What is a ghost walk? We describe the experience in words (as best we can)...
A ghost walk is the same thing as a ghost tour, as both are an organized event where participants can learn about the haunted history of area sites. Of course, a ghost walk is a walking tour, where a ghost tour may be given during a walk, car, carriage, or bus ride. Being commercial and catering typically to tourists of a given area, ghost walks are sort of a spin-off of ghost investigation. A ghost walk differs from ghost hunts in that they are more of a guided tour accompanied with story-telling, and tend to be less frightening. (To find a ghost walk, be sure and check out our Ghost Tours section.)
Stories of local history, legend, and spectresare the highlight of every ghost walk, enjoyed while walking a street, alley, or even within a building. Ghost walks can vary in duration from an hour long, up to three hours. The length of the walk is usually a mile or less.
During the tour, the ghost walk guide will take participants to haunted sites, which many times share in the profits and expenses, especially if the walk continues inside their building, or on their grounds.
Larger cities tend to have more ghost walks competing with one another, especially those that are rich in history and high in tourism. Regions in warmer climates usually offer ghost walks year around, with some operating nightly, seven days a week.
A good ghost walk will be entertaining, and can even be enjoyed by children who are not frightened easily. This often makes the ghost tour a family event, something very popular to tourists on vacation. The ghost walk guides may choose to dress in period attire, and most are very adept at story-telling. A good ghost tour company (and guide) will also have done their homework, knowing the local lore in detail. You'll be surprised by some of the tales that still live-on, concerning past scandals that often turned tragic. The typical ghost walk guide can be very talented, bordering on theatric. So it is no surprise that some ghost walks are owned and operated by regional authors who have also penned their own books about the local haunts they've uncovered in detail. The best of ghost walks combine humor, horror and drama that will evoke the many emotions in their guests. Good story-telling is a lost art, but, fortunately, represented well within the ghost walk community.
Most ghost walks are nightly walking tours, with many of them given by lantern-light. However, some ghost walks are given during the day. Some tour companies also offer a private ghost walk, too. There may be up to thirty guests participating on the tour. It's worth mentioning that a ghost walk can be an interesting adventure to observe. The reaction of others within the group will vary, and some may be easily spooked with just the slightest noise, or ghostly reference!
Some ghost walks do border on being paranormal investigations by loaning participants ghost detection devices to try their luck at ghost hunting. Guests may find themselves exploring haunted locations, possibly having their own ghostly tale to recount some day.
Ghost walks at times can be found intermingled with pub crawls (also called a haunted pub crawl), while some ghost walks will first offer a dinner before beginning the ghost tour. The meal usually serves as a good time to educate guests concerning paranormal investigative techniques and explanation of ghost detecting equipment. This type of ghost experience has been one of our favorites. You never know who you'll meet, and there are always lots of questions and communication among guests.
Today, ghost walks and ghost tours dot North America and the United Kingdom. Their popularity has grown over the last decade, especially due to the television programs that have peaked interest in ghosts. So, the next time you go away on vacation, why not look up a local ghost walk and give it a try. You may find it an enlightening experience that will put you in good "spirits!"