The House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Massachusetts
The abode that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s gothic novel The House of the Seven Gables hosts a spine-tingling event during the month of October, “The Spirits of the Gables,” with the characters from the story haunting the hallways of the atmospheric seaside mansion. The Nathaniel Hawthorne House, located steps away in the House of the Seven Gables complex, holds a re-enactment of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 — highlighting the part played by the writer’s great-great grandfather, whose zealousness during the proceedings earned him the moniker “The Hanging Judge.” Click here for more information on the events.
The Mark Twain House & Museum, Hartford, Connecticut
Guests have had unexplained encounters at the Mark Twain House, crossing paths with a woman in white, smelling cigar smoke, hearing children’s voices, and seeing flickering lights. Explore the Gothic mansion at night during the “Graveyard Shift Tours,” which include stories about the writer and his family’s haunted history, details about Victorian spiritualism, and a telling of Twain’s favorite ghost story in the basement. Click here for information on dates and reservations.
The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts
Creaking floors, whispered words, taps on the shoulders, and sightings of spectral shapes are some of the eerie experiences reported by visitors at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate (left) in the Berkshire Mountains. The daring can take part in special guided evening tours, “Friday Night Fright,” and explore the most haunted parts of the house and grounds. It’s recommended that participants dress warmly and wear sensible shoes. We’re hoping the latter isn’t because you might have to run from a ghost. Click here for information on making reservations for Friday Night Fright tours, which take place weekly through the end of October.
Sunnyside, Tarrytown, New York
Those with young literary travelers can head to Washington Irving’s estate for its Legend Weekends, taking place October 17th & 18th and October 24th & 25th. On the itinerary are magic shows, puppet shows, games, sing-a-longs, Irish ghost story telling, and other kid-friendly Halloween activities.
The nearby town of Sleepy Hollow claims to be “Halloween Central” (although Salem might rival them for that distinction). Go for a Haunted Hayride along the dark path traveled by Ichabod Crane in Washington Irving’s spooky story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Or take part in Legend Nights at Phillipsburg Manor, which is transformed into a haunted landscape illuminated by lanterns and bonfires and teeming with goblins, ghosts, and witches from Hudson Valley folklore.
Know of any other literary sites hosting special events this month? Please share it in the comments section.
[Photo ©David Dashiell, Courtesy of The Mount]