Halloween Tricks & Treats
A sampling of fun and scary events
There’s nothing like a stroll through a cemetery on Halloween weekend. That’s what Mission Hills historians Allen Hazard and Janet O’Dea have scared up on Saturday, Oct. 29, when they lead tours through Calvary Cemetery in Pioneer Memorial Park. Folks who sign up will get a glimpse of one of the oldest, tragic and “most haunted” — in their words — cemeteries in the country.
Two walking tours will be offered, rain or shine, at 4 and at 4:30 p.m. All proceeds will be dedicated to fund a reflective bench at the park entrance recognizing Calvary Cemetery.
According to Hazard and O’Dea, Calvary Cemetery was declared “abandoned” and then declared a historic landmark just prior to its conversion to a park (with nearly all of its 3,000 to 4,000 souls remaining on site). Several of its tombstones were unceremoniously dumped in a ravine at Mt. Hope Cemetery, while 142 nicer tombstones were saved and stuck in a distant corner of the park with little honorable or historical perspective.
The cemetery was the final resting place for many early pioneers. Veterans of the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and both World Wars also were buried there. The local historians said the cemetery fell into disrepair and was the target of vandals during the 1950s and 1960s.
During the tours, Hazard and O’Dea will identify several famous individuals who were buried in the cemetery — Col. Cave Johnson Couts, who went to West Point with Ulysses Grant; William Tecumseh Sherman and Robert E. Lee; Father Antonio Ubach, the “Last Padre”; cemetery caretaker Peter O’Malley, Lt Deputy Jose Larroque, who died during the Battle of Tijuana; airplane pioneer Charles Francis Walsh; Peter Shannon, who escorted President Lincoln to Washington D.C., and others.
Hazard is a college teacher and former Save Our Heritage Organisation board member. He developed walking tours and home tours as a founder of Mission Hills Heritage between 2005-2007 and recently developed Powers Walks, a self-guided walking tour booklet of Mission Hills. O’Dea is the owner of L.B. Powers & Son Plumbing and serves on the Uptown Planners. She is former chair and founder of Mission Hills Heritage.
Tickets for Halloween Calvary Cemetery Walking Tour are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12 years. Tickets may be purchased the day of the walking tour, beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday at L.B. Powers Plumbing, 1705 West Lewis St. Tours are limited to 25 people. For more information see bestsandiegoplumber.com/Community_Plumbing_News.html.
Other Halloween Programs:
• Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center at 3925 Ohio St. in North Park will be transformed into Queen Bee’s Fright Center between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31 (Halloween). It will run from 3 p.m. to midnight each day. Adults pay $5 and kids under 10 are free. “The day after Halloween last year we went to the Halloween store and bought over $400 worth of discounted merchandise for this year’s haunted house,” said Alma Rodriguez, Queen Bee’s director and founder. For more information, call (619) 255-5147.
• Walk the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park Oct. 24 and 25 beginning at 7 p.m. Walk on the dark and scary side on the trails at Marston Point in this event for ages 10 and up. For more information, visit hauntedhotel.com.
• San Diego Archology Center will present “Arch After Dark” on Oct. 29, a program that will include guest speaker Seth Mallios, chair of the Anthropoligy Department at San Diego State, talking on the theme, “Haunting History: San Diego’s Historic Cemeteries.” The event will take place at the Sycuan Golf & Tennis Resort and will raise funds for the Archology Center’s capital campaign and education programs. Tickets are $100 per person. For information, call (760) 291-0370.
• A big Halloween block party — the 11th annual Dos Equis XX Monster Bash — will be staged Oct. 29 from 6 to midnight on the outskirts of the Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego. Enter the event at Sixth Avenue, between Market and J streets, Island Avenue, between Sixth and Eighth avenues and on Seventh Avenue, between Market and J. General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Attendees must be at least 21 and have a valid ID to enter. For more information call McFarlane Promotions at (619) 233-5008 or visit sandiegomonsterbash.com.