Halloween Happenings in Cape May to Raise Some ‘Spirits’ in October

CAPE MAY — Seaside spirits stir up ghostly appetites in Victorian Cape May during Halloween Happenings, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), throughout October. Get into the “spirit” this season with Halloween-themed tours and events including ghost trolley tours, spooky tours of Cape May’s original haunted house, the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, teas with notorious characters such as Lizzie Borden, Typhoid Mary and The Bride of Frankenstein, murder mystery dinners, a séance at the Physick Estate with medium Craig McManus, and much more.

The grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., have been taken over by spooky, scary and silly characters for Scarecrow Alley. Enjoy the scarecrow creations contributed by members of the community, local organizations and businesses, families and MAC staff, and vote for your favorites from Oct. 6 through Oct. 31. Join in the fun and create your own scarecrow! Stakes and straw are provided. Admission to the grounds is free. Contact MAC for information on how to create your own scarecrow.

On All Hallows Eve, Tuesday, Oct. 31, there are spooky characters waiting to give treats to all brave youngsters on the porch of the Emlen Physick Estate. Trick or Treat at the Physick Estate is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free.

Cape May’s “original haunted house,” the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, is the setting for Phantoms of the Physick Estate: What Happens After Dark. Are you brave enough to tour Dr. Physick’s house after dark? Strange things have been seen, heard and done here in the evening hours. Let your guide open a portal to the past and see what mysteries await. Offered Fridays, Oct. 13, 20 and 27 and Saturdays, Oct. 14, 21 and 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children (ages 3-12).

The Emlen Physick Estate is also the setting for Phantoms of the Physick Estate: The Mourning Hours. Step into the 19th century where mourning rituals mixed superstition with necessity. Experience the unexpected on this 30-minute guided tour through the Physick Estate, appropriate for all ages. Offered Saturdays, Oct. 14, 21, 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

Dozens of skeletons, ghosts and spooky characters beckon from a spectacular Dept. 56 Halloween Display inside the front porch of the Physick Estate house. Come see this unusual collection of creepy figures daily in October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Don’t miss the rare opportunity to spend a late night in the Physick Estate with Cape May’s most renowned ghost hunter. On Friday, Oct. 20 at 10 p.m., author, medium and ghost investigator Craig McManus will host Séance at the Physick Estate, in which 25 lucky people will hear Craig share his experiences and perhaps even channel a spirit or two. Admission is $50 per person. This event is limited and sells out quickly!

Join Craig McManus for A Walk with the Ghost Writer on Friday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. McManus (the Ghost Writer of Exit Zero fame) will lead this evening walk along the gas-lit streets of Cape May's Historic District, where he will talk about the houses where he has sensed paranormal activity. Admission is $25 per person.

Some notorious women will be hosting three otherwise civilized tea luncheons at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom, 1048 Washington St., during the entertaining Tea & Confessions Series, perfect for the Halloween season. Who was Lizzie Borden, and what really happened on the fateful day her parents were hacked to death in the family home? Meet Lizzie Borden and get swept up in the story of one of the most notorious women in modern history on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 2:30 p.m., all over afternoon tea, during Tea & Confessions: Lizzie Borden. Mary Mallon was finally quarantined by authorities in the early 1900s as a carrier of typhoid fever after people she came into contact with kept dying from the disease. Meet the notorious “Typhoid Mary” and hear her story on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m., all over afternoon tea, during Tea & Confessions: Typhoid Mary, Dinner is Served. Frankenstein’s monster has taken a bride and she’s coming to afternoon tea. Meet the beautiful “Bride of Frankenstein” and hear the trials of being married to a monster on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2:30 p.m., all over afternoon tea, during Tea & Confessions: The Notorious Bride of Frankenstein. For all three Tea & Confessions events, admission is $30 and reservations are necessary.

You’ll meet some disreputable characters during “Marriage and Other Crimes,” the latest Murder Mystery Dinner by John Alvarez. The mystery unfolds around you and you ponder clues during a delicious four-course dinner at Aleathea’s Restaurant, the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Suspicion will keep you guessing and challenge your sleuthing skills. Murder Mystery Dinners are offered at 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 6-8, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21. Admission is $50 for adults and $25 for children (ages 3-12). This is a limited event and reservations are necessary.

Headless photography? Electric corsets? Coffin torpedoes? Hear about some of the strange beliefs, superstitions and oddities from the late 19th century — the Victorian era — during Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour, an evening trolley tour through the gaslit streets of Cape May. Offered Fridays, Oct. 6-27, Saturdays, Oct. 7-28 and Sundays, Oct. 8-15 at various times. (Tours leave from Washington Street Mall except for Oct. 13-14, Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28 tours which leave from the Physick Estate). Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

What was that shadow? Was it the undead of Cape May’s past wandering their beloved haunts? You might scoff, you might shudder, but rest assured — on board the Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour with an experienced guide, you will begin to wonder what’s beyond as you hear tales of many hauntings unearthed in Cape May by Craig McManus. Offered nightly through Oct. 9, Wednesday and weekend evenings in October; times vary. Tours leave from Washington Street Mall (except for Oct. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 tours, which leave from the Physick Estate). Admission is $12 adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse has a frightfully lonely visage at night — the perfect setting for the ghostly tales unearthed by Craig McManus. Your guide on the Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour will share McManus’s findings as you travel through West Cape May and end at the Lighthouse for a night climb to the top. Hear about lonely maids who continue to wander inns, ghostly pirates still desperately digging for treasure and more. Offered Oct. 7 at 8:15 p.m., Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. and Saturdays Oct. 14-28 at 8 p.m. Tours leave from Washington Street Mall (except for Oct. 14, 21 and 28 tours which leave from the Physick Estate). Admission is $22 adults and $14 for children (ages 3-12).

Get into the spirit of things on a trolley tour past some of Cape May’s regal Victorian residences, reputed to host more than the living, during the Historic Haunts Combo Tour. Then it’s a guided tour of the historic (some say haunted) 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, where you'll learn about Victorian spiritualism and modern ghost hunting techniques. Offered Wednesdays, Oct. 4-25, Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8 and Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 7:15 p.m. Admission is $22 adults and $14 for children (ages 3-12). For those who prefer just the house tour, the Historic Haunts House Tour is available separately on these evenings at 7:45 p.m. Admission is $12 adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

Enjoy the fall season with your family at the beautiful Emlen Physick Estate during the Autumn Crafts & Collectibles Show on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares on the lush estate lawn. The day also includes hands-on activities and games for children. Admission and parking are free, with a charge for some activities.

Crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares on the lawn of the Emlen Physick Estate during the Victorian Weekend Crafts & Collectibles Show on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available.

Crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares during the Harvest Crafts & Collectibles Show indoors at the lovely Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place, on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2.

Dozens of vendors come to Cape May to sell handmade novelties and crafts including seasonal decorations, gift items and more during the Fall Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cape May Convention Hall. Admission is $2.

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