20 Halloween Events in Alexandria This October

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.

Halloween Parties

Port City Long Black Veil Happy Hour 

female-stranger-credit-gadsbys-tavern-facebook-pageImage Credit: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Facebook Page

October 14, 2017 at Gadsby’s Tavern
Join Port City Brewing Co. and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum as we honor the 201st anniversary of the Female Stranger’s death with her Long Black Veil! This special craft beer was inspired by the famous tale of the Female Stranger, who died at Gadsby’s Tavern on October 14, 1816. Enjoy this great local beer on the anniversary of her death and learn of her tragic story. Ticket includes one beer, light appetizers, a tour, and Port City swag. Additional beer available for purchase through a cash bar.

Raven’s Night at The Legendary Birchmere Music Hall

Image Credit: Raven’s Night Facebook Page

October 21, 2017 at The Legendary Birchmere Music Hall
Belladonna and Ken Vegas invite you to step out of the ordinary and into an extraordinary evening of entertainment! Raven’s Night is excited to take you back in time with an all new show inspired by the “Beautiful Age” in France, from 1871-1914. An era of romance, flourishing arts and ever-growing styles of entertainment. Get out your evening wear, your favorite gothic or steam punk duds and join us for this enchanting soiree!

Nightmare on King Street

Image Credit: M. Chenet for Visit Alexandria

October 28, 2017 at Daniel O’Connell’s
Don’t miss Daniel O’Connell’s “Nightmare on King Street” Halloween Party. Live music by Driven to Clarity. Prizes for Best Female Costume, Best Male Costume, and Best Group Costume. Judging starts at 11 p.m.

Zombie Escape at Carlyle House

October 28, 2017 at Carlyle House 
Bring your wit to an escape-the-room style event inspired by The Walking Dead. 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 are 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. Your group will have 20 minutes to crack a series of puzzles and physical feats to obtain all the supplies needed for your survival group back at the hotel.

Spook-tacular Tours

Ghost & Graveyard Tour

alexandria-colonial-toursImage Credit: Alexandria Colonial Tours Facebook Page

October 1-31, 2017 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.

Alexandria Ghost Tour Pub Crawl

October 1-31 with Nightly Spirits Tours
Unearth the shady and seedy history of Old Town Alexandria on this 2.5-hour guided ghost tour and pub crawl. Walk along hidden alleyways and see historic places and haunted buildings. Plus, stop at up to 4 bars along the way for some local spirits.

Ghosts of Alexandria Tour

Every Friday and Sunday in October with Discover Alexandria
This ghostly experience explores Alexandria’s most haunted locations on and off the beaten path.

The Gadsby’s Tavern Ghost Tour

gadsby_tour_guide_720x480_72_rgbImage Credit: Cameron Davidson for VTC

October 27, 2017 with Alexandria Colonial Tours
Follow your colonial-costumed guide through the eerie Alexandria streets, visit a cemetery and enter one of the most haunted buildings in Old Town. You’ll hear the tragic story of the Female Stranger, and visit the very room where this mysterious woman was transformed into a ghost! Portions of the proceeds benefit Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.

Ghosts & Grief Tour

October 20 & 27, 2017 at Lee-Fendall House 
Celebrate Halloween with a look at Victorian mourning traditions coupled with stories of supernatural encounters at the Lee-Fendall House with special nighttime tours. Learn more about the rituals and customs behind our modern-day funeral practices. Customs such as draping the mirrors, how long a widow would mourn for her husband or children, social expectations and dress will be explored.

Special Halloween Ghost Tour

fall_foliage_friendship_firehouse_credit_matt_chenet_for_visit_alexandria_720x480_72_rgbImage Credit: M. Chenet for Visit Alexandria

October 30, 2017 with Discover Alexandria Tours
The Special 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!

