History ‘N Halloween: The Haunted Fort

Venture to a Sacramento landmark for a night of eerie times gone by.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

OUR GHOSTS, at least around Halloween time, don't often appear in jeans or sandals or scrunchies or the accouterments of modern, or semi-recent, life. We like our wraiths to show up sporting top hats and hoop skirts and breeches and boots with buckles. And when those wraiths cameo at a very historic spot, rather than a contemporary location that's been transformed into something that has an older appearance, well... bring on the shivers. One of California's best-known historic destinations is a state park, one with ties to both our capital city's story and the story of the Gold Rush. It's Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, and a stroll around the walled landmark on the sunniest summer day can leave a person heady with history and maybe, just perhaps, the sense that its former residents never quite said their farewells. It's in this spirit — wink — that the historic gem stages its annual fall treat each year, a two-nighter called The Haunted Fort.

IT'S POPULAR, a "crowd-favorite" per the park, and that it is only scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29 means that you and your history-loving, haunty-happy pals best get on your road-tripping plans. You may (will) encounter "weary pioneers" and "restless spirits" on the 1800s-esque spread, as well as a crackling campfire and campfire-creepy tales. "Based in fact — but with a decidedly creepy twist," The Haunted Fort is appropriate for the big-of-britches and older young'uns alike (just make sure they're at least age 8). But will you hear the sound of a wagon and horses in the distance, even beyond the actors and campfire and other Halloween-y touches? The park is full of the past, and even a pre-Halloween treat can't fully cloak its highly atmospheric character.

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