Looking for a ghoulish good time to get you into the All Hollows’ Eve spirit? Downtown Benicia has a jam-packed line up of ghosts and goodies to ensure your October is full of spooky fun for everyone, including the family critters.
Aside from being a paranormal hot spot, Benicia is known for its charm and hospitality. Fall in this lovely town is one of the best times of year to visit. Not only are most of the businesses along First Street decked out in fang-tastic fright, but each year the town puts its best scarecrows forward and invites the public to vote. This year’s theme is “Superheroes and Villains.” So as you stroll downtown, scope out your favorite scarecrow then vote online here. Vote each day through October 21.
Saturday, October 13 from 1-5 p.m., a host of businesses will join forces for the annual Zombie Brew Crawl. This is your chance to debut your favorite Walking Dead styles for an afternoon of sampling craft beers and tasty bites. Tickets are $25 in advance and limited to those 21 years and older. We recommend getting your tickets online, but you can also buy them the day of the event for $35.
A little less scary, but just as entertaining is Benicia’s Art Walk. Enthusiasts won’t want to miss the season finale held Saturday, October 13 from 2-7 p.m. Eight galleries in town will showcase local artist creations in all different mediums along with demonstrations, entertainment, small sips and more. Check in at each gallery for your chance to win $320 toward a piece of art at one of the eight galleries. This event is free, including parking, and open to the public.
If you’re looking for an evening of truly spooktacular ghost stories, Benicia’s rife with paranormal activity. Once the hub of transportation in the Bay Area, the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot is known in October as the Haunted Depot. Open to curious guests inspired by the unknown, many have heard and seen things that cannot be explained. The Haunted Depot is open October 19-21, 26-28, and 31. Tour times are Fridays and Saturdays 6-9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 12-4 p.m. and on Halloween from 6-9 p.m. Tours are $3 for adults and $2 for kids 5 and under.
Lead by professional investigators Deborah Hogarty and James Fitzpatrick, Benicia’s Ghost Walk is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is your chance to embark on a supernatural adventure to learn all about those who are reportedly unwilling to leave town, even after death. The walk lasts about two hours and includes the use of divining rods and K-II EMF meters. Tickets are $25 per person and advance reservations are required. You can call ahead to book your spot at (707) 745-9791.
JACK-O-LANTERN CONTEST AND SCARY STORIES
Open to everyone, the Benicia Public Library is hosting their annual Jack-O-Lantern Contest and Scary Story Telling on October 24. Enter on the spot by bringing your own pumpkin or vote for your favorite carving that night. Story telling is broken out into two groups, super scary for the brave and less scary for the little ones. Festivities begin at 7 p.m.
MONSTER MOVIE & AFTER PARTY
Friday, October 26, the Second Annual Halloween Spooktacular features a monster movie and after party. Join your fellow movie lovers for a special screening of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein at the Majestic Theater on First Street. Costumes are encouraged but not required. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m., with an after party at Elviaritas Cantina starting at 10 p.m. Enjoy a taco bar, nachos, costume contest and more. Tickets are $30 for the movie and after party or $20 just for the movie. Hosted by the City of Benicia Arts & Culture Commission, more information and online ticket sales are available at beniciaartsandculture.org.
COSTUME CONTEST & TRICK-OR-TREATING
Fun for the whole family, including Fido, is Benicia’s Halloween Costume Contest & Sidewalk Stroll held Saturday, October 27 in City Park at First Street and Military West. The costume contest starts at 10 a.m. followed by a stroll to the First Street Green (foot of First Street), trick-or-treating from First Street businesses along the way. There are prizes to be awarded and treats in store along with the noontime Canine & Critter Costume Contest
HAT CONTEST, FASHION SHOW & FUNDRAISER
Devilishly delicious for an excellent cause is the Bewitching Tea at Camilla’s Tea Room. This annual event and fundraiser raises much needed money for SafeQuest of Solano County, an organization devoted to caring for domestic violence victims. Held Sunday, October 28 with tea seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., there are plenty of chances to don your best “Haunted Hat” and do a little preview shopping. There will be a fashion show as the perfect pairing with your afternoon tea. Tickets are $45 per person and include tip and gratuity. Reserve your seat in advance by calling (707) 746-5293.