During the Halloween season, ghosts and spirits are making more appearances than usual. That means it’s the perfect reason to visit places where ghosts and spirits are sure to apparate - cemeteries!
Civil War cemeteries have long been associated with hauntings and sightings, so why not check out Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery? Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the ghost of Margaret Mitchell, so she can tell you more about Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Or maybe you’ll be followed by the ghost of a Civil War soldier or former Georgia Governor.
Katie Reeder, Director of New Media and Communications at Laurie Rowe Communications, said, “Oakland is the final resting place of 70,000 people from all walks of life. It also serves as a cultural resource for lifelong learners.”
Whether you’re in the mood to learn, scream or both, Oakland Cemetery offers many Halloween options.
If you’re in the Boston area, be sure to check out some of the nation’s oldest cemeteries. Some of them even date to 2300 BC! According to historian Dorothy Thayer, “Excavations have revealed an Archaic Village in Middleborough. The date of 2300 BC has been substantiated by radiocarbon dating.” Thayer also said when the waters of Lake Assawompset are low, you can see mysterious carvings on rocks from what’s thought to be people from the Mediterranean. Middleborough is also home to the Nemasket Hill Cemetery with stones dating back to 1692. In the Middleborough area, you’re sure to see a ghost or two from different periods of time.
Or if you live in Washington, D.C., be sure to take a trip to the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va. According to Jeffrey Smallwood from Liberty University, “Hollywood Cemetery is so haunted that former guards kept a blog of things they saw.”
Smallwood said the blog noted the noises of horses walking, tin cups banging and people talking and laughing. However, the blog mysteriously disappeared when the guards died. Maybe a ghost is to blame? Smallwood said many Civil War generals are buried at the Hollywood Cemetery, and there is also a mass grave of soldiers thought to be moved from Gettysburg.
No matter where on the Eastern Seaboard you are, you’re never far from a haunted cemetery sure to spook you and cause you to see some spirits.
When you’re travelling on a budget, you don’t have to skimp on quality. Houston has a wide range of restaurants to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.
In the mood for southern cooking? Steven Lindell, Freevestor contributor, said Treebeards is the place to go. Lindell said, “They offer daily Meat and Two specials for $8.95 to $10.95. You can pick from three different entrees (chicken, fish or meat) every day of the week along with two side dishes (red beans and rice, dirty rice, mustard greens and more).” Lindell said Treebeards also offers a variety of Creole favorites and a lunch will run someone about $11, but you will get a lot of bang for your buck.
If Asian cuisine is more up your alley, Lindell has a recommendation for that, too. He said Doozo Dumplings and Noodles is a low-priced, well-kept secret in downtown Houston at The Shops at Houston Center. However, Lindell said you better know what you want when you get to the front of the line, or else it could become like a Seinfeld soup experience.
According to Lindell, “The experience of purchasing their delicious dumplings operates like an assembly line. It’s a unique experience tourists will want to tell their friends about. Just have your money ready to pay, and don’t be digging around for change.” Doozo, more commonly written as douzo, means “welcome” in Japanese, and this spot is a great way to welcome your tastebuds to the Space City.
Or you could be up for an experience of a different kind: fried chicken and champagne at Max’s Wine Dive. The restaurant was named one of the 50 breakout brands in the United States by Nation’s Restaurant News, and according to Rebecca Spence from Lasco Enterprises, it’s a great place to start or end a trip to Houston.
Spence said, “Max’s Wine Dive on Fairview offers a ‘No Shift Brunch’ every Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The brunch menu changes every week, but always features 10 dishes under $10, as well as mimosas, wines from around the world and micheladas.” With menu items like a pumpkin waffle benedict or Frito crusted pork chop, it’s easy to see why Spence said Max’s Wine Dive is a hot spot in Houston’s culinary scene.
No matter what kind of food you are looking for, Houston has a wide variety of offerings to please any palate without loosening your purse strings.
Washington, D.C.’s past is brimming with presidents, politicians and scandals, so it’s no surprise that there’s a presidential haunting around almost every corner!
