When the sun goes down in historic downtown Fredericksburg, the night comes alive.
As the University of Mary Washington celebrates its 32nd Annual Ghost Walk on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday Oct. 22, the Fredericksburg nightlife will even get spooky.
Hosted by UMW’s Historic Preservation Club, the 45-minute haunted tours will run from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, stopping at 10 sites around Fredericksburg, including the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop and the recently returned stop at St. George Episcopal Church. Tours leave every 10 minutes from the James Monroe Museum at 908 Charles St. with the last tour departing at 10 p.m. each night. Tickets are required.
Dressed in 18th century costume, more than 50 students and volunteers will take on roles as historical figures and ghostly characters, with some floating characters to give guests a frightful experience.
“You have to be able to create atmosphere,” said junior Ariadne Randolph, a returning tour guide. “Improving the ghosts and getting people involved is what it’s all about.”
At each stop, guests will encounter creepy characters and familiar faces that will often interact with the group and put on a show.
“Every year we are still surprised how good the turn-out is,” said senior Maddie Quick, co-chair of the event. “You would think the concept would get old, but after 31 years people continue to come back.”
While the annual event doesn’t stray far from it’s original concept, the costumes and make-up division, overseen by co-chair Christine Pace, will feature a revamp this year.
“In the past very heavy make-up has been seen on the characters, specifically the ghosts,” said Quick. “This year we decided to tone it down for a more realistic and spooky look.”
Reservations can be made in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or tickets can be purchased the night of the tour at the James Monroe Museum. The cost is $6 for the general public ages 13 and older; $4 for UMW students, UMW faculty and staff, UMW alumni and military; $3 for children ages 6-12; free for children age 6 and under. Groups over 10 are encouraged to make reservations.
For more information or to make a reservation, email the Historic Preservation Club at email@example.com.