It’s getting dark earlier and the evening air is taking on the chill of autumn. Pumpkins and cornstalks decorate doorsteps, noting the harvest season and the arrival of Halloween. But if jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, and hay bales transformed into spiders don’t offer the thrills and chills you’re seeking this season, Loudoun has a few haunting experiences bound to get your heart pounding! So for you horror movie buffs and thrill seekers, here are a few scary Halloween attractions (not recommended for younger children – check each website for specific age recommendations). Enter if you dare!
An evening walk through the dark woods is eerie any time of the year. An evening walk through the the Haunted Forest at Algonkian Park is downright frightful! According to legend, these woods were once home to a remote boarding school run by a former clown turned caretaker who secretly harbored a hatred of children. Dismissed from his job the disgruntled caretaker continues to roam the woods, seeking to punish anyone who dares to visit after dark! New for this year is a haunted fun house. Now open on weekends through November 1st.
Enjoy an exploration of Loudoun’s haunted homes during the 22nd Annual Hauntings Tour in Historic Downtown Leesburg. This 90 minute tour takes visitors into private homes and businesses to hear the stories of these haunted sites – like the Civil War general who watches over the staff of a local business. Or the widow who fought to keep her house and still resides there to this day, even helping with the daily housework. Only open on October 24-October 25, these tours will sell out quickly so reserve your spot today!
Built in the 1800s, Paxton Manor is a foreboding Victorian mansion filled with large rooms and dark hallways – a naturally eerie setting that becomes terrifying every October as it is transformed for Shocktober. Explore the dark halls and descend into the basement as you visit each of Paxton Manor’s Shocktober attractions including the not-so-fun Fun House and the dark descent of The Last Ride. Open Fridays through Sundays throughout October and the first weekend of November.
The mansion at Oatlands plantation has housed many residents during its 200 year history, some of whom may have never truly left. Reports of strange occurrences and even voices in the home prompted an investigation by a team of paranormal experts. Hear their recordings of ghostly voices as well as the curator and docents’ accounts of their own other-worldly experiences during their annual Paranormal Tours – a rare opportunity to visit Oatlands after dark and learn a history not included in their normal tours. This tour is only available the weekend of October 24-25, 2014. Get a sneak peak of what to expect in this video from visitloudoun.org’s Get Lost in Loudoun: Haunted Hunt.