Check out these five Virginia ghost/haunted tours if you’re looking to get a little spooky this holiday season.
Halloween might have been a few months ago, but that doesn’t mean the spooky season in Virginia is over. In fact, spooky season is year-round!
Considering Abingdon traces its roots back to the mid-1700s, the town is old enough to have acquired a good number of ghosts.
The tour, which involves a gentle one mile stroll through the town, lasts between 2-3 hours. It is appropriate for families with children.
Some of the questions raised during the tour include: “Whose red eyes are seen through the windows of the Abingdon Tavern late at night? Does Bob Porterfield still ‘manage’ the Barter Theatre from beyond? Who is the musician presenting the mysterious violin performances inside the Martha Washington Inn?”
Given the long nature of the tour, those who go on it may want to dine at The Tavern, which was built in 1779, ahead of time. Those who are lucky may spot “The Lady of the Tavern.”
A stop at the Martha Washington Inn & Spa, which was built in 1832, will shed light on the history and hauntings of the inn the Travel Channel dubbed “one of the most haunted inns in America.”
A ghostwalk of Abingdon wouldn’t be complete without a story or two about the Barter Theatre, the longest running professional resident theatre in the country. The tour guides share stories about the many mysterious happenings at the theatre. The ghost of the theatre’s founder, Bob Porterfield, is known to be around, especially on opening nights.
After experiencing the ghosts of Abingdon, you may want to keep the paranormal fun going. Luckily, Appalachian Ghostwalks also offers similar tours in Bristol and a number of northeast Tennessee locations.
To mark the holiday season, scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago will be told during Ghosts of Christmas.
Ticket prices vary depending on how many people are on the tour, with $48 per person for tours of only one to two people.
Alexandria Colonial Tours offers both graveyard and history tours.
Alexandria’s Original Ghost & Graveyard Tour is led by a lantern-carrying Colonial-costumed guide through the streets of the city’s historic district. During the tour, “ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge” are shared. The one-hour tour covers six blocks.
The two history tours cover Alexandria and African American history. Both tours are around 60 minutes long and span 8-10 blocks.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children.
The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg is a 90-minute walking tour through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg that offers “hidden secrets about strange and otherworldly experiences.”
The candlelit walks are guided by expert storytellers. Tourgoers are encouraged to bring cameras given the fact that paranormal entities are believed to often produce light phenomena in photographs. The tour guides have said that many who go on the tours capture images of light orbs and shapes and images that resemble people.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. tours are $18 per person.
Haunted pub crawls for adults 21 and over are offered on Friday and Saturday nights and a family-friendly haunted history tour is offered on Sundays by Occoquan Spirits – Haunted Pub Crawl and Ghost tour in Occoquan, where “almost every home, pub or business has at least one non-living resident.”
Billed as “not your average ghost tour,” the tours are led by spirit medium Rachel Bright, who says she has been seeing and communicating with ghosts since the age of 6.
The tours start at Local Color Gallery and Boutique where a ghost by the name of Tad resides. From there, the tour goes to a number of paranormal hot spots throughout the town, including The Spot On Mill Street, The Tap Room, D’Rocco’s Italian Restaurant and Madigan’s Waterfront, where tourgoers can “enjoy a spirited drink and a conversation with an actual spirit.”
To aid the tours, Bright uses dowsing rods and EMF readers. The rods are used during “Ghost Chats,” which allow tourgoers to ask yes or no questions of the ghosts. Tourgoers use the readers to watch for unusual spikes in electromagnetic fields, which she notes often coincides with the presence of ghosts.
Tickets for the pub crawls, which last two hours, are $25. The 90-minute history tours are $15.
Haunts of Richmond helps thrill seekers explore the dark side of Virginia’s capital city. “After the museums close and the sun goes down, Richmond’s spirts rise,” the website reads.
Six tours, as well as haunted Tuk Tuk tours and haunted dinners and pub hops, are offered.
Perhaps the most obvious place to start when in search of the spooky in Richmond would be a tour of Capitol Hill. According to the tour’s description, “Richmond’s Capitol Hill hosts more than just elected officials and security guards amidst its hallowed halls, but also many spirts from beyond the veil.”
The Shadows of Shockoe Tour explores Shockoe Bottom, Richmond’s oldest and supposedly most haunted neighborhood.
The restless spirits of Church Hill’s colorful past, including a notorious Civil War spy, feature prominently in the Church Hill Chillers Tour.
The Creepy Tales on Campus Tour shares tales of the time before Richmond’s largest university called Monroe Park home.
Franklin Street’s eerie turn of the century beauty, including a number of recognizable landmarks, features prominently in the Phantoms of Franklin Tour.
Another tour goes inside the John Marshall House and a walk through the historic Court End neighborhood.
Most of the tours are between 75 and 90 minutes in length and are around a mile in length.
Online tickets are $20 and walk-up or phone tickets are $25, except for the Spirits of John Marshall House & Court End tour, which is $30 per person.