It's not just for little folks
Painting #52 - Common Raven Flying Over a Pumpkin - redandthepeanut.blogspot
Yes, they are very cute and their excitement is infectious.
But there are plenty of aspects of this spookiest of holidays for all of us to enjoy.
The night before All Saints Day, a carry over from the pagan Samhain, the night when the veil between the living and the dead is lifted.
Most of us enjoy a little scare, a little voyage into the realm of the unknown. So venture no further. Here are a few of my favorite frights.
We may be small, but our state has an abundance of locations that are thought to be haunted. If you're up for adventure, why not visit these sites.
Pea Patch Island, Delaware City
Located on Pea Patch Island in the middle of the Delaware River, Fort Delaware served as a prison for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
Full bodied apparitions, rattling chains and a cook who can't seem to leave her kitchen have all been experienced here.
My first visit there was with my Dad and brother's Boy Scout troop, back in the days before liability concerns. We roamed the fort unfettered and I can assure you, there are definitely areas that will give you the willies.
Delaware City Hotel
While you wait for the ferry to Pea Patch Island, stop in at Crabby Dicks in the Delaware City Hotel. Their crab cakes are award winning and the hotel is allegedly haunted by a former owner's wife.
Old New Castle
No Delaware ghost hunt would be complete without a stop in Old New Castle. The superabundance of activity in this village warrants a visit for ghost hunters.
Historic New Castle Ghost Tour
I fell in love with this house when I was an art history student tasked with writing a paper on the vernacular interpretation of Georgian style by "gentlemen builders". Dr. Finney's work has stood the test of time, so much so that some of the residence don't seem to want to leave. The Lady in Blue has made her presence known to many.
The Kensey Johns Jr. House
Across the street is the Keensey John Jr. House, the site of the 2015 Designer Showhouse.
We were warned, tongue in check, not to go into the basement alone. Former owners had been locked in, while alone in the house. Fortunately, I had no ghostly encounters, but mirrors did fall off walls unexpectedly and one designer's foot was broken with no rational explanation..... just saying.
The Deer Park Tavern
A Fixture for most Delawareans and the scene of many of our rites of passage, there has been a structure on this site for more than 250 years.
Originally St Patrick's Inn, frequented by George Washington, and surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, of Mason-Dixon Line fame, perhaps it's most intriguing guest was Edgar Allen Poe.
It has been said, that Poe penned his famous poem, The Raven here. According to local lore, Poe tripped when exiting his carriage in front of the building and cursed the inn.
Flying bar stools, strange voices and "creepy feelings" have been reported by many.
I first worked at Bellevue as a design intern from Delaware College of Art and Design. Later, I served as a special events coordinator.
(Wedding planner stories reserved for another post.)
The house has many stories to tell. Hidden panels in the library to a secret billiards room in the basement, secret escape route in the cupboard of the child's bedroom and an underground tunnel from the main house to the tennis pavilion.
There are reports of activity on the upper floors and furniture inexplicably moved. I never encountered them.
I spent many hours in the house alone undisturbed. Until the afternoon I was in the basement alone......
Get in the Mood
There's nothing like a scary read to get you in the mood for the holiday. Here are a few classics worth revisiting.
No girl from the Hudson Valley can bypass this classic. Sometimes trivialized and softened up, this is really a pretty frightening tale.
Why not mix up one of these lethal libations while you ponder Ickabod and Katrina's fate.
Sleepy Hollow Cocktail
Another fright inducing yarn
Creepy Miles, little Flora, the mysterious Miss Jessel and evil Quint are one scary quartet.
Enjoy your read with this whistle wetter.
And my all time favorite
Basil Rathbone - reading The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
And while you "ponder weak and weary"
sip on this pretty refresher.