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THIRTEEN TOP
GHOST TOURS

Source:  http://www.digitalcity.com/

1. New Orleans Ghost Tours
French Quarter
Mad Butcher's House and more. 

2. Fells Point Ghost Walk
Baltimore
Seedy, scary seaport history.

3. Ghosts & Gravestones Tour
Downtown San Diego
Tour an "official" haunted house.

4. Ghost Talk -- Ghost Walk
Roswell, GA
Shudder to millworkers' moans.

5. Key West Ghost Tours
Old Town Key West
Paradise can be hell for ghosts.

6. Ghost Tours of Philadelphia
Independence Park/Society Hill
Ben Franklin, a burning bride...

7. Cripple Creek Ghost Walk
Cripple Creek, CO
A 100-year-old mining town.

8. Orlando Hauntings Ghost Tours
Downtown
Old funeral parlor comes alive.

9. San Francisco Ghost Hunt
Pacific Heights
Learn to catch ghosts yourself.

10. Ghost Tours of Newport
Historic Newport, RI
Does "Iron Man" still roam here?

11. Seattle Ghost Tour
From Georgetown to Capitol Hill
Homes built on a cemetery.

12. Ghost Tour of Ocean City
Ocean City, NJ
Spirits at a shipwreck site.

13. Chicago Supernatural Tours
From the North side to Chinatown
Waterways, gangster haunts...

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New Orleans Ghost Tours
625 Saint Philip St.
Flanagan's Pub & Cafe
New Orleans, LA 70116
504-522-0300

Find out why screams can still be heard at the Mad Butcher's House, and why just outside pet owners have to silence their animals when they growl at an unseen presence. Learn why the police don't startle anymore at reports of a little girl jumping from the balcony at La Laurie Mansion. Hear the tale of a wealthy sultan buried alive while his entourage was hacked to bits. These are just a few of the legends that make up the creepy urban mythology of New Orleans; notorious tales recounted by costumed guides who narrate the city's history with delightfully gruesome detail. The tour includes six exterior locations and the inside of one haunted building with documented paranormal activity. Lasting about two hours, with a brief intermission, and the leisurely paced evening covers about a half-mile radius and sallies forth in all weather conditions, 365 days a year. This is not a "haunted house" sort of venture -- no chainsaw-wielding madmen will jump out at you -- but some of the stories are disturbing, so parents are advised to use their discretion when bringing children along. Reservations are required.

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Fells Point Ghost Walk
1623 Thames St.
aMuse
Baltimore, MD 21231
410-522-7400

Okay, so how unnerving can a ghost tour that leaves from a toy store actually be? Plenty -- in Baltimore, that is. There's no doubt about it, Baltimore is a spooky city. Walk any night through its narrow cobbled streets smelling dankly of driftwood, hemmed in on either side by looming brick row houses and their great black slabs of mansard roof. It does not need the whispery hint of clammy, insubstantial touches or a reading of Edgar Allen Poe's 'City Beneath the Sea' to raise the dread in one's soul.

So, it really doesn't matter whether there are any ghosts to be found on this tour. This is one adventure in which the trip is definitely more important than the destination. Co-guides Amy Lynwander and Melissa Garland aren't really avid ghost hunters themselves, although there is a slightly scary, Halloween-ish air about them -- especially odd in a pair of toy store owners -- and they will show you photos with fuzzy white streaks on them as proof of ectoplasmic habitation. What Amy and Melissa are is darned well informed on the long, tumultuous, seedy and often scary history of Baltimore's waterfront. That, more than encounters with those who have shuffled off any mortal coil, is the real reason to go on this tour. But don't take the tykes on this tour; children under nine years old might find it too scary.

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Ghosts & Gravestones Tour
4040 Twiggs St.
San Diego, CA 92103
619-298-8687

Not for the faint of heart or those easily jostled by things that go bump in the night, this two-hour trolley/walking "frightseeing" tour takes a ghostly but humorous dive into San Diego's netherworldly history. In conjunction with the San Diego Historical Society and other city organizations, Old Town Trolley Tours hauntingly highlights some of San Diego's most spirited sites including what's considered a major psychic crossroads and the "Most Haunted House in America," the Whaley House. SoCal's oldest brick building and one of only two California haunted houses recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Whaley House invites visitors to learn the story of Thomas and Anna while trying to smell his Cuban cigars or her perfume, or hear the children laughing.

