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. Situated in a park near downtown, the centerpiece of the event is the Ghost Walk itself, which 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. The centerpiece, a performance by the California Riverside Ballet, including a rendition of “Thriller,” is very impressive.
Recommended for Halloween fans in Riverside or those visiting other haunts in the area.
3936 Chestnut Street, Riverside 92501
California Riverside Ballet on Facebook
2022 Update: This year’s theme is CarnEVIL, featuring theatrical encounters with mystical and mysterious sideshow attractions. There will be two walking tours through the half mile loop of White Park, ending at the kids’ carnival, food & vendor court, and Tavern of Terror beer garden. Plus, the annual Thriller Dance Production will be on view.
2022 Dates & Hours: October 21-22, 6-10pm.
Tickets: $15 for general admission, $21 for Fast Pass Tour. Carnival Only: $5.
Ghost Walk Riverside Articles
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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.