Colonial Williamsburg will be getting spooky in October with its inaugural two-night Halloween spectacular, “A Haunting on DoG Street: Blackbeard’s Revenge.”
The all-new Halloween programming represents a desire to offer new attractions that appeal to both locals and tourists, said Joseph Straw, public relations manager for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
“Halloween is an incredibly popular holiday that offers a huge opportunity to engage the community and attract new and return guests, which will benefit both the Foundation and the region,” Straw said. “The rich, spooky tales from the city’s history and the success of programs like the Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk show the holiday’s potential to generate renewed interest in all that the Revolutionary City and the area have to offer.”
The cornerstone of the Halloween offerings is the free trick-or-treat festival on Duke of Gloucester street from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31. Candy giant Mars Inc. will be providing thousands of sweet treats, but quantities are limited so pre-registration is required.
A family-friendly Halloween celebration geared toward kids age 12 and under will be taking place simultaneously with the trick-or-treat festival. Not-so-scary entertainment will include a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, hay rides and friendly pirates singing sea shanties.
Tickets to the early portion of the evening are $5 for children and $10 for accompanying adults. Families wishing to take part in free trick-or-treating in addition to the family-friendly ticketed event will need to register for each separately, though they take place in the same area at the same time.
Families may roam the streets free of fear for the early portion of the evening on Friday and Saturday, but at 8 p.m. the dark will descend and truly frightful ghouls will take over Duke of Gloucester Street with “Under Blackbeard’s Flag.”
Playing off the fact that Blackbeard’s crew was tried and hanged on the streets of Williamsburg in 1719, much of the latter part of the night’s festivities are themed around the return of this undead crew to haunt the site of their demise. This portion of the evening is recommended for ages 13 and up, and tickets are $15.
The undead crew will make an appearance at the Capitol building for a “trial of the undead,” according to a recent news release from Colonial Williamsburg. Guests can also take a ghostly walk through the graveyard, the jail and even the gallows where these pirates drew their last breath.
At 10 p.m. on both Oct. 30 and 31, the festivities on DoG Street will wrap up with a procession of the undead up the street to Chowning’s Tavern, where guests can choose to continue their revelry or call it a night.
Colonial Williamsburg’s page on Facebook will be promoting this event with a special giveaway that includes a tavern dinner for four and VIP Halloween experience, including overnight accommodations. Details will be shared via the Facebook page later this month, so interested parties should “like” the page to receive the latest updates.
Tickets to “Blackbeard’s Revenge” can be bundled with several overnight packages. Especially daring guests can book accommodations in a real haunted house, or families can seek refuge at the non-haunted Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites.
In addition to the full “Blackbeard’s Revenge” experience, two-night packages also entitle guests to access to Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream throughout the weekend, plus a $100 gift card good for headless horseman carriage rides, ghost-tale-themed tavern dining, or anything else Colonial Williamsburg has to offer.
For those who already have plans for Halloween weekend but still wish to get a taste of the scares that Williamsburg’s historic area has to offer, Colonial Williamsburg has several offerings running throughout the month of October including the official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk and a candlelit witchcraft trial.
For tickets, packages, and trick-or-treating registration, click here.