Alexandria, VA – Have you heard the chilling story of the unintentional and unfortunate invention of the Bloody Mary?
Nine of us are sitting on a ledge of what used to be a storage place for ice, feet dangling, faces expectant. We’re waiting to hear a chilling story on our Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour with our omniscient narrator, Olivia Haller.
“This what I want to be doing around Halloween,” said Haller. “Adult Halloween isn’t as fun as kid Halloween. This is a way we can be a part of the festivities and getting into the spirit.”
With her lantern at her feet, Haller offered us little light on a cool and dark evening as she spun the tale of Mary, a young woman from an all girl’s school, which was located in the space now occupied by Il Porto Ristorante in Old Town. And back in the old days of Alexandria when ice was a precious luxury, it was used to not only keep drinks cold… but to preserve dead bodies! Understandably, such bodies kept on ice might leak some fluids, and that’s exactly what happened in Mary’s case. With her service held at a local tavern, and too tired to notice, drinks were served with contaminated ice!
And so the Bloody Mary was born… Or so goes the tale.
Have You Been On A Ghost Tour?
This is just one of many spine-tingling, goose-bump-raising stories that you might hear on ghost tours through Old Town, which in October are held every night at 7:30 p.m. and also at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. The weather is perfectly cool as you snake your way through Alexandria’s cemeteries at night!
“I voraciously consume ghost stories,” Haller said, and enthusiastically admitted to believing in ghosts. “It’s interesting to think about.”
Haller’s group passed by another ghost tour along the brick-laid sidewalk toward our next spooky destination. In contrast to Olivia’s beautiful deep red cape, and long lace-front olive dress, the other narrator wore a tricorn hat and old fashioned pants, true to the style of the 1800s. The guides gave each other knowing nods, as if they were porters transporting us regularly dressed mortals on our journey to the past.
Don’t Miss: The Ghosts of Alexandria
A cool breeze from the Potomac rustles leaves off the trees lining the streets as we huddle close to Haller and lean in, eager for more tales.
Going on a Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour is a perfect way to explore a side of Alexandria about which you might not have any idea!
Shawn and Beverly, from Arizona, had never been on a ghost tour before.
“I got hair standing on-end,” said Shawn as he reflected on the story of Laura, a doomed bride he’d just learned about on the tour.
Interested in a Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour? You might just have a ghostly encounter with one of Alexandria’s past residents who never wants to leave our historic city!
Ghost & Graveyard Tours are a function of
Alexandria Colonial Tours, Ltd.
201 King Street, 3rd Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314