Frightseers also explore Villa Montezuma, once spiritualist Jesse Shepard's Victorian home, now an eccentric and fascinating shrine of mystery. Complete this ghoulish tour with a stop at the William Heath Davis house in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, and an eerie strolling tour through El Campo Santo Cemetery, one of San Diego's oldest graveyards. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a jacket to help warm the chills that will certainly run down your spine. Because of the dark, ghost-story nature of the tour, children must be at least 8 years old. The tour departs most nights from the Davis House but reservations are required prior to arrival.

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Ghost Talk -- Ghost Walk
60 King St.
Roswell, GA 30075
800-273-0371

It seems like practically every old town in America has its share of urban legends and ghost stories, and Roswell -- with history stretching back more than 160 years -- is no exception. This 90-minute tour takes visitors on a creepy walk through the heart of historic Roswell, starting at Bulloch Hall, which was built in 1840 and served as the setting for the wedding of Major James Stephens Bullock's daughter Mittie to Theodore Roosevelt (their son would grow up to be U.S President Teddy Roosevelt).

From there the tour travels to the historic Smith House Plantation and Founder's Cemetery, the burial site of city founder Roswell King, where bodies are entombed beneath modern neighborhoods. Along the way, guides point out antebellum mansions and regale visitors with ghost stories, Southern-style, spinning colorful yarns centered around water sprites, voodoo and exorcisms. From Grand Greek Revival mansions to humble mill worker's apartments, this one-mile walk will take you into a side of Roswell rarely seen by casual observers, proving educational, enlightening, and maybe even a little bit spooky.

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Key West Ghost Tours
430 Duval St.
La Concha Hotel
Key West, FL 33040
305-296-2991

Gather up all your favorite little ghouls and goblins and meet at Key West's venerable Hotel La Concha for an evening of chills and thrills. Your lantern-lit tour leads you through the shadowy streets of Key West's Old Town, an easy paced walk of about an hour. Your guide spins yarns about the secret hiding and dwelling places of ghosts both good and bad. Haunted Island stories will frighten you, like the tale of the man who married a corpse or of an eerie doll possessed by a strange spirit. Learn about the dreaded days of the Yellow Fever quarantine, and of the mystery of the burial place for a murdered body that is never found. Find out about Hard Rock Cafe's yellow-eyed scary apparition and dare to walk in the haunted Key West Cemetery. A secret map to pirate's treasure will add spice to the evening. This is not for the faint of heart.

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   Ghost Tour of Philadelphia
620 Chestnut St.
Willie and Duffy's
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-413-1744

That little kid from 'The Sixth Sense' isn't the only one who sees dead people in Philadelphia. In fact, people have been seeing ghosts in this town for years. With the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, you can visit our Founding Fathers' favorite haunts, and we're not just talking about where they used to hang out. The 75-minute tour begins at 6th and Chestnut and travels around Society Hill. You'll stop by Independence Hall, where ghosts are said to gather, then move on to Library Hall, the first public library in America, where Ben Franklin still likes to pay a visit every now and then. Other stops include the Physick House and St. Peter's Cemetery, where sightings have included a phantom horse-drawn carriage and Native American ghosts roaming the site. The tour concludes outside the historic City Tavern, where a bride allegedly burned to death in her wedding gown in the 1800s. Three tables now sit in the spot where she supposedly died, and the staff at the tavern will tell you that every night, someone will accidentally spill water at one of those tables. Maybe it's just a coincidence, or maybe it's the bride still trying to put out the flames. But whether you believe in ghosts or not, you'll still be entertained with colorful stories about Philadelphia's past and its many resident ghosts who still come back to haunt these streets. This is, after all, the city where history comes alive.

