KING CITY — After a two-year hiatus, the campfire at “Ghost Stories,” an event put on by Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum (MCARLM), roared back on Saturday.
About 60 people gathered in The Pit section of San Lorenzo Park in King City for two hours of eating, drinking, games and storytelling around a warm campfire. By throwing bean bags into the mouths of ghosts or tossing rings on to inflatable witches hats, youth could win a variety of cool prizes.
The Pit was transformed into a spooky area to set the tone for the upcoming storytelling. A pathway of pumpkins and flickering lights led the crowd from the parking lot down into a creepy space decorated with spiders and webs hanging from the trees, ghosts, a floating eyeball, rats, scary clowns, corpses and tombstones.
Local retired English teacher and published author Robert Walton was the “keynote speaker,” telling a few blood-curdling tales, including one featuring eerie action in the railroad caboose on display at San Lorenzo Park.
MCARLM board member Raye Ann Houx relayed a few true stories of her time as a nurse, and each of the MCARLM interns told hair-raising anecdotes, as well.
In addition to the MCARLM board members and interns, “Ghost Stories” was set up and cleaned up by dozens of volunteers from King City High School and another dozen workers from Sun Street Centers. In fact, many high school students helped with the Oct. 23 event by running the games and the prize table, passing out food and even telling some frightening tall tales themselves.
The generosity of King City was on full display as every local merchant who was asked to donate to “Ghost Stories” stepped up. MCARLM gave thanks to El Lugarcito Restaurant, King City Pizza, El Pueblo Market, La Plaza Bakery, Safeway, Starbucks, McDonald’s, the 98 Cent Plus Discount Store and A & G Pumping for their contributions to this ghostly festivity.
MCARLM board member Jane Allen called the evening a “total success.”
After a two-year break, MCARLM’s ninth annual “Ghost Stories” proved to be an enjoyable yet spine-tingling evening of family fun and a perfect warmup for Halloween and Día de los Muertos this weekend.