The 2018 rendition of Ghost Town will begin next weekend and use the “Fort of No Return” at Camp
Photo by JP Crumrine

Idyllwild’s Ghost Town has haunted several sites, unlike ghosts who usually manifest at the same place. This is the 15th year for Ghost Town, said Kat Wilson, the originator, and it will be located in a faux fort on the Camp Emerson Boy Scout Camp grounds in Idyllwild, its fifth location.

Parking will be available near Royal Pines, and hayride or fire engine will be available to shuttle attendees to the scene of their scary evening, Wilson added.

The 2017 Ghost Town was at Lake Hemet. While it was successful, filling the campsites and increasing the market’s sales, the distance was difficult for local ghost hunters.

Wilson is happy to return to Idyllwild and credits Nathan DeJarnette with arranging the opportunity to use an area of the camp.

The Fort will be known as the Fort of No Return, she said, and offered a story about eight loggers, who in 1843 were camping at the Fort for protection from the very cold, gusty winds. “All eight went missing that very night never to be seen again,” Wilson lamented; “all of their gear, tents and supplies still in the Fort.”

This is what visitors can expect to find, as well as a maze and even music, every evening. One new feature will be Sam Plonski’s monsters. Plonski of Sam’s Cycle Service in Rancho Mirage brought Mr. Clops Spitmore, an animatronic Cyclops robot, to the Fourth of July parade.

He may have a captivating stage show, Wilson hinted.

Wilson has her fears, too, she said. But “it’s interesting to watch behind the scenes for what people fear,” she said. “Then we see people leaving and laughing. They do agree that we did it to them.”

It can take months to reconstruct Ghost Town. So, Wilson and her crew are still welcoming volunteers as they scramble to open Friday, Oct. 5. But she expressed her gratitude to Jacob Teel, whose stage craft skills helped make the props and background easier to handle, haul and store.

It will be open at 7 p.m. every weekend, Friday and Saturday, through Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 as well as Halloween night, Wednesday, Oct. 31. Admission is $15 each night.