Family Friendly

21st Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade

del_ray_halloween_parade_8_credit_cm_for_visit_alexandria_720x585_72_rgbImage Credit: C. Mouledoux for Visit Alexandria

October 29, 2017 in Del Ray
Don your best Halloween costume and join thousands of participants in one of Del Ray’s favorite traditions. The 21st Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center play 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! Both judging for Best Decorated Stroller and registration for Best Pet Costume will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Sugar Shack’s Halloween Gnome & Goat Scavenger Hunt 

October 1-15, 2017 throughout Alexandria
On October 1, 2017 Sugar Shack will begin its annual Halloween scavenger hunt. This year, goats and gnomes have been hidden in Alexandria, Arlington, and D.C. There are 29 small gnomes, nine goats, and three giant gnomes. The small gnomes are redeemable for a half dozen house donuts. The goats are redeemable for a dozen donuts. Lastly, the large gnomes are redeemable for a dozen donuts, a T-shirt and a mug. Keep your eyes peeled most gnomes and goats are hidden in nearby shops, restaurants and parks. In Alexandria, goats and gnomes are hidden in the Parker Gray, Old Town area, and close to the shop.

4th Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt

October 28, 2017 at Lee-Fendall House
Alexandria’s ghosts and goblins will fill our garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled pumpkins for local children to discover at the 4th Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt. Other activities include crafts to take home, a sticker station, temporary tattoos, spooky stories, a costume parade with prizes as well as drinks and refreshments. Every participating child receives a pumpkin—one pumpkin in each of our pumpkin hunt sessions will have a certificate for a special prize hidden inside. Costumes encouraged!

Haunting Performances 

Poe in Alexandria

October 30 and 31, 2017 at The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum
Come to The Lyceum 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.”

Edgar Allen Poe Readings in the Vault

Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

October 28, 2017 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.

Ghostly Tales at Carlyle House

October 28, 2017 at Carlyle House 
Join storytellers from Alexandria’s Footsteps to the Past on the front lawn of Carlyle House for ghostly tales of Alexandria’s past. S’mores kits will be available for purchase. Along with the ghost stories, there will be a photo booth set up inside Carlyle House, as well as snacks for sale.


Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon at NightImage Credit: Mount Vernon

October 27 and 28, 2017 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
Participate in a special scavenger hunt, take a wagon ride on the 12-acre field, and create a boo-tiful Halloween craft in this unforgettable evening. Watch wool carding and spinning, historic chocolate-making, and fishnet making demonstrations in the historic area. In order to burn off all the extra excitement, try 18th-century dancing in the upper garden before greeting Martha Washington. A children’s costume parade around the Mansion will begin at 5 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for the best George and Martha costumes! Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon takes place rain or shine.

Trick-or-Treating at Carlyle House

Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

October 31, 2017 at Carlyle House 
Bring your little ghosts, goblins, princesses and action heroes to one of Alexandria’s most haunted dwellings for a fun evening of free trick-or-treating.


Bark-or-Treat Canine Cruise 

bark_or_treat_halloween_canine_cruise_1_credit_potomac_riverboat_co_720x480_72_rgbImage Credit: Potomac Riverboat Co.

October 27, 2017 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.

Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest

October 28, 2017 at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap

Alexandria’s dogs will show off their frightening finery at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s annual Howl-O-Ween event, featuring the AWLA’s popular canine costume contest and the release of the 2018 photo calendar.  This year’s Howl-O-Ween event will take place at a brand new location, on the patio at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap at 401 E. Braddock Rd.

Doggie Trick-or-Treat 

October 29, 2017 with The Dog Park boutique
It’s that time of year again! You and your family—especially your doggies—to come to Old Town and trick-or-treat together. We 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.

History Lectures

History of Candy

October 21, 2017 at the Alexandria Black History Museum
Susan Benjamin, candy historian, returns to the Alexandria Black History Museum to talk about the historic origins of candy based on her book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. This program focuses on African-American contributions to sugar production and candy making.

History’s Mysteries, Tales from the Vault

October 21, 2017 at Ivy Hill Cemetery
Presented in Ivy Hill Cemetery’s receiving vault, the closest thing Alexandria has to catacombs, come hear strange and fascinating tales of Virginia’s history at History’s Mysteries, Tales from the Vault. Seating is limited; please RSVP to info@IHCHPS.org or 703-549-7413 x112.


For more on Halloween in Alexandria, click here.


Header Image by Christopher Connel (flickr cvconnell)