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Many people LOVE Halloween and go all out with decorations, costumes, and everything else that goes along with it. 

For kids, the allure is the prospect of the big haul of candy they’ll have at the end of their trick-or-treating.  For adults,  the appeal is typically finding the funniest or most outrageous costume.

As fun as it can be, doing the same old thing year after year can get boring (* yawn *), so here are some unique ways you can celebrate Halloween this year.


UNIQUE WAYS TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN

1. Attend the High Heel Drag Queen Race 

On the Tuesday before Halloween each year, thousands of people gather in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC for the annual High Heel Race, an informal costumed drag queen race. 

About 100 people participate in the race, others come to watch the race and check out the elaborate (and often over-the-top) costumes.  The participants take dressing up for Halloween to a whole other level!  

The first High Race took place on Halloween in 1986 and the tradition has continued ever since, growing in popularity year after year.

Date & Time:  Tuesday, October 24th at 9pm

Location: 17th Street between P & S Streets NW

What to Know Before You Go:

  • Getting There: Plan on taking the Metro since parking will be at a premium and many streets will be blocked off. The closest Metro stops are Dupont Circle and Farragut North.  
  • Arrive Early: Thousands of people attend each year and arrive as early as 6pm for the 9pm race.
  • Bring a Camera: This event offers great photo opportunities since most of the drag queens are more than happy to pose for pictures; they may even pose for a picture with you!

2. Take a Ghost Tour

I know what you’re thinking: ghost tours are hokey, even phony.  In truth, some may be depending on the company and the guide.  Many ghost tours are fascinating because they offer the history behind the hauntings.

Free Tours By Foot offers a variety of walking tours throughout Washington, DC.  Their ghost tours include: 

  • Ghosts of Georgetown
  • Haunted Georgetown (adults only) 
  • White House Ghost Tour
  • White House at Night: Secrets & Scandals (adults only)

Some of their tours have a fee, but many of their tours are free or what they call “name your own price,” meaning you decide at the end of the tour how much (if any) you think the tour was worth and pay the guide that amount.

Reservations are required, so be sure to book your tour in advance.

Most ghost tours are fascinating because they offer the history behind the hauntings. Click To Tweet

There are many other tour operators that offer ghost tours.  To find one in your area, Google “[area] ghost tours” to find the ones closest to you.

*  PRO TIP: Check out Groupon for great deals on ghost tours in your area *


3. Visit a REAL Haunted House

These aren’t your children’s haunted houses!  Many houses as well as restaurants, cemeteries, and buildings throughout the DMV – and the world, for that matter – have had reports of hauntings or paranormal activity. 

Unexplained sounds, doors opening, lights flickering, actual sightings, and other hair-raising events have taken place. 

According to HauntedHouses.com, these are the most haunted places in the DMV:

WASHINGTON, DC

With all the history surrounding our Nation’s capital, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of haunted locations.  

Some of Washington, DC’s notable haunted locations include:

  • Blair House
  • Ford’s Theater (site of President Lincoln’s assassination)
  • Lafayette Square – President’s Park
  • The White House
  • Woodrow Wilson House

MARYLAND

The most haunted cities in Maryland are Frederick and Baltimore.

Some of Maryland’s notable haunted locations include:

  • Annapolis – Middleton Tavern 
  • Baltimore -USS Constellation
  • Clear Spring – Stanford Hall
  • Clinton – Clinton Tavern
  • Ellicott City – Lilburn Mansion
  • Frederick – Schifferstadt Museum
  • Towson – Hampton House

VIRGINIA

The most haunted cities in Virginia are Fredericksburg, Portsmouth, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.

Some of Virginia’s notable haunted locations include:

  • Alexandria
    • Colonel Michael Swope Townhouse
    • Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
    • Robert E. Lee Mansion
    • The William Ramsay House
  • Charlottesville
    • Castle Hill Manor
    • The Wickham Farmhouse
  • Fredericksburg
    • Kenmore Plantation
  • Manassas 
    • Henry Hill House
    • Manassas National Battlefield
    • Old Towne Inn
  • Winchester
    • Joe’s Steakhouse at The Piccadilly Mansion 

* For a list of haunted locations in your state, visit HauntedHouses.com or HauntedPlaces.org.


How do YOU celebrate Halloween?  Do you have an interesting or unique tradition?
Share it in the Comments below ↓.

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