A Frightful Fall Favorite in May

Saunter about the Winchester Mystery House after the sun goes down on May 13th.

MAY + MACABRE: A band of buddies can typically cobble together any outing on the spot, but picking a pursuit that's tied to an unusual date has its intriguing challenges. What do you do on Groundhog's Day? Watch the movie? And how do your friends mark an eclipse? By standing outside and looking up, we imagine. Friday the 13th offers the same sort of "what should we do"-y questions, as the answers aren't always clear (such as on Fourth of July or Halloween). There are the horror films to view, of course, if that's your jam. Or you can volunteer at a pet shelter, loving upon a few black cats, as well as felines of every stripe. Or you can look to the California landmark that always celebrates Friday the 13th, every time it rolls around. Yes, we speak of...

THE WINCHESTER MYSTERY HOUSE... in San Jose, which is prepping another Flashlight Tour of the Sarah Winchester's corridor-laden, doors-opening-onto-walls wonder. The flashlight nights are a staple of the fall, true, but they do pop up on the 13th day of the month, if that day happens to be a weekday starting with the letter F. The 55-minute tour takes visitors up and through the rambling manse, with a guide at the lead. You'll learn fascinating facts about Mrs. Winchester's mission, one inspired by mediums and tales of the spirit world. The nighttime stroll lends a spooky veil to the daytime tour, if you prefer your legendary landmarks to come with a few shadows and low-lit hallways. 

AUTUMN FLASHLIGHT FUN: If you can't make May 13th -- and you'll want to book that ticket ahead of time if you can -- the Flashlight Tours'll be back in the fall. And if you want to wait for the next Friday the 13th, well, you'll need to wait for January 2017, as May is the only 2016 month rocking the eeky occasion.

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