Greetings, fellow Charlottesville natives and non-natives alike. We have three hauntingly delightful Halloween activities that we would love to share with you to experience this October. As the crisp autumnal winds sweep through Charlottesville, we invite you to delve into the enigmatic world of Edgar Allan Poe. Baltimore, Richmond, and Boston all claim Poe as their own son, but many do not know that Poe’s iconic history runs right through Charlottesville. Here are our trio of eerie experiences that will leave you spellbound, shivering, and seeking solace in the captivating embrace of the macabre.
1. The Edgar Allan Poe Experience: A Theatrical Soiree in Harrisonburg
Allow me to share an enchanting tale of my own, as I recount my recent visit to the immersive play that is taking Central Virginia by storm. My family and I embarked on this beguiling adventure on opening night in Harrisonburg, and I must say, it proved to be a most delightful experience—one that promises to satiate your cravings for all things eerie and macabre. And although it is spooky, it is appropriate for all ages–I even brought my two middle-school kids with me and they loved it.
Presenting itself as a spectral marvel at the Virginia Quilt Museum, this production is a limited-time engagement, enchanting audiences from October 12th thru Halloween.
In this immersive theater, you are not merely an observer from the shadows; you are active an participant in the unfolding drama. The stage is set within the dimly lit confines of a hospital asylum, where the brilliant but tortured mind of Edgar Allan Poe teeters precariously on the precipice of madness.
As you cross the threshold into this spooky realm, prepare to bear witness to a most chilling transformation—one that transfigures the doctors and nurses into eerie incarnations of some of Poe’s most iconic characters. The cadence of “The Tell-Tale Heart” will reverberate through your very soul, its haunting echoes casting a spell upon your senses. Brace yourself for a maddening visit from none other than The Raven herself, nevermore providing Edgar the answers he seeks.
And the most sinister soirée awaits as you become guests at a masquerade, visited by a figure cloaked in a most mysterious Red Mask. And in the dim candlelight, prepare to bear witness to “The Fall of the House of Usher,” where cracks in Poe’s mental foundation are exposed in all their ghastly splendor.
Yet, as you traverse this shadowy narrative, ponder this enigma: Have you become a mere guest at Edgar’s final soiree, or have you, like him, ventured into the labyrinthine corridors of an asylum—a realm where reality and madness entwine in a sinister dance?
If this immersive theatrical experience sounds like something that will tingle your senses, I am pleased to announce that you can receive a 25% discount at any of the remaining shows. Use code “RAVEN25” at checkout to receive your discount. We have partnered with The Edgar Allan Poe Experience to bring this discount to you–our customers. You can purchase tickets HERE. But be quick because this limited-time theatrical experience will soon be nevermore.
2. Edgar Allan Poe’s UVA Dormitory Room
Next, our journey takes us back to the hallowed grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a place that holds a significant chapter in the annals of Edgar Allan Poe’s literary history. Here, you shall stand upon the very threshold of the dormitory room that once cradled the brilliant spirit of Mr. Poe.
Within these ivy-clad walls, Poe pursued his studies within the esteemed School of Ancient and Modern Languages in the spring and fall semesters of 1826. Yet, as fate would have it, his stepfather, John Allan, proved reluctant to provide the necessary funds for young Edgar’s tuition and board. In a desperate gambit to maintain his place at UVA, Poe turned to gambling. But fortune and luck never seemed to favor Edgar’s ventures, and by December of that year, deep in debt, he was compelled to return to his step-father’s home in Richmond.
An artifact of poetic melancholy, a pane of glass from his dormitory room now resides within the solemn confines of the University’s Rotunda. Upon this glass, Poe etched a stanza that still lingers as a testament to his poignant departure:
For those who seek a truly unique experience, we implore you to pay a visit to Poe’s dormitory room on Halloween night, perhaps accompanied by your family. It is a night when UVA’s students, who are neighbors with Poe’s dormitory room, generously bestow the sweetest of treats upon wandering souls, young and old alike. Poe’s dormitory room often opens its doors to the curious public on this night, beckoning you to partake in a spectral journey through time and literature.
The Raven Escape Room at Unlocked History
Finally, we would be remiss if we failed to recommend our very own escape room for your October adventures. In The Raven Escape Room, which is set in our own version of Poe’s dormitory room, you’ll be transported back to 1826 when Poe has inexplicably vanished, mere days after the heart-wrenching loss of his beloved Lenore.
This immersive escape room draws inspiration from Poe’s own turbulent history and delves deep into the abyss of his most celebrated tales, including “The Raven,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Black Cat,” “The Oval Portrait,” and “Annabelle Lee.” In our escape room, Edgar has inexplicably vanished from the very room you are about to enter.
As you navigate a labyrinth of intricate puzzles and decipher enigmatic clues, you will traverse the shadowy realms of Poe’s world. Here, the lines between fiction and reality blur, and you are invited to unravel not only his literary genius but also the mysteries that shrouded his life.
You can book a reservation for The Raven Escape Room at this link HERE. And while we think your escape room experience would be elevated during this month of October, fear not, because this Poe-themed escape room holds a permanent presence at Unlocked History Escape Rooms.
And so, dear readers, as the October moon casts an eerie glow upon the picturesque streets of Charlottesville, we beseech you to embark upon these chilling and historical experiences. Whether you yearn for the spine-tingling thrill of Poe’s theatrical tales in Harrisonburg, a haunting visit to the very dormitory that once cradled his genius, or the opportunity to unlock the enigma of his disappearance within the riddles of our escape room, Charlottesville (and Harrisonburg) extend to you an October you will nevermore forget. It is an October that will embrace you in its chilling embrace, leaving you shivering with delight amidst the embrace of the macabre.
Unlocked History Escape Rooms
Where History Never Gets Old