
Ghost Walk Riverside is a community-oriented outdoor festival that feels like a giant block party, featuring vendors, food, and fun. Conveniently situated downtown, the event features vendors, games, and entertainment in the form of an impressive performance by the California Riverside Ballet, including a rendition of “Thriller.” The Ghost Walk takes the form of a tour through the grounds, where local talent including high school actors perform magic, recount historical horror stories, or stage mini-plays with creepy stories. Befitting the family-friendly vibe, these mini-productions are usually more amusing than thrilling, but some are mildly spooky, and the enthusiastic execution is endearing and fun.
Recommended for Halloween fans in Riverside or those visiting other haunts in the area.
2023 Update: Now in its 32nd year, Ghostwalk Riverside moves to a new location for Halloween 2023: the historic St. Francis de Sales School, a 137 year-old mission where ghosts should feel right at home. The community-oriented event promises a giant Halloween block party with entertainment, games, and activities. This year’s festivities include a kids’ carnival, food & vendor court, and a beer garden.
2023 Dates & Hours: October 20-21, 6-10pm.
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Ghost Walk Riverside History & Info
Haunting since 1992, the Ghost Walk Riverside is a community-oriented, family-friendly event with the atmosphere of a Halloween festival. The centerpiece of the event is the “Ghost Walk” – guided walking tours that lead visitors to spooky encounters that take the form of mini-plays and performance pieces by local drama students. Befitting the familial atmosphere, the scares are relatively mild. The event includes live entertainment, a kids carnival, souvenir stands, and food vendors.
Originally, Ghost Walk Riverside took place in downtown, with the main street blocked off for a block party featuring fun and games for kids. Departing from the Main Street Pedestrian Mall, tours led to prominent buildings in the area (morgue, courtroom, etc), where local high school drama students staged mini-plays with ghastly, ghostly, and ghoulish plots. There were multiple tour options: some kid-safe; others creepier (identified as G or PG). The biggest scares took place after the plays were over, when the ghouls showed little interest in letting their audience walk away, instead perusing them as they headed to the next location.
During the 2020 pandemic, Ghost Walk Riverside was presented as a live Zoom event. The following Halloween, the event moved a short distance to White Park, where the approach was altered to fit the new location. Instead of half a dozen tours, each with its own set of mini-plays, the new Ghost Walk consisted of two tours, looping through opposite sides of the five acre grounds, meeting at the far end of the park for the California Riverside Ballet’s performance of “Thriller.” Tours were no longer rated for intensity, nor separately ticketed.