RIP Idyllwild Ghost Town

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Kathy Wilson has concluded the labor-intensive burden of erecting a walk-through haunted house each Halloween, replete with expensive animatronic features and live actors.

Billed as “an eerie step back in time — a guided walk through a maze of 20 scenes — an experience of sight, smell and sound, and a perfect blend of both live actors and animatronics with talented storyteller guides” without major intervention, after 11 seasons, Idyllwild Ghost Town is dead.

“If it were to continue,” said Wilson, “we would need to have a location for a permanent structure to do away with the overwhelming burden of building the Ghost Town from the ground up.” Wilson noted the location would also have to have electricity or electricity would have to be brought in.

Wilson also faces the challenge of forming a new nonprofit to sponsor either Ghost Town, the sequel or other ideas she has for providing entertainment and challenges for local teens and young adults. She’s thinking of calling the new organization “Young Idyllwild,” a nonprofit in which creating the events and activities would be planned and run by teens and young adults, with adult supervision.

Events that she has researched and believes might be doable include temporary miniature golf (, skating rink, airsoft games, portable bowling, auctions, pet adoptions, battle of the bands, dance or other contests as well as tournaments and other festivals.

For 11 years, Wilson’s Halloween haunts have raised money to benefit groups or families, most recently the Idyllwild School PTA. For her, it is not a money-making operation, but a chance to create experiential entertainment for young and old.

But for now, and possibly forever, Idyllwild Ghost Town has a gravestone — RIP until community interest or benefactors decide otherwise.

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