The Haunting at Piney Point stirs up the spooky side of Chesapeake Bay history. (Slightly embellished) image: Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

Visit “Ghost Ships” and Haunted Lighthouses for a Bay Halloween

Halloween is coming, and while haunted old houses and spooky trails are fun, why not experience a bone-chilling time on the Chesapeake Bay this year? From the mouth of the Susquehanna River to Alexandria, Virginia, you can take in the spooky side of historic boats and lighthouses.

Maryland Dove is the recently-completed ship based on the original Dove, a 17th-century trading ship that sailed to the Maryland colony with Ark in 1634. Dove was a small ship used in shallow waterways along the coast while the first colony and capital were being established. With all the history it shares, Maryland Dove will make a convincing haunted ship in its home port of St. Mary’s City, M,aryland at next weekend’s Halloween event.

The ship will be open to the public and dressed up as a haunted ship during the Historic St. Mary’s City Lost City, a family trick-or-treating event spread out over museum grounds on Saturday, Oct. 21, 5-8pm. “Lost” sailors will wander the grounds and the museum will be decorated for Halloween. Visitors can enjoy fortune telling and broomstick lessons, plus music at the Monster Mash Disco Ball. More information is here.

In Old Town Alexandria, Virginia along the Potomac River, the Tall Ship Providence will be the venue for an adults-only costume party with DJ, open bar, food and costume contest. Partygoers can cross the gangway—if they dare—to the “ghost ship” Providence on Saturday, Oct. 28, 7-10pm.

For the younger Halloween crowd, Providence welcomes ghosts and golbins ages 1-13 years old to take over the floating maritime center with story time, crafts and activities. Find out more about both parties here.

Meanwhile, down the Potomac at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, the maritime exhibits are transformed for the Haunting at Piney Point. For two nights, the museum’s historic watermen boats will transform into haunted pirate galleons. The event is free to the public and the museum says it’s family-friendly: “Exhibit features mild Halloween fun with low lighting and spooky sounds, but no gore, jump scares or any other shock value.”

The Haunting at Piney Point runs Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28, 5-9pm. A local food truck will be onsite Friday night offer food and snacks after the experience. For more information, please call 301-994-1471.

Up on the upper Bay, the ghostly sites and sounds of the Bay continue. In Havre de Grace, the iconic Concord Point Lighthouse, built in 1827, will host a rare night tour. Brave souls will start at the Lighthouse Keeper’s House across from the lighthouse to hear “ghostly tales of John O’Neil and the War of 1812” and surrounding historic locations. The walking tour continues along the promenade with spooky stories of the past. Learn more about it here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano