What do you expect when you go on a Ghost Tour?
Call me crazy, but I expect to hear stories of ghosts and paranormal activity.
In the seven stories our host told on the Ghost Tour in Winston-Salem, NC, only two featured ghosts, and one was told from the ghost’s point of view, making it nothing more than a story. Only one spoke of an eyewitness experience with the ghostly form of a deceased man. The rest were of murder mysteries and interesting tidbits of local history completely void of any paranormal elements. Finding an unidentified body after a fire does not imply the location is haunted, nor does an unsolved triple-homicide. But the stories often concluded with such suggestions.
“Could the restless specter of the homeowner be wandering the halls searching for her murderer who was not brought to justice?”
Unless someone reported an experience of that nature, I’m guessing not.
I had no issue with the telling of the tales. Our host was a skilled storyteller. My problem was that most were void of anything paranormal. The bored behaviors of several others in the group said they shared my opinion. A couple guys checked email on their cell phones and one woman actually took a few steps away from the crowd to take a business call – at eight PM. Had this tour been titled The Mysteries of West End instead of Ghost Walk, I would have been completely satisfied. But pedaling ghosts as a marketing ploy is misleading. If there are no real reports of sightings or other paranormal activities from locals, the only haunting will be your disappointment of having paid $15 to be hoodwinked.
Every city seems to have latched onto the paranormal cash cow. If you think about it, every place is likely to have a spirit or two hanging about, minding its own business. Ask around before deciding on a Ghost Tour. If you want the real details, seek a historian. If you want entertainment, enjoy the stories, no matter how silly. But be courteous to your host. They are typically actors doing their best to make a living by performing. Whether you like their performance or not, stay off your devices. Pay attention, you might learn something that makes it all worthwhile.
What did I learn?
The road between a church and the graveyard is typically called casket road.
The Scottish call spirit horses kelpies.
Never sneak out of the house to meet a forbidden lover. You might get shot.
Never go on a tour without asking a local about it first.