According to The History Channel, some presidents may have never left the White House once they passed away. Andrew Jackson’s ghost has been reported by everyone from Harry Truman to Mary Todd Lincoln. The ghost of Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, can sometimes be seen clad in a cap and lace shawl, headed toward the East Room as though carrying laundry.
Lincoln’s ghost is said to peer out of a window in the Oval Office.
Most famously and most frequently seen, Abraham Lincoln is said to be seen in the Oval Office and the upper level of the White House. He’s been seen or heard by famous figures such as First Lady Grace Coolidge, Lady Bird Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Washington, D.C.’s hauntings aren’t just limited to the White House. Around every Halloween, DC Ghost Tours gives tours of two other haunted sites in the district: Lafayette Square and Capitol Hill.
Special Web Offer: Take a tour of our nation’s capital with a focus on the secret hauntings that took place on many spooky, historic landmarks and save up to 10 percent on your bus charter rental from US Coachways with promo code “GHOSTLYDC.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!
Billed as one of Los Angeles’ most buzzed about Halloween attractions and featured on FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, MTV, G4, E! and Access Hollywood, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park is no ordinary hayride.
The attraction takes participants through a 25-minute journey through armies of demonic forces, ghosts and ghouls and dark presences frantic to strike at the hayriders. This year, the event is bringing brand-new sets and special effects that haven’t been seen before in a live haunted attraction.
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will be frightening visitors every Thursday - Sunday in October 2014 from 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. or from 7 - 10:30 p.m. depending on the day. Various tickets and ticket packages are available online on the official website.
Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your US Coachways limo rental to Griffith Park with promo code “HAUNTEDLA.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!
Scare yourself silly this year at Discover Houston Tours’ Ghost Walks, which will feature the historic Donnellan Crypt. The 90-minute tour through Houston's Downtown Historic District will guide visitors through urban legends and true tales of deceased Houstonians.
Photo Credit: Mike Kees
Sandra Lord, owner of Discover Houston Tours, shared the eerie story behind Donnellan Crypt’s alleged haunting with us-
“Shortly after Houston’s first bridge was built across Buffalo Bayou at Milam Street in October 1838, the Donnellan family immigrated from Ireland. They settled along the bayou near the intersection of Franklin and Louisiana. When the father Timothy, died in 1849, his wife, Emily, buried him in the family crypt, a large, underground room dug into the side of Buffalo Bayou, fashioned out of red brick and sealed by a small wooden door with an arched header.
“In 1856, Emily remarried and moved across Franklin Avenue. Her son, Henry, and his friend A. C. Richer boarded with the family. Emily’s husband died in January 1867. By this time, the bayou under Milam Street Bridge had become an accident waiting to happen. Ordnance had been dumped there in 1865 to prevent it from being used by the Union army. It was also home to a sunken ship and two abandoned barges. When the bayou water was low, the debris would reappear, tempting young men like Henry and A. C. to explore.
“On February 10, 1867, the pair retrieved a shell from under the bridge on their way home from work. As Henry worked on the detonator cap to defuse the shell, Emily, blissfully unaware of their activities, prepared their meal. Suddenly, the bomb exploded, tearing off Richer’s arms and legs, badly mutilating Henry’s left arm and elbow, wounding his abdomen, lacerating his left leg and tearing off several fingers. What remained was interred in the family vault. Poor Emily died later that year and was buried with them in the crypt.”
Though the tour isn’t specifically a paranormal tour, everyone will receive a copy of Sandra Lord's Short Guide to the Paranormal, and participants are encouraged to bring EMF meters and cameras to see if any spirits are present.
According to Neil Tobin, necromancer and the star of Supernatural Chicago, Castle Chicago, located at 623 N. Dearborn, is a must-see for any of Chicago’s tourists in October. He gave us the inside scoop on what makes this historic building-turned nightclub so spooky.
Tobin said, “Late-night guests of the club have reported seeing a repeating cast of spirits through the years. These include a tuxedo-clad man who haunts the upstairs bar, a beautiful woman in a Victorian dress and hat and a little girl who runs around the second-floor balcony.
