I wanted to have something new for this year but… it hasn’t worked out and now it is too late to have it up in time for Halloween. But here is my haunted house scene in ASCII art. I’m taking the new tablet with me but I don’t really think I will have time alone to work on anything tonight.
Ghost walks (or ghost tours) are guided tours where guests are shown the haunted history of an area or a location. Ghost tours cater to tourists and are not meant to be as frightening or taken as seriously as an actual ghost hunting would be.
If you want the reality of a ghost hunt you will need to talk to the ghost hunting or paranormal research group and ask to be included next time they go out on something other than a tour. However, you would have to be someone with more knowledge and commitment to investigating the paranormal than at the tourist level.
Finding a Ghost Walking Tour
If you are already online the easiest way to find a local ghost hunting tour group is to try an online search. Open your search site of choice: Yahoo, Google, DuckDuckGo (a new search which I’ve been trying and liking), etc. Type in the search terms – “ghost tour”, “haunted walk”, “haunted tour”, “ghost exploring”, and then your local area which could be the town or city or the county you live in. Don’t restrict your search to a small area, unless you live in a very large city and want to find something right in your neighbourhood.
Don’t forget to check social sites like Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest for people who are giving ghost tours or have been on a ghost tour and given a review of their experience.
Also, search for paranormal seekers and ghost hunters in the larger area around you. Often they will have links to smaller groups in the area on their websites or blogs. This is a great help, of course, for people looking for local ghost tours.
You can also contact the larger groups and ask for information, links or phone numbers to contact any local ghost hunters who would give tours if asked or may already run scheduled tours.
Another way to find your local ghost hunters is to watch where local groups list their upcoming events. I found my local group listed in the local newspaper and a website giving free space to local groups to list their upcoming events. The ghost tours are a tourist service, a small business, so they won’t be trying to be too secretive, they want customers to find them. Ask around town, talk to other local business people and see what they know.
Historical Walking Tours
Here in my area, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, we have Doors Open, which is a tour of historical homes and places. The doors to private homes and businesses open once a year for people to have a look.
Look for tours of historical places in your area and ask the people who give the tour if any of the places are known or suspected to be haunted.
Talk to people in your local historical society too. Anyone with an interest in history of the local area is likely to know other people who share the same interests.
Urban Explorers Like Old Places and History
Try to find a group or individual who explores old places, not for ghost hunting, necessarily. Urban explorers like old places. They don’t focus on finding ghosts or any thing paranormal but they are usually interested and have stories of their own to share.
Local Pagans Will Know Where the Ghost Tours Are
Is there a local group of Pagans, Wiccans or Witches? These are another group of people who tend to be involved in the local paranormal community. Chances are great someone in the Pagan community will also know about the paranormal researchers in your area. (Actually, they are very likely to be part of both groups).
If your town or local area has a Pagan supplies store, ask there about ghost tours. They will likely have a business card, brochure or something they can hand out to tourists looking for a local ghost walk.
Find Out What the Ghost Tour Includes
Don’t forget a ghost tour is a business, like any other kind of tourism service. Don’t pay for the tour without checking to make sure you are getting what you want. Just what does the tour include? Will you need your own transportation between locations, if there are more than one included in the tour? Does the tour guide have a plan for handling things if someone gets too spooked out and needs a break? Will you get to see data taken from the tour and discuss it afterwards, like a paranormal investigator rather than being just a tourist sent on your way right afterwards?
Also, find out what you need to bring. Should you dress warmly, bring your own water or coffee? Find out what you are allowed to bring as well. Can you bring your own ghost hunting gear, if you have any?
Need More Ghosts?
- How to Catch Ghosts at Home
- Finding and Exploring Canadian Cemeteries
- Finding and Exploring Canadian Ghost Towns
- Ghosts, Spirits, Phantoms and Spooks in ASCII Text Art
- Ghost Signs: Faded, Painted Signs on the Sides of Buildings
Barrie Paranormal Links: My Own Local Ghost Hunters
Start by just searching online for local ghost hunters, paranormal researchers, paranormal societies, and anyone offering tours of your city or town. You might find a local ghost walk or haunted tour, if your town or city is big enough to have some tourist businesses.
The local museum and library will also know about houses in your area which have a history of ghosts and hauntings.
Look for online networks with people who photograph old houses, haunted houses or historical places. You can find a haunted house by networking with other people who are exploring, looking for the same things you are. (Urban exploration is a good way to find abandoned and/ or real haunted houses).
How to Stay in a Haunted House
First, decide if you really do want to do this. If you tend to easily freak yourself out, this probably isn’t a good idea for you. It’s too easy to convince yourself there is a ghost, either because you want there to be ghost or you just enjoy scaring yourself in some way.
Don’t go alone. For one thing, you will appreciate having a witness if you do find ghosts or something haunted. It’s also great to have a second opinion about everything you see. Not everything is a ghost just because you don’t know how to explain it.
Bring all the gear you need to navigate around. If you go at night, traditional but less sensible, bring a flash light.
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
You may get a spooky feeling, but isn’t that what you were looking for? Don’t forget the objective. If you’re frightened, calm down. Become more analytical than emotional. Think of yourself as a scientist.
Keep notes about what you see, feel and hear. Take along a digital camera.
Make plans for doing something afterwards. Get a coffee along the way home. Give yourself a time and place to wind down.
How do Places Become Haunted?
There are places you would expect to draw ghosts, or keep them. Places like hotels, hospitals and prisons, where tragedies, dramas and big, life changing events and crowds of people hustling and bustling through – those are the places you would think to find a few ghosts haunting the building and the grounds.
Yet, some common, every day and random places can be haunted, or have people who have seen something, felt something or reacted to something.
People leave an impact on a place, even long after they are gone and no one quite remembers what happened or who it happened to any more. That energy sticks to a place. Like walking into a room when people have been arguing, you can feel the charged atmosphere and the sudden drop when things go silent.
I think this is what haunts a place, the charge of energy and the sudden drop. It’s as if all that energies charged up, was never grounded or allowed to ease off and dissipate Instead it was frozen in place, as it waiting for something else to happen to let it release the charge.
Each place has it’s own story and it’s own mood. Just as no two people are the same, no two haunted places will be quite the same either. If you find a place you think is haunted find out what you can of the history of the place and it’s people. Don’t let what you discover bias you as you explore, however. You might only find just what you expect to find that way and completely miss something really unexpected and unusual.
Links to Get Started With
- How Do Places Become Haunted? | Paranormal Haze
- Flickr: Decayed yet Hauntingly Beautiful
- Flickr: Haunted Houses, Buildings & Other Creepy Places
- Haunted House Association
- Your Ghost Stories
- Haunted Houses
- Haunted Places To Go
- Haunted Society
- Haunt Jaunts
If one door closes and another one opens, seek help. Your house is haunted.
Terri Garey, Facebook.
This was posted on Facebook as a Halloween thing, something meant to be spooky, creepy, etc. I never see the old houses that way. To me they look sad, lost, a little mysterious and a stepping stone to our history, our identity. I feel bad for the houses when people think they are haunted or creepy. It’s like someone seeing your Grandmother and thinking she is ugly. I guess I do give the houses feelings, even though they are not living things, exactly. People name boats, give them a personality why don’t more houses and cars get names too? What would you name this house, in the picture above? What would you name your own home, whether it’s a house or part of a building that you live in?
I really like this one.