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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Get psyched for Halloween with these services and scares

From occult stores to ghost tours, here are three ways to take your Halloween observations to a new level.
Jordan Tovin | Assistant Photo Editor
Located on Wisconsin Avenue, the Chakra Room offers students with a local, nontraditional way to spice up their Halloween experience.

Although ghosts and spirits are commonplace in Halloween celebration, the spiritual aspects of the holiday often go unobserved.

Carving pumpkins, cozying up with a pumpkin spice latte and meticulously debating what niche costume to wear to impress friends and strangers alike are typical October rituals. But rather than another year of dressing up as a mouse (duh), consider celebrating the land of the dead by engaging in some not-so-common rituals around D.C.


A modern form of Paganism, Wicca is an Earth-centered Western religious movement recognizing the breadth of spirit beings. One of the eight major Wiccan Holidays, Samhain marks both the end of summer, the harvest and the beginning of winter. In the Pagan belief, the start of winter marks the day when the veil between the living and dead is especially thin. If you are looking for a community to connect with the deceased or celebrate Samhain with, the District offers events like traditional celebrations and lessons on grieving.

D.C.-based Pagan group Connect DC is hosting a ritual celebration of Samhain on Saturday, Oct. 29. Formed in 1999, the group says their goal is to heal and transform the city through magic and celebration. The event involves a potluck and a reading out of names of those who have either passed away or been born in the past calendar year, reflecting the belief that the holiday represents a liminal space between summer and winter, life and death.

The Firefly House, another of the District’s most popular Pagan groups, is hosting an event to dissect how and why we grieve and ways to manage such feelings. On Oct. 26 — just before Samhain — Firefly Dialogue: Grief and Grieving, is an alternative way to prepare for the holiday ahead. The event involves a guided discussion about all forms of grief, be they related to death or not.

Occult Experiences

Not always sporting a pointy black hat, some witches, mediums and the mystic have found a home in the District. Indulge in some witchy pleasures this season through tarot readings and metaphysical mementos.

An occult destination in Georgetown for the past 50 years, The Chakra Room has serviced the Washington community through spiritual sessions with Mrs. White, the shop’s long-standing psychic and astrologer. Simply stop in after calling to confirm the mystic is there for guidance on love life, career or an exploration into your past and present.

But, if unearthing the future is too unsettling even during the Halloween season, perusing the shop is just as thrilling. Showcasing one-of-a-kind finds such as handmade wands and witchy offerings, The Chakra Room is a shopping destination to rival the retail craze of M Street.


If engaging with the spiritual side of the holiday isn’t your vision for the most fulfilling Halloweekend, but you still want to feel the full range of emotions the scare-filled holiday promises, venture out into the District and get your heart rate pumping with some real-life scares. With options for the horror fanatic and the faint of heart, make the most of the hauntings offered this season.

The critically acclaimed horror attraction Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland, features two haunted trails with a combined 55 attractions. The trails are like an outdoor haunted house, with actors dressed up as ghouls and goblins jumping out to scare the poor souls wandering their way through the woods.

The newest haunted trail follows the narrative of summer camp gone wrong, while the original features 29 haunted houses scattered along the wooded trail. Riddled with actors ready to jump out, sound effects and animations, the immersive experience makes for quite the thrill.

Reachable with a little less than two hours of public transit, escape the city for the night and enjoy an eerie experience within the woods of Maryland. Open from Thursday to Sunday, be sure to reserve tickets ($54) online and in advance, as they are not sold on site.

If jump scares and chainsaws are not the way you go about celebrating Halloween, but you still want a scare, delve into the eerie history of Georgetown via the Ghosts of Georgetown tour. Aside from the infamous “Exorcist” steps, discover other hauntings and spirits looming in the historic neighborhood.  

One of the 90-minute tour’s stops is the historic Halcyon House. Built by the first U.S. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert, the street lights are said to flicker as his spirit haunts the property to this day.

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