STOCKTON (CBS13) — A local cemetery has decided to cancel a Halloween festival and tour following community backlash over respect for the dead.
Families who have loved ones buried at the Stockton Rural Cemetery worry a large number of people passing through the peaceful area could damage the grounds. Friday’s event promised a guided evening tour of “bone-chilling scares and true stories from 1861 and beyond.”
Cemetery manager Ruben Sanchez said one goal of the event was 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 Sanchez.
One of the things Sanchez wanted to draw attention to is the cemetery’s expansion, which includes a cremation wall.
But opposition to the festival and tour gained traction on social media, with some worried visitors cemetery visitors would be disrespectful to those buried there, and would damage headstones.
“I’m not going to let anybody beat up this cemetery,” said Sanchez.
A cemetery spokesperson says there are no plans to reschedule the event.