Eerie Walking Tours I’ve Done

Eerie Walking Tours I’ve Done

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It’s almost Halloween. Time for kids to go trick-or-treating (or to remember the fun of trick-or-treating as a kid) dress up in a costume, watch a scary movie (I’m a scaredy cat so I’ll watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show instead), and tell ghost stories. There is something a bit unsettling yet fun about this time of the year. Some believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinner now so it could be that. It could also be the candy and a sugar rush causing this excitement.

Whatever the case I figured it’d be fun to talk about some of the eerie and creepy walking tours I’ve taken. Granted, this isn’t a lot (I’m a scaredy cat remember). I’m not here to convince you of ghosts or other supposed supernatural beings/phenomena. However; I’ve found myself going on a couple of ghost type tours and generally find them to be enjoyable, even if scary stories aren’t usually your jam. Most of these walking tours (except one that I’ll note) aren’t really about trying to find/see/prove ghosts are real, but really are about sharing some local history with a bit of local lore.

London – Jack The Ripper Tour

My first time in London, UK was back in 2008. I was there for a few days before starting an 11 day bus tour in Western Europe. Something I wanted to do in London was a Jack The Ripper Tour. I’m not someone who’s obsessed with this infamous serial killer. I’d heard of Jack The Ripper, and thought a tour would be fun. I did my tour with London Walks. It’s been several years since I was on this tour, so I don’t remember too much (I do remember getting lost after the tour, probably the “scariest” part of the whole night for me). The tour started outside the Tower Hill Tube Station and went to some areas in East London where Jack Ripper is to supposed to have been, including the Ten Bells Pub. This was the first time I went on a slightly morbid walking tour, but it wouldn’t be the last.

Tower Bridge in London, UK.
I didn’t take any photos on the tour, but here’s The Tower Bridge in London.

New Orleans – Ghost Tour in the French Quarter

There many places where you may only be able to go on a ghost tour around Halloween, not so with New Orleans. This is one of the oldest cities in North America where its said the dead outnumber the living. Okay, that last statement is probably true for a lot of places, but I found New Orleans to have a haunting vibe. On my first visit in June 2012 I did a classic ghost tour in the French Quarter. Most of this walking tour was outside, except for a visit to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, one of the oldest buildings in New Orleans that now operates as bar. I hardly remember any of the ghost stories except the ones about LaLaurie Mansion. The actual history of Madame LaLaurie and what she did to the enslaved people in that home are the true horror stories. If you go to look to up those trigger warning for torture, murder and other awful things. Ghost stories can be creepyf, but never forget it’s real people who can be monsters.

Don’t worry these aren’t ghosts, just people on Bourbon Street.

New Orleans – Cemetery Tour

After visiting New Orleans in June I was back in October (now with a friend) thanks to a contest I’d won. Something that my friend wanted to do was a cemetery tour. She found a great volunteer run non-profit called Save Our Cemeteries that runs cemetery tours. There are over 40 cemeteries around New Orleans, but the tour we were on went to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, close to the well-known Commander’s Palace restaurant. Due to the low elevation (New Orleans is only a few feet above sea level), marshy terrain, and general humid climate cemeteries in New Orleans have tombs built above the ground. I actually debated whether to put this tour in the post because this one wasn’t about telling ghost stories. Instead, the focus was on the history of the cemeteries and learning how this nonprofit has helped to preserve and restore them. While you might think a cemetery tour would be morbid and scary this tour was really informative and is worth doing to support what Save Our Cemeteries does.

Save Our Cemeteries Tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

Edmonton – Ghost Tour of the University of Alberta

A few years ago a friend and I went on a ghost tour in my home town of Edmonton. It started at Rutherford House, which was the home Alexander Rutherford, the first Premier of Alberta. The home is now a historic site; one I’d visited a few times before. This tour took place around Halloween and probably had about 50 people on it. We went to a few different areas around the neighbourhood, mostly on the University of Alberta campus. My mind hardly remembers any of the actual stories, but I do remember a couple of them revolved around the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 where the U of A used a building as a makeshift hospital. This was years before the Covid Pandemic, which makes me wonder how these haunting stories of the past would resonate with people today.

A haunted building on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton.

Edmonton – Paranormal Investigation at Fort Edmonton Park

The same friend who did the ghost walking tour above with me told me about a paranormal tour at Fort Edmonton Park. This is a living history museum I’d been to several times before, but never for ghostly reasons. The Paranormal tour is in November (the Fort Edmonton Park regular season is from May to September) and at night. While there is some stories told this is a tour where you get to try your hand at being a paranormal investigator. Most ghost tours have enough history and mystery that they can be fun for believers and skeptics alike, but this tour might not be a skeptic’s forte. We got to visit 3 historic and supposedly haunted homes with portable EMF readers to see if we could pick up other worldly activities. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, or hear concrete evidence of anything paranormal. I did get some weird vibes in one of the homes. Was it a ghost or something else? I can’t say for sure, but for me this tour was a fun and interesting experience.

The Capitol Theatre at Fort Edmonton Park is where the Paranormal Tour met. It’s also a great live theatre venue.

Edinburgh – The Underground Vaults

I went to Edinburgh in 2017 to experience The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. What I didn’t expect The Edinburgh Fringe to be was an arts festival going beyond live theatre. In fact the first “show” I bought a ticket for wasn’t a show at all, but was a short walking tour of some of the city’s underground vaults. Completed in the late 1700’s these underground vaults and tunnels were used to house taverns, cobblers, and other tradesmen, and also as storage. Eventually smugglers and criminals began to hideaway in these vaults. They were also used as shelter for many houseless people. These vaults were not safe or healthy places to be and deteriorated to the point they got closed in the early 1900’s. Today, you can only visit these underground vaults and tunnels on a walking tour as I did, where some ghosts from the past are said to roam. Even without the possibility of ghosts these underground vaults and tunnels are pretty unnerving and worth a visit if you like some creepy history.

No, this is not an underground vault in Edinburgh. Turns out photos taken in a dimly lit cavern like place don’t turn out well. This street is probably haunted though.

There are some other slightly morbid places I’ve visited, so if you want check out this post where I talk about visiting a coffin factory in Birmingham, UK.

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Have you gone on a ghost or other eerie type of tour on your travels? Share it in the comments below.

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