Haunted Ghost Tours – Why You Should Go!

Haunted ghost tours have sprung up all over the country.

You may have seen haunted ghost tours in your town or when on vacation. My first tour was in Richmond, Virginia. A woman with a long black cape advertised outside the Edgar Allen Poe house. Two hours later, she led our group through the most historical parts of downtown Richmond. She told stories about the community while pointing out the most historic of buildings. Among the many tales, I remember hearing about the Opera House fire and how a horse and carriage, carrying the Governer’s wife, slid down the icy pavement from the Governer’s Mansion and crashed. After that, I was hooked!

7 top reasons why I love ghost tours:

To become acquainted with a new place.

Many tourists take buses to get their bearings when traveling. I love haunted tours since we stop at each location to hear a story. Boston’s Ghosts and Gravestones combined both walking and busing since there was a lot of ground to cover. It’s a big city!

Haunted ghost tours and why you should go

We went to several historic locations including graveyards where we discovered Paul Revere’s grave; the small one with the flags.

Boston graveyard

To learn about the town’s history.

In New Orleans, we learned a lot about the sinking city, how it burned to the ground and was rebuilt. I enjoyed hearing about its unique culture including a hint of voodoo. Woven throughout were tales of surviving ghosts who still lurk at night.

angel shadow projected on church

See the string of lights on the balcony? They only showed up on film. I have three more pictures like this one!

New Orleans unexplainable lights

To learn about heinous crimes and the infamous evil-doers responsible.

Towns come to life when ghost tour guides spin yarns about perpetrators or the more colorful characters of a town. Suddenly, we’re no longer walking past a historic home from the 1800’s, but are glimpsing a part of the past that shaped history.

Bar Harbor Ghost Tour

To tour historic buildings.

In New Orleans, we toured a restaurant and bar notorious for ghostly visits.

New Orleans spooky speakeasy

In Breckenridge, we toured an old hotel and a home. There is a lot of activity in Breck since graves were dug next to the poor soul who died. Nearly every time they excavate for a new building’s foundation, they find human remains. Creepy or what?

the brown hotel

My first haunted indoor tour took place at the Stanley Hotel. You have to read about my experience to believe it. Or maybe you won’t…

To make discoveries.

While in Bar Harbor, our guide took us to a dark street. A man had written several notes and tossed them into the wind on the street, then went home and hung himself.

One man from the tour peered into a hollow in a tree and discovered this! Could the mason jar contain a note? No one was brave enough to find out…

mysterious jar in a tree stump

To exercise.

Whether you fly or drive to a location, it feels good to get outside and stretch your legs. Most tours take around two hours so you cover a lot of ground.

To get your heart pumping.

There’s nothing better than a good ghost story to tingle your spine. I especially love when I’m familiar with the history, but haven’t heard the paranormal and unexplainable details.

Back in 2008, they moved a little girl’s body from a backyard grave in Breckenridge to the Valley Brook Cemetery. That night, a wind shear tore down trees in a swath all the way to the cemetery and blew down the Victorian iron fence. Right before her grave, the wind changed direction and continued to knock down other gravestones and trees. I remembered reading about the damage in our local newspaper!

What to bring:

Whether it’s autumn, winter, spring or summer, tours are generally at night. Bring a jacket, a water bottle, and wear comfortable walking shoes. Pack a camera to take photos along the way. Most important, bring an open mind.

This photo gave me a heart attack when I got home from a ghost tour in Bar Harbor, Maine. Then I realized it was taken while the group was still in the theater. Ha!

Spooky Theater Bar Harbor

Have you been on a haunted ghost tour? Would you consider going?

Related Posts:

Haunted in Bruges! Photo Essay

Ghost Walk – A Breckenridge Ghost Tour

Haunted at the Stanley Hotel

Being Haunted… A True Story in Time for Halloween

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Now Everyone Can Sing Happy Birthday!

In 1893, Patty and Mildred Hill composed the Good Morning Song and sang it to Patty’s kindergarten class. In 1922, the sisters published the Everyday Song Book containing the Good Morning and Birthday Song. The Summy Company bought the rights in 1935. For the next eighty years royalties have been collected for singing the popular tune. When Warner/Chappell bought the song in 1988, singing it in movies, restaurants, or any other paying venue, could cost up to $10,000. That’s why you seldom hear the song sung in movies. Restaurants like Red Robin composed their own Happy Birthday song to stay out of trouble. Customers could sing it in restaurants, but not the staff.

Happy Birthday Song

On September 22nd, after years of disputing the rights to the song, Continue reading

Creepy or What?

haunted house

A couple of weeks ago my husband Danny and I drove up to the Mount Grays and Torreys trailhead. My SUV wound up the steep dirt road so slow a granny with a walker could have passed us at times. While struggling over rocks and pot holes in the comfort of my Toyota Highlander, I thought of the hope and courage miners carried in their hearts while traveling up this same treacherous road more than a century ago.

We came upon a miner’s boarding house. Situated along a stream and within view of Mt. Torreys, it appeared ready to tip over. When placing my hand on the weathered boards to take a few photographs, I expected it to lean with me. Continue reading

Start the New Year With a Revolution!

My daughter, Courtney, noticed a few ignorant people on social media replaced New Year’s Resolutions with New Year’s Revolutions. It made me think. (Keep in mind, I’m still on Oxycodone after my surgery last Monday.) Revolutions might be a better word!

sunburst over earth

 

First of all, the Earth “revolves” around the Sun in one year’s time. The start of the New Year begins after a complete revolution.

