RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Fall is upon us, and with the decreasing temperatures, shorter days, longer nights and death of most vegetation — comes a time of year commonly referred to as “spooky season.”
According to Merriam-Webster, spooky, an adjective suggesting “spooks,” is any one thing that causes one to be frightened or frantic — and we can all agree the Halloween season is full of spooks and spooky happenings galore.
While Halloween has always been celebrated and enjoyed en masse, the spook-filled holiday has steadily gained a type of cult following throughout the years with the rise of pop culture movies and tv shows, and the romanticism of some of the darker things that go bump in the night, right alongside the unaware.
Whether you’re a fan of the sudden increase of Snickers bars in your home, dressing up as your most revered Disney movie character, the rush of adrenaline from a good Halloween haunted house scare, or are an Edgar Allen Poe and Addams Family aficionado, spooky season has activities for everyone.
Continue reading below for a list of activities featuring the fan-favorite season of frights and ghouls.
Hampton: Haunted Screams Expo
Saturday, Sept. 17 – Sunday, Sept. 18
- The Haunted Screams Expo is a celebration of horror and monster movies, with something to do for all ages. Guests will have the chance to browse works and collectibles from artists and collectors and to experience live special makeup FX contests, Q&A panels, costume contests, an on-site haunted house, and displays of cars from famous horror and monster movies.
Kings Dominion: Halloween Haunt and Great Pumpkin Fest
Saturday, Sept. 24 through Friday, Oct. 30
- Halloween Haunt and The Great Pumpkin Fest will take place at the Kings Dominion park beginning in late September and go through October 30.
Busch Gardens: Howl-O-Scream
Friday, Sept. 9 through Monday, Oct. 31
- The annual Howl-O-Scream will return to the park on Friday, Sept. 9. This year’s event includes five haunted houses, four live performances, and themed areas around the park. Nighttime rides will also be available on eight attractions, including the all-new Pantheon roller coaster.
Mount Rouge Farm: The Sleepy Hollow Experience
Thursday, Oct. 6 to Monday, Oct. 31
- The Sleepy Hollow Experience is an immersive, family-friendly theatre performance that allows audiences to explore the Mount Rouge Farm in Roseland alongside actors every Thursday through Sunday in October.
- Tickets range from $39 to $54, depending on the day and availability. VIP packages with a special haunted graveyard tour are also available for $99.
Chesterfield Fall Festival Trunk-or-Treat
Saturday, Oct. 22
- The first annual Fall Festival Trunk or Treat in Chesterfield is a family-friendly event with plenty to do. The centerpiece of the day is a classic car show, but there will also be a live DJ, a bake sale, food trucks, a petting zoo and of course, “trunk or treating” for kids.
- The event is free and will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the Chesterfield Food Bank Outreach Center, located at 12211 Iron Bridge Road in Chester.
Hampton History Museum Horror Tours
Tuesday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 30
- The Hampton History Museum’s Hampton Horror Tours are back after a two year hiatus! Each hour-long, lantern-lit tour welcomes visitors to explore Downtown Hampton and experience stories of the darker history of the city.
- Tours will take place twice a night, at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., every night from Tuesday, Oct. 25 to Sunday, Oct. 30. Tours will begin at the Hampton History Museum, located at 120 Old Hampton Lane.
- Adult tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door, and $12 for children under 12. The museum notes that these tours are not recommended for children under 8.
Squirrel-O-Ween at the Diamond
Friday, Oct. 28
- The Richmond Flying Squirrels will be hosting “Squirrel-O-Ween,” the Diamond’s annual Halloween celebration. Children will be able to trick or treat in the stadium and guests can also enjoy hay rides and a costume contest.
- The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Diamond, located at 3001 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond.
Richmond: 2022 Halloween Capital Trail 10-mile & 5K
Saturday, Oct. 29
- The Fourth Annual Halloween-themed 10-mile and 5k run along the James River will take place in the morning on Saturday, Oct. 29, and will feature scenic views along the river, top-finisher prizes, costume contests, music, a beverage ticket and more.
Richmond Riverfront Canal Cruises: Eerie Canal tours
Saturday, Oct. 29
- Riverfront Canal Cruises, part of Venture Richmond, is hosting “Eerie Canal” tours through downtown Richmond on the historic Kanawha Canal for one night only.
- The tours will begin at the Canal Walk’s Turning Basin at 139 Virginia Street and go through “the spooky sights and sounds of Richmond’s oldest and most historically haunted districts.”
Downtown Ashland Halloween Celebration
Friday, Oct. 28 through Monday, Oct. 31
- Halloween activities in Downtown Ashland this year feature four days of scary and seasonal family-fun events.
- Activities include trick-or-treating for kids in all Ashland neighborhoods, a scavenger hunt for prizes, adult trick-or-treating with a bar crawl and music concerts and lantern-lit ghost tours.
Hanover Hollowed Harvest
Friday, Sept. 23 through Oct. 30
- “The Hollowed Harvest” will take place at Camp Hanover, 3163 Parsleys Mill Road, Mechanicsville. Guests can expect to see thousands of intricately carved organic pumpkins, towering Jack-O’-Lantern sculptures and a large pumpkin tunnel to walk through.
- Tickets are now available, and the attraction will be open Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 30.