Things to Do

15 Spooky Ghost Tours and Haunted Houses Around DC

Supernatural hikes, creepy houses, haunted forests, and more.

Photo courtesy of Field of Screams.
How to Do Fall Around DC

About How to Do Fall Around DC

Make the most of autumn activities with these ideas for a fun-filled fall. Check out colorful foliage, corn mazes, haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more.

Mysterious ghouls and ghastly houseguests lurk at DC-area haunted houses and ghost tours. With Halloween a few weeks away, search for kindred spirits at these spooky spots.  

DC

Washington Walks
355 First St., SE
Get to know the spookier side of DC history on two nighttime walking tours. Capitol Hauntings is an interactive guide to ghosts lurking outside the Supreme Court and other national institutions. A tour of local haunted houses begins at the Octagon, rumored to be most haunted site in the city, and stops at the White House. Details: Every Friday and Saturday from October 4 to October 26; $20.

Congressional Cemetery
1801 E St., SE
Hear stories about notable Washingtonians at the historic cemetery on Soul Strolls. Grab a beer or a glass of wine and traipse the grounds while costumed guides relay the histories of those buried there. Details: Every Friday and Saturday from October 18 to October 26; $25.

National Building Museum
401 F St., NW
Sip a little liquid courage from local vendors like Right Proper and Port City Brewing Company at the museum’s Boos & Brews event. Guides share ghost stories on a tour of the haunted pension building. Details: Monday October 21; $20.

Maryland

Laurel’s House of Horror
935 Fairlawn Ave, Laurel
Iconic horror film villains are scattered throughout the abandoned movie theater at the back of Town Centre mall, mingling with the ghosts said to haunt the space. The house features a ghastly escape room with a different theme every year. This time? Welcome to the dollhouse. Details: Every Friday to Sunday to September 27 through November 2 and every Thursday from October 17 to October 31; $25.

Field of Screams
4501 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney
You can choose your own terrifying adventure in Olney. There are two haunted trails, a slaughterhouse, and a brand new carnival like Lizzie Borden-themed axe throwing. Wear comfortable shoes to run from lurking monsters. Details: Every Friday to Sunday from October 4 to November 2 and every Thursday from October 17  to October 31; $22-32.

Markoff’s Haunted Forest
19120 Martinsburg Rd., Dickerson
Pick from three trails to hike this haunted woodland. Zombies and ghouls lurk in the shadows and behind trees, and each trail offers something different, including a haunted town at the edge of the forest. The lines can get long, but there are activities while you wait, like a zip line and games. Details: Every Friday and Saturday from October 4 to November 2, every Sunday from October 20 to October 27, and Thursday October 31; $20.

Vampire Manor
9765 Bel Alton Newtown Rd., Bel Alton
These vampires are as fearsome as they are philanthropic. All the proceeds from the Charles County haunted house go to local charities, including the Charles County Dive Rescue, the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department, and area high school drama programs. Details: Every Thursday to Saturday from October 10 to November 2; $15.

Virginia

Photo courtesy of Paxton Manor.

The Winery at Bull Run
15950 Lee Hwy., Centreville
On the site of a Civil War battle in Manassas, these haunted wine tours are one part tasting, one part eerie history lesson. Learn about the ghosts of the past that haunt the property while sipping vino. Details: Every Wednesday to Saturday from September 18 to November 16; $45.

Cox Farms
15621 Braddock Rd., Centreville
Wander the Fields of Fear at this Centreville farm. Take a hayride to the site of an abandoned circus, or brave the corn maze, which recently underwent a major overhaul. Details: Every Friday and Saturday from September 20 to November 2. Also open Sunday October 13; $20 to $35.

Old Town Alexandria
221 King St., Alexandria
Stroll through Old Town by the light of a lantern, while a costumed guide in 18th century-garb details the puzzling mysteries and uncanny sightings that haunt Alexandria. Details: October 1 to October 31; $15.

Ben Lomond Historic Site
10311 Sudley Manor Dr., Manassas
Cozy up by the fire at the 19th-century house and share ghost stories. Local residents have long whispered of strange happenings at this former Civil War hospital where spirits are said to haunt the grounds by the unmarked graves. DetailsFriday October 4; $5 on site.

Hill High Farm
933 Barley Ln., Winchester
This Winchester farm has spooks for every age, from Casper-level activities during the day to a haunted house filled with grown-up horrors at night. Extreme thrill-seekers can take the Last Ride, a casket that simulates being buried alive. Details: Every Friday to Sunday from October 4 to November 1 and every Thursday from October 17 to October 31; $15-25.

Weems-Botts Museum
3944 Cameron St., Dumfries
Explore haunted locales in and around the historic property on two ghost walks. Take a one-hour stroll through Dumfries, or head inside the museum and review the paranormal archives with a researcher. Details: Every Saturday and Sunday from October 4 to October 27; $15 to $50.

Paxton Manor
601 Catoctin Cir., NE, Leesburg
Legend has it, shortly after Dale Carlheim built Paxton Manor, he stumbled upon a plot of unmarked graves in caves beneath the house. His wife and children were soon killed in mysterious accidents and he vanished. You can visit the home, and this year it features the stuff of childhood nightmares: the first three stories have been transformed into an eerie campsite called Camp Carlheim, while evil clowns skulk in the basement at the Carnival of Souls. Details: Every Friday to Sunday from October 4 to November 2; $40 to $50.

Lee-Fendall House
614 Oronoco St., Alexandria
Call it sad ghoul fall: stop by the house for Grief and Ghosts, a lesson in Victorian mourning traditions. The nighttime tours cover everything from 18th century funeral practices and seances to the many mysterious happenings in the historic home. Details: Every Friday and Saturday from October 25 to November 2; $10.

 

 

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Nathan Diller
Editorial Fellow

Nathan is an editorial fellow at Washingtonian. Originally from Nashville, he graduated from Columbia Journalism School with a master’s degree in 2019. His work has also appeared in SPIN, NYLON, and Nashville Lifestyles.