Mysterious America

Haunted Williamsburg Ghost Tour

Experience Colonial Williamsburg by lantern light in this eerie tour offering something for the whole family.

As fall approaches, my wife and I are eager to get out, enjoy the nice weather, and kick off the Halloween season. The Haunted Williamsburg tour in Williamsburg, Virginia came highly recommended. I’ve been on dozens of haunted tours all over North America, so I was keen on seeing if this one lived up to the hype.

Haunted Williamsburg is the “official” ghost tour offered by Colonial Williamsburg, and the only haunted tour to allow access to the town’s historic buildings and museums. We went on the 75-minute tour at 7pm. Our guide dressed in 18th Century colonial attire and carried a lantern as he took us to about a half dozen locations around the Palace Green.

I’ve been on grueling, meandering two hour-long tours, so this one seemed just right. Haunted Williamsburg was well-organized and evenly-paced, hitting one location after another in a very walkable space. It’s a family-friendly tour, with the exception of a few gruesome topics that may not be suitable for young children. I heard one kid ask, “what’s suicide?” That’s an uncomfortable conversation to have on a family vacation.

The advantage of Haunted Williamsburg is that it’s led by people who also work at the museums, so they have accurate information and insider stories you won’t hear anywhere else. Our tour guide revealed that he inadvertently contributed to one legend when he scared a group of girls knocking at the door while locking up a residence for the night. His cell phone flashlight, beaming an eerie glow through the keyhole, sent them screaming. He also debunked that home’s most popular legend.

Compared to other ghost tours I’ve been on, Haunted Williamsburg was in the middle of the pack. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and we were able to go inside several historic buildings, but I did feel the tour was a bit too rote and formulaic. I appreciate variety—one haunted house after another tends to blur together. They do offer a companion book that elaborates on the stories.

The Haunted Williamsburg tour typically meets nightly at 7pm and 8:30pm at the Play House Stage on Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg. Adult tickets are $19 and children aged 12 and under are $12. Check the website for available dates and times. If you’re looking for creepy stories and scares, this tour isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for a fun and educational ghost tour for the whole family, it’s a safe bet.

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