Thanks to its long history, Delaware is full of old graveyards and spooky houses. That means travelers in search of Halloween fun are tempted each year by a plentiful assortment of walking tours and moonlight excursions. Check out these local favorites:
Dark Dover Lantern Tour
Witness firsthand true stories of murder and mayhem, and encounter characters whose legends have left their sinister imprint on The Green. Pre-registration is required and spaces are limited. Guests meet at the John Bell House on The Green. The 411: Tours at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 17. 42 The Green, Dover, DE. Call (302) 739-9194 for reservations.
Hauntings in History Walking Tours
The crooked sidewalks are paved with centuries-old brick. Shaded alleyways and eerie cemeteries seem to have jumped out of an Edgar Allen Poe story. This is Old New Castle, and these are some of the elements on the “Hauntings in History Walking Tours,” highlighted by a tour of the legendarily haunted Amstel House, where the “Woman in Blue” lurks. Next, you will be guided through New Castle's darkened streets and alleyways, where you will hear macabre tales of hauntings, Victorian death & funeral customs, and crime & punishment that span the 360-year history of this Delaware River town. The 411: Fridays and Saturdays on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tour begins at the Amstel House, 2 East Fourth Street, New Castle, DE 19720 (302) 322-2794.
Ghosts in the Graveyard Tour
During the 19th Century, stories about graveyard hauntings were whispered in the parlors, taverns and shops of Wilmington with hushed excitement. Some of these tales have never been successfully refuted. The “Ghosts in the Graveyard” tour offers a trip through the fascinating cemetery at Old Swedes Church, featuring live actors who tell the tales, including the mystery of the late-night bell ringing at the church. The 411: Oct. 18 and 25, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. 606 Church St., Wilmington. (302) 652-5629. Reservations required.
Ghost Tours at Bellevue State Park
The mansion and grounds of this former estate truly boast a creepy vibe, especially during the Halloween tours held in October. The first (7-9 p.m. on Oct. 17) is a Candlelight Tour of Mount Pleasant Meeting House and Cemetery, where you’re sure to meet some ghosts. The Ghosts of Bellevue Grounds Tour (6-8 p.m. on Oct. 23) encounters some “unexplained company.” And the Bellevue Hall Ghost Tour (7-9:30 p.m. on Oct. 28) thrills participants with tales of this home’s ghoulish presence. The 411: Bellevue State Park, 800 Carr Rd., Wilmington, DE.
Historic Haunts in Lewes
Let the paranormal investigators of Delmarva Historic Haunts lead you on an exploration of the curious happenings in historic Lewes. Visitors will investigate the ghostly happenings at four historic buildings, including the Cannonball House, Burton Ingram, Rabbits Ferry, and the Old Doctor's Office. The 411: There are two sessions: 7 p.m.-10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. on Oct. 25. Investigations will begin at the Lewes Historic Complex at 110 Shipcarpenter Street in the Midway School #178. Reservations required – call (302) 645-7670 (ext. 12).