Staunton is known for its beautiful, historic Victorian architecture, but buildings that old come steeped in history…and quite possibly ghosts! Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s time to finalize your spooky plans. Here’s how to catch some goosebumps in haunted Staunton.
Visit the Haunted Staunton Webpage
Staunton has a new website that highlights the best places to eat, sleep, and have fun while you visit. Check out the Haunted Staunton page to learn about the Queen City’s spooky side. You’ll learn lots of interesting history that focuses on Staunton’s most-haunted places, and those who reportedly haunt them. Sites include the Blackburn Inn, the Clocktower Restaurant & Bar, Mary Baldwin University, and the historic train station. You’ll also learn about the ghostly past of the DeJarnette Sanitarium, Ubon Thai Victorian Inn, and Thornrose Cemetery.
Schedule a Ghosts of Staunton Tour
If you’d like to learn about Staunton’s spooks and apparitions, the logical place to start is with a professional ghost tour by Black Raven Paranormal. Ghosts of Staunton Tours has been educating the community for 15 years. Not only will you learn the best places for sightings in this “hub for paranormal activity,” you’ll get a healthy dose of history as well. This should please even skeptical audience members! If you’d like to see Black Raven Paranormal in action, check out their Amazon Prime series: The Black Raven Chronicles. Episodes include investigations of the Clocktower and the Montgomery Hall Plantation.
Many tours run from March – December, but some are seasonal. Check the links for dates and times.
- Staunton’s Haunted History Ghost Tour
- 90-minute tour by lantern light. Learn about notable Staunton natives and why they might spend their afterlives in the Queen City. This tour “strive[s] to educate, enlighten, and entertain you with our own unique blend of the paranormal, science, history, and local legend.” This popular tour is wheelchair accessible.
- Dark Tales and Haunts Ghost Tour
- 90-minute exploration of the darker side of Staunton: “legends, lore, history, mystery, ghosts, and murder are all rolled into one.” You’ll also learn about the area’s historical Halloween traditions.
- Haunted American Hotel Tour
- The 1855 American Hotel has a history of being used as a home base for travelers and a hospital during the Civil War. The basement was even once a temporary morgue, so it’s had lots of chances to pick up a ghost or two. Learn this building’s fascinating history and how Black Raven Paranormal goes about investigating it. You’ll even get to participate in a live audio session as investigators attempt to contact the departed. This tour is wheelchair accessible.
- Haunted Depot Spirit Box Tour
- 90-minute tour of the historic train depot that includes data from past paranormal investigations, including photographs that seem to show presences from beyond. You’ll learn about fires, train wrecks, and get to use a spirit box device to communicate with one of several spirits known to roam the depot.
You can also schedule a private ghost tour for a party of two or more.
Explore Other Seasonal Sites
- Don’t forget to stop by the Staunton Farmers’ Market to stock up on fall produce and decorative items to beautify your autumnal displays.
- If you haven’t driven by the Whimsically Witchy display on North Coalter, it’s a seasonal must-do. Enjoy the spookily creative exhibit and donate to support the arts at McSwain Elementary.
- The quiet burial ground surrounding downtown’s Trinity Episcopal Church was Staunton’s original graveyard, used until the opening of the larger Thornrose Cemetery. The lovely church contains a number of Tiffany windows, and the historic graves and monuments provide interesting viewing and provoke musings about the past.
Selma, an 1850 Greek-Revival mansion sits on a hill not far from Gypsy Hill Park and has its share of ghost stories associated with it. It’s interesting to walk the neighborhoods north of the park, thinking about how much has changed in the landscape: Selma was once surrounded by a 900-acre estate.
Check out a Nearby Haunt:
- Waynesboro’s Madame Redrum’s Nine Gates of Doom is a haunted mill experience that is “fueled by your screams.”
- Check out the Haunting Tales Ghost Tours, which explore the spookiest areas of historic Lexington.
- Harrisonburg’s Fear Forest features three interactive, haunted spaces. Get lost in the forest, evade cornfield zombies, and tour a factory haunted by demonic clowns.