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Halloween And Colonial Williamsburg

October 1st, 2018 Posted by ghost history, ghost tour, ghosts, halloween, tours, williamsburg, Williamsburg No Comment yet

Halloween, though highly commercialized, does have roots that can be traced back to Colonial America, Europe and Colonial Williamsburg.

One thing that stands out is the Colonial Halloween traditions were primarily in the American South, in places like Colonial Williamsburg. You would not see something with non Christian roots in the Northern colonies, who were under the guises of a puritanical culture. Even in the South, Halloween was nothing like the commercialized exposition that it is today.

Colonial Williamsburg Halloween, Revolutionary America Ghost Stories, And Beyond

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Even without rampant commercialism, the Halloween of Colonial Williamsburg and Colonial America was not without flavor. Some of the activities at a harvest or Halloween gathering might include:

  • Ghost Stories
  • Fortune Telling
  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Pranks

While nothing like today you can see the deep origins of one thing Americans gravitate Set against the backdrop of a harvest festival, it was an entertaining experience. This is very indicative of harvest festivals. It definitely would become the backdrop of modern Halloween, as waves of immigrants, customs, and commercialism shaped it into what it is today. But, like back then, it is all about fun today.

But What About Pumpkins?

Pumpkins, as a commercial instrument for creating ghastly images of ghouls and goblins was not the case. The pumpkin, a popular indigenous Native American gourd, was a fabric of the local diet and used in a number of purposes. A jack o lantern was not one of them.

pumpkins halloween williamsburg

Haunting Ghost Origins Of Colonial Williamsburg

But there is another angle to Halloween, the supernatural and ghosts. It is hard to think about American or Colonial Williamsburg without addressing ghost stories and documented hauntings. We cannot ignore these disturbances that have witnessed in Williamsburg. These beg the question.. how did these come about? Why are they linked to this era in history? These ghost stories of today are like portals to this time Revolutionary period. Not as cutesy as Jack O Lanterns, they are part of the tradition. To sum it up I will mention something I have mentioned before..

Not all history is history

Maybe a better saying would be that not all history STAYS history. Take one of our ghost tours and learn about the restless past of this bygone Colonial World that is overflowing into ours.

Link to our ghost tour

More about our ghost tours

ghost tours in williamsburg

The Best Ghost Tour In Williamsburg

Check out this link to a clip and see why our ghost story is the best. It certainly will leave the hair on your arms standing up.

Williamsburg Hauntings

Where did all the craziness begin? Check out this short article asking the origin of such restless beings

Origins And Fascination With Ghosts

Check out why we are fascinated with these stories of sadness, pain, and the macabre at this link

Our Ghost Tour And Trip Advisor

Check out some reviews we have received on our tour from Trip Advisor

Happy Halloween



Happy Colonial Halloween! (n.d.). Retrieved from

Some Pumpkins! (n.d.). Retrieved from