It’s that time of year again: Halloween is about to leap out at us from the shadows. It’s time to carve pumpkins, don scary masks and costumes and trick-or-treat until those candy buckets are filled.
But beyond pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating, there are other, shall we say, “less conventional” events taking place to celebrate this spooky season.
Here we choose five great Halloween hauntings and happenings in Loudoun:
Loudoun Museum's "Hauntings"
Wittily subtitled, “Discover the Real Nightlife of Leesburg,” the Loudoun Museum’s 30th annual “Hauntings” tours take place on the evenings of October 22 and 23, with funds going to the museum. The tours take attendees on a winding walk through the historic streets and alleyways of downtown Leesburg, guides telling stories of the homes and buildings en route, many said to be haunted by past inhabitants. Among the buildings on the tour: the Presbyterian Church, the Loudoun County Courthouse and the 1811-built Eliza House, named for Eliza Thompson, a woman who bravely fought a 13-year court battle for ownership of the home after her husband was killed in the Civil War. You will also visit Glenfiddich House (Harrison Hall), said to be haunted by the ghost of solider Colonel E. R. Burt who died here four days after being brought in with a gunshot wound. Tours take place every 20 minutes between 6 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. on Friday, and between 5:40 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets cost $30pp.
After a hiatus last year, Shocktober is back – prepare to scream! Located at the historic Carlheim Manor in Leesburg, the award-winning horror attraction raises money for The Arc of Loudoun by scaring the wits out of people. Rated the Fifth Scariest Haunted House in America by Travel & Leisure, join thousands of “fright fans” throughout October as they walk the blood-stained rooms, halls and corridors getting spooked by a cast of demonic costumed actors on the way. Extra surprises this year include a whole new floor of the mansion, several new secret rooms and a 10-foot tall character named Scarestalker. Book the RIP Package - Really Important People – for the best tickets. Tickets from $40-$125. Good luck!
There’s something about getting lost in a corn field that gives us the creeps. In keeping with the spooky spirit of the season why not take the family to a Loudoun corn maze and see how they handle it? Great Country Farms in Bluemont has a winding 1.5-acre puzzle of a maze that takes about 30 minutes to work through. Tell your kids about the apple cider and donuts you’ll reward them with at the country market if they make their way out. For something even more challenging, head over to Harvest Gap Brewery in Hillsboro where the corn field you gaze out on from the back deck of the scenic farm ale house has been turned into a complex eight-acre maze with multiple passages, paths and enclosures. To see how challenging it is, check out an aerial view of it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipqFXwiLwbI. After you’re through, relax at the brewery with a glass of delicious Holler House New England style IPA. The brewery offers great bar food, too and delectable South Mountain Creamery ice cream for the little ones.
Ghostly Craft Beverages
Loudoun’s ever innovative wineries and breweries love to get in on the Halloween action. Visitors to Fabbioli Cellars in Lucketts are invited to celebrate Dia de los Muertos all month with a pairing that includes six Mexican-inspired bites while nearby Vanish Farmwoods Brewery is hosting a Night of the Living Brews costume party October 30. The brewery will also be releasing two new sour ales for the occasion: the aptly named Electroplasm and the Vampires Don't Cry. Popular Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn is doing The Oxorcist II, a re-release of the haunting Imperial Pumpkin Ale from last year. What is it? Consider 100 pounds of pumpkin and 10 gallons of pure Vermont maple syrup bought to boil then finished with a light touch of pumpkin pie spices and some vanilla bean. Scary good! Back to wine country. For a haunted winery visit, make your way to the historic Zephaniah Farm Vineyard where the owners will happily tell you about the weird sounds and happenings in the dairy barn, and the ghostly voices from an upstairs room of the main house. Indeed, a local paranormal team investigated and confirmed the spectral presence. Fear not, a glass of the superb Cab Franc fortifies the soul.
"Air & Scare" at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
On October 30 the annual family-friendly Halloween dress up “Air & Scare” will return to the spectacular air and space museum in southeast Loudoun. Kids, parents and even museum staff dress up in costumes and there are scores of fun activities to do including trick-or-treating, creepy crafts and spooky science experiments. Of course, families also get to see the incredible displays and aircraft at the museum including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde and the Space Shuttle Discovery.
For a complete list of events, visit our Events Page!