Stephen Gilson Jr.
The Chaffey Garcia House in Rancho Cucamonga hosted the last of three Summer Spook Nights with music, food and vendors in one big Halloween-themed event on Sept. 17 from 1 to 10 p.m.
Located at 7150 Etiwanda Ave, the event was based on the 1988 movie “Beetlejuice.”
Many of the participants were dressed in costumes and makeup similar to those worn by Michael Keaton, who played the titular role in the film.
“Beetlejuice is just a classic for gothy, witchy people,” said Angela Wilbers, a vendor who sells runes, jewelry and more. ”I was born in the ‘80s, and growing up watching it was magical.”
“Summer Spook Nights is a celebration of all things Halloween, spooky, and horror,” said Larry Bones, vendor of the Boneyard FX stand during the event. “Today we are selling our brand new line of slip latex facial masks that we are just unveiling for the first time this year.”
Bones’ face masks are made of flexible, high-quality latex with some goofy and gory versions of Halloween masks. The masks were readily available and were being sold for $45 as an “introductory price,” since it is their first release of their new masks.
The weather and overall vibe of the event was astounding. The weather reached a high 79 degrees along with a cool breeze. In the center of the event, a big oak tree provided shade for participants. Under the tree, there were tables and chairs set up for people to sit and enjoy their food or drinks, or to sit down and take a quick break from walking around the event.
The music played at the event consisted mostly of rock music from all eras, including Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” Skillet’s “Comatose,” and Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.” One of the theme songs from “Halloween” was playing as well. This style of music and iconic Halloween movies theme songs created a unique, festive vibe and allowed participants to converse with strangers who share a common interest.
There was a candy stand selling authentic Mexican-style chamoy from a family-owned business based in East Los Angeles called Dani’s Spooky Treats. The Halloween-themed candies that they were selling included “Mango Madness,” “Ghoulish Gushers,” and “Strawberry Scream.”
“My family immigrated to Mexico from Japan over 70 years ago. Umeboshi turned into chamoy when the Mexicans got hold of it. I’m Japanese and my wife is Mexican, so it kind of created the perfect storm,” co-owner of Dani’s Spooky Treats Erik Masamuto said about the history of chamoy and why he and his wife decided to start selling chamoy-coated candies.
Additional stands at Summer Spook Nights included a vendor selling Halloween-themed cups along with other styles, like sports and different genres of movies. There were also a couple of tarot-reading areas where people could get spiritual readings from a medium.
“I started off looking for alternative ways to heal my digestive system, rather than take medications from doctors,” said Bobbi Rodriguez, an alternative healer who had a stand selling incense and crystals. “I got into crystals and when that healed me, I started looking for different ways to heal people.”
The Summer Spook Nights event was an amazing experience for those who love Halloween and loved to take advantage of an opportunity to celebrate the occasion early.
Stephen Gilson Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.