As October approaches, plenty of spooky Halloween events are in the cards for Bakersfield.
From family favorites like Boo at the Zoo to freakier fare like George the Giant's Strange Museum of Oddities & Wonders, there is sure to be something for every ghost and ghoul next month.
While much of the fun comes from usual haunts, some scares will come from an unexpected place: the Beale Memorial Library.
"We have things for all ages," said Ariel Dyer, library associate at the branch. "For people who like to be scared in a safe way, we can provide that. The library is a good place to explore and that includes exploring the dark corners."
New this year is "Dark Dial: Haunted Radio Hour," which the library will host every Tuesday in October at 6 p.m. in the Local History Room.
"I really love those old classic radio hours," Dyer said.
Though the lineup hasn't yet been finalized, one radio show will be "Frankenstein" while another will be a local show from 1967 called "The Headless Horseman of Keyesville," in which the same horseman whom Ichabod Crane encounters in Washington Irving's story appears in the Kern River Valley.
All the Tuesday radio shows will lead up to "The War of the Worlds" on Oct. 30, the 80th anniversary of the original Orson Welles' broadcast. Though the story following the broadcast was of panicked listeners believing earth was truly under attack, Dyer pointed out that that was overhyped by newspapers at the time, as they felt threatened by radio.
Returning this year is "Dr. Frankenstein's Haunted Library Tour," with two tours each day on Oct. 22 and 23. With last year's event being a surprise hit, the library team knew it needed to make this year's bigger.
Unfortunately for those still hoping to go, all four sessions of this year's tour were booked within just a few days of the library announcing the event.
But fear not: Dyer said she is trying to arrange for a third day to accommodate more people, "as long as we can get everyone involved." Besides herself, she said, everyone is a volunteer.
Guests will be led on the tour by Dr. Frankenstein and, like the novel by Mary Shelley, will touch on the theme of what it means to be a monster.
The tour, which is recommended for adults only, should hit a sweet spot of being spooky but not too terrifying.
"There are scare actors and there are going to be jump scares, but mostly it's just going to be ambient and creepy," said Dyer, who is co-writing the script. "It's fun. I've never really done anything like that."
Other Halloween events include a spooky story time on the GET Bus on Oct. 10 at 11 a.m., a screening of "Corpse Bride" on Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. and Halloween Storytime and Trick or Treating on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m.
The Kern County Library is also involved with Hart Park After Dark on Oct. 20, and it has partnered with Maya Cinemas for its monthly Cinema Macabre series, which this month will screen "The Curse of Frankenstein" on Oct. 3.
While this is just an overview of fun headed your way this October, we'll scare up more details on events as they near. Don't see your Halloween or harvest event listed here? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banducci's Family Pumpkin Patch
What: Pumpkin patch with pumpkins of all sizes, as well as gourds; cornfield maze open during the day
When: Every day in October; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: 10747 Taft Highway
Admission: Free to enter pumpkin patch, $3 per person or $10 for a family of up to five for maze
October Fun Fest
What: Fall fun on the farm, with pumpkin patch, hayride, corn maze, animal garden and more every day, plus corn cannons, face-painting, animal shows, animal train and pumpkin craft on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
When: Every day in October; noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Murray Family Farms, 6700 General Beale Road
Admission: $10.99, $4.99 for ages 1-3, Monday through Thursday; $13.99, $5.99 for ages 1-3, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Information: 330-0100 or murrayfamilyfarms.org
Tapia's Rosamond Pumpkin Patch
What: Pick out your pumpkin and enjoy a hayride, haunted caboose, bounce houses, petting zoo, kiddie ride, pumpkin launcher, face-painting, pony rides, snack bar and gift shop
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Sept. 29 through the end of October; Trunk or Treat Car and Bike Show 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 and third annual chili cook-off noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 21
Where: 1855 W. Rosamond Blvd., Rosamond
Admission: Free to enter pumpkin patch; tickets for needed for other attractions
Information: 256-0577 or facebook.com/TapiasRosamondPumpkinPatch
"Dark Dial: Haunted Radio Hour"
What: A different old radio show every week, leading up to "The War of the Worlds" on Oct. 30, the 80th anniversary of its first broadcast
When: 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday in October
Where: Local History Room, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave.
Information: 868-0701 or kerncountylibrary.org
George the Giant's Strange Museum of Oddities & Wonders
What: A collection of haunted objects, unusual artifacts and freaky things curated by George “The Giant” McArthur, a local sideshow performer
When: Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20; 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays, 2 to 11 p.m. Saturdays
Where: Next to the Fox Theater, 2007 H St.
Information: 472-9037 or facebook.com/GeorgetheGiantsStrangeMuseumOfOdditiesAndWonderss/
What: This haunt promises guests they will "experience the undead while maneuvering through the depths of hell." With Talladega Frights seemingly out of the haunt game this year, Scare Valley looks to be the one place to go for people who really want to be scared.
When: 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 30 and 31
Where: 3101 Gilmore Ave. (previously Bakersfield Karting Experience)
Boo at the Zoo
What: Candy, prizes and games for kids, jack-o-lanterns filled with treats for the animals, encounters with ambassador animals, food vendors, train rides and more. Costumes encouraged.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21
Where: CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway
Admission: $10 for adults, free for kids up to 12 years old (must be accompanied by an adult)
Information: 872-2256 or calmzoo.org
Trick or Treat Trail
What: Trick-or-treating along the mini golf course with candy, treats and information on local businesses, plus costume contest and DJ
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 21
Where: Camelot Park, 1251 Oak St.
Admission: Free for children 12 years old and younger
Information: 859-1812 or facebook.com/CamelotPark
Halloween Pub Crawl
What: Haunt the bar scene downtown in your Halloween finest with Do The Crawl's latest pub crawl
When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26
Where: Participating bars and restaurants downtown
Fright Night at the Padre Hotel
What: Enjoy drink specials, costume contests and a spooky good time
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 27
Where: Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St.
Admission: No cover
Information: 427-4900 or thepadrehotel.com
What: Halloween decor, DJs, drink specials, food and, of course, a costume contest
When: 9:30 p.m. Oct. 27
Where: Elements Venue, 3401 Chester Ave.
Admission: $10 general admission
Information: 301-4681 or facebook.com/ElementsVenue
What: More than 50 trick-or-treat stations throughout the grounds of Pioneer Village
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31
Where: Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave.
Admission: $10 children ages 3 to 12, $5 for adults (13 and older)
Information: 437-3330 or kerncountymuseum.org