As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, twilight on Catalina Island is full of promise. Most of the time, that promise is the allure of a romantic walk along the Avalon waterfront, an amusing night out with friends or the soul-fulfilling beauty of the full moon reflected on the surface of the Pacific.
Sometimes, however, the promise that twilight holds is a bit more spine tingling.
Catalina ghost stories abound. A spectral ball player who’s been spotted at the Catalina Country Club, wandering what used to be the Chicago Cubs locker room during spring training. A chilling séance that conjured nightmares for the residents of all boys school in the 1960s. Or the grave-robbing exploits of Ralph Glidden, who looted the remains of thousands of native islanders and displayed them at his ghoulish museum nearly a century ago.
Those stories and many more are explored each night on ghost tours, which regularly report glowing orbs, mysterious fogs and other unexplained phenomenon. The Original Ghost Tours of Catalina, an hour-long outdoor walking tour of Avalon, was recently named one of the 10 Best Ghost Tours in the United States by USA Today. Another exploration into the spectral side of Avalon is offered by Catalina Ghost Tours, which features paranormal equipment used by professional ghost hunters.
While a ghost tour may seem like the perfect way to celebrate Halloween on Catalina – and it is – there are plenty of other ways to honor autumn on this island paradise.
Each fall and spring local organizations and businesses gather along the Avalon waterfront to celebrate what makes life on the island so very special. Great food, live music, games and shopping make Fallfest a quintessential family fun experience for both residents and visitors alike. This year, Fallfest is scheduled for Oct. 19 from 5 to 9 p.m.
With its 76 square miles of unspoiled wilderness, Santa Catalina is one of Southern California’s most ecologically significant destinations. Thanks to the Catalina Island Conservancy, eco-friendly travel on Catalina Island is an easy choice – whether you choose to spend your vacation volunteering or just want to add a little environmental education to your getaway.
On Oct. 29, the Conservancy’s Families In Nature Program will bring environmental education and Halloween fun together at the second annual Halloween in the Garden party. Featuring dancing, crafts, games and plenty of treats, the evening’s fun begins at 4 p.m. at the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden. The evening will also include a falconry exhibit, food court, a Spooky Trail for younger kids and the Trail of Fright for older kids and adults. Admission to the Halloween in the Garden Party is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and veterans, $3 for kids under 12 and free for kids under five and active duty military. Free transportation is available aboard the City of Avalon’s Garibaldi Bus, which will operate between garden and the Tour Bus.
Catalina Island Halloween activities on Oct. 31 are available for kids and adults alike and include the Annual Halloween Parade down Crescent Avenue, trick or treating at both the businesses on Front Street and the homes in The Flats and – for the grown-ups—late night costume shenanigans at favorite bars and nightclubs.
No matter what you choose to do, Catalina Island in October is an ideal destination for mystery, family fun and relaxation. For more information about fall special offers and events, click here.