“Much of the staff has reported inexplicable events as well,” he continued. “Some have felt cold spots in specific areas of the club, heard voices when nobody else was around and captured inexplicable surveillance footage.”
Photo courtesy of Neil Tobin.
Castle Chicago looks like a decommissioned cathedral that’s been awashed in colored lights and is practically bursting with riotous nightlife. The building has been featured on TV's Ghost Adventures and Dead Famous as well as on the DVD release of the Michael Keaton feature film White Noise.
Tobin said, “Why the building is haunted can be attributed to a number of events, including the Great Chicago Fire, which claimed the prior building on the site (and the guests trapped within it). The remains of murdered Chicago pioneer James Lalime were also housed on the site. And according to legend, some of the bodies drowned in the Eastland disaster were kept in this building for identification.”
Tobin is the star of a paranormally themed theatre show called Supernatural Chicago. The performance has been entertaining theatergoers for over a decade. As the show’s resident necromancer, Tobin blends local spirit lore with interactive psychic and magic demonstrations. He will be performing the show for only four weekends in October. Tickets can be bought online.
About Neil Tobin:
Neil Tobin, necromancer, is the star of Supernatural Chicago, which has recently completed its record-breaking 10th straight year of performances at the landmark (and reputedly haunted) Castle nightclub. He has been profiled in Time-Out Chicago and the Chicago Tribune and has performed on broadcasts for The Travel Channel, The Biography Channel, WCKG-FM, WBEZ-FM, KISS-FM, WGN-AM (with Jonathon Brandmeier) and WGN-TV (opposite Oscar-nominee Gary Sinise). He can also be seen on the DVD release of the Michael Keaton thriller, White Noise, and heard on CD as narrator of Peter and the Werewolf with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Neil Tobin serves on the Board of Directors for the Psychic Entertainers Association and is the recipient of a Presidential Citation from the Society of American Magicians.
The oyster has long been a symbol of Chesapeake Bay’s maritime culture. This year, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., just a short drive away from Baltimore, will be honoring this tasty, versatile seafood with OysterFest. The celebration is set to happen Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Oysters on the half shell.
Visitors can expect some oyster-themed events as well as some entertainment and other attractions. There will be live music on two stages from the Roadhouse Clams and Swamp Donkey, boat rides, children’s activities, Chesapeake-related documentary screenings, on oyster stew competition, oyster cooking demonstrations and more.
Attendees can also take a gander at the museum’s floating fleet of historic vessels. According to the official website, boats from the Talbot County Waterman’s Association will be dockside to help with oyster dredging, hand tonging, patent tonging and oyster diving traditions.
Of course, there will be plenty of oyster dishes to partake in! Freshly caught and shucked Chesapeake Bay oysters, steamed or raw on the half shell, will be available, along with aquaculture raw oysters, oyster fritters and fried oyster sandwiches. For those who’d rather celebrate oysters than eat them, pit beef, hot dogs and hamburgers, along with cold beer, warm apple cider and more will be offered.
Baltimore is gearing up to have a spine-tingling Halloween this autumn with dozens of ghost walks, pub crawls, haunted spots, special and exhibitions fit for all ages.
When the sun sets, visitors can take a trip to the other side by taking a haunted ghost walk. These Baltimore ghost tours will take participants through the historic maritime village of Fell's Point, Mount Vernon and other famous frightening places.
Mount Vernon, one of Baltimore’s historic neighborhoods.
Every Saturday until the end of November 2014, adults can lift their spirits at some of the dozens of haunted pubs visited during a Baltimore Wicked History Tours pub crawl. The tour takes guests through several of Baltimore’s most famous pubs, where you’ll hear a unique take on Baltimore’s history as well as its heroes and villains.
The Admiral Fell Inn, named one of the Top 10 Haunted Places in Baltimore by TripAdvisor, holds a ghost tour and reception every year that begins in the lobby and tours the seven historic buildings that make up the Admiral Fell Inn. The tour is included in the hotel’s $9.95-per-night destination fee.
For more family-friendly events, check out Maryland Zoo’s ZooBOOO! event, which will provide free trick-or-treating, AVAM’s Free Fall Halloween Celebration, Maryland Science Center’s Spooky Science or the Great Halloween Parade.
