For many, Halloween is the favorite of all holidays. Human beings are fascinated with the supernatural, elements of which are essential to Halloween lore. Talk of ghosts and goblins and other supernatural beings adds possibilities and intrigue to life, and it’s suggestive that life exists beyond the physical, lending credence to notions that life is everlasting, and it is only the vessels or forms that change.
Any or all of these reasons might be why the Ghost Walk — which includes a stop right here at The Rose Hotel, whose lobby has been decorated for the Halloween season — is so popular. The Ghost Walk is a Halloween classic, and a favorite among Rose Hotel guests.
Many of the scheduled tours sell out. Affordable and family-friendly, the Ghost Walk is both a history lesson about historic downtown Pleasanton, Calif., as well as an opportunity come virtually face-to-face with ghosts of the city’s past and present.
This isn’t your average ghost walk, according to Jennifer Amiel, director of education at the Museum on Main, which has produced the Ghost Walk for about 15 years.
“This is not like ghost walks in other cities,” Amiel says. In many big cities it’s one person taking you on a haunted walk. The difference with our tour is that a guide starts you at the museum and the host takes them from spot to spot, and when they get to each location there is a ‘ghost’ there to tell their story. The ‘ghosts’ are dressed as various characters.”
For example, at Gay Nineties Pizza you might find a woman dressed as a madam of the brothel that she used to operate there. At The Rose Hotel, there are numerous stories of ghosts playing harmless tricks on guests. The hotel’s security cameras have literally caught doors opening and closing and there is no human being to be seen. The hotel is located on the site formerly occupied by the St. Vincent de Paul Society. During the 1990s, two women involved with St. Vincent de Paul Society reported their eye witness account of a man walking through a closed door, down a flight of stairs, then walking past them and through a wall. It is tales and location visits like that that makes the Ghost Walk so popular
“People come back again and again, which is really amazing to me,” Amiel says. “So we change the sites every so often.”
While certain locales, such as Gay Nineties Pizza and The Rose Hotel, will always be part of the tour, Amiel says the Ghost Walk occasionally adds new stops. For example, the old mortuary was added to this year’s tour.
Amiel also stresses that the Ghost Walk is “more spooky than it is scary.” In explaining the difference, she says: “Nobody jumps out at people or chases them down the street. It’s very child friendly. We have had third graders on the tour.”
When buying tickets, available at this link, a lot of people say, “I’ve heard about this for so many years and I’ve never had a chance come. Sometimes they tried to buy tickets the year before and it was sold out. So they jump on tickets when they go on sale,” Amiel says.
The 2014 Ghost Walk has several tours nightly on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25. The Ghost Walk starts at the Museum on Main, just a five-minute walk from The Rose Hotel. And while you’re at the hotel lobby bar, order yourself the Ghost Walk Special, a new Halloween libation.
So if you’re looking to add some color to your Halloween, we recommend checking out the Ghost Walk. More information is available by clicking here, or by calling 925-462-2766.
Written by Mike Consol