For those afraid of Friday the 13th, the only thing scarier than the date itself might be having to spell out the name of their fear: paraskevidekatriaphobia. And this year brings a double fright, as 2017’s second and final Friday the 13th lands in October, the traditional month of haunts. On the premise that the best cure for fear is to face it head-on, we’ve conjured up a few antidotes – from stays at historic hotels old enough to have a ghost or two among their guest list to a Halloween-themed cocktail recipe – all in the name of “spirited” fun.
Spooky Syracuse: Guests are “living history” at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. While the hotel has only been open one year, its exquisitely restored landmark building is the former home of the Hotel Syracuse, which debuted in 1924 as the grandest hotel in town. Visitors today stroll the same halls celebrities from Charles Lindbergh to John Lennon once did, and countless stories of glamour and intrigue played out within its walls. The Onondaga Historical Association conducts free weekly tours of the hotel on Mondays at 11 a.m., and on Friday the 13th, OHA will lead a $15 Ghostwalk in the nearby neighborhood of Eastwood, complete with costumed “ghosts” who will reveal details of their former lives in brief vignettes. October hotel rates start at $126.
Haunted Martha’s Vineyard: With the hordes of summer tourists gone from this classic New England destination, fall travelers can get better acquainted with the island’s supernatural side. And what better way to go about it than a stay at one of two of Edgartown’s
oldest and most storied hotels: Kelley House, celebrating its 275th birthday, and Harbor View Hotel, open since 1891? With more than four centuries of hospitality between them, is it such a stretch to think some long-past visitors might check back in? Both hotels are ideally located for paranormally inclined guests who want to learn about Edgartown’s ghostly inhabitants via a weekly Wednesday night walking tour led by local author Holly Nadler. And for youngsters, the town of Edgartown will host a trick-or-treat event on Sunday, Oct. 29. October rates start at $149 for Kelley House and $129 for Harbor View Hotel.
Florida frights on Singer Island: Palm Beach is touted as one of America’s most haunted towns, and offers a wealth of ghost tours, haunted houses and activities in October. Countless tales of first-hand encounters with ghostly apparitions surround the 75-room Flagler Mansion, a popular tour where Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler died of injuries sustained in a fall down a flight of marble stairs, and where his wife died four years later. Guests of the nearby Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa can chronicle spooks on land and wonders under the sea with a Capture the Moment package that includes daily use of beach chairs and beach umbrella, plus a GoPro Hero4 waterproof camera of their own to record any eerie experiences. October rates for the package start at $554 per night.
Campfire and cocktails in the Adirondacks: Tucked into the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, the all-suite Whiteface Lodge recreates the rustic ambience of the early 19th-century Great Camps. On a crisp October evening, guests can share ghostly tales around the fire pit with family and friends in one of two open-air, comfortably furnished Lean-Tos on the resort’s wooded grounds, then steel their nerves with an All Saints Tea cocktail in KANU Lounge. Here’s a recipe to recreate the drink at home:
All Saints Tea
Equipment: cocktail shaker, teapot, glass
Muddle blackberries in cocktail shaker, and add gin, hibiscus tea syrup and lemon juice. Shake. Light several cinnamon sticks on fire, and let them sit in the teapot for a few seconds. Double strain liquid from cocktail shaker into teapot, extinguishing the fire. Strain from teapot into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with orange twist and clove.
October rates at Whiteface Lodge start at $278.
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