Let the kids have Halloween stories — in Redwood City the adults have a chance for some spooky fun steeped in historic tales from a real-life graveyard.
Under the full moon Saturday night, visitors to the historical Union Cemetery can take flashlight tours, learn their future through tarot card readings and indulge in the fun of dressing up at the second annual “haunting” fundraiser.
Attendees, who will also receive drinks and appetizers with the price of admission, will also learn about some of the long-gone individuals residing below ground.
Or, in the case of Simon Mezes, no longer eternally resting in the cemetery. Mezes was laid to rest in December 1884 but his irate descendants removed his body in 1954 after county officials built the existing Hall of Justice on land he dedicated as a permanent park, said Nancy Radcliffe, a board member of City Trees, which is co-sponsoring the haunting.
History lessons like this form the backbone of the event which Radcliffe said is aimed at being less about Halloween and a more “autumny” throwback to the 1800s with its belief in spiritualists and other dimensions.
In that vein, the costume contest will award two prizes, one for a classic Halloween-style outfit and one for a period ensemble.
And Radcliffe? She’s going as Glinda the Good Witch.
The event, which is adults only, also includes a trivia hunt with participants searching for information in the cemetery.
But those with a little superstition about walking on somebody’s grave needn’t worry. Radcliffe said the flashlight tours and passage to the tarot readings and bar will go through the graveyard but not on the actual graves.
The Saturday spook-takular — scheduled that night to coincide with the full moon — raises money for City Trees, Redwood City International, the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation and the Historical Union Cemetery Association. This year, 10 percent of the funds raised will benefit victims of Thursday’s six-alarm Woodside Road apartment fire.
Last year’s event raised $11,000 and drew 164 people, the furthest away from Bakersfield. Radcliffe said organizers are hoping this year is even more successful.
“The haunting at the Union Cemetery: A historical event” is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Union Cemetery, El Camino Real and Woodside Road, Redwood City. Tickets are $40 per person and include two drinks and appetizers.
Tickets may be purchased at the event or online at www.rwchaunting.org. Parking is available near the cemetery at Crippen & Flynn Funeral Home at 400 Woodside Road.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102