THE SEASON OPENS: The spookiest season kicks off, in most places, along about the first of October. Ooookay, maybe the middle of September, when miniature candy bars and lollipops begin to show up in economy-sized bags on the grocery store shelves. But 'round Southern California is a different story. Our theme parks begin to hire their temporary monsters, the ones they need to growl around their seasonal haunted houses, in the summertime. And Los Angeles is about to get its first-ever Halloween convention (name: ScareLA, natch) in August. So the fact that one of the Golden State's most atmospheric burgs is opening its season of spirited evening ghost walks in June doesn't surprise. The place is Silver City Ghost Town, in Kern County, and its first Lantern Light Tour for its spring through fall season gets glowing on Friday, June 1.
WHAT'S ON THE TOUR: Stories and tales from the town, of course, but some paranormal-style investigation, too. (If you've been on ghost tours before, you know they can break down into a few different categories, from historic 'n spooky to something a bit more intense.) It's a fine way to get to know a Kern gem while letting your frightened fancies fly, and well before the fall. Is ghost-hunting different at the start of summer? Well, it gets darker later, but we're sure the local wraiths don't care about that. If you don't want to do a tour, you can visit Silver City every day from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend (it is only open certain times and days of the year). It's a big day out from SoCal but an Old-West-y find worth knowing.