Scott and Sandi Bergman started Haunts of Richmond with the goal of bringing Richmond's ghost stories
and legends to life. Scott has always had a fascination with ghost stories and Halloween haunted houses.
Sandi has a passion for local history, serving as a docent at Maymont, and attending several post-baccalaureate
history classes at Virginia Commonwealth University. Around the year 2000, Scott and Sandi began looking for
a way to combine their interests in a product that would be entertaining and informative. The couple began actively
researching the history behind local ghost stories and legends.
Haunts of Richmond was born in October of 2004, with the opening of The Widow's House
walk-through haunted attraction on 18th Street. This unique year-round attraction featured live actors and special
effects set in a dark maze where each room was dedicated to a local ghost story or legend. The Widow's House
combined the startle scares of a Halloween haunted house with the dark history of a museum. Customers going through
The Widow's House really enjoyed the fact that the scares and scenes were based in reality.
However, it didn't take long for people to get confused by the historical and museum-like aspects of Haunts of Richmond:
Many people thought it was a ghost tour.
'What time does the ghost tour leave?''Where all does the ghost tour take you?''Do you actually see any ghosts on
the tour?' These are the questions that are responsible for Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours. Starting with the material
that Scott and Sandi had gathered for the Widow's House, Sandi began to compile more information and scout locations in
Shockoe Bottom. In May of 2005, Haunts of Richmond launched the Shadows of Shockoe walking Ghost Tour, which was the
first ongoing, nighttime ghost tour in Richmond. The Shadows of Shockoe tour became very popular, and Sandi was
able to collect an ever-growing set of first and second hand accounts of paranormal activity in Richmond.
In 2007, Scott and Sandi assembled and formalized the tour information, which was published by History Press in the book
"Haunted Richmond, The Shadows of Shockoe"
After three excellent haunting seasons, Scott and Sandi were faced with the heartbreaking reality that their dream was
about to end. They could not afford to renew the year-round lease on 18th street, and so The Widow's House
closed forever in November of 2007. All was not lost, however. The Shadows of Shockoe Ghost Tour had become very popular, and did not rely on a
dedicated commercial space. In 2008, Haunts of Richmond reached an agreement with the Edgar Allan Poe Museum to launch
Shadows of Shockoe from the museum (which was a tour stop already). In the following years, Haunts
developed and launched several additional tour routes and types, including Haunted Capitol Hill,
Church Hill Chillers, and the Spirits & Spirits haunted pub crawl.