Salem, known for its history of witchcraft and mystery, is the perfect setting for a Halloween celebration. Each year, the town, which is located only about 45 minutes away from Boston, honors the season with dozens of events, attractions and tours at Haunted Happenings.
Up for some scary stories with a bit of history? Try Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours. Led by a Salem native and modern witch, these day and evening tours will take you to around sites where the 1692 witch hysteria and trials occurred, past haunted buildings and landmarks and around some of the most historic locations in the city.
For more thrills, take a 3-D trip through time as you walk through Salem 3-D Haunted Adventure and Salem 3-D Haunted House. Tickets for these events are interchangeable and sold by date and time.
Families can catch some frightening fun at the Haunted Happenings Carnival on Derby Street. Tons of rides and games to test your skill will be available from Oct. 18-31, 2014.
Check out the Haunted Happenings website for more spooky events!
Forget the big name Halloween attractions and stray off the beaten path this season with Ghosts on the Banke, a hidden gem of a haunt with a historic flair. The annual event is located at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth N.H., a day trip for Boston and its suburbs.
Stephanie Seacord, publicist for Strawbery Banke, said, “Imagine dirt lanes lined with real jack-o-lanterns and wooden candle boxes, costumed pirates ships' captains and widows waiting at the front doors of historic houses to greet trick or treaters. You can see smoke bubbles and colored lights among the trees in heirloom fruit orchards with roaming storytellers and improv skits around the bonfire. All of this is aimed to delighting young children and their parents in the not-too-scary, managed neighborhood of a living history museum. That's Ghosts on the Banke.”
According to Seacord, Halloween is a holiday based on horror and deeply scary productions, usually those that will get the most attention. Ghosts on the Banke, however, is designed for children to delight in their own imaginations of ghosts and witches, the perfect setting for their Halloween celebration.
Everything is only $8 a person a free for those one and under, and takes place Oct. 24 - 25 from 6 - 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.strawberybanke.org or at the door.
If you want an awesome party bus tailgate experience, you’re going to need a few essentials. Marianne Gere, owner of ConshyGirls Catering, a catering and event planning company located in Conshohocken, Pa., shared some of her best tips.
When you're on a bus, eating large meals is often difficult, which is why I recommend lots of snacks. Not only do they last longer, they are also easier to eat. But that doesn't mean just grabbing a bag of chips! Instead, prepare snacks in advance and replace traditional chips and dip with tortilla chips and homemade guacamole. Just mash up some ripe avocados, diced onion, jalapeños, lime juice and cilantro. Add a little mayonnaise or sour cream and it’s done -- it's that easy. Or try homemade pita chips with store-bought hummus. Take pita bread, cut it into triangles, brush with olive oil and salt-and-pepper and bake in the oven until crisp, and done!
Get In The Spirit
And what is all this good food if you can’t wash it down with a nice cold beverage? To save time and money on costly cocktails try these seasonal spirits. A few days in advance, make some homemade sangria with seasonal fruit. This is a great way to stretch a budget as you do not need to use expensive wine. Here's the recipe for white sangria: four bottles of inexpensive Sauvignon blanc, a 1/2 bottle of Saint Germain, cut up apples and pears and, if you have a cinnamon stick in your spice cabinet, throw it in for fun (but not necessary) keep refrigerated. On game day, put in a self- dispensing canister, you can buy one of these at any home goods store, add a bottle of club soda and serve.
Another great beverage this time of the year is some apple cider with bourbon or really kick it up with a cinnamon flavored liquor, like Fireball. This will add a little heat on even the coldest game days!
Remember pre-planning is the key. So make sure you have enough cups, plates and utensils for everyone. This way, you can enjoy the game and not worry about the food!
Glowing lights and fantastic sights light up Baltimore at the The Great Halloween Lantern Parade, held each October by the city’s Creative Alliance. This year’s celebration will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 25 at Patterson Park.
The festival begins with lantern workshops where lanterns can be purchased for $2 each, and continues with hayrides, family fun, crafts vendors, food trucks and musical entertainment.
