Fright Night

Oddities and amusements for this all hallowed season.

Illustration by Robert Meganck

Ghost Hunters

Maybe your home is haunted and you want to expel the evil spirits, or maybe you just get a kick out of supernatural encounters. Either way, offers a variety of tools for fearless ghostbusters. The starter kit, $99, includes everything from a meter that measures fluctuations in electromagnetic fields to an EVP recorder to pick up ghost chatter, portable motion sensors, a pen-style infra-red thermometer and other gimmicks. If you don’t want to go at it alone, the Couples Kit for $255.95 provides tools for two

Highway to Hell

Virginia has some towns with spooky-sounding names—perfect destinations for a fall road trip. Start with Goblintown in Patrick County, then head over to Screamersville in Chesterfield County, where some say they can hear the cries of the town’s departed. Deep within the Great Dismal Swamp near Chesapeake you might encounter the ghosts of Dismal Town, a deserted Colonial-era settlement. And if you ever wanted to say you’ve been to Hell and back, make sure to stop in Little Hell in Accomack County.

Take My Hand

Having your palm read is a great way to find out what life has in store. “What you see in someone’s palms, it’s real, you can’t fake it,” says Dawn MacLear, a.k.a. Madam Vision, of Alexandria, who has been telling fortunes for 30 years. MacLear also reads for groups and parties, and does tarot card reading over the phone, if you don’t have the nerve to do it in person. 703-399-9537

Terror Behind Walls

Ready to scare yourself silly? Virginia has no shortage of horror hot spots where ghosts of the past still rattle a few chains. Visit the Peyton Randolph House in Williamsburg, where the Marquis de Lafayette spent a few scary nights. Don’t miss the Major Graham Mansion in Wythe County, home to the ghost of a mad woman. Meet the tormented souls of patients that roam the hallways at the former St. Albans Sanatorium in Radford. Or explore the hotbed of paranormal activity that is the Sutherlin Mansion in Danville. Click here for even more haunted houses around the state.

Where the Grey Ghost Still Haunts

Middleburg is well known for its horse shows and farms. But after dark, the tiny town in Loudoun County transforms into one of the state’s scariest places. In fact, there are no lots in the historic district that don’t have a history of some kind of paranormal activity. Middleburg Ghost Tours take you on a leisurely 90-minute stroll to see the sites of some of the more active hauntings, including the location of an alleged mass grave dating to the Civil War. If you’re lucky (or unfortunate, depending on your perspective), you might see the specter of Confederate Col. John Singleton Mosby, also known as “the Gray Ghost.” 

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum