Spook or Treat: Top Halloween Events in Alexandria

Halloween in Alexandria is so legendary, 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, or simply want to satisfy your sweet-tooth, celebrate “witch-ever” way you prefer all month long with these eekstraordinary spooky and sweet events.


New this year! For the first time ever, The Grille at Morrison House is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner: a 1920s Themed Costume Dinner Party. Participate in the mystery as you try to discover ‘who done it’ while enjoying live music, cocktails, and a 3-course dinner. (October 31).

Ghostly Gatherings

Kick off Halloween celebrations by familiarizing yourself with the history of one of the most haunted cities in the country as local author Michael Lee Pope shares frightening tales of Alexandria’s past for Second Thursday Live: Ghosts and Folklore of Alexandria. (October 8).

Edgar Allen Poe Raven

Image credit: Kevin Dooley (flickr kevin dooley)

Those who prefer performance will love Poe in Alexandria, featuring actor David Keltz as he re-creates Edgar Allen Poe’s visit to Virginia in 1849, shortly before he died. Hear chilling classics such as “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Raven.” (October 30-31).

Family Frights

Hoping to get to know some of Alexandria’s ghosts and ghouls personally? Bring the entire family along for a special one-night-only authentic Ghost & Graveyard Tour with Alexandria Colonial Tours. (October 23).

Gadsbys Tavern Tour Guide

Image credit: Cameron Davidson for VTC

Families with younger children can get into the Halloween spirit at the 2nd Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt at the Lee-Fendall House. Ghosts and goblins will fill the garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled pumpkins for children to discover. Although the pumpkin hunt is just for kids, everyone can enjoy crafts, spooky stories, a costume parade, and more. (October 23-24).

Haunted Hounds

It’s all about the dogs at the Doggy Howl-o-ween Costume Contest at Jackson 20, where our furry friends will strut down the “catwalk” in their finest costumes. The event benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and includes cocktails and light bites for human companions. (October 29).

Doggy Howl-o-Ween Costume Contest

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels


New this year! Throughout October, Sugar Shack will be hiding 31 goat figurines around Alexandria as part of their Halloween Goat Scavenger Hunt. Each small goat figurine is worth a dozen donuts! Five larger goats are also worth bigger prizes. Stumped about where to look? Try Alexandria’s local shops, restaurants, and parks and check Sugar Shack’s Facebook page for hints!

October is Brewing With Fun

You won’t want to miss the “unveiling” of Port City Brewing Company’s special craft beer the Long Black Veil for their Beer Release Happy Hour at Gadsby’s Tavern. The brew is inspired by the famous “Female Stranger”, who died in the Tavern on the day of the event in 1816. (October 14).

Port City Beer Glasses

Image credit: Sarah Hauser for VTC

Cauldron tea at the Carlyle House Magnolia Terrace will also be brewing this month, for a spellbound afternoon event of fun and fright. Sip on warm tea, watch a program on “Alexandria History and Legends”, and tour the museum. (October 18).

Trick-or-Treat With a Twist

This year, turn traditional trick-or-treating into a spooktacular weekend-long event. Start off Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon, with activities like wagon rides, crafting, and a scavenger hunt. (October 30).

Mount Vernon at Night

Image credit: Mount Vernon

Then, spend Halloween Trick-or-Treating with the Boo-tiques in Old Town. The event starts early and features treats from dozens of participating shops in the Old Town Boo-tique District. (October 31).

Picks for Pups

Don’t forget about the dogs! Doggy trick-or-treating will start at The Dog Park, where you can pick up a goody bag and a map of more than 25 participating businesses. Walk around Old Town to find special treats, and remember to coordinate costumes with your canine for a chance to win costume contest prizes. (October 25).

Bark or Treat Canine Cruise

Image credit: Potomac Riverboat Co.

The Bark or Treat Halloween Canine Cruise is also back this year, giving salty dogs a chance to cruise the Potomac in costume and enjoy sweet treats along the way. Book your tickets early—last year’s cruise sold out! (October 30).

For more Halloween events in Alexandria throughout the month of October, click here.


Header Image by Christopher Connel (flickr cvconnell)