Experience the best of the best with this Top 8 list of things to do and see in Portsmouth.
Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
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Portsmouth’s Olde Towne Civic League is once again producing the 40th Annual Olde Towne Ghost Walk after a two-year hiatus. On October 28th, come to Olde Towne to hear costumed re-enactors tell local ghosts’ tales of love, loss, murder, and mayhem. This walking tour takes visitors through a 20-square-block, a 500 building area of downtown Portsmouth that has seen over 300 years of American history. This neighborhood, on the National Register of Historic Places, offers visitors a glimpse into the American Revolution, the Underground Railroad, America’s Naval history, regional culture, and arts, plus it’s a showcase for the largest collection of period homes between South Carolina and Alexandria, VA.
A Spooktacular marketplace on Court Street, from High Street to County Street, features over 50 costumed themed vendors (with Halloween specific items) and entertainment to complement the Ghost Walk from 5:30-9:30pm. This is also the location to check in for the ghost walk and receive your wrist band. Attractions include fire walkers, aerialists, music, face painting, tarot card readers, costumes, hallows and ghouls, re-enactors, flamed Cadillac hearse, games, crafts table, hot cider, and more. They even have Olde Towne Ghost Walk T-shirts for purchase too! Kids are welcome to enjoy the Halloween decorations and costumed vendors. For the adults, enjoy a day of the dead celebration in the parking lot at Guads Mexican Restaurant.
This tour is family friendly, and while it’s spooky, it’s not scary – no one is going to jump out at you! At each haunted house, costumed actors retell the legends of ghostly visitations and things that go bump in the night. Tours begin and end at the Ghost Walk Marketplace . Groups tours begin at 6:15 and will be going in 15 intervals. Anyone in line by 9:30 pm will be eligible for a tour. The last tour will end at approximately 10:45 pm. Patrons are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before their tour time to enjoy vendors, reenactors, and ghostly entertainers before a short queue for the tour. Tickets are timed this year to avoid the long lines of previous years.
Nearby, The Hill House Museum will be presenting a Halloween-themed event, with funeral attire of the 1800s and the Ghost of Queen Victoria. Tickets are $5 and are available at the Ghost Walk Marketplace. Tours run from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. The Hill House Museum, a historic home in Portsmouth, Virginia was built in circa 1825 and furnished entirely with family belongings from the 19th and 20th centuries, collected through generations, and left in their original places in since 1956.