It’s October, which is a great time to take some scary rides that will send chills up your spine. Halloween is coming, after all.
Then, when you’re done chasing ghosts during the day you can enjoy some motorcycle-related chills at night with some special movies. Don’t watch them alone.
Here are a few suggestions for some spooky fun.
- Explore ghost towns in California. Escape from L.A. and head off to Julian. The town was founded in 1869. Gold was found but then the gold ran out by 1876 and the prospectors left. From Julian head off to the Calico Ghost Town,” which is a living history re-creation of a desert mining town from the final days of the 19th century, complete with costumed interpreters, mock gunfights in the streets and plenty of shops.
Next stops: Red Mountain, Johannesburg and Randsburg. Red Mountain was a silver mining town, Johannesburg, unlike the nearby mining towns, was a civilized town with a railroad terminus, banks, churches and even a golf course. Randsburg has the Santa Barbara Catholic Church, the Hole in the Wall General Store and more that date back more than 100 years. Plus, the town served as the setting for the 1990 movie “Chopper Chicks in Zombietown” which, alone, is reason enough to visit Randsburg.
- Ride state Route 666 in Pennsylvania. The road starts innocently at the little town of East Hickory. By the time you reach the Tionesta River near Kellettville, you’ll be leaning through a fair number of tight twisties mixed in with the gentle sweepers. Then things get really interesting. First you hit a twisting downhill section with forest on the left and the river far below on the right. At the bottom is a tight right-hander, and if you blow it you’re in the trees. More tight turns follow, with a switchback thrown in to keep you alert. All in all, it’s a thorough workout for your cornering skills.
- Ride over to Salem, Mass, if you dare. On Fridays and Saturdays at the National Park Service Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty St. (978) 740-1650 there is a Victorian-era séance by a local magician. Or head over to the Essex National Heritage Area, 35 St. Peter. St., on weekends to experience the horrors of the Old Witch Gaol (jail), the actual location where many accused were held during the infamous trials. Other scary activities include a “Dark Arts” art exhibition, moon witch tarot experience, Horror Fest, haunted magic show, psychic fair and witches market, Bridget Bishop witch trial and more. For details, visit www.salemhalloweencity.com/halloween-events-activities-salem.
- Check out “David Aldana The Thrill is On” on Youtube. Aldana, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, is well known for his skeleton leathers. This rare film/documentary about dirt-track racing appears to have been made in 1971. It not only features Aldana, who was a Rookie Expert in 1970, but also shows AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Bart Markel’s last National win, in Columbus, Ohio.
One of the most colorful personalities in racing, Aldana was a top AMA Grand National Series competitor during the 1970s, winning four AMA nationals during his career. Aldana competed in nearly every form of motorcycle racing including motocross and speedway racing.
- Rent or buy the movie “Chopper Chicks in Zombietown.” It’s especially fun if you’ve visited Randsburg, Calif., where the film was made. The film features a can’t-miss combination of women riders and zombies. It’s up to the chicks on their choppers to save the day against the escaped zombies.
- Rent or buy the movie “Ghost Rider.” Released in 2007, “Ghost Rider” is based on a comic-book series that started in the early 1970s. The comic book told the story of Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stuntman occasionally possessed by the demonic spirit of vengeance, or something like that. Said spirit would temporarily turn Blaze into a leather-clad skeleton with a flaming head who would cruise the town at night, righting wrongs on his chopper.
Nicholas Cage plays Blaze in the film adaptation. And one of the villains, a Satan-like character named Mephisto, is played by none other than AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Peter Fonda. Need more? “Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance” was released in 2012.