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Washington DC's biggest Halloween Guide

Washington DC Halloween Guide

Halloween is celebrated in Washington, DC and around the world, every year on October 31. Halloween is regarded in many cultures as the time when spirits of the dead return. The day is associated with the colors orange and black. Children, and adults, also dress up in costumes and go house to house trick-or-treating. Halloween is a time to spend with family and friends carving pumpkins, telling scary stories, visiting haunted attractions, and watching horror movies.

This guide will help you plan a special Halloween this year, as well as, teach you the true history and mystery that surrounds Halloween and Washington, DC. To find out what's going on in your neighborhood visit our DC MessageBoards.

Looking for a great Halloween costume idea? This directory points to costuming and theatrical supply shops located in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Read More

· Corn Maizes
· Creature Features
· Ghosts and Hauntings
· Halloween Web Ring
· History of Halloween
· Pumpkin Patches

Washington DC October Halloween Event Calendar

DCpages.com has been covering Halloween night in Washington, DC for the last 10 years. Find out all the city has to offer this Halloween night by visiting our Events Calendar. Don't forget to look below to view Halloween Photo Galleries from the past few years. See the horrors of Markoff's Haunted Forest, Ghosts of the Appalachian, Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and More.

Monday, October 29

Tuesday, October 30

Wednesday, October 31

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Washington DC Halloween - Markoff's Haunted Forest

Get a Halloween scare early! Walk down a dimly lit forest trail and encounter the chain saw man and 12 other scenes. There are Haunted Hayrides, a Haunted Bus, Spider Walk climbing wall, Bat Flight zip line, Death Jump trapeze and bonfires & food too. Markoff's Haunted Forest is in its 17th year and was rated as one of the top 13 Halloween attractions in the U.S. last year by AOL City Guide. Last year, we had approximately 20,000 adults and children from Metropolitan Washington walk down our scary forest trail and try our many activities in the staging area, the "circle." Read More

Washington DC THanksgiving Guide
Washington DC Halloween - Abraham Lincoln's Ghost

Abraham Lincoln, today, is considered one of the most beloved of American presidents. Reports of people seeing, hearing, or sensing the presence of President Lincoln throughout the years have been numerous. Psychics believe that President Lincoln has never left the White House, that his spirit remains to complete the business of his abbreviated second term, and to be available in times of crisis. For seventy years, presidents, first ladies, guests, and members of the White House staff have claimed to have either seen Lincoln or felt his presence. Read More

Washington DC Halloween - Ghost Stories

Washington DC has alot of history and ghost stories. If you could get inside the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama may not be the only occupants you'd find. In fact, Washington's most famous ghosts -- those of former presidents and first ladies -- are said to appear periodically in the mansion. Apparently, so are spirits of other local historical figures said to inhabit some famous buildings around the area. We have collected some of the more famous ones and put them together in this little collage in honor of Halloween. So keep your eyes and imaginations open if you're trick-or-treating or meandering past any of the following sites. Here's hoping that you don't hear any strange bumps in the night, knocks at your door, or see any strange lights at night. Read More

Washington DC Halloween - Safety Tips

Safety Tips to Prevent Halloween-Related Injuries - Make this year's holiday a safe one by following these safety tips on costumes, treats and decorations. When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering. Read More

Gruesome Crafts For The Whole Family To Enjoy!

Washington DC Image Gallery - Markoff's Haunted Forest

Calleva's 17th annual Markoff's Haunted Forest is the area's scariest place to spend Halloween. Walk through the woods on a tour of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. For not much more than the price of a movie, you can take a walking tour through a Halloween event you're not likely to forget. The fear's real, but the danger isn't. Good fun for the whole family. Markoff's Haunted Forest has evolved throughout the years into a great tradition. Alot of the same family, friends and staff are still involved. Read More


DC Rorschach for Halloween

Washington DC Image Gallery - Dinosaur Land

Dinosaur Land, located in Virginia’s Shenandoah's Valley and 1.5 hours from DC, is a park filled with life-sized replicas of dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era, where these large reptiles were the only creatures that roamed the earth. Sometimes called the "Age of Dinosaurs," the Mesozoic Era lasted between roughly 250-65 million years ago. Lying between the Paleozoic and the Cenozoic eras, "Mesozoic" means "middle life." Read More

Dinosaur Land is located at 3448 Stonewall Jackson Highway, White Post, VA, 22663.


