As hidden as cultural heritage ghost tours are in major American cities, tourists are now exploring the darker side – in places such as St. Augustine in Florida – in growing numbers while this type of tourism is growing immensely popular, say local tourism bureau officials. In fact, the St. Augustine ghost tours are now viewed as a “must see” event for tourists who want to be frightened with this ghoulish experience.
Also, the “Ghosts and Gravestones of St. Augustine” tour – that’s now part of the overall tourism experience with St. Augustine being the nation’s oldest city — is now part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation guide to succeeding in the growing trend for cultural heritage tourism that includes historic, cultural and natural resources.
St. Augustine tops ghostly tours
According to various television shows that offer ghost tours as a fun tourism activity, the St. Augustine, Florida, is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.; while the city’s Ghost Hearse tour is said to have increased guest visitation.
For example, visitors to St. Augustine – who like the idea of going to haunted places – say the site of the 1873 tragedy that took place at the St. Augustine Lighthouse is truly scary when one checks it out up close and personal. In addition, the overall recommendation for anyone taking a “ghost tour,” is to be sure to wear comfortable shoes since all of these tours require some walking or going up or down steps.
In addition to St. Augustine, there are nine other very haunted ghost tours that feature lots of supernatural occurrences and paranormal activity. They are:
#2. Explore the darker side of Boston, Massachusetts where there are many supernatural happenings in such historic places as the Granary Burying Ground. According to local history, the Granary is where Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock are buried and where they are sometimes spotted walking the cobble-stone back alleys of old Boston.
#3. Another haunted area in south Florida is Key West, say cultural heritage tourism experts. In fact the famed Tony’s Saloon – located in a former Key West morgue – is a huge draw for tourists who wanted to get scared out of their teeth. Also, the Ghosts and Legends of Key West ghost tour quickly gets booked by eager tourists who want to see all the spooky stuff that this ancient costal town has to offer.
#4. The city of Salem, MA, is legend during the Halloween season for the ghosts that are said to be still walking about from the infamous Salem Witch Trials when hundreds of innocent women were burned to death in community driven bonfires. The Salem ghost tours feature locals of consumed “witches” and even local vampire and zombie hunters who are real life supernatural fans, guides and local actors who make this ghostly experience even more real when they present themselves in various costumes during the tours.
#5. Another New England community that’s proud of its ghostly past is Cape Cod, MD, where the Dead of Night Ghost Tours that unearth the still restless souls of the famed Pilgrims who settled this area that once hosted lots of pirates and fishermen who went to Davy Jones locker – so to speak – when they died during fights or voyages to sea that originated in Cape Cod or Provincetown.
#6. The “Big Apple,” or New York City is not to be out down when it comes to ghost tours for visiting tourists. For instance, the MYC Ghost Tours is big business, and often sold out just like a Broadway play, say local tourism experts. The Big Apple ghost tour also features locals of local actors dressed like Edgar Allen Poe or other ghostly beings of the past 19th or 18th century.
#7. The old plantation houses and historic cemeteries of Charleston, S.C., is hugely popular when it comes to tourism ghost tours, say local officials who also note that Charleston was famous in the 18th and 19th century for the pirates that used this historic city as a home base. Thus, these down deceased pirates are said to be still haunted this region around Charleston Harbor that was also a famous Civil War era seaport.
#8. Another Civil War era hotspot for ghostly tours is Gettysburg, PA, and its famed battlefield sites where Union and Confederate soldiers died during a massive battle that last for three days at Gettysburg at the height of the Civil War in 1863. This Victorian styled ghost tours includes interesting candlelight treks that lead to lots and lots of paranormal happenings.
#9. While New Orleans, LA, is still on the mend from hurricane storm damage, the city’s famed ghost tours are thriving in and around the French Quarter where there’s lots of voodoo and ghost sightings.
#10. The historic town of Savannah, Georgia, is famous for the local cultural heritage tourism strolls and cruises that attempt to unearth ghosts of former slaves and their masters that dominated this part of Georgia back in the 18th and 19th century.
Overall, this list of 10 communities in the U.S. that feature ghost tours as part of their local cultural heritage tourism are considered to be the real-deal and most enjoyable, say those tourists who’ve visited these very creepy locations.
Jennifer Marks, A freelance writer and a Native Floridian that enjoys writing, fishing and hunting.