While not technically listed in the dictionary as a synonym for “autumn,” you just can’t be in the full fall mindset without the hype of Halloween. To get you and your family in the spirit – whether you prefer cute, cozy pumpkins at fall markets or scary sights in haunted barns – these spots throughout Fauquier County have you covered for fall fun.
In the mood for a scare on foot? Haunted Hallow is home to farm tours that are sure to make you scream! Family-owned since the 1960s, this abandoned farm has been the setting of “mysterious farming accidents” over the years, from livestock refusing to use the old horse barn to discovering a human hand bone in a flower garden. Check out their website to read terrifying entries of a high schooler’s diary found in the walls of the farm’s attic. Your teeth will be chattering, and you haven’t even checked into the farm yet! The property owners suggest allowing 30 minutes to follow the trail in and around the barns (though it may be faster if your fight-or-flight reflex kicks in and you find yourself scurrying through!). Stand around the bonfire and purchase a snack while your heart rate lowers before your drive home. Tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays from now to October 28th and cost $20 each.
The Fauquier Historical Society – voted “Best Museum” by Fauquier Times in 2018 – hosts walking tours throughout the year, but they have increasingly spookier options through the fall season. Ghost Walks are available on October 21nd and October 28th. Start at the Old Jail and take a stroll as you listen to a harrowing local history of paranormal sightings and recounts of haunted spirits in the town to this day. For the goosebumps to last a little longer, you can actually sleep over in the Old Jail on November 28th. Think of this as the infamous mall lock-in from your preteen years, only with significant historical flair and horror vibes! The experience is limited to 10 participants and hardly ever happens…so, do not sleep on buying your tickets. After all, you can sleep once you set up your sleeping bag in the Jail (though you may not be able to from the eerie surroundings!). Tickets for Ghost Walks are $15 each and the sleepover at the Old Jail costs $75 per person.
More Mellow Mood
If your autumn aesthetic is more about gazing at the changing foliage and snuggling in a sweater, then Messick’s Farm Market is your place. Messick’s Farm Market hosts a family-friendly Fall Festival every weekend throughout October and embodies all the cozy seasonal sweetness you’ve been dreaming of. From corn mazes to hayrides to a pumpkin patch, candy cannons, and duck races, there is no shortage of festivities, no matter how old your kiddos are. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for adults 55 years and older, and children 3 years and under get in free. Before you leave, check out their market for an array of local dairy products and meats, farm fresh produce, handmade soaps, and more. The farm’s homemade frozen custard is not to be missed. Seasonal flavors – yes, including the quintessential pumpkin – are frequently listed as favorites. While you’re at it, pick up a freshly baked pie or sweet bread for the perfect finale to family dinner tonight before you load the littles back in the car. Farm fresh wines, including elderberry wine made from local ingredients are also available, in case mom and dad need a seasonal treat of their own after the kids go to bed.
Spooky Season for Sipping
Toast the season with a shriek or two and plenty of laughs with an evening out among friends at Granite Heights Winery. Granite Heights Winery pairs two fall favorites – wine and haunted houses – together in their Second Annual Haunted Wine Tours. A wine made on-premises is paired with each scene as you tour the haunted barn. Tours are 30-45 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays from October 20th to October 28th for $35, though tickets are selling out fast! The Winery says the challenge is to NOT “spill your wine” amid all the excitement!
To take part in an unprecedently sophisticated Halloween experience, look no further than the 2022 Winemaker’s Dinner at Molon Lave Vineyards. On Saturday, October 28, at 6:30pm, enjoy a five-course meal that will leave you with a new appreciation for the saying “chef’s kiss.” Each course is paired with a carefully selected, handcrafted wine (think shrimp and crab ravioli in a saffron cream sauce paired with Molon Lave’s “Dedication” – and that’s just the first course!). Live music from Heartstrings will be your soundtrack to this culinary adventure. Don’t forget to come dressed in your best costume for some spooktacular contest fun. Who knows, you may even win a prize if your costume is voted one of the top three of the evening!
Whether you choose to take a trip to the farm for a family-friendly festival or book tickets for an adults-only evening of wine and frights, you will find just the right level of spooky to celebrate the season your way in Fauquier County.