SYV Star Staff Report

Frights and scares will return to the Santa Ynez Valley on Oct. 30 and 31 when the parks and recreation departments of Solvang and Buellton host the 24th annual Halloween Haunted House at the Solvang Festival Theater and the associated Halloween Street Fest, which provides visitors with food and more fun.

This year’s theme, “The Curse of Skull Mountain,” will turn the theater and its grounds into abandoned gold and silver mines, a miner’s camp, and Old West towns. It also takes advantage of work done for last year’s event.

“We did an area with a mine theme from the Seven Dwarfs and thought we’d expand on that,” said Solvang Parks and Recreation Director Fred Lageman.

Last year, the haunted house had approximately 2,100 visitors.

“I think its history guarantees it’s going to be great,” he added.

Each year’s haunted house takes about 20 minutes to walk through. It is always designed to be a fun experience rather than a horrifying one.

“We don’t go after the blood and gore,” Lageman emphasized.

The Haunted House and Street Fest, at 420 Second St., will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m. both nights. A version of the Haunted House that is friendlier for small children will be presented both evenings from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Admission to the Street Fest is free. The Haunted House costs $9 per child (13 and under), and $11 per adult.

More than 70 volunteers are needed for the event. The department is taking applications for guides, “monsters” (who must be at least 14 years old), and volunteers to help set up and clean up.

Call 688-7529 or visit for full details.