Do NOT go to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California on a hot
August afternoon. Trust me. It'll drive you just as mad as the woman who built it.
When the temperature climbs, this young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of anywhere cold and dark, and if it's somewhere where things go bump in the night, so much the better. Yes, nighttime ghost tours are the perfect way to send chills down your spine and there's probably one in your area. Here are a few tips and tricks to enjoying the spooky spots in your area.
1. Check out Yelp: It's not as easy finding a good ghost tour as one might think. There are a few websites that claim to be comprehensive listings for walks around the country but they're nowhere near complete. Worse, tourism websites will often only feature companies that paid for their listing. Instead, use review site Yelp. Just put in the search term "ghost tour" or "ghost walk" and the name of your city or those in your surrounding areas. You'll have a better chance of finding the cool, less commercial tours. I'm really looking forward to one one my mom told me about: a ghost walk in San Francisco's City Hall.
2. Be prepared to stay cool: You already know to wear comfortable shoes when you're on a tour, but you may forget to bring things to fight the heat. Check ahead of time with the folks running the tour if you can bring liquids with you. I love using a Thermos brand stainless steel Hydration bottle because it can keep drinks ice cold for several hours. Items like personal fans and moist towelettes can also help.
3. Mementos: I always like to get a little something from a tour. Sometimes I just keep the ticket stub, other times I'll actually pony up the money and purchase a little nicknack, but usually I take photos. If you plan to try and snap a photo of a ghostly specter, you may want to brush up on your nighttime photography skills.
Are there any good ghost tours in your area? Have any tips to add? Share them in the comments.