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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Starting a ghost walk (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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topherhester
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Thinking about branching out from just doing bizarre shows this year. I don't live in a particularly touristy area. There is an established ghost walk on the historic square of a town a few miles down the road but I haven't found any in the surrounding areas. My question is how do I go about getting up and running. I know the marketing side but would it be best to try to partner with a storefront? Do I need to go to the city first and get a permit of some type? Are there any resources or books that you can steer me to? Lothar Malmberg, I know you're out there!
RCP
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Look up reese on this board
ProfessorMagicJMG
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In Birmingham, Alabama, we have a very fine 2-hour walking tour of downtown by Edward Wolfgang Poe; I went on the tour and it's a great combination of the history of the city and crimes that occurred in various places. He told me he spent a year or two in the Birmingham Public Library doing research and reading old newspapers. He has funny anecdotes, and a light hearted but mysterious approach that includes stories of the various things people have captured on their cell phones during the tours. If your town has a historical society, I would start there and let them know what you want to do, ask around to see if there are any known "haunted houses" or locations and build your tour around those. I would bill it as a "historical tour including mysterious locations" which casts a wider net than just "ghost tour." I would also include any local legends or strangeness including UFOs, cryptozoology (bigfoot, chupacabra), "energy fields," government research, Indian lore, or any military battles. Since the whole South is haunted, we have a bit of an advantage, but I'm sure you can dig up some weirdness in your neck of the woods.

Also, this:
http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghosts/GHOSTTOURS/
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - JMG's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
Yann SICAMOIS
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Lothar indeed, don't know about his presence here but he is quite active on Facebook.
Yann SICAMOIS
Magical Dimensions
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Https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/......Malmberg

I have Lothar Malmberg's book titled Echoes and in the back he talks about his ghost walks. It has me thinking about doing ghost walks also. I live in Florida and want to do this in the cooler months. But first you have to go around the area that you want to do it and talk to the store owners and see if anyone would be interested in having a tour stop by. The stores could have things for sale such as t-shirts or photos that caters to your ghost walk.

You can search the history of the town for any good spooky stories and if you can't find any that you can ...... Uhhhh..... Make a few up....

Once you got your locations where you will stop on your tour, comes the time to work on your patter.

Where I live there is a nice park where people can meet for the tour. It is in the middle of the old part of town that has great stores and clubs. It has a great night life and the right feel for a ghost tour.


Get the book in the link and have fun.



Ray
weepinwil
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I think a funeral home ghost walk would be neat. I was going to allow one in my establishment but the ghost complained and threatened to leave if I did.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Barry Gitelson
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I worked for a Ghost Walk tour off and on for a couple of years here. Got the legends and history down pat and over time people would share stories and locations that might have possible "energy". Used a few tools of the trade. Ghost Box (got very little in the way of hits on this but it played real well. http://www.ghoststop.com/Spirit-Box-PSB1......sb11.htm is the one I used. Also had an app on my cell phone that detected ghosts and voiced words that surprisingly had meaning to the guests more than once and even surprised me a few times. And the most popular tool was dowsing rods to ask the spirits yes or no questions or to point in a direction. These really freaked folks out. Good fun.
"Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God." Author: Leo Buscaglia
weepinwil
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Some funny things happen that lead to unexpected publicity. We have Tryon Palace, the colonial capital of North Carolina in my town of New Bern. A story went viral in the English tabloids about a woman who was visiting the Palace and filmed a ghost floating past the doorway. The story told of the woman, by name, who died in the fire in the 1800's. The only problem with the story is that the Palace was rebuilt in 1936 and the only original piece is the foundation. Also, Governor Tryon was living in New York at the time of the fire and he had no servants living here. The story cited several ghost manifestations but the truth is that none were ever reported at the Palace, only at two other locations in towm. After further investigation it turns out it was one of the tour leaders dressed in period clothing that ran past the doorway because the next group was closer than she had realized so she had to rush to meet them. However, it is stories such as this that create the visitor trade for such places and ghost walks.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Sir
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I would very much like to see this thread remain active, especially as we drift slowly into the darker months. It seems to me that a ghost walk would present a wonderful opportunity to perform bizarre magick. To be sure, a ghost walk is not as ideal as an old, candle-lit parlor, but it comes close to matching the parlor's ability to hypersensitize spectators to the unusual phenomenon in their surrounding environment.

Perhaps we can brainstorm some effects that would work well with the mobile concept of a ghost walk. I was just thinking that if you have a building on your route that has 16 windows facing toward your specs, you could devise a way to incorporate the following effect into your storytelling and have all of the specs focused on a specific window:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikbEBp5BeCM
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."
Wizard of Oz
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Great idea Sir. I even like the video that came after the one you posted as it's creepier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEVfss25jrc

I could see it presented with a volunteer on a store window that you "happen" to pass by. The reveal could be a live person as shown in the video who is behind the labels. I think underwear would need to be changed after this one.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
gostone23
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At ECSS III, Michael Henry gave a lecture regarding starting a Ghost Walk. I don't know if he is on the Café or not. He has run the St. Charles Ghost tour (http://www.stcharlesghosts.com/index.html) for a long time. The lecture was really interesting. He pointed out a lot things to think about from crowd management (not just your ticketed crowd), insurance, working with the local government and the lack of controlling the environment and the effect that has.

From the lecture, I gathered that Mr. Henry was of the mind that tricks weren't necessary at all and were difficult to pull off successfully. I vaguely remember him talking about a woman in Europe he saw giving a tour who would stop the tour intermittently and perform a related trick. These tricks were presented as tricks during the tour and not as possible "convincers" during the tour. Perhaps Mr. Henry can chime in if he is on the Café?

