While trick-or-treating, spooky pub crawls and apple bobbing are all mostly off the menu this year, Halloween isn’t canceled. These five events will let you keep some of the scare in the air this October.
Since haunted houses don’t lend themselves to social distancing, Shocktober—an annual fundraiser for the Arc of Loudoun—is going virtual this year. While you won’t be able to feel the frights in the haunted house (which Travel & Leisure ranked as the fifth scariest in the nation), online experiences, including haunting classes, livestreamed celebrity events and a new “Why We Shock” fundraising campaign will all lift your Halloween spirits.
You may have done a holiday lights drive-thru in years past, but a drive-thru haunted house? This is a first. The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is pivoting this season, transforming its usual haunted trail attraction into something equally scary, but contactless. From Oct. 2 to 31, Halloween fans will get to experience Nightmare Alley, featuring 13 different scary scenes with zombies, swamp creatures, creepy clowns, scary dolls and more, all from the “safety” of their cars.
Death Comes to Carlyle House
Mask up and step back in time at the Carlyle House in Old Town Alexandria. The historic home, where John Carlyle passed away in 1780, is offering special tours, dubbed Death Comes to Carlyle House, on select evenings in October. The tour gives a sneak peek into Alexandria founder and wealthy merchant Carlyle’s mansion, and offers insights into what death and mourning was like in the 18th century.
Hull’s Drive In
What’s Halloween without a horror movie? Instead of hiding under a blanket on your couch, head out to Hull’s Drive-In in Lexington for an eerie evening on Oct. 30 or 31. In addition to a scary movie double feature (movies were TBA as of this posting), attendees are invited to email a picture of themselves in costume for a “parade” and costume contest on the movie screen before the show. Each car will receive a goody bag at the ticket booth in lieu of the drive-in’s usual trunk-or-treat event. And, there will even be a “scariest car” contest, so your ride can also get in on the costume fun.
Alexandria Colonial Tours
In Old Town Alexandria, there are ghosts all around—you just have to know where to look for them. Luckily, Alexandria Colonial Tours knows where all the bodies are buried. Sign up for a tour of the city’s historic haunts, led by a Colonial-costumed guide with a lantern to light your way. You’ll learn about ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries and even a ghost or two in search of revenge. Not comfortable yet with an in-person tour? This year, you can also take the one-hour tour via Zoom.
Photo credit: Sam Kittner for Visit Alexandria