RALEIGH, N.C. — Much of the Annual Haunted Mordecai Festival is going virtual this year.

Nelson Nauss, who is on the paranormal research team that investigates the site, said the team did not want to get rid of the event completely. 

"Because of COVID this year — park being closed — we didn't have an opportunity to investigate the park this year," Nauss said. "So, we're thinking about alternatives."

The Mordecai House was originally built in 1785, and is registered as a historical landmark and museum in Raleigh. It's the oldest house in the area still on its original foundation. 

"We actually seek places of historical significance," said Nauss with The Ghost Guild Inc. "Specifically, ones that have a history or legends of being haunted, and Mordecai certainly fits that bill."

Typically on Halloween, around 200 people come out for vendors on the lawn, costume contests, ghost stories, and to learn the history. Guests also learn about the paranormal investigations and data collected that year.

Because of COVID-19 the team's usual three to four investigations was cut down to zero. 

To make up for it, Nauss said the team plans to live stream a paranormal investigation on Halloween night for the virtual festival.

"A lot of people are used to watching the TV shows where they've got this stuff happening nonstop all night long," Nauss said. "It's very important for people to understand that that is data collected over a longer period of time and edited into making these shows. We're just going to be going live."

Nauss said he is hoping there will be some activity for the viewers. In his experience, they pick up something about every one in five investigations.

In addition to the investigation, the virtual festival is anticipated to include storytelling and history of the site.

"I love the fact that we're going to be able to blend in the history, the legends, any of the data that we've recorded at those locations previously," Nauss said. "So, to me, it's just the perfect package that has a little bit of everything for everybody."

The Mordecai Historic Park is still working out the details on how Halloween night will run and getting materials together to make the experience as safe as possible.