As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, the first chill of fall is creeping in with the shadows. Ready for haunting stories of the supernatural, spellbinding magic shows, fortune-telling witches, and eerie ghost photography?
Outlandish Experiences, a Nevada City-based online platform for local tour guides, is unveiling a full Autumn calendar of spooky and harvest season experiences for the whole family now through Thanksgiving weekend.
This fall, visitors and residents can choose from activities led by real-life witches, a magician, a dramatic storyteller with tales from the grave and a photographer who specializes in capturing the spirit world.
A lover of all things quirky, Outlandish Founder Robert Trent says the line-up with a paranormal theme is a natural fit for local talent and audiences looking for something fun and different.
“Outlandish is offering people of all ages genuine Halloween-inspired adventures that go beyond eating gobs of cheap candy or watching a campy horror flick. The guides we select all have their own unique flair and are offering experiences that reflect their passions and talent. Our goal is that every Outlandish Experience immerses guests into the true spirit of the holiday,” said Robert Trent.
H-A-Double-L-O-W-Double-E-N spells Halloween!
Actor, storyteller, and playwright Mark Lyon will lead a tour, “Legendary Tales Of Ghosts And The Supernatural” at Treats ice cream parlor Oct. 28, 29 and 30. Huddled around the fire in an old Victorian living room, Lyon will bring haunting stories of ghosts, ghoulies and the paranormal to life for small groups of fear-seekers. Devilishly decorated, spine-chilling ice cream creations will be included and help calm jittery nerves. With his blend of song and story, Lyon has enchanted audiences in Orlando, Florida; Victoria, British Columbia and in castles in Ireland. For more than a decade he has led ghost tours in Nevada City and Grass Valley.
Local Magician Nick Federoff will share a world of magic in an intimate courtyard setting behind a toy store, a brand new show exclusively created for Outlandish Experiences, Sept. 27 through Thanksgiving weekend.
“I’ve made an unusually strong effort to involve the audience as participants rather than just onlookers, and hopefully that means they will walk away with a powerful memory and a wider perspective,” said Federoff.
A master of elegant old-school magic enhanced with a contemporary spin, Federoff has performed magic throughout the U.S. and abroad. He offers a little bit of mentalism and an unending supply of illusions, balancing it all with a sprinkling of humor and an abundance of audience interaction. His shows are designed for people of all ages.
“Magic is the only way I know of to get fully back into a state of child-like delight. When you see something that you know, absolutely know, is outside the realm of reality and possibility there is no other option than to enjoy it in the same way a child would,” said Federoff.
Another master of illusion, Douglas Hooper, an official photographer of Burning Man, will offer nighttime photographic portraits for his Outlandish Experiences tour, “Ghost Photography Adventure.” Participants can choose from downtown settings with historic architecture as the backdrop or one of the area’s old graveyards. Everyone will leave the tour with a digital image to post to social media and share with friends. An award-winning photographer, Hooper is the president of the Nevada County Camera Club.
Fortune telling witches from Grass Valley store, Cult of Gemini will offer three unique experiences to reveal people’s past and future. The store, a place where light and dark are held in equal favor, is owned by self-proclaimed local witch Rachel “Ginger” Lazarus.
Outlandish Experiences launched in August and features a growing collection of outings and experiences as varied as the guides who lead them with themes like ‘Nature and Outdoors,’ ‘Arts and Entertainment’ and ‘Offbeat.’ Coming soon, Outlandish will offer harvest season-themed experiences like a Nevada City foodie crawl, farm tours, and more outdoor adventures.
Besides offering opportunities for local guides, Outlandish Experiences’ affiliate program supports small town businesses and rural economic ecosystems. Businesses such as Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, Airbnbs, entertainment venues, and others can earn 10 percent of experiences they help sell when they sign up for the Outlandish Experiences Affiliate Program.
To learn more about the fall schedule and to book an adventure, click HERE.
Content and photos submitted by Laura Petersen