Historical Society of Long Beach’s Annual Cemetery Tour
Beginning in 1995, the HSLB has conducted an annual living history tour at the city’s two oldest cemeteries. Located on Willow Street between Orange and California and adjacent to one another, Long Beach Municipal Cemetery and Sunnyside Cemetery are “home” to more than 20,000 past residents of the area.
The tour takes place the Saturday on or before Halloween and features graveside presentations by professional and volunteer actors who relate the life and demise of the person lying in rest. Each year’s program features a number of stories – some are individuals who helped shape the city’s political past, others are ordinary people whose tales remind us that rich or poor, famed or nearly forgotten, everyone has a story to tell. Period costumes worn by all the performers further heighten the experience with an aura of authenticity. Many guests get so involved in the presentation that questions like “What was it like to live here in 1920?” are often asked of the performers.
Since 2004, the Long Beach Playhouse has helped us find actors for the tour and costumed them as well. We thank our partners at the Long Beach Playhouse for all of their hard work on this event.
Show your support and represent your business!
The Annual Historical Cemetery Tour celebration attracts close to 1,500 people and engages the support of volunteers, city agencies, community, and regional leaders.
Learn more about how you can advertise or sponsor this one-of-a-kind living history event!
The tour is appropriate for families and all ages. There is nothing scary about the vignettes or the location. Tickets are sold online and at the gate from 8:30 a.m. until noon just inside the main gateway on Willow Street or at the Orange Avenue entrance.
The tour takes approximately three hours to complete, and the last presentations begin at 2:40 p.m.
Press-Telegram October 2021: Long Beach stories rise from grave at Historical Society’s Cemetery Tour
Long Beach Post Hi-Lo October 2021: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Long Beach Cemetery Tour
Review: Hollywood Gothique
Hollywood Gothique‘s 2014 Halloween Haunt Award Nominees:
Best Play in a Non-Theatrical Setting: HSLB’s 19th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour
Best Short Play or Vignette: Fighting Injustice with Tacos from HSLB’s Historical Cemetery Tour
Best Non-Haunt Halloween Event: HSLB’s 19th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour
ACCESSIBILITY, PARKING, & LOGISTICS
If you have trouble walking or are in a wheelchair/scooter, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
There is a drop-off area at the Sunnyside Cemetery (1095 E. Willow).
Paved driveways exist at both cemeteries, but they are set away from where the actors perform.
There are NO curb-cuts for wheeled vehicles, but the curbs are lower in some areas if you are able to lift your device or if your device has the ability to climb several inches.
Parking & Logistics
Compact and sedan sized vehicles are welcome to park inside Sunnyside Cemetery gates on a first come, first served basis.
There is some parking inside the cemetery, overflow parking is behind the cemetery at Willow Springs Park (enter from Orange Ave.), and there is also open street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
The ground is uneven, so we recommend comfortable shoes. Typically, the morning is chilly while the afternoon is sunny and warm, so a sweater or light coat, a hat, and/or sunscreen is recommended.