As the calendar turns to September, the Halloween spirit is already in the air. For Pleasanton's Museum on Main, that means preparations are well underway for its popular Ghost Walk program held downtown each autumn in the leadup to the holiday.
The guided tours, which now include an online installment in addition to the familiar in-person jaunts, spotlight many of the spookiest sites and stories along Main Street with performances by actors in costume as the ghosts of old-town Pleasanton.
"Ghost Walk has successfully brought the haunted side of Pleasanton to 'life' through the stories and experiences collected over the years from psychics, ghost hunters, and downtown merchants and workers," said Rachel Brickell, director of education for the museum. "It is a unique experience, more spooky than scary, with lots of atmosphere and no jump scares. We are thrilled to provide both in-person and virtual options again this year for our community."
Tickets are on sale now for the four nights worth of in-person tours, which often sell out weeks in advance.
The two-hour sessions, with four each evening, are led by "ghost hosts" who will guide participants on their visits to nine haunted locations. The docent will have a K2 electromagnetic field meter in hand to detect EM spikes along the route to highlight potential paranormal activity.
At each stop, the tour group will meet actors (including members of Creatures of Impulse, Pleasanton's teen improv troupe) in character as the ghosts to share their haunting stories.
"The improv students have been a wonderful addition to Ghost Walk. They bring so much energy to the program and we can't wait to share this year's talent with participants," said Sarah Schaefer, the museum's executive director.
The Ghost Walks will be held rain or shine, and costumes are highly encouraged by museum officials. Most of the tour is outdoors but a few locations may allow the group to go inside, including possibly two stops requiring the use of stairs.
The in-person tours will begin at the Museum on Main between 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 13, 14, 20, and 21. The virtual tour, which is hosted through the webinar platform BigMarker, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28.
For tickets and more information, visit www.museumonmain.org or call 925-462-2766.