Later, kids can participate in a costume contest before the parade lines up-bright with lanterns ranging from the beautiful to the eerie-including floats, stiltwalkers, dancers and marching bands.
“Thanks to new lanterns from the Creative Alliance, there will be no shortage of color and light at this year’s Great Halloween Lantern Parade,” said Leslie Cox, communications manager at the Maryland Office of Tourism. “Also, the parade route changed so that the lights can be seen from further away. It’s going to be beautiful.”
The parade route begins at the Boat Lake and crosses over to the high ridge in Annex Park, so that the parade can be seen on high. Lineup is at 6:30 p.m. and the parade starts at 7 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 26.
According to Delfina Guemes, senior account executive at Finn Partners, no place does Halloween like New York.
Guemes said, “Although October 31 is more than a month away, the Halloween excitement is already in the air throughout the Empire State where frightful and fanciful goings-on begin in late September and continue right into November.”
She gave us some highlights from around the state below-
Headless Horseman Country
Some of the most frightful encounters are expected to occur in the Hudson Valley, where Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman is said to still prowl at night. One of his favorite haunts, beginning in late September, is the Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted House in Ulster Park. Here, the mile-long evening hayride through the woods, haunted houses and corn maze are so scary that children eight and under are not allowed.
Scared By The Sound
Adrenalin-pumping excitement beckons behind the gated walls of Historic Playland Amusement Park in Rye, where October brings Scared by the Sound Haunted House to life with terrifying scenarios that should not be seen by children under ten, or anyone faint of heart. The brave can also try to escape the Black Out Maze.
The Forest Of Fear
Called one of the scariest places in America by the Discovery Channel, The Forest of Fear in Tuxedo is filled with its own set of ghosts, ghouls and fiendish freaks who delight in terrifying visitors 12 and older on October weekends. Another fearsome place is the Pure Terror Scream Park, where over two miles of new haunted houses and trail attractions await adults and teens on the grounds of Museum Village in Monroe from September 26 to November 2, 2014.
We asked the experts to share the creepiest, scariest haunted houses in America, and we weren’t disappointed! Michael Ingberg, senior account executive at Marx Layne & Company, recommended three frightening attractions from America Haunts to give you chills-
Located in Philadelphia, Pennhurst Asylum is said to actually be haunted. The building was originally the Pennhurst State School, a school for the mentally and physically disabled, and has a history riddled with accusations of torture, abuse and neglect. Participants can take part in a hospital-themed walk through, the Dungeon of Lost Souls, The Tunnel Terror, or, if they’re really brave, Ghost Hunt, which was featured on Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters television programs. Visitors to Ghost Hunt are allowed to wander through the building armed only with a flashlight.
Cutting Edge Haunted House
Cutting Edge, located near Dallas, is also said to be haunted and holds several national awards as well as the Guinness World Record for “World’s Largest Walk Through Haunted House.” Featuring over an hour of nonstop scares, this multi-level, multi-themed attraction includes live actors, special effects and monsters. Cutting Edge is located in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packaging plant that has been transformed into a human processing area with realistic human mannequins. The attraction prides itself on having established a reputation for being one of the best haunted houses in the nation.
Bennett’s Curse, located near Baltimore, was named one of America’s scariest haunted houses by the Travel Channel and one of the top 13 haunted houses in America by HauntWorld. At Bennett’s Curse, you’ll find three terrifying haunted houses, starting with Medieval Underworld, and ending with Inferno 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity. The official website describes it as, “an assault to the senses, packing more film quality props, sets, characters, unique theming and an over the top collection of more giant monsters than any other attraction around.”
Each of these attractions is a member of America Haunts. According to Ingberg, “America Haunts membership is exclusive and includes nearly 30 attractions in 20 U.S. markets. The criterion for membership is daunting and becoming a member is one of the greatest recognitions a haunted house can receive. The high-tech attractions in this association are committed to providing technical excellence, stunning set design, and Hollywood-quality make-up, costumes and creatures. Members’ enjoy nothing more than delivering a good old-fashioned scare to fright fans of all ages.”