Once the chill in the air becomes apparent, we can officially say the fall season is upon us! Nights are getting longer, pumpkins are plentiful, and there are strange encounters along with unexplained sights around creepy corners of Greater Wilmington’s historic attractions... the spookiest season of the year has arrived! With the extended history of Wilmington and Brandywine Valley, there’s no surprise it’s filled with haunts as well. Do you have what it takes to experience the paranormal in these Wilmington locations? We dare you to #VisitWilm for a ghoulish good time. Some of the stories will undoubtedly give you the heebie-jeebies.
Join in the spook-tastic fun as creaky doors (and gates) open this October to some of the most frightening experiences in the region. And if you can’t get here this fall season, that’s okay. You can visit most of these featured locations at any other time of year, because the ghosts and spirits mentioned often make their presence known regardless of the season.
1. Historic New Castle
Beware of goblins, ghosts, and poltergeists as you venture out on autumn evenings and discover the darker side of history. The New Castle Historical Society hosts Hauntings in History tours on weekends, October 13–28. You’ll hear the haunted legends and superstitions of the New Castle neighborhood, complete with ghost stories, mysterious murders and funerary practices of the area. During the tour, you’ll visit the very haunted Amstel House Museum. Keep your eyes peeled for “The Lady in Blue”!
2. Old Swedes Historic Site
Do you have the guts to disturb the peace? The Old Swedes Church cemetery dates to the late 1600s, making it more than 300 years old. It’s where more than 15,000 souls were laid to rest, and a quick stroll through the cemetery will make you realize that some of those souls are still around. Was that the wind whistling through the trees … or perhaps a person of the past trying to be heard? We’ll leave it up to you to decide.
3. Fort Delaware
Even if you don’t believe that ghosts are real, it’s easy to believe they could be lurking in this place. Fort Delaware was a prisoner-of-war camp during the Civil War and eventually became a state park. During its time as a prison, nearly 3,000 Confederate soldiers died at the fort. Many visitors have recorded supposed supernatural activity in Fort Delaware, which led to the TV show “Ghost Hunters” featuring the prison in an episode. This fall, the park is offering Paranormal Adventures, a three-hour investigation that uses electronic magnetic detectors and other techniques known to show paranormal presence. If you’re looking for something more Halloween-specific, this year the park is introducing a frightening new event, Victorian Hallowe’en: Stories, Spooks, and Spirits. Every Friday and Saturday in October from October 6-28, visitors will be introduced to the ways that Victorians used to celebrate Halloween.
4. Rockwood Park & Museum
Another site that’s been featured on “Ghost Hunters” is Rockwood Park and Museum. The exterior gives off beautiful gothic vibes, and the interior is no less eerie. The 1800s-era mansion is said to be haunted by former residents … of both the two- and four-legged varieties. You’ll find remnants of an old playhouse on the property which used to belong to Eddie, a young boy who continues to haunt his childhood home. If you dare, grab a ticket to Rockwood’s Paranormal Investigation. This new experience provides a rare opportunity to find out what strange activities may be going on outside the walls of the famously haunted mansion. Ghost seekers can help in the search using sophisticated paranormal equipment.