One of my guilty pleasures is watching ghost hunting shows. I DVR episodes of Ghost Adventures (and previously Ghost Hunters – may the show R.I.P.) and snuggle with our dog on the bed while I listen to the EVPs and slamming doors. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can hear the spirit voices before they replay them with the subtitles. I think I like watching these shows because I’m pretty sure I used to live in a house where I had some spiritual co-inhabitants. It was a house built in 1928 on the farmland of one of the city founders. I never felt anything evil or menacing, just an occasional presence over my shoulder, watching what I was doing. There were also the times where lights I know I turned off were back on. Not just once or twice, but more like a weekly occurrence. I really noticed the difference when I moved and the feeling of being watched was gone. It was the strangest thing and it’s impossible to describe if you’ve never experienced it.
Alas, Sharon doesn’t share my enthusiasm in ghosts and the paranormal, but over the years, I’ve managed to get her to go to a number of haunted locations. Some of them because they had another appeal to her tastes and other times we were led there as part of a tour package. I didn’t care, we were going ghost hunting!
There’s something about old southern towns that seem to attract the spirits. They also seem to have the best background stories to go along with the hauntings.
We both love Savannah so I was able to get Sharon to agree to go on a ghost tour. This was not one of our best tours as the guide seemed obsessed with us taking pictures and then looking at them for spirits in the form of orbs. Our first house was an old, abandoned house that supposedly had spirits that you could see through the windows. You could also supposedly capture a picture of an orb. Looking back, it seems like all of our pictures look like this.
We visited the house on our own the next day and it wasn’t as creepy looking, just abandoned.
I wonder if the people who live in this house today know that 10 years ago it was part of a Haunted Savannah tour.
We also stopped by The Pirate House where there was supposed to be some image in these windows but I didn’t see anything in the pictures we took.
We did some touring of historic houses of Savannah on our own and heard way more ghost stories. Not even knowing it, we wandered by one of the most haunted houses in Savannah, the Sorrel-Weed House. This is the same house that was investigated by TAPS on Ghost Hunters in 2005 and in 2014 on Ghost Adventures.
I can’t be sure of this but from the pictures I have, it sure looks like our tour guide was the same woman that Zak was interviewing during the episode. Here is a picture of her talking to us in the basement (the room that she says in the episode that she didn’t want to go into anymore.)
This house was way creepier than anything we experienced on our tour the night before.
This goes to show that not all tours are the same and you should try to find a little about them before heading out for the evening. I don’t think we’d go on a tour like this one again.
Our next ghost tour was on a visit to Ireland. In Killarney, we went out on a night tour to visit an old abbey and the adjoining graveyard.
This tour had a combination of ghost stories, eerie surroundings and depictions of current activity in the area.
Some of the areas that were supposed to feel haunted felt totally fine.
While I actually felt that at certain times of the tour there was something behind me. I even turned around once or twice and snapped some quick shots. I can’t see anything in them but maybe you can?
Port Arthur, Australia
This was another ghost tour we went to as part of a tour. It was already dark when we were walking around and I wasn’t taking any pictures. However, I did find this Ghost Hunters special that went to the same place we went on our tour. In fact, one of our guides is featured in the video. The jailhouse building did feel really uncomfortable but no one was attacked when we were visiting.
Key West, FL
We’ve stayed in Key West many times over the years and have done almost all of the touristy things there are to do there. However, until this year, we’d never gone on a ghost tour. We had a free evening and decided to check out if there were any spirits, besides the alcoholic ones, that we’d been missing out on.
Our tour took us to several places we had walked past many times without knowing the darker history behind them. We spent a great deal of our time in front of the former home of “Robert the Doll”
We also learned the history of the “Oldest House in Key West” and even ghost stories from the building that is now the home of the Hard Rock Cafe.
New Orleans, LA
One of the most interesting ghost tours we’ve been on was the one we took in New Orleans. It’s a given that the longer a city has been around, the more legends and stories it will have. Since New Orleans just celebrated its 300th Anniversary, there’s no shortage of ghost stories to go around.
On our trip to New Orleans, one of our Facebook followers recommended Jonathan Weiss’ Ghost Tour and we were not disappointed. The best thing I can say about his tour is that I hardly have any pictures of our time with him. His telling of the stories of New Orleans was so captivating that he didn’t need to tell us to take pictures of buildings in the hope we saw the spirits. We walked away knowing that the spirits in the city are one of the many things that make New Orleans the fascinating place that it is. The stories are part of the fabric that knits the city together and that’s not something you can capture in a photograph of a window or an old building.
Alcatraz Island, CA
The last haunted location I’ve been able to get Sharon to visit was Alcatraz. It wasn’t hard to get her to visit because she loves to visit old jails. So we both had our reasons and we ended up splitting up for part of our tour.
This was the first haunted location I’ve visited after watching an investigation on TV. I had just watched Ghost Adventures episode where they stayed on the island overnight so I just had had to visit some of the locations from the show.
I went into cells 13 and 14 from the isolation area. While the area was very uncomfortable, I don’t know if it was because of any spirits, because I was expecting to feel something or just because it was a jail cell.
Visiting haunted locations can be fun. If you go in with the correct mindset and have a good guide, it can be an interesting experience. If not, it could be several hours of your life that you’ll never get back. I’d try to find out ahead of time if the tour is more interested in investigations or more into the spooky history of the locations. Pick one that’s more in line with your interests and you’ll enjoy your tour much more.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary