If you are not easily frightened and wanted to explore the world of ghosts, some real and others man-made, then visiting Cape May at Halloween may be the thing for you.
Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort, has been around for centuries — long enough to have gathered spirits in many of the Victorian-era buildings that dot the city streets.
The Southern Mansion Bed and Breakfast, at 720 Washington St., established 2012 in a building constructed in 1863, is “said to have many spirits. It is believed that the renovations that have occurred at the mansion have brought these spirits into a life of their own,” according to the website haunted-places-to-go.com, which says the the building was built in 1863. For more information about the Southern Mansion, see southernmansion.com
In Cape May, there are plenty of places to stay overnight to try to capture spirit activity in the dark. Like the Southern Mansion, Elaine’s Cape May is a documented haunted house at 513 Lafayette St. getting ready to welcome overnight guests for a Ghost Hunter Weekend, Oct. 4-6. Weekend activities will give guests ample opportunity to search for spirits in Elaine’s using actual ghost-detecting tools. Guests will also be treated to a walking ghost tour of Cape May and a private reading with a psychic. For more information about the Ghost Hunter Weekend and other Halloween events hosted by Elaine’s Cape May, see elainescapemay.com.
Victorians were fascinated by spiritualism and the occult, according to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that promotes the the restoration, interpretation and cultural enrichment of Cape May. The dark side of Victorian life will be on full display as part of MAC’s Halloween Happenings events throughout the city during October.
Some of the regal buildings in the Victorian-era town that are centuries-old and believed to host more than the living will be the subjects of the Historic Haunts House Tour. Knowledgeable tour guides will treat visitors to tales of Cape May’s spirit world aboard a trolley tour through the streets of the city.
Craig McManus, who has been working as a medium since the 1990s and channeling for clients around the world, will conduct an evening tour on the spirit side of Cape May. On the one-hour walking tour, participants will hear stories and see the houses and sites where he has sensed paranormal activity.
At the Carriage House Cafe and Tearoom at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., visitors will learn about Victorian spiritualism and the clever tricks spiritualists used to deceive their believers as part of event titled “Tea & Confessions: an expose of Victorian Spiritualism.”
The grounds of the 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s original haunted house, will be transformed into Scarecrow Alley. Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite ghoulishly gruesome or foolishly funny scarecrow during the two-week Halloween event.
MAC will host many other events as part of Halloween Happenings, including a Murder Mystery Dinner, Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour, A Séance at the Physick Estate and more. For more information about Halloween Happenings hosted by MAC, see capemaymac.org.