We all want to make changes or reach goals in our lives. You don’t? Wow. Lucky you. I think the promises we make on New Year’s Eve are closer to revolutions than resolutions since they require a huge change in our lives. Oh sure. If your only goal in 2015 is to take more vacations, I wouldn’t call that a revolution. But if you want to make a lifestyle change, that my friend, will take a revolution. Continue reading

Imprisoned, the First Valentine’s Day Card was Sent!

Those without a loved one to share Valentine’s Day have more in common with the tradition of sending cards than those with a significant other. Imprisoned and alone, a nobleman sent the first card.

victorian-valentine-cupid

I thought the Victorians began the tradition with their sentimental, flowery, lacy, and cupid adorned cards. I imagined a scene like this one:

The couple meets at a soiree where the fine lady’s heart beats like a caged canary. The gentleman wears gloves and even with them worries he’ll leave a thumbprint on the greeting card. He escorts her to a small chamber not far from the ballroom. Her cheeks flush with the touch of his warm hand on her back. It sends a thrill of which she is not accustomed. He pulls the declaration of love from his breast pocket and presents it with a bow. She smiles, rips it open and gasps when she sees two naked cupids complete with jiggly bits dancing in the sky. Underneath are the words “Be My Lover.” She drops the card and trounces from the room.

And that is when the gentleman became acquainted with the florist’s establishment around the corner which he frequented in years to come.

Cupids and heart Valentine

Sending cards began more than 400 years earlier with a French romantic poet, of course! It did not begin with the uptight Victorians, but the English had their part in history.

The French nobleman, Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orleans fought against the English and became trapped in his own armor. (How does that happen? “Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!) In 1415, he took up residence as a prisoner in the Tower of London.

The Tower of London

That is where he wrote the very first Valentine poem to his wife, Bonne of Berry, whom he missed dearly. They were married the year Charles was imprisoned when she was the ripe age of eleven.

Go Forth My Heart

Go forth, my hert, with my lady;
Loke that we spare no business
To serve her with such lowliness,
That ye get her grace and mercy.

Pray her of times prively
That she keep trewly her promise
Go forth &c.

I must as a hertless body
Abide alone in hevyness,
And ye shal do wel with your maistress
In plesans glad and mery.                    (pleasure)
Go forth &c.

© Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orleans. 

 

I’m not sure the Duchess had much time for pleasure or merriment since she died five years later at age sixteen. She left the Duke childless.

Oldest-Valentine

The first Valentine is included in this letter to the Duke’s wife in 1415. The over-adorned cards came later.  Photo credit BBC.

Not to be outdone by his romantic prisoner, King Henry V had a poet, John Lydgate, write a Valentine poem for his wife, Queen Catherine de Valois. Henry only lived a few more years and then Catherine married a Tudor. They kept poor Charles locked up. Such was life in the Middle Ages.

After twenty-five years as a prisoner of war, Charles was freed.

That same year, he married Maria of Cleves who was thirty-five years his junior.

Is this where the most overused verb in romance novels, “cleave” originated?

I can imagine there was a lot of cleaving going on in the Duke’s bedroom after being imprisoned for such a long time.

The freed Duke and fourteen-year-old Maria waited seventeen years to become proud parents. They had two daughters and their son became King Louis the XII of France. The Duke died in 1465 and Maria secretly married a much younger man fifteen years later. Good for her!

Here’s another fun fact: The Duke of Orleans’ mother was named Valentina and was also a poet.

Many claim, she died of a broken heart at age 40 after her husband was killed by a cousin. Her son was the first to send a Valentine card.

Was that ironic, poetic justice, or poetic irony?

I’m sure she had no idea her son would become such a trendsetter. According to History. com, around 150 million Valentine’s Day cards will be sent this year. That may have cheered her up.

220px-Fleury-François_Richard_-_Valentine_of_Milan_Mourning_her_Husband,_the_Duke_of_Orléans

Valentina mourning the death of her husband – By Francois Fleury Richard – Wikimedia

So if you are alone this Valentine’s day, buy yourself a box of chocolates and a romance novel. Every time you see the word “cleave” eat a delicious bon-bon and think about the man who sent the first Valentine card who was without a lover for 25 years! Maybe you should buy two boxes…

800px-Aladdin_chokladask_pralinerPhoto credit – Wikimedia

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How will you celebrate the day?

Click for more adventure on the Wild Ride! 

Related articles:

Leaping for Love, Lust and Lulu on Valentine’s Day

History.com – Valentine’s Day

The Daily Post

The Pilgrims Wore Black and Other Tall Tales

I was taught that the Pilgrims were the first American colonists who arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Pfft! The first colonists arrived in America waaaay before that. Be prepared. This is not the warm and fuzzy story we learned in school.

Victorian Thanksgiving card

In 1587, John White set sail to Roanoke Island, North Carolina and became the governor of the first colony. After struggling for several months, he left his wife, daughter and infant granddaughter and sailed back to England for supplies. A major war broke out between Spain and England and he couldn’t wrangle a ship.  He waited three long years.  When he returned to his family and the 112 other colonists, they had disappeared without a trace. His crew could not find any sign that they had ever existed. They did find a wooden post carved with the name “Croatoan.” Continue reading

Ghost Walk

Breck haunted tourI love the spooky month of October. Shadows creep across the path as days grow short. The groan of wind through desiccating leaves sends a death rattle from above. It swoops down and slides its skeletal fingers along my backbone. I pull my sweater tight.

By signing up for a Haunted Tour of Breckenridge, I experienced all of this and more… Continue reading