By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — A local cemetery is preparing to host a Halloween festival and tour, but the event is getting a lot of backlash.

Families who have loved ones buried at the Stockton Rural Cemetery worry a large number of people may create a big mess.

For Stacey Conrad and her daughter, this cemetery is a peaceful place to visit friends and family who have passed.

“I have a very dear friend of mine just buried last week here. It’s a fresh grave,” she said.

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She is concerned about the cemetery’s decision to host a spooky festival and tour of the dead this Friday.

“I just don’t want a bunch of kids running around on any of the people’s loved ones,” she said.

The flyer promoting the event says visitors will get a guided evening tour of bone-chilling scares and true stories from 1861 and beyond. The manager says it was intended to raise awareness of the cemetery and its history.

“Just to bring out to the community that we exist and that we’re still doing burials here and that we’re expanding…and make it a fun, respectful occasion,” said Ruben Sanchez, cemetery manager.

Sanchez says cremation has gone up 68 percent in recent years, which is why they are expanding the cemetery to include a cremation wall and they want the community to know about it.

“This cemetery goes back to about 1861 and it’s a nonprofit cemetery. We’re not affiliated with the state, county or city. It’s private,” he said.

People have been sharing their concerns on social media. They are worried about visitors at the event being disrespectful to the people buried there and damaging aging headstones. The manager is taking things seriously and considering making other plans.

“I’m not going to let anybody beat up this cemetery,” said Sanchez.

For now the event in the daytime is scheduled to start at three on Friday, however, evening plans are up in the air.

Comments
  1. J'aime Rubio says:

    Like he’s done such a great job preventing the vandalism in the cemetery that has clearly happened during the day as well as the night. The crypt doors didn’t just come of the hinges themselves and walk off the property….someone had to have taken them off and moved them by vehicle yet Ruben, the manager, has never done anything about that. They don’t even take care of the historic parts of the cemetery where some graves have been broken, laying flat on their backs, packed in the dirt and mud, for years (maybe decades). The landscapers literally toss the loose leaves on top of those headstones so they are “forgotten”. What about Section 19 where the not so old graves (flat stones) have been literally buried (sunken) into the ground and you can no longer read them or find the cement markers because the landscapers didn’t keep up on the trimming of the grass around them? I could go on and on. Ruben is NO Glenn Kennedy. Glenn Kennedy cared about that cemetery and shared the history of the historic residents buried there, and he did so for free. He never tried to make a profit off of it. And as far as the cemetery being a non-profit, go take a look at that tax status, they have a lot of assets there, and with all that $$ they should be using some of that to keep their historic sections of their cemetery in good condition. Again, if they were so interested in history, why haven’t they been doing history tours the other 364 days of the year? Why wait for Halloween to promote a profit making event which was advertised solely as an entertainment event…there was not mention of any sort of historical docents or historians providing true and accurate histories of those buried there. That’s because the people at Stockton Rural do not do any research and do not share the history there. Period. This was all about making money….

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