CAPE MAY—Spooky sights and sounds abound in the nation’s oldest seaside resort for Halloween Happenings in Victorian Cape May, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), from Friday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 31. Seaside spirits take up residence in their favorite historic haunts and things are going bump in the night for more than two-weeks. Embrace the “other side” of Cape May and get in the “spirit” of the season with Halloween-themed tours and events including ghost trolley tours, spooky tours of Cape May’s original haunted house—the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, a mystery weekend, psychic teas, murder mystery dinners and much more.
The grounds of Cape May’s original haunted house, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., have been taken over by dozens of spooky, scary and just plain silly characters for Scarecrow Alley. Walk the grounds and vote for your favorite scarecrow creations contributed by members of the community, local organizations and MAC staff. Voting ballots are available in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Estate. Free admission to the grounds.
New in 2010! The popular Murder at the Physick Estate returns with “A Halloween Horror Show.” Lives are in danger, and one of them could be yours during Cape May’s new mystery production, “The Unspeakable Secret,” written by Ray Crew. There are angry, tormented, vengeful souls behind the walls of the Physick Estate…ghosts who are stuck there and cannot leave. They are behind doors and down dark hallways and they are waiting for you. Follow your guide…if you dare… and try to discover just what they want from you! Meet the cast at dessert after the performance. Tours are offered at 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, Oct. 15-29 and Wednesdays, Oct. 20 and 27. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 3-12).
The 1879 Emlen Physick Estate has been decked out for the season and is host to some spooky spirits who are eagerly awaiting your arrival. Visit Dr. Physick’s estate for the Phantoms of the Physick Estate Tour—a self-guided tour featuring spooky sounds, special effects and scary stuff. Tours are offered Saturdays, Oct. 16, 23 and 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12).
Cape May’s Victorian gems are transformed by cobwebs, glowing jack-o-lanterns, and sights of the season on Phantoms of Cape May tours on Saturdays, Oct. 16 and 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy a spooktacular self-guided tour of a selection of Victorian properties decked out in ghoulish fashion for Halloween. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12) and includes admission to the Phantoms of the Physick Estate Tour and a trolley shuttle.
Psychic medium, ghost investigator and author, Craig McManus comes to the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 11 p.m. for Midnight at the Physick Estate. Twenty-five lucky people will get to spend midnight in the haunted Physick Estate with Craig McManus who will share his experiences and perhaps channel a spirit or two. Admission is $35 per person. This event has sold out! Watch out for 2011 dates and reserve early.
New in 2010! Join Craig McManus, psychic medium and paranormal investigator for A Lighthouse Ride with the Ghost Writer on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. Board a MAC trolley with McManus at the helm. McManus will take you down the haunted path to the Cape May Lighthouse and relate his eerie findings. At the Cape May Lighthouse, you may experience a ghostly encounter and you can either choose to climb to the top or stay below. Admission is $30.
Board the MAC trolley for a spooky ride through the flickering gas-lit streets during A Cape May Ride with The Ghost Writer. This 45 minute evening trolley ride takes you through the streets of Cape May's Historic District with psychic medium Craig McManus (the Ghostwriter of Exit Zero fame) providing the narration. McManus will talk about ghosts and spirits, the history of the houses where he has sensed activity and legends of ghost activity in Cape May. Tours are offered Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8:30 p.m. Saturday’s tour is sold out! Admission is $25.
Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tours are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Oct. 15 through Nov. 14, plus Thursday, Oct. 28. A MAC guide will relate the paranormal findings of Ghostwriter Craig McManus as the trolley rolls past reputed haunted properties. Tour times vary. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tours take you along the ghostly path that leads to the Cape May Lighthouse as you listen to the guide relating ghost stories that have been unearthed by psychic medium Craig McManus. Feel the presence of the spirits of the Light. Climb to the top or stay below. Tours are offered Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturdays, Oct. 16, 23 and 30 at 8 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12)
A costumed guide spins spooky stories from the Victorian era as the trolley makes its way through the ghostly, gas-lit streets of Cape May on Tales of Terror Trolley Rides. Tours are offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 15-17 and Oct. 29-31 and Thursday, Oct. 28. Tour times vary. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
The Historic Haunts Combo Tour combines the Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour, which features a guide relating the paranormal findings of Ghostwriter Craig McManus on an evening trolley ride through the streets of Cape May, with a visit to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate where you will see a home séance room of the 1890s and learn of the Victorians’ fascination with spiritualism. Tours are offered Fridays, Oct. 15, 22 and 29 and Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7:15 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12).
