GhostWalk: COM contest asks visitors
to guess how many stories are true

November 12, 2014
Santa Paula News

If you think you know a lot about Santa Paula history, know about its historical characters, legends or just feel you’re lucky you might want to take a chance on winning a special contest.

Visitors to the 2014 GhostWalk 20th Anniversary exhibit at the California Oil Museum, (1001 East Main St.) have the chance to enter a contest that tests their knowledge based on stories that have given GhostWalk guests shivers over the last two decades.

According to Carlos Juarez he and Dee Helsel, the creative director for the GhostWalk event worked with California Oil Museum staff on the exhibit, which Juarez curated. 

Historian, author and GhostWalk Founder Mary Alice Orcutt Henderson also consulted on past stories that over the years have entertained thousands and thousands of guests from throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.

First, said Juarez, “We got through all the past stories - it’s a lot of reading! - and then we created a little summary of each story staged over the past 20 years,” an estimated total of about 150 stories. 

“You know a lot of people ask each year how many of these stories are true,” a refrain that prompted the exhibit’s contest to determine how many GhostWalk stories are based on real people or events.

Juarez was coy on the totals, noting only “Some of our stories are true, others are written with artistic license and some are completely fake!”

Each year GhostWalk benefits the Santa Paula Theater Center that sponsors the event and Juarez, a SPTC board member, said he consulted with Board President Leticia Mattson about the contest.

Those attending GhostWalk 2014 also took part in the contest, which ends November 23 when the exhibit - which also includes photos, props and other memorabilia detailing the history of GhostWalk - comes to a close.

It’s amazing that Juarez and his collaborators were able to find almost all the original GhostWalk scripts: “We were unable to locate a script or story line for only one story, ‘Boo Bonnet Sue & Friend.’ It was portrayed by Christine Cooke and Frank Ellis and staged in 1996,” two years after GhostWalk debuted. 

Guesses are deposited in a jar at the museum: winners will be determined on November 23, the last day of the exhibit.

Prizes are: 1st Place, Two (2) 2015 season tickets for the Santa Paula Theater Center; 2nd Place, One  (1) 2015 Season ticket for the Santa Paula Theater Center; 3rd Place, Two (2) 2015 Flex passes for the Santa Paula Theater Center (a night at the theater, you pick the show). 

“The contest is one way we’re encouraging people to go and see Santa Paula Theater Center shows. When people go for the first time they often say, ‘whoa! I didn’t know this existed,’ and come back again.”

For more information on the California Oil Museum visit:

Interested in the Santa Paula Theater Center or want to make reservations? Visit

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