Halloween Haunt Itineraries 2014: Riverside County

If you find yourself so lucky as to have exhausted all the entertainment options for Halloween in Los Angeles, you may set your bloody sights further afield. Halloween in Riverside County has much to offer: Ghost Walk Riverside; the Castle Dark Theme Park; Crossroads Haunted Village;  and, a bit farther, Field of Screams. It would be difficult if not impossible to hit all four of these locations in a single tour: the Ghost Walk is an all-night event; the other three offer multiple attractions. Nevertheless, with some planning and the blessing of the traffic gods, you might make should be able to make it to two or three out of four, making the long trip worthwhile.

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A. Ghost Walk Riverside

Ghost Walk RiversideLocation: Main Street Pedestrian Mall, Main Street and 10th Street, Riverside, CA

Dates: October 24 & 25, starting at 7pm

Link out: Click here

Description: Riverside's annual Halloween Ghost Walk returns for its 23rd year. Local drama groups and speakers present five different sets of spooky stories - two kid-safe, and three that are scarier. Spellbound Night and Skull Walk are G-rated; Dark Dreams, Blood Springs Road, and Black Shadows are PG-13 in tone.

2014 sees the introduction of a new Haunted History Tour and Paranormal Exhibit, relating tales of local spirits. These tours take place at 7pm and 9pm on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25. Space is limited.

The two-day event also includes live entertainment, a kids carnival, souvenier stands, and food vendors.

Tickets start at $11.25 in advance; full price is $15.

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B. Castle Dark

Castle Dark 2014 copyLocation: Castle Park, 3500 Polk Street, Riverside, CA 92505

Dates:  Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through November 2

Link out: Click here

Description: Every year, Castle Park transforms into Castle Dark for Halloween. Halloween 2014 features a new haunted maze (Dominion of the Damned) along with a trio of returning favorites (Shiverton, Carnevil, and Ghost Blasters).

Castle Park hours are 11am to 11pm (10pm on Sundays). Tickets are good all day, but the scary Castle Dark activities do not start until 7pm. Other rides are open on Fridays from 5pm to 10pm; on Saturdays from noon to 10pm; and on Sundays from noon to 9pm. (Ride hours and availability may change without notice.)

Castle Dark is not recommended for children under 13. Masks are NOT permitted. No outside food or beverages are allowed.

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C. Crossroads Haunted Village

crossroads ad 2014Location: Crossroads Riverview Park 14600 Baron Drive, Corona, CA 92880

Dates: October 24-25, 30-31; and November 1

Hours: Gate opens at 7:00pm, box office at 7:15pm; attractions open 7:30pm to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays & Halloween.

Link out: Click here

Description: This Halloween haunt in Corona is quite a distance from Los Angeles, but it is worth the drive for hardcore Halloween fans. There are five haunted attractions, including one hayride, two guided tours, and two unaccompanied walk-throughs: Coffin Creek Manor; Nightmare Harvest Trail; Shady Hollow Hay Ride; Chambers of the Mausoleum (guided tour); Labyrinth of Lost Relics (guided tour). The latter two attractions are definite highlights; prioritize them.

Dates & Times subject to change; call ahead to be sure. Some attractions close at 10:30pm on Thursday and November 1.

Ticket prices are $13 for a single attraction and $33 for all five (available online or at the door).

Parking is $5

There are also vendors at the Dark Shadow Market Place and the Pandemonium Magic Show.

The five haunted attractions are independently owned and operated; although they cooperate and coordinate schedules, they do not always operate on the exact same dates and hours, so check ahead before driving to Corona.

Crossroads Haunted Village is not recommended for children under 12.

Note: Coffin Creek Manor predates the other attractions at this location; consequently, Crossroads Haunted Village used to be known as Coffin Creek Manor or, more simply, Coffin Creek. The official Coffin Creek website still presents more complete information (including tickets prices) than the Crossroads Haunted Village website, which is still in beta stage.

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D. Field of Screams

Field of Screams logoLocation: The Diamond, 500 Diamond Drive, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Dates: October 23-26, 30-31, November 1

Hours: 7-10pm on Thursdays and Sundays, 7-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Link out: Click here

Description: This haunted attraction, located inside storm stadium in the Inland Empire, returns for its fifth year of haunting, with five mazes, a coffin ride, and 3D effects.

Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $12 per person for groups of 10 or more, and $25 for VIP admission (bypass the waiting in line).

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Ghost Walk Riverside, Castle Dark, and Crossroads Haunted Village are just about twenty miles apart, requiring a drive time of under thirty minutes, making this haunt tour relatively appealing in terms of convenience. However, Ghost Walk Riverside takes place on October 24 and 25 only; since it includes half a dozen different tours, you may not have much time left to reach the other Halloween attractions.

If you try to add Field of Screams to the itinerary, it becomes virtually impossible to fully sample the horrors at each location. With five mazes this may be an all-date event unto itself, and the haunt is open on days when the others are not available, making a solo trip even more attractive. However, if you finish up with Castle Dark and Crossroads Haunted Village on a day when Ghost Walk Riverside is not open, you might attempt the trip down to Lake Elsinore.

The map below shows all four locations in this order: A: Ghost Walk Riverside; B. Castle Dark; C. Crossroads Haunted Village; D. Field of Screams. The entire trip would require one hour of drive time to cover just under fifty miles. You can also view the map on Mapquest.

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