Best Things to Do for Halloween in Richmond, Virginia 2021
Halloween is my single favorite American celebration, one that’s been very important to me ever since I was a kid. Even as I outgrew trick-or-treating, I would have friends over and we’d watch gory movies and commit low-level acts of vandalism around town. My dad would deck the house out in Halloween decorations and come up with creative new ways to scare the neighborhood kids.
I’d love to pass on some of that joy (and horror!) on to you. Richmond is a very historic city with a lot of character, meaning that it’s a perfect location for the creepy season. Read on for the 7 Best Things to Do for Halloween in Richmond, Virginia!
Most people associate Edgar Allan Poe–one of America’s most celebrated writers–with Baltimore. However, most of Poe’s childhood was actually spent right here in Richmond.
He lived in a few different places in the East End, although unfortunately none are still standing. The building the museum occupies is appropriately known as the “Old Stone House.” Built around 1740, it is the oldest structure still standing in Richmond. While Poe himself never lived in the Old Stone House, the 15-year-old author was stationed outside as a member of a junior military honor guard during a royal’s visit.
The museum is small, spread across three small buildings and a garden, but punches well above its weight in terms of artifacts and information. Seriously, I learned so much here; did you know that a young Poe once swam six miles in the James River, and that that’s a record that still stands to this day?
Entrance is $9.
1914 Main St, Richmond, VA 23223
2. Hollywood Cemetery
Richmond’s largest cemetery is Hollywood Cemetery, established in 1849 and sprawled out across 130 acres along the shore of the James River. This cemetery is so large and so picturesque, I almost want to call it one of the city’s biggest parks. The terrain is very hilly, with an impressive array of sepulcheric architecture. You will see mausoleums, crypts, and tombstones of all kinds, many belonging to people born in the mid-1700s.
I had the priviledge to walk amongst the tombstones here on a very foggy day, and it was one of the coolest things I ever experienced.
Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous Richmonders and Virginians, as well as presidents James Monroe and John Tyler. Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, is also buried here.
It has even been rumored to be home to its very own vampire.
Should you find yourself in Richmond around the time of Halloween (or any time of the year, for that matter), I highly recommend you stop by Hollywood. If you want a formal tour, local history center The Valentine has several options for you.
412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA 23220
3. Red Vein
The Witch’s Plague opened our eyes. Her relics opened the gateway. Out of the earth they crawl to the surface, leading us to what lies beyond the veil. In this final chapter of The Witch’s Plague, will you be chosen for the metamorphosis?
Just up the road in Ashland lies Red Vein, Richmond’s premier haunted house. With four different attractions for you to experience–Asylum, Corn, Woods, and House–as well as an escape room, there’ll be plenty to scare the crap out of you.
General admission is $22, and that gets you into all 4 attractions.
13580 Ashland Rd, Ashland, VA 23005
PRO TIP: If you’re up for a little road trip, two of the top-rated haunted houses in the nation are located within 2.5 hours of Richmond: Haunted Nightmares in Winchester and Haunted Club Farm in Virginia Beach.
4. Watch a Scary Movie at a Haunted Theater
The Byrd Theater is back up and running!
Built in 1928, the Byrd hails from the time of “movie palaces,” and that description becomes apparent the moment you walk through the front doors. There are murals, a balcony, even a chandelier. This is not your run-of-the-milll metroplex.
A major landmark in Richmond’s trendy Carytown neighborhood, this beautiful movie palace is showing classic scary movies all throughout October. Most tickets are $8, which is a steal for a theater of this caliber. It is the perfect place to catch a scary film on the big screen!
Also, did I mention it’s haunted?
That’s right. A former manager of the Byrd, Mr. Coulter, has been seen in the balcony, and a little girl has been known to roam around the bathrooms.
You can find a calendar of showtimes below:
2908 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
5. Do a Ghost Tour of One of Richmond’s Many Historic Neighborhoods
Richmond has no shortage of historic neighborhoods: Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip, Carytown, The Fan, etc. etc. These areas are neat to stroll around any day of the week, but they take on a special sort of atmosphere during All Hallow’s Eve.
Haunts of Richmond offers several different ghost tours, each focusing on a specific part of the city. You can choose from Shadows of Shockoe, Church Hill Chillers, Haunted Capitol Hill, Phantoms of Franklin, and The Spirits of Court End.
If you want to add some liquid offerings to the spirits (as well as for yourself!), you can rent a six-seater tuk-tuk from RVA Tuk Tuk.
The tours are $20 for adults online, and $25 walk-up.
RVA Tuk Tuk tours cost $265. BYOB.
Meeting locations vary
6. Shop at a Witch Market
Diversity Thrift, a popular thrift store in town, is putting on its 3rd Annual Samhain Witch Market!
Samhain (pronounced “sowen”) is an ancient Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It is roughly synonymous with Halloween, taking part across October 31st and November 1st. In the US, it is especially popular amongst people who follow Wicca.
The Witch Market will feature more than 45 vendors, performances, and tarot readings.
Tickets cost $10
1407 Sherwood Ave, Richmond, VA 23220 (Diversity Thrift)
7. Garden Glow
This isn’t so much a Halloween event as a cool Fall festival of lights. The Japanese Garden of Maymont is lit up with thousands and thousands of lights and LED projectors, turning the peaceful park into a veritable feast for the eyes. The Carriage House at the top of the hill is transformed into a Glow Village complete with food trucks and vendors.
This spectacular light show runs Wednesday through Sunday nights from October 15th to November 7th.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids.
1000 Westover Rd, Richmond, VA 23220
I’ll be updating this post as I hear about more events around Richmond. Until then, stay safe and have a Happy Halloween!