COSTA MESA — Victoria Elementary School students were replaced Friday night with creatures of all kinds.
Spiderman, a witch, policewoman, hula girls, Frankenstein and even Harry Potter came out to the campus for the school's annual Fall Festival.
Families did festive crafts, played spooky games and bought Halloween-themed cakes, cupcakes and cookies. They also ate chili and corn bread, hot dogs, and tamales. Lots and lots of tamales.
"The tamales are the best," said Principal Linda Tenno. "They sell out every year."
Students could also enter raffles to win prizes like teaching preschool for an hour, a private cooking lesson and being principal for a day.
There was also a haunted house that fifth-grade student Kendall Richart, 10, was working for the first year.
"You kind of hide in places and follow them around to scare them," she said, adding that the haunted house is her favorite part of the fall carnival. "I like being scared."
Not everyone was as excited about it, though. Kindergartner Jalyssa Nieves, 5, exited the haunted house pretty quickly after entering.
"She got scared because it's pitch dark," said her older brother Joey, 7, who was dressed as Mario from the Mario Bros.
The event was sponsored by Victoria's Parent Teacher Assn.
The organization makes about $2,000 every year to pay for classroom supplies and assemblies, said its president, Hydee Beth.
Although the event is a fundraiser, the goal is to get every family out so prices for tickets are kept low, Beth said.
"It's one of our big events of the year, but it's not a big fundraiser because we want it to be family-friendly," she said.
The event is also a chance for former students who are now at TeWinkle Intermediate and Estancia High to come back, visit and get community service credit, said Tenno.
Old students weren't the only ones coming back, though.
Former Victoria mother Lisa Secrest, whose 18-year-old daughter, Helena, just started her freshman year at UC San Diego, was at the festival for the 14th year.
She said she comes back to support the school's fundraiser.
"I really miss Victoria because they always treated me like family," she said.
Third-grade student Jesus Hernandez — who was dressed as Scream, although he's never seen the horror movies — had other motives for coming to the fall festival.
"To get candy," he said.