Nicola Sabin gets ready to scare Idyllwild Ghost Town Visitors.        Photo by Cheryl Base
Nicola Sabin gets ready to scare Idyllwild Ghost Town Visitors. Photo by Cheryl Base

“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!” (Traditional Scottish prayer)

The word “Halloween” dates from around 1745 and comes from a Scottish term for the evening before the Christian celebration of All Hallows Day, a time in the year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs and all hallowed dead.

In pre-Christian times, especially in Ireland and Scotland, Halloween (Hallows Eve), was a time when spirits and fairies come more easily into the world and the souls of the dead would return home on one night or day of the year.

In Idyllwild, an impromptu parade down North Circle traditionally takes place on the afternoon of Halloween, this year beginning at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, and ending in the town center. Rather than have trick or treating occur in the many Idyllwild neighborhoods, which lack streetlights, the Idyllwild School PTA sponsors the in-town carnival from 5 to 7 p.m., collecting candy and distributing to local merchants who stay open to offer treats to costumed and sweet-seeking children.

For the older children 21 and above, Jo’An’s Restaurant and Bar is hosting a live band and Adult Costume Judging Contest. The American Legion Post 800 also is having a Halloween party with costume awards, hors d’oeuvres and karaoke beginning at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Kathy Wilson’s Idyllwild Ghost Town’s month-long run behind the Rustic Theatre concludes with a “Zombie Call” Parade at 1 p.m. and a Zombie Run at 2:30 p.m. Participant runners will weave and dodge over a 1-mile obstacle course as dedicated and desiccated zombies pursue them attempting to make food of the three “health flags” each runner carries on their person. There are prizes for winners, if there are any. For more information see,

Wilson said the run has generated media attention and registrants from as far away as the East Coast.