Autumn is upon us and October is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween and all of the scary things that go along with it. And what could be more in the spirit of the season than a ghost walk?!
My wife, Rhiannon, loves a good ghost walk or story, and has been wanting to try the Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk for a while. We were hoping for a dark, rainy evening for our walk and that’s just what we got.
As we approached our meeting point at the William Pitt Store, the light from the street lamps illuminated our way. Rain fell lightly and the wind made the leaves on the trees rustle. Despite the gloomy weather, fellow ghost walkers were in jovial spirits, laughing and joking, anticipating a memorable evening to come.
And a memorable evening was indeed in store. Our guides, Ann and Natalie, took us on a walk of these historic streets, spinning and weaving tales of the most haunted buildings of Colonial Williamsburg.
What makes these tales extra spooky is that they are not made up. They are told to the guides by their colleagues and guests who have experienced the ghosts firsthand.
Of course, I don’t want to give away too much, but we strolled down DoG Street, stopping at the Prentis Store, the Brickhouse Tavern, Kings Arms Tavern, Shields Tavern, the Capitol building, and finally, a graveyard.
These stories were not only ghost tales, but tales of real people who lived here, whose stories you can connect to and people you’d want to know more about. And just as a word of caution, if anyone asks, it may be in your best interest to say goodnight to Erna as you stroll by the Kings Arms. I’ll just leave it at that.
I do know that Rhiannon is now anxiously waiting to book a room at the Brickhouse Tavern to see if she will have her own ghostly experience, and she is begging me to take nightly walks in the Historic Area in hopes she will have an experience worthy enough to be included as a story on the tour.
For the month of October you can take the Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk for only $5. This walk sets the tone for Halloween and is the perfect prelude to the Haunting on DoG Street: Blackbeard’s Revenge taking place over Halloween weekend.
If you decide to you’re brave enough to walk these haunted streets, there are a few things you’ll want to remember. Bring a jacket, as October temperatures can get chilly; an umbrella in case of showers; a comfortable pair of walking shoes; and most importantly, your camera! You are encouraged to take pictures of anything and everything, as you never know what your camera may catch in the way of glowing orbs, disappearing objects, or even… maybe… ghosts themselves.
Guest Blogger: Ryan Redding
Ryan Redding is a lifelong lover of Colonial Williamsburg. He started visiting with his parents when he was just a baby, so CW has always felt like a home away from home. He recently relocated to Williamsburg from Southern Michigan with his wife, Rhiannon. They love spending their free time in the Revolutionary City and enjoying everything it has to offer, including dining in our historic taverns!
Ryan is also a golf fanatic and enjoys writing for the Virginia Golf Report about golf in central Virginia. You can follow his Colonial Williamsburg adventures through his personal blog, The Dog Street Patriot.