It goes without saying that Halloween is a pretty big deal in our city. Savannah after all does have a reputation for being the "most haunted city in America." And so, it's commonplace for people of all ages to come out in droves all month long to scare themselves silly, show off their costumes or just have fun. And Savannah does not disappoint. Here's just a few of the ways to celebrate Halloween.
Haunted pub crawls are everyday fare in Savannah, yet they tend to feel extra scary at Halloween. On these candle-lit strolls of some the most haunted pubs and taverns in the nation, you can toss back a few while guides decked out in period costumes share dark history and spine-tingling tales.
As well as the "regular" crawls, there are also annual ones that have become Savannah tradition.
- For Nightmare on Congress Street, you can venture solo from pub to pub at your own pace down one of Savannah's eeriest strips. There are "killer" drink specials, you get a signature goblet, and do wear your best costume for a chance to win cash prizes.
October 31, 3:00 pm-11:00 pm, $15 until October 30th, $20 the day of, Start at The Rail Pub
- Crawl-O-Ween is a less scary pub crawl that features select bars and restaurants on River Street. Besides drink specials, there's a raffle drawing and a glow-in-the-dark souvenir cup.
October 31 from 7:00 pm-midnight, tickets $10 per person, Check-in at Rousakis Plaza
Savannah of course also knows a thing or two about ghost tours. In fact, on any given day you can go in search of specters in a horse-drawn carriage, set out on a haunted tour in the dead of night, go on a paranormal investigation tour with a world-famous ghost hunter, take a laughs-ghosts-and-history tour in a hearse, or do a walking tour of creepy cemeteries and real life haunted houses (like the Sorrel-Weed House which has become known as one the most haunted homes in the world).
Another of Savannah's traditions gives you a chance to take to the streets in your running shoes, costume of choice, or both—and all for charity. Run/walk in Halloween-themed events like these:
- Put together a costumed team of five and a racing frame that holds a twin mattress and one rider. Then do a mad 150m dash for glory and prizes. Proceeds from the Mattress Dash go directly to improving the vibrancy of Savannah through investments in sustainability.
October 18, Start time 1:00 pm, Forsyth Park,
Registration Fee: $150, Registration ends October 16 at 11:59 pm
- Dress up as your favorite superhero and take part in the Superhero Fun Run 5K and loads of family fun. Proceeds go to the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club, right here in Savannah.
October 24, 9:30 am start time, ½ mile Kids Run starts at 9:00 am, Whitemarsh Preserve Trail
$30 until October 22, $35 October 23 through Race Day, Kids under 10 race/walk for free
- Run a zombie-infested course in the 5KRunDead to support research on Alzheimer's disease. Runners have flags and zombies try to steal them. Runners must make it to the finish line with at least one flag or become one of the walking dead themselves.
October 25, 4:00 pm start time, Skidaway Island State Park
Individuals: $70(runner), $60 (zombie); Teams (per person): $65 (runner), $55 (zombie)
- Join other sportive runners and walkers for the Trick or Trot Fun Run on Wilmington Island. This fundraising event benefits local charities and the Georgia Rotary Scholarship Program. In addition to prizes for placing in the race, there are awards for the best costumes.
October 31, 8:00 am start time, Islands YMCA
$25 postmarked or online by October 15th, $30 October 16th until Race Day
You can also elect to amble down historic River Street with the shuffling, snarling "undead" in the Savannah Zombie Walk. Zombie children are welcomed with parental supervision, as are zombie pets (bring their leash). Vendors, bands and other entertainers, and make-up artists will be there throughout the day, which winds up with an after-party club event at a 21+ venue.
October 31, noon-8:00 pm (walk begins at 7:00 pm), FREE with a canned food donation, Emmet Park
One of the not-so-scary activities for youngsters is Halloween Hike, where you can take your tikes trick-or-treating down Oatland Island Wildlife Center's friendly forest trail; costumed animal characters hand out the treats. Other activities include face painting, spooky crafts and pony rides.
October 23 and 24, 5:00 pm-8:00 pm, Admission is cash only, Adults $5.00, Children $10.00
Haunted Trail and Falloween
Skidaway Island State Park also hosts a couple of special events each year as Halloween approaches.
- Haunted Trail – Take a walk through shadowed woods to a graveyard beneath moss-draped oaks with a park ranger as your guide. They say that ghosts and ghouls drift along the trail.
October 16 and 17, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm, $5.00 per person, $5.00 parking
- Falloween – Take the whole family to Falloween for an afternoon of games, crafts and more. Tour the park on an old-school hayride, and trick-or-treat through the campground.
October 17, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, $2.00 admission, $5.00 parking
Want to take Fido trick-or-treating too? Get your four-legged friend all dolled up and make your way through downtown on Wag-O-Ween to dozens of shops offering special dog treats. Prizes will be awarded to the canine with the best costume.
October 24, noon-5:00 pm, Pick up maps and wristbands at Canine Palace on Bull Street
Masquerade in the Mansion
If you're in the mood for a more formal dress-up event, Telfair Academy is hosting a cocktail/black tie soiree called Masquerade in the Mansion. Don your mask and join others for an evening of entertainment, music, dancing, libations and late-night treats at this former 19-century mansion that is now a museum housing 19th- and 20th-century American and European art.
October 30, 9:00pm-11:30pm, VIP Hour 8:00pm-9:00pm
General Tickets: $45 ($55 non-members) until October 26, $55 ($65 non-members) after October 26
At the Door: $65 ($75 non-members), Patron Tickets: $100
Midnight Garden Ride
Is a pedal-powered costume parade more to your liking? Then Savannah's annual Midnight Garden Ride is one for your list. Now in its 7th year, this family-friendly bike ride (about an hour) through picturesque historic downtown neighborhoods features a costume contest (yes, folks dress up their bikes too) and a Good and Evil Party—a free live concert with rock and Southern soul music.
October 10, Ride starts at 7:00pm, After-party until around midnight
Registration $20 Savannah Bicycle Campaign members ($30 non-members)
Registration fees benefit Savannah Bicycle Campaign
There's so much Halloween fun in Savannah that you'll undoubtedly want to scare up some time to enjoy your choice of the happenings. Browse VisitSavannah.com to see what else is on tap. And, from all of us at Live Love Savannah, have a terrific October and Happy Halloween!