I have long thought that if done correctly, some tricks could be used to "enhance" the tour. However, I have never given a Ghost tour so I'm not speaking from experience. With small groups I thought the haunted key could be presented as the key to a haunted location on the tour. Perhaps Andrew Mayne's Ghost showing up in pictures taken along the route or even the EVP product could be used record messages from the ghosts on the tour.

I also imagine that un-gimmicked work could be done but the environment would make them difficult.

-gostone23
Penduluminary
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I'm part way into researching a Ghost Walk.

topherhester... Did you start your Ghost Walk? Curious to know, and if so... how it's going.

Does anybody else have any ghost walk experience / anecdotes / signposts / or tips they can share?
weepinwil
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, Penduluminary wrote:
I'm part way into researching a Ghost Walk.

topherhester... Did you start your Ghost Walk? Curious to know, and if so... how it's going.

Does anybody else have any ghost walk experience / anecdotes / signposts / or tips they can share?


One thing I have noted is the tour into the cemetery is frowned upon by many of the locals here because they see it as disrespectful of the dead, even thought the tour is to tell the story of some of the famous people buried there. Something to consider.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Penduluminary
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Weepinwil

You make a good point. This reinforces something that came to mind the other day as I walked a potential route.

After careful consideration, I've decded on talking nearby. Suitably eerie, but not disrespectful.
weepinwil
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On Jan 2, 2019, Penduluminary wrote:
Weepinwil

You make a good point. This reinforces something that came to mind the other day as I walked a potential route.

After careful consideration, I've decded on talking nearby. Suitably eerie, but not disrespectful.


Great idea. Let me know how it goes and what other refinements you make to it.
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
Jim Magus
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I am the one who asked Michael Henry to talk about his ghost walk at the ECSS because I was creating one, and he was of great help bringing mine to fruition here in Acworth, Georgia. We began it two years ago and sold out two tours every Friday and Saturday night (with 35 people per tour) in October, adding a couple of private tours on weekdays. We received all five star (top) ratings on our tour. This past October we sold out again every tour, and sold out a haunted pub crawl in three days, and had many more private tours. I do no magic on the ghost tours. It is a one person show of true local ghost storytelling. I did a lot of spooky magic with stories of the local spirits in the pub crawl, and it was a big hit. By request, I have included a chapter on my ghost walk in my new book, which I hope to debut at East Coast Spirit Sessions coming up. I also have Lothar Malmberg's book Echoes and found it helpful information, but a great resource is the Facebook page Professional Ghost Tour Guides at https://www.facebook.com/groups/153822885224887/?ref=br_rs
weepinwil
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, Jim Magus wrote:
I am the one who asked Michael Henry to talk about his ghost walk at the ECSS because I was creating one, and he was of great help bringing mine to fruition here in Acworth, Georgia. We began it two years ago and sold out two tours every Friday and Saturday night (with 35 people per tour) in October, adding a couple of private tours on weekdays. We received all five star (top) ratings on our tour. This past October we sold out again every tour, and sold out a haunted pub crawl in three days, and had many more private tours. I do no magic on the ghost tours. It is a one person show of true local ghost storytelling. I did a lot of spooky magic with stories of the local spirits in the pub crawl, and it was a big hit. By request, I have included a chapter on my ghost walk in my new book, which I hope to debut at East Coast Spirit Sessions coming up. I also have Lothar Malmberg's book Echoes and found it helpful information, but a great resource is the Facebook page Professional Ghost Tour Guides at https://www.facebook.com/groups/153822885224887/?ref=br_rs


Thanks for the link. Too bad it is closed membership for only tour owners or guides. Kind of leaves out anyone who may be interested but not in either category at the time. I do understand though, we reserve embalming attendance to the embalmer and the dead..
"Til Death us do part!" - Weepin Willie
gostone23
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, Jim Magus wrote:
I am the one who asked Michael Henry to talk about his ghost walk at the ECSS because I was creating one, and he was of great help bringing mine to fruition here in Acworth, Georgia. We began it two years ago and sold out two tours every Friday and Saturday night (with 35 people per tour) in October, adding a couple of private tours on weekdays. We received all five star (top) ratings on our tour. This past October we sold out again every tour, and sold out a haunted pub crawl in three days, and had many more private tours. I do no magic on the ghost tours. It is a one person show of true local ghost storytelling. I did a lot of spooky magic with stories of the local spirits in the pub crawl, and it was a big hit. By request, I have included a chapter on my ghost walk in my new book, which I hope to debut at East Coast Spirit Sessions coming up. I also have Lothar Malmberg's book Echoes and found it helpful information, but a great resource is the Facebook page Professional Ghost Tour Guides at https://www.facebook.com/groups/153822885224887/?ref=br_rs


Thanks for talking Michael into doing that lecture. I found it fascinating and the this is and under-represented part of our art.

I am glad to hear you have another book on the way. For those of us who cannot attend ECSS this year, will it be available from Lulu or your website? I'd like to hear what advice you have on starting a Ghost walk.

Any recommendations on how or where to find the ghost stories/myths/etc. for smaller towns?

Thanks.
topherhester
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Thanks for checking in. No I didn’t do a ghost tour. I ended up building an entire walk through haunted house in my garage / driveway. I spent over 200 hours building it and ended up with 300+ visitors from just 2 nights. It was professional set design quality. Very detailed. Now that I have the attention of most people in my neighborhood and town I may can use that to help market a ghost walk this year so I’m still researching! I sent a request to join that FB page. Sounds like a great resource. Thanks!
Penduluminary
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Jim Magus... Thank you for the Facebook resource signpost. I've put in a request to join.

topherhester... You built a walk-through haunted house with professional set design quality? Wow! Do keep us posted with your Ghost Walk progress.
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