Scarecrow Alley, photo courtesy of MAC

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

Seaside spirits stir up ghostly fun 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.

The grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate have been taken over by spooky, scary and just plain silly characters for Scarecrow Alley. Enjoy the life-sized scarecrow creations contributed by members of the community, local organizations and MAC staff and vote for your favorites from Oct. 12 through Oct. 31. Or, join in the fun and create your own scarecrow! Free admission. For information on how to create your own scarecrow, call (609) 224-6045 or visit www.capemaymac.org.

Dozens of miniature skeletons, ghosts and spooky characters beckon in a Dept. 56 Halloween Display inside the porch of the Physick House Museum. This colorful and spectacular display of Halloween-themed Dept. 56 collectibles is offered daily through October. Free admission.

On All Hallows Eve, Wednesday, Oct. 31, there are spooky characters waiting to give treats to all brave youngsters at Cape May’s original haunted house, the Emlen Physick Estate. Trick or Treat at the Physick Estate is from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free.

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. 12, 19 and 26 and Saturdays, Oct. 13, 20 and 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. $15 adults, $12 children (ages 3-12).

The 1879 Emlen Physick Estate is also the setting for Phantoms of the Physick Estate: Victorian Spiritualism Combo. Victorians were fascinated by spiritualism and the occult. Take a Historic District Trolley Tour through Cape May and then visit the “haunted” Physick Estate and learn from your guide about this Victorian obsession. You will even hear some of the electronic voice phenomena (EVPs) that 21st century technology has captured within these walls, and understand why it is reputed to host more than just the living. Appropriate for all ages. Offered Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 12-27 at 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. $22 adults, $14 children (ages 3-12). House tour only is offered at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. $12 adults, $8 children (ages 3-12).

Don’t miss the rare opportunity to spend a late night at the Physick Estate with Cape May’s most famous ghost hunter. On Friday, Oct. 19 at 10 p.m., author, psychic medium and ghost investigator Craig McManus will host Séance at the Physick Estate, in which 25 lucky people will hear Craig share his stories, experiences and perhaps channel a spirit or two. $50 per person. This event is limited and sells out quickly!

Ghost Walk with Craig McManus will be Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 20 at 6 and 9 p.m. McManus will lead these evening walks along the gas-lit streets of Cape May's Historic District, where he will talk about the houses where he has sensed paranormal activity. $25 per person.

The Cherry House has been the subject of numerous reputed paranormal experiences. Tour this private home, built in 1849 in the Federal style, situated on one of Cape May’s oldest residential streets during Cherry House Haunting Tales & Investigation Tour. Hear owners Beth and Frank Acker tell the results of various paranormal investigations on this guided tour and investigation with stories of supernatural happenings witnessed in the house. Tour-goers are encouraged to bring their own recorders; some equipment will be available for use. Limited to 12 people per tour. Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. $10 adults, $10 children (ages 3-12).

Who was Lizzie Borden, and what happened on the fateful day her parents were hacked to death? Historical re-enactor Kate Butler portrays Lizzie Borden in this one-woman show, Tea & Confessions: Lizzie Borden on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Get swept up in the story of one of the most notorious women in modern history, over a very civilized afternoon tea at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate. Reservations necessary. $35 admission.

You’ll be pondering the clues to an original murder mystery by Jacklyn Fazio, “An Evening to Die For,” as the play unfolds around you at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May. Enjoy this Murder Mystery Dinner, a four-course dinner, and challenge your inner sleuth. Limited event; reservations necessary. Offered Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. $55 adults, $30 children (ages 3-12).

Headless photography? Electric corsets? Coffin torpedoes? During the Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour, a 30-minute trolley tours through the gas-lit streets of Cape May, explore some of these strange beliefs, superstitions, oddities, fads, curiosities and mysteries from the end of the 19th century — the Victorian era. Offered Fridays, Oct. 12-26, Saturdays, Oct. 13-27 and Sunday, Oct. 14 at various times. $12 adults, $8 children (ages 3-12).

Dare to take an evening tour down the ghostly path that leads to the Cape May Lighthouse during the Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tours. You’ll hear about Craig McManus’ paranormal findings during your journey. Feel the presence of the spirits at the Light. Whether you choose to climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse, or stay below, you’ll surely enjoy these ghostly stories. Offered Saturdays, Oct. 13-27 at 8 p.m. $22 adults, $14 children (ages 3-12).

Board a MAC trolley for a 30-minute evening ride through the haunted streets of Cape May on the Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour. The paranormal findings of psychic Craig McManus come alive as your guide translates McManus’ spooky stories. Wednesday and weekend evenings in October at various times. $12 adults, $8 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. Wednesdays, Oct. 10-31 at 7:15 p.m. $22 adults, $14 children (ages 3-12). House tour only is offered at 7:45 p.m. $12 adults, $8 children (ages 3-12).

Shed your skin and let your darker desires shine through … your bones! Join the Salty Sirens for An Evening of Burlesque: Dead Sexy Boolesque, a side-show revue filled with tingly torment and hauntingly delicious delights, at Elaine’s Dinner Theatre. Food and beverages available for purchase. Advanced ticket purchase highly recommended. Thursday, Oct. 11 and Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $30 admission. For mature audiences.

Celebrate the fall season with your family during Autumn Crafts & Collectibles Show at the Emlen Physick Estate. Crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares on the lawn. Festival includes hands-on activities and games for children. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. Free admission and parking with a charge for some activities.

Crafters and antiques dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares during Crafts & Collectibles By the Sea at Cape May Convention Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. $2 admission.

For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278, or visit www.capemaymac.org.