Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

October 5, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg’s Haunts Come to Life at Night

History tells us of the many residents who lived and worked in the 18th-century capital of Virginia. Some may still be among us. Colonial Williamsburg’s programs offer tales of Williamsburg’s haunted history this fall.

Through Tavern Ghost Walks, guests hear spirited, interactive 21st-century folklore of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area. The family-friendly, one-hour walking tour features modern-day ghost stories and experiences of guests and employees. Tours start at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily through Nov. 24. Starting Nov. 25, times will change to 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. No tours will be given Dec. 5 because of Grand Illumination. Ticket: $12 for adults and $7 for children under 12.

As the sun sets and the moon rises, storytellers share some of the same legends that entertained families of centuries past during “Listen My Children: Legends, Myths and Fables for Families.” Bring the entire family to this gathering where you’ll hear fun and interesting stories that young and old will enjoy. 6:30 p.m. Coffeehouse backyard, Saturdays through Nov. 20, plus Sunday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 25. Ticket: $12 for youth ages 6-17 and adults and $6 for children under 6.

During “Lanthorn Tours,” guests explore the shops and workplaces of 18th-century Williamsburg’s most accomplished tradespeople. Enter four shops and learn about masters, journeymen and apprentices, the technology of the trades, and the circumstances that shaped Virginia’s economy. Weather permitting. 7 and 8:30 p.m. Lumber House Ticket Office, Oct. 10 and Nov. 25. Ticket: $12 for youth ages 6-17 and adults, $6 for children under 6.

Past and present come together as Colonial Williamsburg guests and their families don their Halloween costumes and join in a walking tour, “Spooks and Spectres.” This program mixes modern ghost sightings with eerie stories from our colonial past. After the tour, guests enjoy cider and cookies in a tavern garden and perhaps hear a few more stories. All children must accompanied by an adult. 6:30 and 8 p.m. Oct. 29-30. Ticket: $15 for youth ages 6-17 and adults and $8.50 for children under six.

Guests are the jury in this candlelit inquiry into the charges of the witchcraft brought against Grace Sherwood in 1706 during the evening program, “Cry Witch.” Ask questions of the witnesses weigh the evidence and determine the guilt or innocence of the “Virginia witch.” Not appropriate for young audiences. 7:30 and 9 p.m. Capitol, Fridays through Nov. 19, Tuesdays, Oct. 5-Nov. 23, Wednesdays, Oct. 6-Nov. 24, Thursdays, Oct. 7-Nov. 25 and Sept. 29 and Oct. 25. Ticket: $15.

During the one-hour walking tour, “Ghosts Amongst Us,” enter the sites and meet ghostly inhabitants and those who have lived to tell of their supernatural experiences. Not appropriate for young audiences. 7 and 8:30 p.m. Lumber House Ticket Office, daily except Sept. 25 and Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27. Ticket: $12.

When the notorious Blackbeard hoisted his flag, it signaled to his victims that their time on earth was up. But now Blackbeard is dead, and many of his crew have been tried and hanged here in Williamsburg. On this walking tour, “Pirates Amongst Us,” meet ghosts and ghouls of his crew and hear their own tales of knowing and working with this most famous of pirates. Not appropriate for young audiences. 7:30, 7:45, 8, 8:45 and 9 p.m., Secretary's Office, Saturdays through Nov. 20, Wednesdays, Oct. 6-27 and Wednesday, Nov. 24. Ticket: $12.

Eighteenth-century legal punishments were usually swift and often brutal. During “Cruel and Unusual?,” walk through the criminal justice system of the day by going back into the past and meeting three people of the time and hearing them describe their experiences. The experiences they share are from actual cases from 18th-century Virginia courts. Not appropriate for young audiences. 7, 7:15, 7:30, 7:45, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45 and 9 p.m., Secretary's Office, Tuesdays, Oct. 5-Nov. 23. Ticket: $12.

At the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, “Witchcraft in Colonial Virginia” examines how colonial Virginians shared a common belief in the supernatural and the existence of witches with their New England neighbors throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries during the lecture with Carson Hudson at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31.

His book, “These Detestable Slaves of the Devill,” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.

A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or museum ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides admission to the lecture.

Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

Entrance to Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St.

For more information or to make reservations, call 1-800-HISTORY or (757) 229-2141.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121