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Ghost Walk tours in Pleasanton are back tonight

Guides will lead annual walk along the haunted side of the city's downtown

Ghost Walk tours in Pleasanton are back just in time for Halloween.

The tours start in front of the Museum on Main and take two hours, covering the most haunted sites along Main Street. Guides will discuss the history that spawned the spooks with actors playing the roles of various ghosts around town.

The tours will depart the museum every 30 minutes between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 28 and 29.

Downtown Pleasanton has long been recognized as home to many ghosts, from the Gay Nineties Pizza building, constructed around 1890, to the Pleasanton Hotel, where a woman was murdered in 1870 and is rumored to have never left.

During the bewitching season, Museum on Main offers its annual Ghost Walk to teach people more about Main Street's spooky spirits.

"Ghost Walk is a unique experience and has successfully brought the haunted side of Pleasanton to 'life' through the stories and experiences collected from psychics, ghost hunters and shop workers over the years," executive director Jim DeMersman said.

The family-friendly tour has taken place during the Halloween season for more than 10 years, led by volunteer ghost guides. Approximately 1,200 people partake each year and all of the tour times sell out in advance, according to organizers. Most of the attendees are adults, from all around the Bay Area, but children also attend and have a great time.

"Ghost Walk is more spooky than it is scary. It's not a haunted house type of program where people jump out to scare you," DeMersman said.

The actors are from Pleasanton's teen improv group, Creatures of Impulse.

"The improv team is a great addition to Ghost Walk," DeMersman said. "They are so fun playing the many roles of the downtown ghosts, and we are pleased they will be back again this year."

Some conjecture that Pleasanton has ghosts because it is located at a crossroads that was well-traveled even by the East Bay's earliest inhabitants. Another explanation, according to historians, is Pleasanton's location in a valley, which gives it a boundary or a sense of place. And it has many streams, under and above ground, which traditionally attract spirits.

The Ghost Walks take place rain or shine so dress appropriately. Costumes are encouraged.

The cost is $18 for adults; $13 for children 12 and under.

Tickets are on sale now, and advance ticket purchase is recommended at www.museumonmain.org, by phone at 462-2766; or in person at Museum on Main at 603 Main St.

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