Did you know that the notion of a haunting, the belief in ghosts, and the use of mediums and Ouija boards were popular during the Victorian Era? Get into the spirit of things on a guided tour of the historic (some say haunted) Physick Estate with a discussion of Victorian spiritualism during the Historic Haunts House Tour on Fridays, Oct. 15, 22 and 29 at 7:45 p.m. and Sundays, Oct. 17, 24 and 31 at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12).
On All Hallows Eve, Sunday, Oct. 31, there are spooky characters with treats for all the good little boys and ghouls at Cape May’s original haunted house, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Trick or Treat at the Physick Estate is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is free. Separate admission to tour the Phantoms of the Physick Estate.
Visit the grounds of the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the new Harvest Festival Crafts & Antiques Show. Celebrate fall in Cape May with a new open-air crafts and antiques show. Vendors from throughout the region display and sell their wares. Joseph Burcher and Robert Kenselaar, authors of Remembering South Cape May: The Jersey Shore Town That Vanished Into the Sea, will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Estate to sign copies of their book (which are being sold in the Carriage House Gallery Shop). Free admission to the grounds and a free trolley shuttle runs from the Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street to the Estate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dr. Physick’s aunt, Emilie Parmentier returns to her home in “spirit” for a special tea at the Carriage House Tearoom & Café, 1048 Washington St. Madame Parmentier’s Psychic Tea is a Halloween-themed tea luncheon complete with wandering fortune-tellers, odd phrenologists and strange characters. Learn what the future holds for you (all in good fun, of course) on Saturdays Oct. 16, 23 and 30 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is $25 and includes a tea luncheon.
There is a new mystery for this fall’s Murder Mystery Dinners & Luncheons! The humorous and murderous Impromptu Players invade the dining room at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., and set the scene for the new mystery “One Tough Cookie.” Friends, relatives, rich political contributors and even uninvited guests are attending the inaugural celebration for Jacob Thurman, the newly elected Mayor of the seashore town. Will they all chant, “long live the mayor,” or will they let family disagreement, political rivalry, social ambition, or past offenses poison the festive gathering? There is a killer among them and when someone drops dead, suspicion runs wild. Will this mystery be too much for the sheriff to sink his teeth into? Will it be a piece of cake for you to solve? Interact with the cast of suspicious characters and try to solve the mystery as you enjoy a three-course dinner or luncheon. Limited event; reservations necessary. Dinners are offered Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and are $45. Luncheons are offered Sundays, Oct. 17 and 24 at 1 p.m. and are $30. The Luncheons are sold out (watch out for 2011 dates and reserve early)!
Celebrate the harvest season on a Cape May Wine Trail. Spend the day visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each. First enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Tearoom & Café located on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., and then board the trolley, which will take you to Cape May Winery, Natali Vineyards, and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, where you’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Wine trails are offered Friday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 31 and run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $75 per person and includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass. Limited event, reserve early!
Triple your wine experience by combining a Wine Tasting Dinner, Winery Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting Class for a weekend of total indulgence. The Cape May Wine Weekend begins on Friday, Oct. 22 with a four-course dinner at the Washington Inn featuring wines themed to the Sunday Wine School Class. Guests will be treated to individual attention from the wine steward. On Saturday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m., visit the award-winning Cape May Winery for a tour of the vineyard, an introduction to the winemaker’s art, and a barrel tasting with cheese and fruit. On Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m., learn the finer points of fine wines at a Wine School Class at the Washington Inn. The complete package is $135 per person.
The Cape May Wine School “Zinfandel and Its Cousins” on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. can be purchased separately from the Wine Weekend. Keith Bader from Lauber Imports shares his knowledge of the world of wine at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. Learn to discern and appreciate wines and increase your knowledge of pairings. Admission is $30 per person.
