Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Staunton Ghost Tours

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

 “Ghost hunting has grown in the past two decades from a little-known hobby to a much more popular pursuit. Ghost hunters say that, judging from the number of ghost-hunting organizations with Web sites, there are hundreds of groups with thousands of members in the United States.” –SF Gate

Halloween will be here shortly, and perhaps you are looking for something different than the usual parties, cheesy costumes, and pseudo-creepy decorations. Perhaps, then, you should brave the cold fingers of the otherworld and participate in a ghost tour of Staunton, VA.  (Cue thunder sound effect.)

During the month of October, there is a ghost tour of historic Staunton, Virginia every Friday and Saturday evening, beginning promptly at 7pm. Ghost Box tours are also available every Friday and Saturday evening, beginning at 9pm. (“A ghost box is a communication tool used by some investigators to speak to the other side. Typically, a ghost box is a modified portable AM/FM radio that continuously scans the band. When on, it is believed to create white noise and audio remnants from broadcast stations that entities are able to manipulate to create words and even entire sentences.”) On Halloween evening, there will only be one tour at 7pm.

So, what happens on these so-called “ghost tours?”  I’m delighted you asked. If you’re expecting to be scared, or you’re anticipating a ghostly sighting, you will probably be disappointed. (Having said that, though, ghost box tours can be pretty creepy.) These tours “blend science, history, paranormal and legend together.”  They explain the stories behind all of the ghost sightings around Staunton, such as the ghost of Charlotte, who hurled tools at the construction workers that were remodeling her old house.  However, the tours are not limited to the paranormal. They also give explanations of the exquisite architecture around the Queen City.

Some quick notes:

-The tour is not recommended for small children.

-It is a 90-minute to 2-hour tour, so be prepared to walk a lot.

-There are very few public restrooms along the tour.

-Need lodging? How about a BBAV member inn.

 

By Tara Stoll

Howl-O-Scream, Williamsburg, VA

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Everywhere you look in Virginia, you will find some sort of Halloween party or harvest festival during this time of year. While you’re making yourself at home at one of our cozy bed and breakfasts, perhaps you will want to attend one of these celebrations. If you have children, there are some spectacular family-friendly opportunities.

One such event is the fabulously scary Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Traverse through the foggy gloom of the Fear Fair. Explore the vampire-laden “Bitten” house. Rock out to Monster Stomp Revamped. Sneak through the woods of New France while trying to avoid the Widow Makers. If you enjoy that heart-pounding rush of adrenaline brought about by fear, then Howl-O-Scream is certainly the event for you! However, if the kiddies aren’t so keen on monsters popping out at them, you can visit Busch Gardens during the day for plenty of non-scary fall fun. Once 6pm hits, though, the park becomes a haven for horror! *cue thunder sound effects*

Howl-O-Scream is hardly the only Halloween celebration in Virginia, so click here for a lovely little list that highlights different events based on region and city.

Be smart and safe, everyone! (And parents, kindly refrain from adorning yourselves with costumes that would severely embarrass your children…)

Lastly, I feel that no Halloween blog would be complete without this classic tribute to all things that go bump in the night:

 

By Tara Stoll

Staying Fit While on Vacation

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Vacations are obviously meant for relaxation—a break from work, an escape from the everyday routine, and a chance to indulge in atypical activities. Many people, however, also use vacation as a break from their healthy lifestyle, and now that we’re coming up on the holiday season, there will be sugary treats galore. Here are some simple ways to defy the temptation of overindulgence:

1. Eat and drink in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying mini-snickers bar, so long as that mini one doesn’t turn into a few regular sized candy bars. Cut yourself off after a few mixed drinks or calorie-laden lattes. Choose grilled instead of fried. It’s all about making intelligent decisions.

2. Drink lots of water. This one is a given that will most likely be found on any “be healthy” list that you read. Besides all of its obvious health benefits, water also fills you up so that there is less of a chance of overeating. (It may be more of a challenge to drink cold water during the chillier months, so try out some healthier hot drink options like sugar-free tea and apple cider.)

3. Go for a walk or a hike. Depending on where you are vacationing, there should be an abundance of trails, sidewalks, shopping centers, etc. In other words, just keep yourself moving. No, the cold is not an excuse since you more than likely own several coats, sweaters, scarves, pairs of gloves, etc.

4. Bring your workout with you. Grab some weights and/or a couple workout DVDs, and you can become your own fitness coach. Most bed and breakfasts will have DVD players that you can use, but if not, laptops work fine too! If you don’t have any workout DVDs, there are a multitude of youtube videos or articles online that can aid you in your exercise. Bed and breakfast rooms contain plenty of space to at least do a few push-ups and sit-ups, so there goes your complaint of “no space to workout.”

5. Download an audio workout for your iPod or mp3 player. From upbeat music to narrated workout sessions, the list of what you can download is endless.

© Health Sanctuary

By Tara Stoll

Virginia Ghosts

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Along with a drop in the temperature, the changes in the leaves, and the revival of the pumpkin spice latte, October also heralds Halloween. If you’re not planning to attend a costume party or hand out treats to the neighborhood kids, then perhaps you would enjoy exploring some of the supposedly haunted areas of Virginia:

Bridgewater College- The ghost of Mr. Cole, after whom Cole Hall was named, is said to appear in the balcony of the theater during certain performances. Some claim to have felt chilly spots in the balcony, and it is said that sometimes the lights flicker oddly after a production has concluded. Besides the ghost of Mr. Cole, others have claimed to feel cold and to hear splashing near the river where a student was said to have drowned. One investigation of Cole Hall did attempt to disprove these claims, but perhaps Mr. Cole simply decided not to make an appearance that day.

Pocahontas Parkway- This area was once home to Native Americans, and they are now said to haunt the area. Individuals have witnessed the sounds of chanting and drumming, and a few have even claimed to have seen the ghostly figures of the natives who once lived here.

Matthew Whaley Elementary School, Williamsburg- This school is said to be haunted by two young boys. Some say that both are the spirits of slaves who died there, but the more commonly accepted theory is that one of the ghosts is nine-year old Matthew Whaley himself, while the other is a slave boy who had died around the same time.

Round Tree Park, Annandale, VA- Witnesses around this area have claimed to be tormented by the ghost of a woman, holding a baby. It is said that she is almost always preceded by a heavy fog.

If you do plan to explore some of these areas, make certain you are allowed on the property, and also make sure to have a companion with you. Most importantly, be safe!

For more information about ghosts and hauntings in Virginia, check out the Center for Paranormal Research and Investigation.

By Tara Stoll