Like to read scary stories? How about tracking the authors and the stories to their origins? Ghost Tours for Travelers Who Read….
Edgar Allan Poe
You can’t beat Edgar Allan Poe for scary stories. He invented the modern detective novel, but also thrilled with his eerie tales like my favorite, The Cask of Amontillado and Murder in the Rue Morgue, or the Tell Tale Heart. Poe is associated with several cities–-Baltimore where he is buried, Richmond, Boston, and Philadelphia. A New York City tour promises to introduce you to Poe’s haunts in that city with their “Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village” walk around New York University Library, Washington Square Park and Poe’s former residence. They say that E.A. Poe is their most popular ghost.
They also say, “The Ghosts of New York cannot be held responsible for any haunting, supernatural event, soul-possession or poltergeist activity endured before, during or after participation on the tour.” BEWARE!
Washington Irving inspired my night-time visit to the Alhambra with very different prose than his spooky Legend of Sleepy Hollow. That story scared the bejeebers out of me when I was young. I could not go out at night without hearing the sound of horses hoofs and just KNOWING that I was going to see a black cloaked figure with no head. It would all come back to me in a flash if I were to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in the Hudson River Valley and be led by a descendant of the family he wrote about in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The night-time tour is called Murder and Mayhem. SHUDDER!
From the website: Mascia and Tara Van Tassell of our local historical society on these evening walking tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery as they discover our colorful local residents and some of our world-famous inhabitants. You’ll visit author Washington Irving, self-styled frontiersman Alfred Weed, eccentric poet Minna Irving, business owner and social activist Amanda Foster, wealthy industrialists William Rockefeller and John Archbold, labor leader Samuel Gompers, and many others—all by the light of kerosene lanterns!
While you may not immediately think of Edith Wharton as a writer of scary stories, she did pen a collection, Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural). She said she didn’t believe in ghosts, but she was afraid of them. The Wharton estate and gardens called The Mount would be a joy to visit in the daytime, but the author herself may have avoided the ghost tours on offer there. Every Friday night in October, with a special event on Halloween night,you can find out if YOU believe, or are only afraid. OOOOOOOOOOOOO!
When I visited Malabar Farm near Mansfield, Ohio, my guide told me of a ghost of a young girl that has been frequently sighted in the main house where author and environmentalist Louis Bromfield lived. She also told the tale, related in one of Bromfield’s books, about the young woman who murdered her entire family at a house that still stands on the property. (SHIVER!) The state-run farm, holds evenings of ghost stories at Malabar farm. Unfortunately these tours are not available for Halloween. In October, you can tour the house only in the day time and only on Sundays at 1 or 3 pm. Ghost story nights were held in May, June, July, August in 2012, and should be on the schedule for next year, too, so plan ahead.
Website description of last summer’s ghost story evening: The evening will begin with the haunted stories of Malabar Farm as told by Mark Sebastian Jordan, playwright and author. The group will then ride on a covered wagon through the evening fog to the famous Ceely Rose. In 1896, Ceely Rose murdered her entire family inside of this little Pleasant Valley home. A park guide will tell the grizzly true story on the front porch. The night concludes with a rare candlelight tour of the Bromfield Mansion where haunted stories will be told. This program is not recommended for children under 16 years of age due to its length and content. YIKES!
I visited the Hemingway house in Key West, Florida, but missed a special tour. Not that Hemingway’s ghost is likely to be hanging around in Key West, since he killed himself in Idaho. But I suppose he could be looking for a happier place to settle for eternity. You can take regular tours of the historic Hemingway House any time you are in Key West, but if you want to pursue ghosts, this Key West Ghost Tour video adds a little something to the mix. You can find several competing ghost tours in Key West, although this video is just a show.
Not only can you tour the ghostly literary sites, but Jane Boursaw suggests some spooky movie sites to visit, too.
Do you have another Halloween tour of a literary nature to suggest? Spooky authors you love? (Preferably dead so we can see their ghosts!)
You will find some links here that lead you to Amazon, where you can scare yourself silly with ghost stories and tales of the supernatural. Most are available on Kindle, so you can hide under the covers as you read. When you shop through Amazon, you’re supporting A Traveler’s Library. Good idea, isn’t it?