Dating back to 1749, Alexandria’s history is filled with remarkable stories and mysterious legends of spirits who still haunt the city’s brick-lined streets. And now, Halloween in Alexandria is so legendary that one day is not enough to experience all of the eclectic tricks and treats throughout October. Whether you’re in search of hair-raising haunts, family fun, or a reason to dress your dog in costume, celebrate “witch-ever” way you prefer all month long with these eekstraordinary parties, tours, performances and more.
Female Stranger Beer Dinner with Port City Brewing Co.
Image Credit: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Facebook Page
October 12, 2018, at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Join Port City Brewing Co. and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum as they honor the anniversary of the Female Stranger’s death with her specialty beer—the Long Black Veil. This special craft beer was inspired by the famous tale of the Female Stranger who died at the tavern on October 14, 1816. Enjoy great local beers on the anniversary weekend and learn the history surrounding her tragic story. The evening will include four courses.
October 26, 2018, at Carlyle House
Imagine it’s the Zombie Apocalypse. D.C. was one of the first cities to fall when the apocalypse began. As such, Alexandria was a close second due to proximity. However, your group has managed to survive by barricading off a hotel. For a while the supplies were enough to keep your group going. But now, they’re dwindling at a fast rate. To keep your group afloat, several of you have volunteered to head out on a supply run. Now, you must navigate your way through zombie infested territory to claim what supplies are on your list and make it back to your base safely. Tickets are available online.
Halloween Rock Show
Image Credit: Port City Brewing Co. Facebook Page
October 27, 2018, at Port City Brewing Company
Come out for the Halloween Rock Show at Port City. Drink some beers while facing your biggest fears muhahahahaha. Rabid Flash MoB, Painting The Moon, Petty Indulgences and Krobopl. There are prizes for the costume contest so put some effort into it!
Image Credit: Chadwicks
October 27, 2018, at Chadwicks
Come out to Chadwicks on Saturday night for the Monster’s Ball from 9 p.m. to close. There will be a DJ with dancing, a photo booth, killer drink specials and a costume contest.
VolAlex Costume Party
October 27, 2018, at Ivy Hill Cemetery
Once again VolAlex hosts its October costume party at Ivy Hill Cemetery. A historical tour is included, and there will be prizes for best costume.
October 27, 2018, at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Inspired by the season, disguise yourself and dance the night away at the Masquerade Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Come dressed in your favorite pre-19th century costume and don’t forget your mask! Enjoy live music, English country dancing, cash bar and dessert collation. Pre-19th century period attire or cocktail attire welcome. Reservations are required. You can also catch dance classes for the ball on October 11, October 18 and October 25, 2018.
Nightmare on King Street
Haunted Hole in the Wall Halloween
Image Credit: Captain Gregory’s
Image Credit: Raven’s Night Facebook Page
November 3, 2018, at The Legendary Birchmere Music Hall
Raven’s Night ushers in the season on November 3, 2018 at The Birchmere. This sensational modern take on the traditional masquerade ball celebrates life. The theme for 2018 is Momento Mori, so get ready to be transported to another realm where other-worldly beings come to visit and entertain you. As with past years, Raven’s Night: Momento Mori 2018 includes three distinct events woven into one: mesmerizing world-class dance performances at The Cabaret Macabre; a dinner concert featuring live music; and a pre-show event combining an alternative World’s Fair-styled exposition and sideshow, including Tarot card readings, magic and belly-dancing. Belladonna and Ken Vegas present a new page in macabre entertainment, which is about to be turned, as the annual Raven’s Night comes to the legendary music hall. With something for everyone and a great way to celebrate the Day of the Dead weekend!
Ghost & Graveyard Tour
Image Credit: Alexandria Colonial Tours Facebook Page
October 1-31, 2018, with Alexandria Colonial Tours
On the Ghost & Graveyard Tour, you’ll follow an 18th-century costumed guide by lantern light through the charming streets of Alexandria’s historic district known as Old Town. On this entertaining tour you’ll hear ghost stories, legends and folklore. You will also hear about unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge. Appropriate for ages 9 and up. For a sneak peek, check out the Alexandria Colonial Tours YouTube channel.
Ghosts of Alexandria Tour
Various dates throughout October 2018 with Discover Alexandria
This ghostly experience explores haunted Old Town at twilight, learning more about the city’s history and lingering spirits. Dogs are welcome.
Anniversary of the Female Stranger’s Death
Image Credit: Cameron Davidson for VTC
October 14, 2018, at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Learn the story of the Female Stranger during tours on the 202nd anniversary of this local legend’s death. While journeying through the museum, chat with Dr. Samuel Richards, the physician who treated her, as part of the museum’s Facetime with History program.
