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October 22, 2008 > Blacksand Manor returns for Halloween

Blacksand Manor returns for Halloween

Blacksand Manor, sometimes referred to as Fremont's best free haunted house, returns for its 10th anniversary on Halloween night from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. What started in 1998 as a heavily decorated front yard has evolved into a traditional walk-through haunted house with multiple scenes including Ghouls at Home, resident evil genius Marc Ricketts, "I remember how much fun it was as a child to go to a Halloween party that had a haunted house. With that in mind, we started adding more and more to our annual decorations, until we were finally able to include the inside of our house."

Many local haunts have a small admission fee for charitable purposes, and Ricketts has considered doing that as well, but has always kept Blacksand Manor free. "Ultimately," he says, "charging admission would really change the focus of what were all about, which is providing some extra fun for the trick or treaters that live here in the 28 Palms neighborhood and surrounding areas. We're only up for a couple of hours on Halloween, and I don't want to turn away a child that isn't carrying money with him. We've had many kids over the years tell us how they enjoy and remember our house, and how they look forward to coming here on Halloween. That's all the reward I want."

One thing the younger children always seem to notice is popular Muppet Elmo hanging in a tree surrounded by various ghosts and ghouls with a noose around his neck. "That really gets their attention," says Ricketts. "He's there as a tribute to our humble beginnings in a Milpitas townhouse. At the last minute in 1997, I decided to make a bloody corpse by the front door. However, I didn't have a prop head to use, so I enlisted my son's Tickle Me Elmo for the job. But clearly it gives some of the younger children pause before approaching. "For the most part, though Blacksand Manor is about ghosts and skeletons, not blood and gore, "We all know that kids love a good scare, but our audience is mostly pre-teens," says Rickettes. Therefore, we don't want anything too gruesome. We'll try to give a few moments of unexpected frights, but it's all low key. When very young children are walking though, we signal anyone lurking within to tone it down as they pass. Yes, we want you to be a little scared, but we are not aiming for abject terror."

Blacksand Manor is located at 5008 Blacksand Road, just off of Royal Palm Ave. Most of the exterior decorations are in place during the week leading up to Halloween. It will be open Halloween night from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Blacksand Manor
Friday, October 31
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
5008 Blacksand Rd., Fremont
(510) 651-9507

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