Are you someone who loves spooky stories and exploring the unknown? If so, then ghost tours might be the perfect adventure for you. These guided tours take you on a journey into the mysterious world of the paranormal, offering a thrilling and spine-tingling experience like no other.
A ghost tour is a guided tour that explores purportedly haunted locations, often focusing on the history and legends surrounding the site. Typically conducted at night, these tours may involve storytelling, paranormal investigation techniques, or theatrical reenactments.
Ghost tours are a great way to enter the fascinating field of paranormal investigation. A knowledgeable guide often teaches the basics of investigations – and lends you the necessary gadgets. The tour often involves investigations, storytelling, and theatrical experiences.
What ghost tours are
Ghost tours are the perfect way to explore a city or town’s eerie and mysterious side. It is also a great start to learning more about paranormal research.
Led by a knowledgeable guide, these tours take you to purportedly haunted locations, where you’ll hear fascinating stories about each site’s history and legends.
With the lights low and the atmosphere eerie, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world as you explore these spooky locations. Whether you’re a history buff, a paranormal enthusiast, or just looking for a thrilling adventure, a ghost tour is an experience you won’t forget!
Related article: The Dark Side of Ghost Hunting: The Dangers You Need to Know
Are ghost tours fake?
The answer is not straightforward if you wonder whether ghost tours are fake. While some tours may be purely for entertainment and involve staged ghostly encounters, many tours are rooted in historical research and genuine local legends.
The stories you hear on a ghost tour may be based on real events and people, and the tour guides often share their knowledge and passion for the area’s history. Even if you’re a skeptic, ghost tours can be a fun way to explore a city and learn about its history and culture while enjoying a spooky adventure.
Knowing that not all tours are created equal is important if you’re considering taking a ghost tour.
Unfortunately, there are some tours out there that are more concerned with creating a spooky atmosphere than offering a genuine experience. These fake ghost tours often use gimmicks and staged encounters to scare participants rather than actual paranormal activity.
As haunted tours are big business, there is always the risk that the paranormal activity is not true but faked. This is sometimes seen in hotels, bars, and historical sites. Just because a site is old does not mean they come with ghosts.
Some tour guides may use smoke machines or pre-recorded sound effects to create a fake haunting. While these tours may still be entertaining, they may not offer the historical or cultural insights you hoped for.
Before booking a ghost tour, be sure to do your research and read reviews to find a tour that offers a genuine experience.
Tips to help you avoid fake ghost tours
- Do your research: Before booking a ghost tour, read reviews and research the tour company to ensure they have a good reputation and offer a genuine experience.
- Look for historical accuracy: A good ghost tour should be grounded in historical research and offer insights into the local culture and legends. Be wary of tours that rely heavily on gimmicks and special effects.
- Check the tour route: A tour that visits only touristy locations or popular spots may be more concerned with creating a spooky atmosphere than offering a genuine experience. Look for tours that visit lesser-known locations or offer a unique perspective on familiar places.
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask the tour guide about their research methods or the historical accuracy of the stories they tell. A knowledgeable guide should happily answer your questions and share their insights.
- Look for independent guides: Some of the best ghost tours are led by independent guides passionate about their subject matter. Look for tours led by locals or experts in the field rather than large tour companies that may prioritize profit over quality.
- Ask in online forums: Reddit is my favorite place to ask if a ghost tour is legit. Many ghost enthusiasts are willing to share their knowledge if they are searching for authentic paranormal activity. Here is my favorite subReddit.
- Check how long they have been hosting tours: Check for how long they have been hosting ghost tours. If they recently started their business, it might be good to do historical research. Of course, not all new tours are fake, but it might be a sign that they found a new “business model” as ghost tours have become very popular.
Popular ghost tours in America
If you want to explore the paranormal world, these ghost tours are popular in the US. Whether you are interested in theatrical or paranormal tours, researching before purchasing a ticket is always a great idea. Nothing is better than the other; it is just what you seek.
- Ghosts and Gravestones Tour (multiple cities) – This tour company offers ghost tours in several cities, including Savannah, GA, St. Augustine, FL, Boston, MA, and San Diego, CA.
- New Orleans Ghost Adventures Tour – This tour takes you through the French Quarter of New Orleans, where you’ll hear spooky stories about voodoo, ghosts, and haunted buildings.
- Gettysburg Ghost Tours – This tour takes you through the historic battlefield of Gettysburg, where you’ll learn about the Civil War and hear stories of ghostly encounters.
- Haunted History Tours (New Orleans) – This tour company offers a variety of ghost tours in New Orleans, including cemetery tours, haunted pub crawls, and ghost hunts.
- Salem Night Tour (Salem, MA) – This tour takes you through the historic town of Salem, where you’ll hear about the infamous witch trials and other spooky legends.
- Ghost City Tours (multiple cities) – This tour company offers ghost tours in several cities, including Charleston, SC, Nashville, TN, and Savannah, GA.
- Queen Mary Ghost Tour (Long Beach, CA) – This tour takes you through the haunted halls of the historic Queen Mary ship, where you’ll hear stories of ghostly encounters and paranormal activity.
- Ghosts of the Alamo Tour (San Antonio, TX) – This tour takes you through the historic Alamo, where you’ll hear about the battle there and the legends of ghostly encounters.
- Chicago Hauntings Tour (Chicago, IL) – This tour takes you through the spooky history of Chicago, where you’ll hear about infamous gangsters, haunted hotels, and more.
- Ghost Tours of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) – This tour takes you through the historic streets of Philadelphia, where you’ll learn about the city’s haunted past and the ghostly encounters that still occur today.
Popular ghost tours in Europe
Here are some popular ghost tours in Europe if you are in the mood for spooky experiences. If you want tips on great ghost tours in London, I invite you to read my article The Best Ghost Tours in London.
- The Ghost Bus Tours (multiple cities in the UK) – This tour company offers spooky tours in London, Edinburgh, York, and Glasgow aboard a classic 1960s Routemaster bus.
- City of the Dead Tours (Edinburgh, Scotland) – This tour takes you through the creepy underground vaults of Edinburgh, where you’ll hear stories of murder, plague, and ghosts.
- Prague Ghosts and Legends Tour (Prague, Czech Republic) – This tour takes you through the historic streets of Prague, where you’ll hear spooky stories of haunted castles, ghostly apparitions, and more.
- Amsterdam Ghost Tour (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – This tour takes you through the dark side of Amsterdam’s history, where you’ll hear stories of witches, murders, and other supernatural occurrences.
- Rome Ghost Tour (Rome, Italy) – This tour takes you through the ancient streets of Rome, where you’ll learn about the city’s haunted history and the ghostly encounters that still occur today.
- Paris Ghost Tour (Paris, France) – This tour takes you through the spooky streets of Paris, where you’ll hear stories of haunted palaces, restless spirits, and more.
- Edinburgh Dungeon (Edinburgh, Scotland) – This interactive attraction takes you on a journey through Scotland’s dark history, where you’ll come face to face with some of the country’s most notorious characters and legends.
- Dublin Ghost Tour (Dublin, Ireland) – This tour takes you through the winding streets of Dublin, where you’ll hear stories of ghosts, ghouls, and other spooky legends.
- Berlin Ghost Walk (Berlin, Germany) – This tour takes you through the haunted streets of Berlin, where you’ll hear about the city’s turbulent past and the ghostly encounters that still occur today.
- Barcelona Ghost Night Walking Tour (Barcelona, Spain) – This tour takes you through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, where you’ll hear spooky stories of ghosts, witches, and other supernatural occurrences.