Cool day to draw for a blog -- Halloween. Except it's the night before and I've made myself sick on Halloween candy. (I allegedly bought it for the tricker-treaters, those I won't be home to greet, so might as well get an early start on bloating myself with sugar).
I LOVE Halloween -- which led me to write a ghostly walking tour of Charleston, South Carolina, one of my favorite "haunted" cities ... and which led me to include some ghost-hunters I lovingly refer to as "ghosters" in my latest mystery, Hush My Mouth (out in paperback in November).
One of my favorite travel treats is to find a really good
ghost tour. My long-suffering husband rolls his eyes dramatically, but he always comes along. I've never heard him scream, but he's jumped a time or two.
One needn't wait for Halloween to partake in a ghostly tour because, my goodness, one wouldn't have time to see very many. For whenever you have time, may I suggest some delights?
In Wilmington, NC, they have some wonderful storytellers who conduct walking tours around this historic seaport city. A little farther south, try the harbor boat/ghost tour in Georgetown, SC (check the times and dates, though, because they're usually closed in the winter).
Charleston, SC is, of course, awash in ghosts, as is Savannah. And don't forget the Jekyll Island Club, on a sea island on the Georgia coast. Spend the night there and imagine all sorts of hauntings. While you're traveling, continue on down to St. Augustine, which has a fun tour.
Not coming South any time soon? The Boston ghost tour is one of my favorite -- complete with a hearse-like bus to chauffeur you around. Seattle has an Underground Seattle tour which is spooky. Or try yet another boat tour -- near midnight in Chicago. Beautiful and mysterious.
While combining beauty and scares, put a night tour of Alcatraz on your San Francisco itinerary. It's the most beautiful view of the city, and the U.S. Park Service (as always) does a spectacular job of storytelling. Book before you leave home -- it's often filled during peak vacation times.
Going abroad? None can beat the haunted Edinburgh tours, unless it's the several mystery walks in London -- the Jack the Ripper walk is a fave.
For me, it's the stories and the unusual views of familiar places and a sense of history that lead me to these tours. So while you're making your Thanksgiving and Christmas travel plans (something to distract the family from a squabble?) or your summer vacation, don't forget to check whether there's a ghost tour nearby. One website includes tours in a variety of states.
Anyone else have any out-of-the way favorite ghost tours? Let us know! I've got to go have a lie-down -- too much candy.