Happy July 31st, everyone!
What’s so special about 7/31? It’s Harry Potter’s birthday for one thing; it’s also apparently the day Jimmy Hoffa disappeared (possibly forever?); Nolan Ryan won his 300th game back in the 90s… but more to the point, July 31 is exactly 3 months before Halloween, and that means you should start planning. We sure are!
As you might imagine, Halloween is a big deal in a place like Laurel Hill. October is to historic cemeteries as December is to department stores. Take a look at our events in the lead-up to the big day:
- October 6th – 10th Annual Rest in Peace 5K Run (read more about the 5k here)
- October 9th – Spirits and Spiritualists Walking Tour
- October 12th – True Tales from the Tomb Walking Tour and Performances
- October 13th – Laurel Hill: The Hot Spots and Storied Plots (read more about the Hot Spots tours here)
- October 14th – The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Laurel Hill
- October 19th & 20th – The Soul Crawl: Haunted Halloween History Tours
- October 26th – Laurel Hill: The Hot Spots and Storied Plots
- October 26th – The 14th Annual Gravedigger’s Ball (read more about the ball here)
- October 28th – Fall Family Day: Halloween Parade and Picnic
- October 30th: Oddly Departed: Mischief Night Mysteries
On Halloween itself, the cemetery will of course be open during our normal business hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm. You’re welcome to come by to get some selfies in your costume, take the self-guided cell phone tours, meet up with friends, or stop into the office and gift shop to say hi.
How to Get The Most Out of October at Laurel Hill
The 5K invites costumed runners to come out to our historic cemetery in the height of autumn, and to run a challenging course among the graves as twilight begins to settle in over the region. You can run the course, walk the course, or just show up to cheer on your friends and family who are competing. There is an after party at the finish line where participants and guests can enjoy food, beer, music, and win prizes.
The Gravedigger’s Ball is our annual fundraising gala, and this year, it’s being held at the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street. Guests will enjoy multiple dinner stations, and a premium open bar throughout the night. Live music will accompany a night of dancing and socializing. Guests can also bid on the always-amazing silent auction items, or take tours highlighting the stunning architecture and history of the Masonic Temple. Dress is black tie, costume, or masquerade.
Are Costumes Encouraged at Laurel Hill Events?
YES! The 5K and the Ball are costume events, as is Fall Family Day, and to some extent, The Soul Crawl. We love seeing guests in the cemetery in costume! One tip for comfort and safety: sensible shoes. Regardless of what you’re wearing up top, make sure you can safely navigate the grass, pavement, steps, and ever-present autumn leaves as you traverse the grounds in your finest.
We also recognize the fact that our location makes an excellent backdrop for costume photography, so feel free to swing by and get your Instagram photo op. Please be sure to tag us on social media:Laurel Hill Cemetery on Facebook, @laurelhillcem on Twitter and Instagram, and use the hashtag #laurelhillcemetery. We love to see pics popping up on our notifications, so keep them coming! Large groups, or any professional photography shoots should contact us ahead of time, as there are some specific requirements.
Can We Trick or Treat There?
Sure! Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, which means most kids will be in school during our business hours, but there’s always candy in the office. All of our fall events tend to feature Halloween Candy too, so if you don’t get to load up on the big day, be sure to grab some sweets when you check out one of our events.
Are Your Halloween Tours Scary?
Let’s say they’re appropriately spooky. We promise there won’t be anyone jumping out to scare you while you’re on a tour, and there won’t be any prop zombies rising up from behind the tombstones. The chills and thrills are all thanks to the storytelling provided by our excellent tour guides.
If you’re looking for something that fits this more atmospheric bill, we recommend one of the following…
The Soul Crawl tours. These are nighttime flashlight tours which take you to the gravesites of our residents with the creepiest stories.
Oddly Departed: Mischief Night Mysteries. This Halloween-eve tour will highlight some of the stranger and more suspicious deaths on record here.
True Tales from the Tomb. This tour takes you to several spots around the cemetery where actors will regale you with some appropriately shocking vignettes.
We hope you’ll begin filling your autumn calendar with some of these unique and distinctive events here at Laurel Hill Cemetery. We figure once the candy corn shows up in the grocery stores (it has!) it’s time to begin looking ahead to our beloved All Hallows Eve. We will see you then… if not before!
To stay up to date on all our events here, year round, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.