Make sure to join the Oakland mailing list or you will miss out on arguably one of the BEST Halloween events Atlanta has to offer! Tickets typically go on sale for members in June and all others in July, selling out in a matter of days. That’s right, the Halloween tours sell out in July!
This event is simply amazing. For one, it is the only time of year you are allowed in the cemetery after dark. Oakland only has a single lamp at the bell tower, so normal visits are only allowed dawn to dusk. Combine that with their hand selected visits from the “residents” and it makes for a historic, informative, fun evening in October!
The Halloween Tour begins at the main gate where you take a lit stroll down the paths on your way to the central bell tower. Along your way, monuments are spotlighted and a special ghost will greet you. Also available are fortune tellers inside one of the large mausoleums in the center of the cemetery.
It is at the bell tower that you queue, listening to the spooky and Victorian sounds of the guest artist for the evening. Libations and beverages are available for purchase as you await your tour guide.
Tours depart every 15 minutes and normally hold a group of approximately 30. The tour is a fanciful walk through the cemetery where you will visit several actors portraying and telling the stories of the famous “residents” entombed there. The featured residents change year over year, so no worries about visiting each season.
The tour takes approximately an hour with 5 stops along the way. Add in some additional time for drinks or fortune telling and you could make a wonderful evening of it. October is a beautiful time in the cemetery and the Halloween Tour is a splendid addition to the cemetery’s event calendar!
The history was great. The actors were interesting. The cemetery is beautiful, so it’s worth a visit overall. I wish it were actually scary, and that’s what my family expected, but the tour was great anyway. They do have a Murders&Mayhem tour, so that might fit better for a Halloween tour.
But…they wasted way too much of our time. We had a 9:30 tour booked last night, and we were plenty early. We lined up outside the front gate and went inside promptly at 9:30. They told us the tour would last over an hour and up to an hour and a half. But first, they completely wasted our time at the drink station, where they served alcohol and soft drinks. We literally waited at that station for 30-45 minutes while other groups continued ahead, until our turn. Why line us up like sheep for a drink station? How about telling us that the tour actually starts at 10pm, so I can show up then? That part was a real negative, and a total insulting waste of time. We were finished and back outside the gate a little after 11, so their 1.5 hour estimate included the time wasted at the drink station.
To top it off, at least one guy in our group was so drunk he couldn’t walk straight, but I’m guessing he started way before the tour.
I hope they’ll consider adjusting this part of the tour, or at least let everyone know they’re going to waste your time. Unfortunately, I’m sure the money gets priority, so I wouldn’t worry about rushing there for your start time. It shouldn’t be a big deal catching up to your group inside the gate if you show up a little later, but perhaps check with them first.
But, the history and actors are great, so I’d still recommend it.