Tombstone Art Tour
October 21, 2018, at Ivy Hill Cemetery
Come learn the meanings behind the symbols on Ivy Hill Cemetery’s tombstones, from historic to modern day and what messages the dead would like to convey.
Ghosts & Grief Tour
October 26-28, 2018, at Lee-Fendall House
These special evening tours examine funeral and mourning practices in the Victorian era. Traditional mourning clothes and hair jewelry will be displayed and guides will share stories of tragic deaths and mysterious occurrences that have happened in the house.
Special Halloween Ghost Tour
Image Credit: M. Chenet for Visit Alexandria
October 29 through 30, 2018, with Discover Alexandria Tours
The Halloween Ghost Tour starts at the Alexandria Visitor Center and wraps through the back roads of Old Town stopping at places like The Christmas Attic, John Douglas Brown House, Old Presbyterian Meeting House, and many more. The Halloween Ghost Tour takes visitors past Christ Church to other less-visited stops like the Freedom House. At each stop guides cover a brief background of the location, what horrible event occurred there, and what modern day paranormal phenomenon was detected. Guests are guaranteed to leave with the chills!
5th Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt
October 27, 2018, at Lee-Fendall House
The Lee-Fendall House Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt returns to Alexandria on Saturday, October 27, 2018. Alexandria’s ghosts and goblins will fill the museum’s garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled Halloween pumpkins for local children to discover. Other activities include crafts, refreshments, spooky stories, and a costume parade. Every participating child will receive a toy pumpkin. The Hunt schedule is Saturday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. All children of elementary school age or younger are eligible to participate in the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt. Older children and adults are welcome to enjoy all other activities.
22nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade
Image Credit: C. Mouledoux for Visit Alexandria
October 28, 2018, in Del Ray
Don your best Halloween costume and join thousands of participants in one of Del Ray’s favorite traditions. The 22nd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center fields at Mount Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues. Children, pets and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb with prizes in different categories. The parade and all activities are free! Please note that both judging for Best Decorated Stroller and registration for Best Pet Costume will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Tales From the Vault with Terry & Wayne
October 20, 2018, at Ivy Hill Cemetery
This lecture features Haunted Virginia by Historians and storytellers Terry Gish & Wayne Kehoe in The Ivy Hill Cemetery’s Public Vault. Hear stories of horror from around the commonwealth of Virginia. The Old Dominion is the oldest state in the United States and thus has the most ghost stories. There will be trivia, raffle prizes, tales and ghostly haunts, and, if you feel something cold near you, do not worry—it might be the spirit of the Petrified Woman.
Edgar Allen Poe Readings in the Vault
Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria
October 27, 2018, at Ivy Hill Cemetery
Presented in Ivy Hill Cemetery’s receiving vault, the closest thing Alexandria has to catacombs, the Guillotine Theater Company will perform some of Edgar Allan Poe’s best readings. Seating is limited; please RSVP to info@IHCHPS.org or 703-549-7413 x112.
Poe in Alexandria
October 30-31, 2018, at The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum
Come to The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum for two unforgettable Halloween evenings with America’s earliest master of the macabre, Edgar Allen Poe! Actor David Keltz returns to The Lyceum’s lecture hall to re-create Poe’s visit to Virginia in 1849, shortly before his death. Individual works performed each year vary, but the program always includes a chilling story or two such as “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” or “The Tell-Tale Heart,” along with well-known poems “The Raven” and “El Dorado.”
Trick-or-Treating with the Boo-tiques
October 27, 2018, throughout Old Town
Start trick-or-treating early and stop by the dozens of shops of the Old Town Boutique District dishing out treats to goblins and ghouls of all ages from 2 to 6 p.m.
Bark-or-Treat Canine Cruise
Image Credit: Potomac Riverboat Co.
October 26, 2018, with Potomac Riverboat Co.
Come out with your costumed canine and cruise to some Halloween tunes along the Potomac! We will have Halloween treats on board. Be sure to have your four-legged friend in their best costume.
October 28, 2018, with The Dog Park boutique
It’s that time of year again! You and your family—especially your doggies—are invited to come to Old Town and trick-or-treat together. The Dog Park will have treats, sales and a costume contest. Come to The Dog Park in Old Town Alexandria to get your map and pictures taken, then tour the rest of the participating stores to get more treats and find a sale or two in town.
For more on Halloween in Alexandria, click here.
Header Image by Christopher Connel (flickr cvconnell)