Season Opener: Silver City Ghost Town Tour

An eerie Kern County destination gets the spirited summer season going.

DO GHOSTS HAVE CALENDARS? Well, only the organized ones, we suppose. But generally wraiths who occupy the Great Beyond are more concerned with chain rattling and door slamming and footstep creaking than with keeping tabs on what time of year it is. (Okay, Halloween and autumn might be the exception here, as ghosts always know when those arrive.) But ghost tours, and those humans who go looking for the stories filled with local spirits, do have calendars. Those calendar pages fill up in the fall, when evenings start earlier in the day, but one place in Kern River Valley gets the creepy chills fired up come the warmer weather months. We're speaking of Silver City Ghost Town, of course, which isn't too far from Bakersfield and Lake Isabella. But the Bodfish-based outpost it is far in the past in terms of feel, appearance, and legends, and the summer-to-fall Lantern Light Tours do love to explore all of that. And they're about to open up again, on Saturday, May 17.

DATES AND DETAILS: As the name suggests, this is an after-dark tour, so arrive with the appropriate footwear, and a desire to hear stories of jail apparitions and sightings by tour guests. J. Paul Corlew will be at the story-telling, phantom-searching helm, and he's the man to stir up local yarns of the eeriest sort. "Attendees are welcome to bring cameras & their own ghost hunting gear..." or they "can just observe." So, for sure, some people on your tour will be intrepid searchers of the night while others will be there for a juicy, spine-tickler of a story or two.

COST? Twelve bucks per person. And if you're keen to visit Silver City sans the spirits, it does keep open hours during the daytime, too, with a small fee to visit. But the spirits may be around anyway, daytime or not. Like we said, they probably don't have calendars, or wristwatches, either.

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