A terrifying, hooded figure sits in Mr. Vanderbilt’s bathtub. A skeleton stands behind an armchair in one of the elegant bedrooms. A eerie woman in a black robe with pasty-white skin and a frightful stare sits on a divan in Mrs. Vanderbilt’s bedroom. Near the fireplace in the grand, paneled library stands a tall mummy.
These are just a few of the ghostly, life-size props that will welcome you to Halloween at the Vanderbilt Mansion.
Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18 and 24-25, and October 31-November 1, 2015, are Haunted Weekends at the Vanderbilt Museum. Festivities include hourly Un-Living History tours of the Mansion beginning at noon, with the last tour starting at 4:00. Mansion tours are recommended for children age 8 and up
Tickets are available at the door. Visitors pay general admission ($7, adult; $6, students with ID and seniors 62 and older; and $3, children 12 and under) plus $5 per person for a guided mansion tour.
Tours are interwoven with Vanderbilt family history and include ghost stories told by mansion guides dressed for the occasion.
Visitors may meet Delia O’Rourke, the Irish cook, dressed in her bloody apron and carrying a meat cleaver, or one of the Vanderbilt family guests, aviator-industrialist Howard Hughes, dressed in the dirty, bloody clothing from his plane crash. Visitors also might run into the Phantom of the Opera or the occasional witch (see “cast” photo).
The Vanderbilt Mansion has a few ghost stories of its own – experienced by staff members from years ago. Those tales include hearing the laughter of young girls in the nursery wing of the Mansion, in the evening after hours, and the nighttime sighting of the ghostly figure of a young boy in knickers and a cap running across the Mansion lawn.
Halloween at the Planetarium: Experience ‘Haunted Skies’
Haunted Skies, a seasonal show, has returned to the Planetarium. This intriguing show takes the audience on a journey of exploration into the origins of this magnificent and often misunderstood holiday. Viewers travel to the ancient past to uncover the legends and rituals of Halloween, and gain insight about why we still celebrate this autumn tradition today.