The Oatlands Historic House and Gardens are featuring a different type of tour this Halloween season. Rather than learning about George Carter, a descendant of one of Virginia's first families, and the history of his plantation, guests will hear ghost stories and legends.
“During the tour, the interpretive guides explain the results of professional investigations that have been done here and they describe the unexplained happenings experienced by employees,” said Director of Programming and Education Lori Kimball, adding that a recent experience took place during the a paranormal tour in August.
“The tour was in one of the first floor front rooms, which is next to one of the staircases leading to the second floor,” Kimball described. “The interpretive guide heard someone running up the steps and peeked out of the room to look. There was no one. The sound of footsteps on the stairs continued and finally a woman on the tour asked, ‘Doesn’t anybody else hear that?’ Others said yes, but there was no one else in the house. Only the people in the tour.”
Kimball said that most of the tour takes place in the mansion and lasts just over an hour. The tour makes stops at various places within the mansion where experiences have occurred.
“Naturally the tour includes a bit of history about the property and the families who lived here,” Kimball said. “But it’s mostly about the unexplained happenings.”
The tour is as natural as they come, Kimball said. There are no props or decorations to make it look like a haunted house. Due to a great interest in paranormal experiences, guests visit from all over the area.
As a result, several tours are already close to being sold out, Kimball said, recommending that guests purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Tickets are no longer available for this weekend.
Tours will continue to take place on October 26, 28, 29, 30 and 31 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children eight to 12. Call 703-777-3174, ext. 103 for reservations.