Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spooky Stories and Ghost Tours

Ready to be scared
Are you one of those who like ghost stories and spooky tales? I am as long as I am the one telling them. I am not a fan if I am the one being scared. I know, it’s a double standard, but I tend to roll that way. Of course, two of the girls love ghost stories, cemeteries, and spooky adventures, so we tend to visit places that Teri and I would prefer to avoid. It’s all part of the compromise of relationships I’m told. I think it’s a trap personally.

Still we do it. A few years ago while visiting St. Augustine we took one of their trolley ghost tours to learn the eerie history of the city. Char lives for this stuff, as I said, and we had done it for her. Teri stayed well hidden behind the glass of the trolley while the rest of us were left with open windows and a sacrifice to whatever may jump out and scare us.
Our guide telling us a scary story
Nothing did, however. Basically, it was a tour of the city where the lady with the microphone told us the ghost stories of various locations as we passed them. They did end the night at the Oldest Jail House. As we were inside, looking around at the exhibits, the lights suddenly went out and we were doused in red emergency glow. Our guide said she would be back and had to get some large lights out of the trolley and she would not be dissuaded even though many of us had flashlights on our phones. Once she left the lights went completely out and everyone froze–or screamed. When they came back on, we were greeted by an actor in old-fashioned prison garb who attempted to scare the crap out of us as he told us some of the many tales that came out of the jail house. I’ll not go into the stories or the reactions of those who attended because I like sleeping without keeping one eye open for attack. Not from ghosts, but the girls. It was a fun experience, however, and we left with many things to laugh about.

However, our most recent trip to Savannah saw us once again aboard a trolley listening to ghost stories and legends by the same company that runs the tour in St. Augustine. This time, though, we had the added adventure of visiting an old warehouse that was once the scene of bloody murders. Of course, the warehouse is now owned by the tour company and as we were led inside we were told not to go behind the black curtains or climb the stairs. We were allowed to wander the massive, dark warehouse and were even given devices to aid us in our search for ghosts. One was to light up red if a ghost was beside us while the other registered differences in climate. It would have been better if the devices worked at the same time, but as mine was lit up, The device of my friend, Garth, wasn’t lit up and we were side by side. I also couldn’t help but wonder who was behind the black curtain and kept repeating that line from the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Still, it was a fun experience because of the friends we were with.

Looking for ghosts

The tour ended on River Street as our guide ushered us into a museum of sorts with things we were not allowed to touch. As we sat down on large crates, a cat began to meow–or rather a recording of a cat began to meow. The guide told us he would be right back and that he had to take the cat back to the business next door before it did damage and I knew what was coming next. So did the girls.

Blown up, there is an orb above me. They say it's a ghost.
As soon as he left, the lights went out and everybody tensed for what was coming next. This time it was a woman dressed up in ancient garb who shared stories from River Street’s past. This time, however, she was accompanied by sound effects, which included loud thunderstorms, breaking glass and a rotating head. There were several made-me-jump moments, but overall it was a very well scripted story and she did an amazing job in acting it out.

While I wasn’t scared by the stories–I wasn’t, promise–I thoroughly enjoyed the historical aspects of the legends and the actors’ job in creating a fun experience. It’s not that I don’t believe in ghosts. I do. I just don’t believe they can act on command. I mean, how would you even pay them if they were on the payroll? Still, as in St. Augustine, it was a great time, but that wasn’t because of the spook factor. It was because of who I was with. They tend to make the scary funny and enjoyable, but they do that with everything.

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See what you've missed ~ They Said to Tell You Hello
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