Just 25 miles from the nation’s capital, Loudoun County is steeped in tons of fascinating, rich history. Out here, we love a good reenactment. Send us on a walking tour any day! That being said, our history’s not all bonnets and carriage rides. This October, come face to face with the ghosts and demons of tragic LoCo times gone by. Read on for a little backstory… if you dare. (*Disclaimer: Like all the best scary stories, the following “history” has no basis in fact. 😉*)

Paxton Hall School is a boarding school in Leesburg, Virginia, with a very dark past. In its early years, the school was run by a ruthless headmistress who did not like children and had an evil, cruel streak. The entire school population suffered for this. As she continued with her cruelty, things began to go horribly wrong. The children rebelled. When the Head Mistress discovered this, her only thoughts were to save the reputation of the school. She ordered the doors and windows locked, so no news or evidence of this rebellion could reach the outside world.

What happened during those last bloody and violent days of Paxton Hall have been shrouded in mystery for many years. However, the story does not end here. Only recently have the details of this story come to light. In 2018, while renovating a building on the Paxton property, a box was discovered. This box contained items that the Headmistress had hoped to hide away from the world forever. Among those items were clues to the events that happened, numerous letters and a journal from a student.

Over the years, Paxton Hall, has been a site for many strange and inexplicable paranormal occurrences. Apparently, this was just the beginning. What happened to the 57 angry and desperate souls that inhabited this school? The opening of the hidden box has reawakened and unleashed these tortured souls. Now, they scream out for the truth to be told. On the anniversary of these horrible events, we will open the doors of Paxton Hall and let the souls speak for themselves…

Someone please hold our hand, because we seriously have goosebumps. If you’re ready for a totally terrifying night of spooktacular sights, make your way to Paxton Manor for the ninth season of Shocktober! Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from October 5th through November 4th, explore the three unnerving levels of this 150-year-old award-winning haunted mansion — including its basement, “The Carnival of Souls.” No flashlights, scaredy cat! Within this malicious manor, Shocktober attendees can also race against the clock in “Escape Paxton,” a mind twistingly tricky five-minute escape room of sheer confusion. Make it out of this devilish chamber just in the nick of time yelling, “Not today, Satan!”

To experience the hair-raising house in full-fledged fright, get your thrills with Shocktober’s Trail of Terror: a 3-day passport guide to Loudoun County restaurants, wineries, breweries, and places to stay. For all those too scared to drive home after Shocktober, find sanctuary at Lansdowne Resort. Or, keep your goosebumps going all night long with the Halls of Horror overnight package at The National! Take advantage of their complimentary shuttle ride to and from Paxton Manor. Then, wander their maze-like halls and grab a nightcap at their haunting hotel bar, Black Olive Bar & Grill. Wherever you stay, just don’t look under the bed. Throughout your wicked weekend, creep along the Trail of Terror like a determined trick-or-treater, because the more places you visit, the more prizes you can win! Make sure to keep checking your back, though… does anyone else feel like we’re being followed? Because we definitely heard a bump in the night.

For all you Halloween-heads who love jump-out-of-your-skin scares, get to hopping and {boo}k the Fears & Beers package! Ride to your doom in a van or limo (sorry, no hearses), stopping at Old Ox Brewery and Delirium Café before arriving at your final destination, Shocktober. Your ticket includes not only this maliciously mini brewery tour of Loudoun County but also a {fright} of beer at Old Ox and Delirium, a R.I.P. (Really Important People) Shocktober fast pass, and a Shocktober t-shirt you’ll love so much that you’ll want to be buried in it. In other beverage-related Shocktober news, be sure to sample the Oxorcist II, a witch’s brew Old Ox is concocting in collaboration with Shocktober. And keep your eyeballs peeled for Tarara Winery’s ghoulicious Shocktober wine. You won’t find a trace of poison in either potion, we’re pretty sure…

While Shocktober is unquestionably PG-13, they do what they do all for the children. The organization teems with charitable intention and screams “We scare because we care!” All proceeds from Shocktober benefit The Arc of Loudoun, a non-profit organization that advocates for and provides direct service to children with disabilities, as well as their families, caretakers and the professionals who work with them. Can you believe that underneath Shocktober’s scarish, garish costumes and nightmarish sets exists a kind-hearted, undead soul?

Oops, wrong type of “shocking.” (We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves there.)

That’s more like it. Muhahahaha.


TLDR: Thrill seekers simply cannot miss the horror-struck happenings at Shocktober. You’ll get scared down to your skeleton and encounter bone-deep dreads. Just keep telling yourself, It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not—