Washington DC Image Gallery - Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo is the wildest trick-or-treat in town! Disney princesses, Spidermans, Harry Potters, and other costumed guests are invited to join us at the eighth annual Boo at the Zoo, a safe and fun way for families with children ages two to 12 to enjoy the fall holiday. Tickets purchased at the Zoo's Visitor Center have no added fees. Introduced with great success in 1999, Boo at the Zoo offers Washington-area families and children a safe, fun-filled evening of trick-or-treating at the National Zoo. Children visit nearly 50 candy and food stations in Zoo buildings, explore three haunted trails, and participate in exciting activities throughout the evening. Animal demonstrations delight the young ghosts and goblins, and goody bags for both children and adults are distributed by costumed volunteers. Read More

Washington DC Image Gallery - Halloween Night in Georgetown

Halloween typically draws a large number of people to the Georgetown area of DC. The celebration this year was larger than usual because Halloween fell on a Friday and the weather was dry and warm.Read More


Washington DC Image Gallery - DC Halloween

Many unexplained events occurred during the last week in October. View physically and psychologically disturbing images of DC's haunted armory. Our journey features goulish creatures that feed on frightening Washingtonians. Special thanks to the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission (DCSEC) and the Sudden Impact Entertainment Company for risking their lives to take us on this journey. Read More

Washington DC Image Gallery - Appalachian Ghosts

After numerous reports of poltergeist activity, DCpages halloween staff investigated Cave Cemetary in Virginia's Shennandoah National Park. Mostly members of the Cave Family are buried in this cemetary. Dates on the tombstones indicate range from the mid 1800's to present. The evening we chose to visit the haunted cemetary was enveloped in a heavy fog. The diffused light hampered our vision and played tricks with our eyes and cameras. As you too will see when you enter the gallery. Read More


Washington DC Image Gallery - Great Pumpkin Patch and Lostalot Corn Maze

Belvedere Plantation, U.S. 17, Spotsylvania. Fun barn, animals, corn maze. Patch admission: Friday 4 - 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; $8, under 2 and over 65 free. Maze admission: Friday 5 - 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.- 10 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.; $8, ages 12 and under $6. Combo tickets: $14 adults, $12 children. Read More

Washington DC Image Gallery - Six Flags Fright Fest

Spine-tingling fun awaited all those who dared to enter Fright Fest at Six Flags America. The park was transformed with haunted attractions, mysterious shows and specially-themed rides. Fright Fest had thrills and chills for everyone with family fun by day and fright by night. Little ghosts and goblins enjoyed trick-or-treating, costume contests and spooky shows. At night, the fear factor goes up with haunted houses, trails of terror, hayrides, special-effect sideshows and monsters roaming the park. Read More


History of Hallows Eve

How did a several-thousand-year-old holiday make its way to America? Why? World-wide, this time of year is historically the new year, holding spiritual significance in many cultures. The Hindu new year falls at this time, many Native Americans hold sacred dances, and ancient Egyptians celebrated Isis. For the ancient Celts, Samhain (pronounced "SAW-en"), November 1, was literally the day between the years, and means roughly "summer's end."

This "between years" time was regarded in almost every culture as one when the spirits of the dead could return to mingle with the living; the living, with spiritual preparations differing from culture to culture, could also visit the world of the dead and return unharmed. Most Indo-European peoples and Native Americans held feasts at this time of year to honor their ancestors.

The spirits of departed ancestors, (in nearly all cultures until recently), were regarded as valuable guides, holders of "all the knowledge that went before"; the Druids, Egyptians, Greeks, Native Americans, and others, had rites meant to facilitate contact with these "Spirit Guides." Fire was a symbol of divinity and purification, and thus the lighting of fires and candles for rituals became a common source of spiritual energy which is still seen today in many religions, most commonly Catholicism and Paganism.

The Roman church, unable to stop the Pagan holidays, took them over and renamed them All Hallows Evening (October 31, now shortened to Hallowe'en), All Saints Day (November 1), and All Souls Day (November 2); the tradition of honoring the spirits of the dead continued. Though in Christianity spirits are not generally considered to remain within the realm of the living, praying for them is still an important ritual in most denominations. All Saints Day in Mexico is referred to as The Day of the Dead.

Hallowe'en in America owes much to the ancients, especially the Celts, since our country was settled by their British descendants. Dressing in odd costumes harks back specifically to the Celts, who mainly masqueraded as ghosts and skeletons due to the original purpose of the holiday. The Celts also began the customs of begging door-to-door and playing harmless pranks on those who are not forthcoming with goodies. Early "treats" included money, bread and butter, and autumn harvest items such as apples, nuts, and carrots. Milk, especially milk which had the cream on top, was thought to be a particularly good "haul,"like getting ten of your favorite candy bars today. Pumpkins were added to the scene here in America, since they, like tobacco, were unknown in Europe before the New World was "discovered."

Such time-honored tricks as overturning outhouses (in older times these were simply outbuildings such as chicken coops, not bathrooms) and removing gates from their hinges also go back to the Celts. Nowadays, these rural tricks have evolved into urban ones like soaping windows, toilet-papering yards, and smashing "Jack-O'Lanterns." Anything truly harmful is not in the tradition and would be considered an insult to the visiting ancestral spirits.

Some fundamentalist Christians believe Samhain to be, or to have been, a time of blood sacrifices. Though Hallowe'en is of Pagan origin, the vast majority of Pagan cultures did not hold such sacrifices. Even among the few whose rituals did commonly include such slaughter, like the Aztecs and the Romans, there is no evidence of any set specifically aside for these days. It was a time for honoring the dead, not adding to their numbers.


Markoff's Haunted Forest
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