DC is a very scary place. No other city contains so many ambitious young people who leave town after spending a few years in a job they don’t really love. It’s like they’re just here to hide their real ambitions. It’s like they’re some sort of blood spatter analysist who studies dead bodies so he can hide his own dead bodies. What I’m saying is Washington DC is full of real-life Dexters. Since not everyone thinks their co-worker/brother/husband/dude that drives a SUV and is single is a serial killer, we’ve rounded up some of DC’s scariest haunts. Some are legendary, some are temporary, all are destinations suitable for the next week.
ACTUAL HAUNTED PLACES:
- The White House – Some previous tenants of the White House never admitted to seeing the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, but they claim they felt his presence. I would not recommend breaking into the White House at night to prove this, though. (Is it spooky to get shot? If it is, I do recommend breaking into the White House at any time. -ed.)
- The Navy Yard – Washington Navy Yard is allegedly haunted by two spirits–one a harmless (former) commandant who is said to stare out of windows, and the other the ghost of a former Marine, the neighborhood’s resident poltergeist. (Once the Whole Foods opens in 2017 it’ll be haunted by people that refuse to identify as gentrifies. -ed.)
- Rock Creek Cemetery – Let’s just get it out of the way: all cemeteries are haunted if you believe in ghosts and if you do not believe in ghosts all cemeteries are places where bones become dust. Rock Creek Cemetery is haunted because it’s very, very large so it has a lot of bones buried underground! Scary! Another reason is the The Adams Memorial, a grave marker and statue for Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams, the wife of Henry Adams who committed suicide. It’s haunted because, well, it looks scary. It’s also a memorial for a person who committed suicide, so that’s weird. So you can see that and get scared? Don’t believe us? Read its Yelp page. It has a Yelp page.
- The National Theatre – Even though the original National Theatre building was torn down and replaced, it’s still claimed to be haunted by actor John McCullough who was killed there in the 1880s.
- Mary Surratt’s Boarding House – Now the location of Wok and Roll in Chinatown, Mary Surratt’s former school and personal home is said to be haunted by with reports of inexplicable weeping and footsteps. (Maybe Mary just hates puns? -ed.)
- Woodrow Wilson House – Staff and visitors have said they have seen the ghost of President Woodrow Wilson in the House, sitting in his rocking chair and have heard the shuffle of a man walking with a cane, and heard a man sob. (I’d much rather be haunted by ghost Woodrow Wilson than real life Woodrow Wilson because I don’t think ghosts can be racists. -ed.)
- Halcyon House – The Halcyon House was built in 1787, is in Georgetown, and is not the Exorcist stairs. In addition to containing its own tomb (That is a very nice luxury I would one day like to afford. -ed), the home’s creepiness factor is absurdly high when it comes to hauntings (reported to be vexed by the ghosts of runaway slaves crying and moaning in the night). (This doesn’t sound fun. Let’s go to the stairs. -ed.)
- Exorcist Stairs – Made famous by the devil, the Exorcist stairs are the only reason kids that wear pleather and dye their hair black have ever visited Georgetown. Also, it has a Yelp page. Who reviews stairs? 65 people. As of this writing, it currently has a 4.5 star rating. Rose from Queens only gave the stairs three stars even though she said the following, “fun place to visit if u’ve ever seen the exorcist. the stairs r quite steep so be wary when walking. and it’s right next to the house that the priest flew out of. nice little tourist attraction right by the Georgetown campus.” That seems like a pretty good time to me, Rose! What exactly did you want, Rose! Maybe it’s time to lighten up, Rose!
- M Street Bridge – Speaking of Georgetown, while most are already familiar with the tale of Bunny Man Bridge, we’ve got our own haunted underpass right here in DC. Be on the lookout for a little drummer boy, a vision of a stagecoach, and even a large headless man. You know what? Maybe just avoid that bridge. (Don’t avoid a bridge due to visions. Bridges are where future legendary musicians are living. Avoiding bridges due to rumored hauntings is dumb. Avoid bridges to avoid addicts and collapses. -ed.)
- The Capitol – The Capitol is said to be one of the most haunted building in Washington. Apparently, several spirits haunt the building due to tragedies associated with its construction, which makes the upcoming construction much more spooky. Also, many politicians with strong personalities (Assholes, strong personalities means they were assholes. -ed.) are rumored to still roam the halls long after their death. You’re not allowed to roam the halls when you’re alive and not elected. Those people are staffers.
- The Octagon House – Home to Colonel John Taylor and his family in the early 19th century, both his daughters fell to their deaths in their home during fights with their father. One of which is often seen crumpled at the bottom of the stairs and many visitors have witnessed a candle moving up the stairs on its own. (This is also the premise to Eric Clapton’s massive hit “Tears In Heaven” which is real and much scarier. -ed.)
- The Westin Washington DC City Center – This hotel, formerly known as the Vista International Hotel Washington is where DC Mayor (for life) Marion Barry was arrested by an undercover FBI agent in 1990. The hotel is rumored to be haunted by “Bitches (who) set me up,” and features reasonable hotel and conference room rates.
