If you like your seaside vacation served with a side of thrills and chills, head to the beach for some “supernatural” sensations.
Where To Stay
Mischievous spirits might greet you at BEDazzled or Bewitched, side-by-side B&Bs in Rehoboth Beach. Innkeeper Inez Conover has heard footsteps on the stairs, even when she’s alone in the B&B. And an employee doing laundry turned to find a girl in 19th-century clothing watching her. (A former resident’s child died at age 13, Conover says.) When Conover asks the blithe spirits to keep it down, they usually oblige. 226-3900, rehobothbandb.com
One of At Melissa’s first customers told innkeeper Melissa Clink that she’d met the Rehoboth B&B’s resident ghost. Others have since said the same. Clink later met a woman who’d stayed in the early 20th-century house as a child. The woman’s description of the owner at that time matched guests’ description of the ghost, now dubbed “Mrs. G.” 227-7504, atmelissas.com
What To Do
This is the 24th year for the Sea Witch Festival, scheduled for Oct. 25-27 in Rehoboth Beach. As part of the event, ghouls, goblins and ghosts—along with local bands and floats—march from the Convention Center to the boardwalk. (800) 441-1329, seawitchfestival.com
The Cannonball House, which survived a direct hit from cannon fire during the War of 1812, now displays maritime exhibits. But some say the house contains more than artifacts. “I’ve definitely felt something,” says Michael DiPaolo, executive director of the Lewes Historical Society. Workers’ tools have been moved and keys to an old chest have gone missing, only to mysteriously reappear. Some say it’s the ghost of Susan Rowland, who died here when her skirt caught fire near the hearth. 645-7670, historiclewes.org/buildings/cannonball-house
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal is a comfortable place to pass time before boarding the ferry. Just keep your eyes peeled. The ferry parking lot is built on a former graveyard for unknown sailors. Rick Coherd, founder of Delmarva Historic Haunts, has conducted investigations there, and a participant’s phone vibrated even though the battery was dead and the phone was off. Mwa-ha-ha. capemaylewesferry.com
Delmarva Historic Haunts often holds public Paranormal 101 events at coastal landmarks, including the Lightship Overfalls. Investigators explain the tools of the trade and then the group takes a tour. “Sometimes you don’t get anything, and sometimes you get slammed,” Coherd says of the activity. Visit the website for the fall schedule. delmarvahistorichaunts.com
For decades, the Haunted Mansion at Funland has been a spine-tingling rite of passage for children. Frequent visitors will notice the new mural inside the entrance, which shows scary creatures leering through painted windows. 227-1921, funlandrehoboth.com
Beginning Oct. 3, Sports at the Beach in Georgetown, a short drive from Lewes, becomes Screams at the Beach, a collection of five haunted attractions, including a maze with frightful turns. The Haunt Rater last year ranked Screams above Philly’s Eastern State Penitentiary as the scariest attraction in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Tickets are $25, but VIP prices and group rates are available. 604-2739, screamsatthebeach.com.