Learn about Virginia’s haunted historic past on ghost tours across the commonwealth

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A man clinging to a tree in the face of an apparition in a forest, circa 1865. London Stereoscopic Company Comic Series – 72 (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s the time of year when people seek the thrill of a scary story – and what’s scarier than a real ghost story? There’s no shortage of hauntings around the historic commonwealth and plenty of tours to show you the spookiest spots in your town. To make it easier to encounter one of Virginia’s real apparitions, we compiled a list of the top haunted tours across the state so you can plan spooky road trips with ease.

RICHMOND AREA

Eerie Nights Ghost Tour

This hour and a half-long walking tour will take thrill-seekers through a variety of haunted spots in Richmond. This tour takes on a more theatrical approach with guides dressing up in period costumes with special effects makeup, acting as characters from the 1800s or 1920s.

The content of these tours is considered mature and any child under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. $16 a person online or at the ticket booth located at the 17th street Farmers Market; credit card only. Find more information online here.

Haunts of Richmond

This company offers ghost tours in several different locations from Shockoe Bottom to Franklin. They also have a haunted pub tour, where you can sample spirits while learning about them, and TukTuk tours for people who don’t quite feel like walking to learn about the area’s darkest tales.

The tours take place at various locations all over the city and the price varies per event. You can this information and more on Haunts of Richmond’s website.

Richmond Ghosts

Learn about some of Richmond’s most haunted spots on this haunted walk across Shockoe Bottom and Church Hill. The tour is family-friendly and will “bring history to life, through death.”

Tours meet at The 17th Street Farmers Market, between Franklin and Main Streets. $24.99 per person plus fees; you can also add an extra 30 minutes and four more tales for an extra $5. Tickets can be purchased online here. You can find more information about their tours on Richmond Ghosts’ website.

Petersburg Haunts Walking Ghost Tour

Learn about some of the oldest homes up and down High Street, as well as the ghosts that haunt them.

Tours are on Fridays and Saturdays as well as Halloween. They meet at The Exchange Building and Petersburg Visitors Center on 15 West Bank St., Petersburg. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online here.

Ghost Appears To Hamlet
Horatio, Marcellus and Hamlet (center) encounter the ghost of the late King Hamlet in Act 1, Scene 4 of William Shakespeare’s play, ‘Hamlet’. Chromolithograph illustration drawn and etched by Robert Dudley. From ‘The Illustrated Library Shakespeare’, published London, 1890. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

WILLIAMSBURG

Colonial Ghost Tours

Colonial Ghost Tours will not only take you through the graveyards and haunted sites of Williamsburg but also has opportunities for visitors to go ghost hunting.

The tour meets at 424 W Duke of Glouchester St. at the statue of Thomas Jefferson. Tickets are $12 to $24 plus fees. There is also the option to add an extended William and Mary tour and to rent an EMF detector. You can buy tickets and find more information on their website.

Haunted Williamsburg

This is Colonial Williamsburg’s official ghost tour which will take you into areas other tours cannot. Guides will lead you by candlelight through some of the area’s most haunted spots.

The tour starts at the Play House Stage on Palace Green and is recommended for children ages 8 and up. There is also a Ghost Walk Jr. available for younger children. Tickets are $12 to $19 and can be purchased online.

The Originial Ghost Tour

This company boasts itself as Virginia’s oldest ghost tour and the second oldest in the country. They have five options available for thrill-seekers including the Original Ghosts of Williamsburg, Yorktown Hallowed Ground and the Haunted River Cruise of James Island.

Tours begin at various locations and times and tickets range from $17 to $28. You can buy tickets and find more information on their website here.

Illustration of a ghost ship
Illustration of a ghost ship (Getty Images)

HAMPTON ROADS

Neptune Ghosts

This tour will take guests along the boardwalk using monuments to teach people about Virginia Beach’s darker history including pirates, witchcraft and those lost to the sea. With so much tragedy in its past, there’s a reason the city still has spirits wandering its shores.

Tours begin at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum on 2401 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. Tickets are $12.99 to $19.99. You can buy tickets and find more information on Neptune Ghosts’ website.

Haunted Walking Tour of Virginia Beach

This candlelit walk will go over the darker side of the city’s maritime history. Stops on this tour include the Norwegian Lady Statue and the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

Tours begin at the entrance of the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum on 2401 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online here.

Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost tour

A costumed guide will take you down Main Street talking about Suffolk’s legends and unsolved mysteries that haunt the city to this day.

The walks are from 7 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 30, and Nov. 13, and begin at 524 N Main St. in Suffolk. Tickets are $8 to $10. For more information call 757-514-4130 or email visitsuffolk@suffolkva.us.

A couple are terrified by a spectral apparition, circa 1880
A couple is terrified by a spectral apparition, circa 1880. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

FREDRICKSBURG

Fredericksburg Haunting Tours

Guides wearing historical garb will take you back in time to the terrifying history that haunts the streets of Fredericksburg to this day. History is not dead when the ghosts of the past battles still roam the land they died on.

Tours run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3, and begin in the Fredericksburg Visitor Center parking lot located at 706 Caroline St. Ticket prices are not listed online. You can find more information and buy tickets by calling 540-760-5450.

Witches, Ghost, Thieves, Murder and Mayhem Tour

This is a private horse-drawn carriage tour. Guests will learn about Fredericksburg’s scariest stories including the Ghost of Chatham, the women in white and more.

Tours run from July through November. Carriage rides are $80 to $135 plus taxes per group. You can reserve your tour and find more information online here.

An apparition appearing to two country folk in their kitchen, circa 1865
An apparition appearing to two country folk in their kitchen, circa 1865. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Alexandria Colonial Tours’ Ghost & Graveyard Tour

This six-block, candlelight tour will be led by a costumed guide sharing the area’s unsolved mysteries, ghost stories and legends.

Tickets are $9 to $15 a person. You can find more information and book your tour on Alexandria Colonial Tours’ website.

Middleburg Ghost Tours

Claiming Middleburg to be one of Virginia’s most haunted locations, this walk will show guests some of the town’s most haunted houses on the way to the historic downtown.

Tours are most Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and meet at the municipal lot on South Liberty Street in Middleburg. Tickets are $30 a person and can be purchased online here.

Occoquan Spirits: Haunted Pub Crawl and Ghost Tour

Walk through some of the town’s haunted spots starting at a restaurant home to a ghost they call “Ted.” The website cautions that while some guests may experience cold spots, hear or even be touched by a spirit, none of the ghosts are malevolent.

Tours begin at the Spot On Mill Street on 408 Mill St. You can find more information and schedule a group tour online here.

A man clinging to a tree in the face of an apparition in a forest, circa 1865
A man clinging to a tree in the face of an apparition in a forest, circa 1865. (Photo by London Stereoscopic Company/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

OTHER AREAS

Appalachian Ghost Walks

From Abingdon, Virginia, to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this company offers lantern-lead tours in cities across the mountain range. They also offer walks and excursions in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Tours are $29 to $48 a person depending on the size of the group and are available in multiple cities. You can find more information and make reservations online here.

Bacon’s Castle Haunt Nights

For two nights only guests can learn about the haunted past of the old house with ghost stories, haunted tours, a bonfire and hot apple cider. You can either freely roam the grounds or go on a tour led by a paranormal investigator.

Tours are at Beacon’s Castle on 465 Bacons Castle Trail in Surry and offered on Oct. 16 and 30. Tickets are $15 to $40 and can be purchased online here.

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