Halloween Ghost Town finds a prospective home on the lake

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Local nonprofit Young Idyllwild has a new prospective venue for its Haunted Ghost Town. And it looks as if it will be at Lake Hemet. Final approval will come from the Lake Hemet Municipal Water District Board on Thursday, Aug. 17.

Kathy Sacher-Wilson’s long-running Halloween haunt and spook fest has gained a sizeable on- and off-Hill following but has had trouble finding a permanent venue for the month-long attraction. Recent locations have included the Idyllwild Community Center property and Town Hall.

The animatronic and actor-inhabited maize of creepy creatures hiding in dark hallways has frightened many younger and older patrons since it opened in 2004. It has also funded sports scholarships for Idyllwild youth, funded activities to benefit them and acted as a principal funding source for Young Idyllwild.

Since its incorporation as a nonprofit, Young Idyllwild has continued Wilson’s mission of providing activities to coach and mentor Idyllwild young people through participation in projects that require interaction and teamwork.

“Young Idyllwild is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the whole community, not just our younger residents,” said Wilson, who recently stepped back from active management for health reasons. “But for those who are younger, this will be an opportunity for them to pay it forward — to learn skill sets that could evolve into jobs that help others.”

Wilson is hopeful all will fall into place, noting the entire venture is designed to educate and uplift participating young Idyllwild actors and crew.

Called “The Haunted Village on the Lake,” the expanded attraction will feature a haunted hotel, forest ride and bone-yard maze. Presented by Young Idyllwild Inc., it is scheduled to run from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights in October.

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