The HALLOWEEN HARVEST COSTUME BALL is the largest and most spectacular Halloween experience on the California Central Coast. This is not a “haunted-house.” This is 21-and-older soirée and requires attendees to arrive in full costume regalia.
The Halloween-themed gala is the brainchild of local artist and entrepreneur Brad Golden. Golden and wife, Jennifer, have produced other successful events including the 2016 California Central Coast Blues Jam last October, at the castle and which brought together 15 local bands.
“I have always been a huge fan of Halloween,” says Golden. “I used to build models of the classic monsters like The Creature of the Black Lagoon® and collected Eerie® and Creepy® magazines. I always loved ordering things from the back of those comic books. I remember getting a pair of glow-in-the-dark fangs, the kind you held near a light bulb to bring up the glow effect. Those were the coolest moments when I was a kid. My favorite band growing up was KISS. I loved both their music but also the makeup, costumes and showmanship.”
In October of 2016, Golden approached Jo Armstrong, then Vice President of Direct to Consumer Sales and Kim Walker, Private Events Sales Manager at the castle about partnering on a Halloween-themed function. Golden identified that there was very little going on in San Luis Obispo County for adults during Halloween and that he saw the need for an upscale, refined, adult-oriented event. Golden proposed the concept of a sophisticated costume ball unlike anything ever before done in the area with an emphasis on a realistic, Disneyland like transformation of the castle. Jo and Kim loved the idea and the two companies immediately began collaborating.
With such an amazing turnout for this first event, the Central Coast LIVE! team made the decision to move the costume ball to the Paso Robles Event Center, home to the California Mid-State Fair. Golden reports they have selected the Adelaide building at the event center for the 2018 season which they will transform into a haunted mansion.
Rich Ferguson, aka “The Icebreaker” moved through the crowd astounding guests with his astonishing magic, trickery and mental-ism. Rich is a world-renowned traveling magician, has millions of views on his YouTube channel and has appeared as a special guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show and on The Today Show. Joining Rich both nights was the talented Sabrina Lovell, a highly attuned Psychic and Tarot Card Reader of 30 plus years, who gave complementary readings to guests throughout the night. Additionally, Master of Ceremonies and DJ, Paul Thompson kept the castle pumping with dance tunes and select Halloween-themed music and sound effects. Tommy Harris of Harris Stage Lines of Paso Robles was our Headless Horseman, greeting guests at the front gate. Pictured from left to right: Paul Thompson, Rich Ferguson, Sabrina Lovell and Tommy Harris.
There were many surprises and experiences in store for attendees. The production team transformed the castle into a realistic set-like haunted castle that one might see in a blockbuster spooky movie. Golden has a background in film production, special effects, prop building, stage construction and visual and makeup effects. During the year prior Golden designed and built highly realistic props in his industrial workshop, located in Paso Robles. “I call it my Little Shop of Horrors,” Golden laughs.
Click to enlarge prop photos.
The castle library was transformed into a “Torture Chamber”, and was one of the most exciting experiences of the night. Guests were encouraged to enter the den and be strapped into the electric chair, laid on the stretch rack or have their head locked in a guillotine. “Our guests had a lot of fun with the props, and took tons of photos. A giant man-eating spider was in the castle lobby and there were zombies roaming the castle grounds in search of more victims” Golden says.
Hundreds of Halloween fans came out to the event and the costumes were amazing! People really went all out as evidenced in our PHOTO GALLERY. $2500 in cash prizes were awarded to the competitors. Check out highlight video from the costume contest HERE.