Tuesday, July 5, 2022

There’s a level of ‘historical creepiness’ in Hampton. Stroll through a graveyard, anyone?

This year's Hampton Horror Tours are set for Oct. 22-26. (Courtesy of Hampton History Museum.)
This year’s Hampton Horror Tours are set for Oct. 22-26. (Courtesy of Hampton History Museum)

HAMPTON — Suspense and surprises are key for a successful frightening Halloween walk.

At this year’s Hampton Horror Tours, organizer Jeff Corriveau is taking it one step further.

“We’re also doing some immersive theater, things that really pull in the audience,” he said without going into many of the details to avoid ruining the experience. “We’re (doing) certain things that just give a little more engagement aspect to people.”

This is Corriveau’s first time in charge of the event. However, he has been involved in Busch Gardens’ annual Howl-O-Scream.

But the events aren’t similar.

“If you want the jump-out-come-scare-me thing, that’s what Busch Gardens does. This is historical but there can be a creepiness, a minor uncomfortableness to it,” he said.

The hour-long tour explores the “grisly” side of Hampton history and will take visitors through the graveyard of St. John’s Church, along Queen Street and into parts of downtown Hampton.

The tours will be on Oct. 22-26 with two “performances” each night, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and leaving from the museum.

The cost is $10 in advance and $12 at the door, with a capacity of about 40 guests per tour.

“If I could have found a way, I’d have done the entire tour in St. John’s,” Corriveau said. “I just absolutely love that cemetery at night.”

Adding immersive elements isn’t the only change this year.

Corriveau said they are expanding on certain elements, adding others, redoing the pirate theme and making changes to the route.

He said it’s all been done “to keep it a little fresh” for people who come every year.

Another improvement is the addition of more narrators, Corriveau said.

“It’s not just one person narrating us through the town,” he said. “It’s different narrators that pick it up. There’s less of that let-me-narrate, then go on.”

Bethany Heape is getting ready for her sixth year as one of the performers. She said the changes will make the event better.

“I think it’s a good change. It’s a little different,” she said. “There are a lot of new local characters involved. I think people who have seen it before will enjoy the new parts. I’m excited.”

For information on the Hampton Horror Tours, click here.

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