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Atascadero and Templeton plan haunted houses

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Volunteers in Templeton and Atascadero have worked for weeks to put on two haunted houses for this Halloween.

Templeton’s haunted house, organized by the nonprofit Templeton Recreation Foundation and the Templeton Fire Department, is built in a vacant four-bedroom duplex on Main Street. The home’s aged character, complete with boarded-up windows, adds to its spookiness. It’s a fundraiser for firefighter training and a new community gym. Atascadero’s is a neighborhood effort on Junipero Avenue where friends turned one house into “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” with various skits, costumes and props to benefit the Boy Scouts.

“We let people pick what they want in terms of acting and costumes. Everyone has their own specialty,” said resident Nancy Weatherman, noting that 63 people helped. She’s organized the event for the past eight years as a way to bring neighbors together.

Besides Sleepy Hollow — which features a horse this year — the areas in the home include a spider forest, shipwreck, mummy walk, bat cave and a science lab. There’s also a lagoon walk “with scented fog that smells swampy,” Weatherman said. The attraction is meant to be light-hearted and fun.

In Templeton, plywood walls darkened with black paint were erected throughout the mid-19th-century home to create various scenes of horror.

A skeleton — treated with plastic wrap and paper mache for a decomposing look — will greet people from a porcelain tub in a faux blood-soaked bathroom. A maniac will rule a disheveled kitchen, where screams are bound to ensue. Outside, attendees will try to keep their balance in a spinning bridge tunnel with black lights.

Dozens of volunteers spent two months contributing their carpentry and artistry to give Templeton its first haunted house in recent memory.

It’s meant to be a safe and fun event, especially for high school kids.

Foundation president Smita Ganpule said she’s excited about the project.

“Even though I knew what was coming,” she said of her last walk-through, “I was still scared and taken by surprise. It’s a lot of fun.”

‘Nightmare on Main Street’ in Templeton

99 Main St., the blue house at Main and 1st streets 6 to 10 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday

$10 suggested donation to benefit firefighter training and a new gym

760-4594 or TempletonRecFoundation@gmail.com

‘The Junipero Haunting’ in Atascadero

8995 Junipero Ave. Park at the bottom of the hill.

4 to 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday

Free, but donations welcomed for Boy Scout Troop No. 226466-1550

Tips for a safe and healthy time

County Health Officer Penny Borenstein offers these tips to keep Halloween safe and healthy:

Check all candy to make sure it is indeed candy. “Better yet,” she said, “avoid the candy people distribute altogether. Substitute some fruit snacks instead.”

Make sure to trick-or-treat in groups; never let a child go alone.

Make sure trick-or-treaters have flashlights and reflective stripes on clothing.

Costumes should fit well, and masks should not obstruct a child’s vision. Accessories, such as swords, knives and similar items, should be soft and flexible.

Walk only on sidewalks, and cross the street in crosswalks.

Examine all candy before a child eats it. Look for signs of tampering or choking hazards.

Don’t eat homemade treats made by strangers.

Never enter the home of a stranger.

Limit the amount of candy your child eats. Consider having your children trade the candy they collect for toys or other items.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/family/halloween.

Halloween events in SLO County

A variety of family-oriented events is taking place this weekend throughout San Luis Obispo County to celebrate Halloween:

Today

Pumpkins on the Pier. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Activities include a pumpkin decorating contest, costume contest, games, face painting and trick-or-treat extravaganza at local businesses. For children 12 and under. Pismo Pier, Pismo Beach. Free. 773-7049.

Science Spooktacular. 1 to 4 p.m. Halloween science party. Exploration Station, 867 Ramona Ave., Grover Beach. Free with paid admission to the Interactive Science Center, $2 kids, $3 adults. 473-1421.

Creature Feature Film Screening. 2 p.m. Popular horror films. San Luis Obispo City/County Library, 995 Palm St., San Luis Obispo. Free. 781-1215.

Cayucos Community Carnival. 2 to 5 p.m. Community Carnival featuring new games, a cake walk, raffle drawings and more. Come in costume. Cayucos School, 301 Cayucos Drive, Cayucos. Free. 995-3694.

Zoo Boo Halloween Event. 5 to 8:30 p.m. Event includes candy,games, prizes, haunted house and vegetable carving contest. Costumes are encouraged. Charles Paddock Zoo, Highway 41, Atascadero. $8; children 2 andunder are free. 461-5080.

Monster Bash. 6 to 9 p.m. Social hour at 6 p.m. Wearing costumes is encouraged. Prizes will be awarded. The movie, “Monster of Piedras Blancas” will be shown at 7 p.m. Donations are welcome. Popcorn, snacks and beverages will be sold. Veterans MemorialBuilding, 1000 Main St., Cambria. 927-3719.

Candlelight Tour of the Old Adobe with Ghost Stories. 7 to 9 p.m. Luminarias will light your way; candles provided to keep you safe. Refreshments available. Darkened adobe will welcome you. Ghost stories will be related. Dress warmly. Rios-Caledonia Adobe, 700 S. Mission St., San Miguel, Free. 440-7173.

Sunday North Morro Bay Halloween Costume Party. 2 to 4 p.m. Family event includes a cake walk, games and prizes for best costumes. Spencer’s Market parking lot, 2650 Main St., Morro Bay. Free with a donation to the Food Bank of San Luis Obispo. 771-9705.

Monday Safe and Fun Halloween. 4 to 7 p.m. Trick-or-treat at downtown merchants, barbecue, pumpkin carving contest (bring already carved pumpkins by 6 p.m.) and children’s costume parade. Paso Robles City Park, 11th and Spring streets, Paso Robles. Free. 238-4103.

City Church Fall Fun Festival. 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Festival for the whole family featuring game booths, bounce houses, face painting, prizes, candy, popcorn and a special video arcade for teens. 640 S. Frontage Road, Nipomo. 929-8990.

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