FAKE HAUNTED PLACES, AKA HAUNTED HOUSES:
- The Curse of Frau Mueller at 50 Florida Ave NE, Washington DC
Most large and local haunted experience
50 Florida Ave NE, Washington DC
The largest haunted house in DC happens to be one of the most unique. Each year Gravensteen Haunted Productions tells a different story. For 2013 it’s the story of Frau Helga Mueller, the disappearance of six children and a legacy to haunt DC for over 100 years. The video below has us creeped out/intrigued.
Tickets range from $15 to $30
- Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion
Most Exciting (roller coasters, hello)
16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA
Every weekend night, King’s Dominion transforms into a haunted theme park. You have your zombies, witches, ghouls shooting out of every corner while enjoying theme park rides. Don’t forget the scary suburban teenagers!
Tickets start at $32.99
- Markoff’s Haunted Forest
Most Clowns (and everything else)
19120 Martinsburg Rd., Dickerson MD, 20842
Get in the Halloween spirit with two trails, zombie hunts, zip lines and more. They’ve been in this business for over 20 years for a reason.
Tickets range from $20 to $30
- D.C. Ghost Tours
Most Informative (questionably accurate knowledge)
303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC
Take a haunted tour of Capitol Hill. Hear scary stories about the haunted supreme court building, the Library of Congress, and the U.S Capital.
Open Monday through Sunday 9 pm nightly through November 17
$15 Adults, $8 Children, FREE ages 6 & under
- Nightly Spirits
The Drunkest (Need we say more?)
Take a walking tour of three to four of D.C’s haunted pubs while enjoying a drink at each one. Be careful not to pee your pants from fear!
Open Thursdays 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Ticket prices vary depending on location
- Bennett’s Curse Haunted House
The Scariest (not scientifically proven)
8024 Max Blobs Park Rd, Jessup, MD
According to their website, Burnett’s haunted house was voted as one of America’s best haunts in 2013, and lands in the top 31 of America’s best haunted houses.
Open Thursday through Sunday including October 29th to November 2nd
Entry is 7:00 pm -10:00 pm on Thursdays and Saturdays
7:00 pm -11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays including Halloween Day
Tickets start at $30
- Bradley Farm
13159 New Parkland Dr, Herndon, VA
Visit this haunted farm with haunted activities for all ages, only thirty minutes outside DC.
Entry is from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on October 25th and October 26th.
Tickets only $5
- Fright Fest at Six Flags, Maryland
The Go Big or Go Home Day Trip
13710 Central Avenue, Bowie/ Mitchellville, MD 20721
You’ll need to buy a day’s admission to the park in order to get in on their nightly scare action, but don’t fear–the lines aren’t terrible during the day (even manageable on weekends) and gives you the most bang for your buck when you’ll essentially be forking over an additional $20 for the haunted trails and houses. Also, more scary suburban teens!
Park hours are from noon to 10:00 pm
Tickets for an all-inclusive admission are $58
- Field of Screams
The Most Popular (I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother has heard of Field of Screams)
4501 Olney-Laytonsville Rd Olney, MD
Field of Screams features four different haunted attractions, a 35-minute walk through a haunted forest, a tour of the Lusion Manor orphanage, a haunted hayride in a cornfield infiltrated with evil clans, and a haunted ride through a double decker where you can shoot down zombies with a paintball gun.
Entry is from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm on Sundays, Thursdays and Halloween and 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets start at $10
- The Curse of Frau Mueller Haunted House
The Best Back Story (mysterious missing children? classic.)
50 Florida Ave NE, Washington, D.C.
The Curse of Frau Mueller haunted house is the largest and scariest in the Washington DC region—50,000 square feet of chilling, stomach-wrenching dread and based on the true story of Frau Mueller and the case of the missing children. Scream your face off and help a noble cause: a portion of all proceeds will be going to provide injured military veterans and their families with challenging and rewarding sports and recreational activities.
October 24 to November 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children
- Night of the Living Zoo
For the Scaredy Cats
National Zoo – 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C.
Wear your best costume while enjoying the National Zoo by moonlight. Experience bone-chilling and mind-boggling performance art including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists. And probably an adorable kid in their adorable panda Halloween costume!
Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $20
- Fright Night
The Most Philanthropic
19790 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, Virginia
Fright Night is a 30 minute trail through the pitch black woods of Ashburn that will leave you terrified. While waiting to enter the trail, there is music, bonfires, concessions, face painters, photo booth and paintball course although not all activities are available every night. All proceeds will go to the Community Church youth outreach, the Messiah’s Market food pantry and the Loudon Abused Women’s shelter.
October 25 & 26
Tickets start at $20
- Nightmare Manor – The most historically accurate but keep in mind nightmares are subjective
10240 Fingerboard Road, Ijamsville, MD
This vacant and historic home was once home to Seth Legget, an evil man (Let’s not judge. -ed.) who burned his home down with his family in it and then hung himself. Experience why no tenants since the fire have lasted very long. (The heating bills are probably high. -ed.)
Thursday through Sunday until November 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are $25
- D.C. Halloween Boo Cruise
Departs from 600 Water Street SW, Pier 4, Washington, D.C.
Spirit Cruises’ Halloween “Boo” cruise is a Halloween party unlike any other with food, entertainment and haunting late-night views of DC beneath the moon. Featuring a special Boo Cruise menu with a selection of miniature food bites and appetizers including veggies and dips, as well as chicken wings, meatballs and some of the captain’s favorites.
Saturday, October 26 at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets start at $44.90