First Annual “Ghosts Along the Coast” Brings Spine-Tingling Storytelling to Elings Park

A female bootlegger from Prohibition, a Depression-era hobo living near the railroad tracks, a survivor of an 1853 shipwreck, a Japanese “picture bride” from the 1920s, a longtime lady lighthouse keeper, and a newspaper editor murdered in 1880 – these restless spirits may (or may not) have been actual figures from Santa Barbara history. But they are all definitely dead.

Hear their spine-tingling stories from beyond the grave at the first-ever Ghosts Along the Coast, held outdoors at Elings Park’s Godric Grove on October 13, 14, and 16, with guided tours leaving every half-hour between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. (NOTE: no performances on Saturday, October 15)

Each tour makes six stops to visit the spirits, who recount the stories of their lives and untimely demises on lit vignettes positioned under the oaks in Godric Grove. Tours are roughly 90 minutes long and led by Elings Park “Ghost Hunters” who share tidbits of local history, including facts about the park itself.

Tickets are $15, and must be purchased for a specific tour date and time. “Ghosts…” is recommended for ages 9 and older. Purchase tickets online at Space is limited, and advance ticketing is recommended. Tickets are sold at the door if space allows and on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, visit  or call (805) 569-5611. All proceeds benefit Elings Park Foundation.

The walk is short, but pathways are not well lit. Guests are strongly urged to bring flashlights or cell phones to help illuminate their way. Carpooling and ridesharing are highly recommended. Limited parking is available in Elings Park at the top of George Bliss Drive and Jerry Harwin Drive. No dogs are allowed in Godric Grove during this event.

The characters and actors include:

Yuko (Deborah Cristobal): this “picture bride” arrived in Santa Barbara from Japan in the 1920s to marry a man she’d never met. She searches for him in the afterlife after a horrible fishing accident.

Julia Williams (Karen Dalton): her lazy husband couldn’t handle his job as keeper of the lighthouse on the Mesa, so this mother of five took over – for forty years. Her ghost is ready for a deserved rest.

Sally Stanford (Nicole Iaquinto): the spirit of this female bootlegger is still distressed about a big delivery of Prohibition hootch that was interrupted by the opening of duck hunting season.

The Bookman (Kirk Martin): all this Depression-era hobo (and his pets) needed was a fine roof and their shack would have been the best in “Jungleland.” But living so near the train tracks proved fatal.

Theodore M. Glancy (Alfred Smith): the Santa Barbara Morning Press editor was gunned down in 1880 by a District Attorney nominee who was livid over a negative editorial. Is there no justice?

F.S. Crane (Patrick Turner): he made his fortune in the Gold Rush and survived the 1853 shipwreck of steamer Winfield Scott on Anacapa Island. His ghost just wants to find his lost gold.

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