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October 8, 2008 > Candle Lighters engineer a Haunted Train

Candle Lighters engineer a Haunted Train

Watch out! A locomotive hauling a cargo of fun is coming to town. This is no ordinary train; it is filled with ghosts and goblins that will materialize on Saturday, October 11 and hang around as scary apparitions through Thursday, October 30. The station for this train cannot be found at the end of any visible tracks, but nonetheless, it will appear in the unlikely location of the 19th century Chadbourne Carriage House near the Fremont Hub courtesy of the Candle Lighters. A tradition in Fremont for four decades, the Ghost House has become synonymous with family fun. This year, the haunted train will inhabit the mild and innocuous-looking faŤade with eerie scenes, skeletons, ghostly spirits and foreboding figures lurking in the dark. To bring order to this unruly gang of characters, a coven of witches will keep watch until it disappears with the approach of Halloween Eve.

The Candle Lighters is a non-profit organization that raises funds to distribute to community-based projects. Since their founding in 1969, the Candle Lighters have been a strictly charitable group. Initially consisting of five women trying to raise money for the YMCA building fund, their incredible success led them to decide to raise money every year for worthy local causes in need of financial support. In spite of the growing number of women with full-time jobs plus other commitments, the Candle Lighters have grown to include over 110 executive and 30 patron members. And still, these women put in well above 50 hours toward raising funds each year.

The original members came up with the idea that would become the Candle Lighters' annual tradition and sole source of income - the Ghost House. Originally setting up their haunted house in an old brick winery (which stands on what is now the Ohlone College campus), the organization now employs the Chadbourne Carriage House as the site of their holiday fundraiser. Every year, the board president chooses the theme of the 11-room attraction, always in keeping with the spirit of Halloween. In previous years, the Candle Lighters have decorated based on topics like "100 Years of Scary Movies." This year's "Haunted Train" will feature the Carriage House as a train station with rooms recreated as a dining car, sleeping quarters, a caboose and other train-related quarters.

Ghostly visitations can be unsettling for adults so for the little ones and those who are timid, a "Good Fairy" will escort visitors to keep the evil spirits away.

Along with the haunted house full of witches, goblins and ghosts, there will be a carnival featuring a midway of games and food booths. Known for their delicious caramel apples, it will also feature a country store with Halloween treats. Carnival games, including a "Wheel of Fortune" and ring toss, a prize stand, a duck pond, face-painting, and snack bar offer a nice way to relax from the adrenaline stimulating tour through the House.

A minimal fee is charged for entry to the Ghost House.

On Saturday, October 18th, the traditional Kiddie Parade will unleash a cavalcade of costumes starting at 3:30 p.m. Entrants are judged for costume design and can win awards; all participants receive prizes!

Haunted Train Ghost House
Saturday, October 11 - Thursday, October 30

Monday - Thursday: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Fridays: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturdays: 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Sundays: 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.
(Closed Oct 13-14, 20-21)

Kiddie Parade
Saturday, October 18
3:30 p.m.

Chadbourne Carriage House
39169 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(Between Chili's and The Elephant Bar on Fremont Boulevard at the Fremont Hub)
(510) 796-0595

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