Hallo-wine Party at the Spine-Chilling Del

Fine vino and frightful visions rule the hotel's Crown Room.

NO EXTRA PREP REQUIRED: If you've ever attended a seasonal haunted house or costume-required dinner, you know that the interior of the dining room or building has typically been terrified-up. ("Terrified-up" meaning plastic skeletons here and there, glowing blacklights above, dramatic piped-in organ music.) But organizers very often want to lend a sense of drama and the eerie to the outside of the building, too, the better to add interesting atmosphere to your approach. Some locations need it, those with plainer fronts, and some structures require a dose of devious-style dash. But when Halloween rolls around, there's one rather imposing and storied castle, by the ocean, that practically oozes presence, presence that pops right to the tippy-top of its famous turret.

IT'S... the Hotel del Coronado -- "turret" surely let that secret slip -- and it throws a grown-up Halloween party that's ghost-ready and a bit glam, too. The best bits? It's not on Halloween, which means attendees can be home on Oct. 31 handing out candy or strolling with the tots, and it is indeed ghost-ready, as it is at the Del, one of the most haunted hotels in California. Ready to lift a glass of wine in the wickedly outfitted Crown Room? Then be on the island on...

SATURDAY, OCT. 25: The bash is called Hallo-wine & Spirits, so vino will be a sip-nice centerpiece, as will dancing and reception eats and dessert and a "giant pumpkin carving demonstration." There's a costume contest, of course, and the hotel's site advises guests to keep a look-out for Kate Morgan, the landmark's much written-about wraith. Ready for some sophisticated fun that's pre-Halloween in a building that looks a tad Halloween-y every single day of the year? Follow the sounds of ghoulish wails and creepy organ music this way for tickets and to-knows.

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