Ghost Village Road

At its best Ghost Village Road is at once one of the county’s most wholesome and safest places for parents to bring their kids for trick-or-treating, and it’s also one of the finest stages for intrepid folks to fashion seminal costumes amongst a crowd of abiding observers. Last Tuesday’s Halloween celebration along Coast Village Road was all of this all at once, not to mention a nod to the customary evening attire of yore.

In truth, Halloween festivities began days ahead of the day before All Saints’ Day, during a weekend of themed soirées and popcorn-filled horror film marathons. On October 31, students at Montecito schools were in costume by the time they reached the classroom. At the YMCA Preschool, teachers held a dress-up fest for kids, with parents assisting. Led by Room 3 teacher Annie Fischer, the students marched out in celebratory holiday devotion parading and singing.

As schools were getting out, revelers on Coast Village Road were filing in and by 4 pm walking was the only sensible means of travel. The focal point of activity was at the gelato parlor, Here’s the Scoop, and its heralded haunted house, championed by staff members who designed the enormous structure and ran it from beginning to end. Here’s the Scoop owner Ellie Patterson said Saturday that the haunted house attracted about 800 visitors, many of them repeats.

Calling the house an “exhilarating experience,” Montecito painter Thomas Van Stein said visitors coming out of the pirate-themed maze looked like they were “getting off a rollercoaster.”

Special costume mentions: Warner Group interior designer Courtney Maitrejean’s “Naughty Cookie Monster,” a costume converted from a children’s outfit that Maitrejean re-sewed and attached with dotted Styrofoam balls as eyes and black construction paper for a smiling face. Also to Montecito fashion stylist Roxanna Bina’s “Marie Antoinette,” a ravishing compilation of cascading fabric topped by a wig that belongs only to 1793.

“I have a closet full of goodies,” Bina confided.