This year for the first time, Colonial Williamsburg is shining a light on the strange and mysterious events that occur in some of their historical houses and is offering guests Halloween packages to experience them firsthand. Guests can stay at the Market Square Tavern, where Thomas Jefferson was reported to have lived. One guest became convinced Jefferson’s ghost was pacing the hall at night. When he called out “goodnight, Tom” one evening before bed, he was startled as the chair scraped across the floor “ as though someone had stood up to offer his departing courtesies”.
Another option is Bracken Tenement Kitchen, where there have been numerous reports of an apparition of a lady in a full, dark dress in a rocking chair. Alternatively, in the nearby Orell House – one of the town’s 88 original buildings – there have been recent reports of furniture being turned upside down while the inhabitants were out at dinner. Now you can determine the truth in these reports by staying in them yourself.
If you’re unable to organise an overnight stay for the Halloween weekend, you can still take part in the spooky festivities at Colonial Williamsburg. Guests can register in advance to avail of free trick-or-treating, a costume contest, games and some scary storytelling. After 8 pm, the activities take a darker turn when the Curse of the Sea Witch falls over the town and the severed head of Blackbeard the Pirate must be found before it can be broken. Last year 10,000 guests gathered at the Historic Area for the Halloween period and the organisers say this year’s celebration will be bigger and better than ever.
Colonial Williamsburg is one of the top destinations for lovers of the paranormal. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, it’s full of rich history, local legends and plenty of ghost stories to go along with it. The town’s Peyton Randolph colonial house is regularly named one of America’s most haunted homes and is one of the top stops for the town’s numerous ghost tours.
A stay in one of the Haunted Colonial Houses start at US$216 per night based on a double occupancy and are available to book online now.