Spend an afternoon at the award-winning Cape May Winery and enjoy a Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting. Tour the vineyard to see how grapes are grown, and then visit the winery for an introduction to the winemaker’s art and a barrel tasting with cheese and fruit. Each tour is limited to 40 people. Admission is $20. Tours are offered at 3 p.m. every Saturday, plus Friday, Oct. 15. Admission is $20 per person. Purchase tickets in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.
Celebrate Oktoberfest at the Mad Batter Beer Dinner on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The famous Mad Batter restaurant, 19 Jackson St., hosts the four-course dinner paired with East Coast Microbrews. Admission is $65 (tax and gratuity included).
New in 2010! The Mad Batter restaurant, 19 Jackson St., introduces monthly Beer Schools. The class on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. features Microbrews and IPAs. Learn about the world of beer, beer history, and beer pairings and enjoy five samples of beer and light refreshments at the Mad Batter Beer School. Admission is $25 per person. The bistro menu is also available at an additional charge.
New 2010! Designed by Shadow Stalkers, the Looking Glass Mysteries is a series of nonstop, think-on-your-feet investigations into some very unusual crimes. “Cape May’s War of the Worlds” will take place from Friday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 30. Sign up for a weekend-long mystery adventure looking for clues. Enlist the help of your fellow Martians or Earthlings in the recreation of a little known incident of the famous 1938 radio "invasion." Try to save (or conquer) the earth, track down space equipment and crack codes. Prizes for best-dressed Martians and Earthlings. For information or to book your weekend package, contact the participating inns:
The Bedford Inn: (609) 884-4158 or (866) 215-9507 or www.bedfordinn.com
The Carroll Villa: (609) 884-9619 or (877) 275-8452 or www.carrollvilla.com
The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast: (609) 884-8702 or www.queenvictoria.com
Don’t miss your final chance to tour Cape May’s sixth annual Designer Show House. The Fairthorne Cottage on the corner of Ocean and Hughes streets is open daily through Oct. 31 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays through Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then it’s closed until Cape May’s Christmas season begins on Nov. 19. The house is a charming bed and breakfast in the heart of Cape May’s historic district. The region’s top designers and suppliers have transformed the first floor and grounds of the Fairthorne Cottage and filled this year’s Cape May Designer Show House with many inspiring ideas. Admission is $10 and $7 for children (ages 3-12). Tours can be combined with lunch (daily) and dinner packages (Sunday-Friday).
For a true taste of Cape May style, combine a tour of the new Cape May Designer Show House with a lunch at the Carriage House Tearoom & Café located on the grounds of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. The Cape May’s Designer Show House Luncheon Package features an elegant four-course Tea Luncheon at the Carriage House Tearoom & Café, before a self-guided tour of the Show House, which is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for tours. Packages are available daily through Oct. 31 and from Nov. 19 through Jan. 2, 2011. The tearoom is open from 11:30 a.m. Tea Luncheon/Tour tickets are $30 per person and are inclusive of tax and gratuity. Please call 609-884-5111, to reserve your seating at the Tearoom.
Another great way to satisfy your appetite for design is with the Cape May Designer Show House Dinner Package. Savor a three-course dinner at one of Cape May's premier restaurants before a self-guided, evening tour of Cape May’s Designer Show House. Guests seat at 5:30 p.m. and have the choice from several options on the early seating menu. Dinner packages are available Sundays-Fridays, through Oct. 31 and diners have the choice between two restaurants each evening: Sundays: Cucina Rosa or Martini Beach, Mondays: Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May or Union Park, Tuesdays: Harry’s or the Mad Batter, Wednesdays: 410 Bank St. or Pier House, Thursdays: Fresco’s or Washington Inn, and Fridays: Merion Inn or Panico’s. The Show House is open for tours from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dinner/Tour tickets are $45 per person and are inclusive of tax and gratuity.
Halloween Happenings in Victorian Cape May is sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events or to purchase tickets to Halloween Happenings events call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508.
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