Ghosts of April: Silver City Night Walks Open

Are there creepy vibes afoot in this Kern County town?

EFFERVESCENT APRIL... is all about ladybugs and pink petals and soft breezes and wee lime green leaves fluttering up in the trees. You can add sunshine, bright mornings, and birdsong to that list, too, but here are a few elements that typically don't make the cut: spooky sights, murky shadows, creepy moonlight, the feeling that a phantom presence is near. That's the sort of stuff that belongs to October, typically, and not April, as eerie thrills and chilling eeks that go hand-in-ghostly-hand with the autumn months. But the spirit of autumn arrives six months ahead of schedule in Silver City, the big-as-a-bucket Old West town in Kern County. Nope, this little gem of a destination isn't a sprawler, but it has loads of character, and it has something more for those who wish to stroll about at night listening to atmospheric tales of days gone by: It has ghost tours. They're actually called the History Mystery Lantern Tours, and the "lantern" in the name isn't just colorful stuff: Your walk around the town will be lit by the sort of lighting that cowpokes of the 1800s once used. But the Public Lantern Tours aren't year-round, instead sticking to a warmer-weather kind of schedule. Which all means they're opening again in October -- er, we mean April -- to eager ghost-seeking, story-craving fans. April 18 is the opener, to be specific, though there are...

THREE MAY DATES TO COME: May 2, 16, and 30 are the wraith walks, though you can visit Silver City in the daytime, too, do note, if sauntering about by moonlight isn't your deal. But the ghost seekers come out at night, on certain dates, so if that's your bag, you'll want book a tour for fifteen bucks. J. Paul Corlew, who has been seen on a number of paranormal shows, is at the ghost-looking lead, and "guest paranormal investigators" frequently make appearances. So just how haunted is Silver City? Well, it frequently gets an admiring mention when California's creepiest places are listed (which, as any good ghost hunter knows, are pretty dang plentiful). If you need to get your October fun on way before the 10th month commences, you can start early, in springtime, in Kern County. Good luck, ghostians.

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