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Cripple Creek Ghost Walk Tours
315 E. Carr Avenue
Last Dollar Inn
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
719-689-9113

The town of Cripple Creek was put on the map in 1891 when gold was discovered in the area. By 1901, its streets were filled with miners who were hoping to strike it rich. Today, as a summer resort and tourist center, the area is home to several casinos that attract modern-day miners with the same aspirations.

A true town of the Old West, Cripple Creek has had its share of shady characters pass through its streets and many decided to stay on after their demise. The Cripple Creek Ghost Walk takes visitors past many of the haunted (and historic) buildings of the town, while guides recount ghost stories and tales of the Old West. While the tour doesn't make any stops into any of the haunted locations, it does provide an nice opportunity to get a feeling for the Old West and explore the town... and perhaps spot some of the spirits that haunt it.

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Orlando Hauntings Ghost Tours
  Guinevere's   
  37 Magnolia Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
407-992-1200


You'll see downtown in a spookier light after a lantern-led tour through some of Orlando's most spirit-infested spots. This 90-minute walking excursion, led by local ghost guru and amateur historian Michael Gavin, leaves from the historic Rogers Building. Gavin imparts historical details along the way, drawing your attention to interesting Egyptian revival and Victorian architectural details on some of downtown's oldest buildings. But the highlights, of course, are the creepy tales of death and doom in such commonplace spots as Wall Street and Orange Avenue. You'll visit the purportedly haunted Elijah Hand Building, a former funeral parlor that now houses the Blue Room nightclub. The second floor of the building was where the corpses were embalmed, and club patrons have reported foreboding sensations, phantom footsteps and even ghostly apparitions while wandering the halls. The popular nightclub block at Wall Street Plaza is supposedly one of the most haunted spots in town. There are reports of a young girl's image appearing in a restroom mirror at the Globe on more than one occasion. This fun and freaky tour gives new meaning to grabbing a drink at your favorite local haunt.

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San Francisco Ghost Hunt
1590 Sutter Street
Queen Ann Hotel
San Francisco, CA 94109
415-922-5590

Started in 1998, the San Francisco Ghost Hunt takes patrons on a two-hour stroll through the hauntings and trappings of ghostly California. Your guide, Mr. Jim Fassbinder, began having supernatural experiences as a young child and over the years has cultivated quite a talent for summoning spirits and ghostly orbs. On the trek you will see eerie Victorian mansions, learn about the city's haunted history, hear researched, documented ghost stories, touch creepy artifacts, and even learn how catch a ghost yourself.

Meet Flora, San Francisco's most famous wandering soul, she boasts the most sightings along California Street. Enjoy a run-in with the late author, Gertrude. A barrel of rum was once delievered to her home containing her dead husband's body. Has she returned to the scene of the calamity? Finally, Mary Ellen, the once reknowned voodoo queen of San Francisco, bitterly haunts the tour's trail.

Prepare to be enchanted and entertained on this nighttime jaunt through the Pacific Heights district, which is rich with shadowy residents. The tour is almost entirely outside and is not recommended for children under 8, due to the length and hour of the tour.

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Ghost Tours of Newport
Corner of Thames St. and Frank Street
Newport, RI 02480
866-334-4678

Participants on this 90-minute tour follow a costumed guide on a lantern-led tour through the shadowy lanes of historic Newport. Guides tell tales of the history and ghost stories of the city and the tour makes several stops along the way to haunted locations. On the tour, you will learn the answers to questions such as who haunts George Washington's Revolutionary War headquarters? Who is ''Iron Man'' and does he still haunt the Common Burial Ground? What ghost ship predicts certain doom for modern-day sailors? The organizers of the tour stress that the stories you are about to hear are real... as are the haunted houses you are about to enter (at your own risk)!

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Haunted Happenings: Seattle Ghost Tour
Tour start point
1114 Valley Street
Seattle, WA 98109
206-365-3739

Looking for thrills and chills? Ghost-guru Jake loads you into her blood-red van to track the haunts of Seattle’s friendly spooks. This supernatural adventure lands somewhere between Casper and the Adams family, since local spirits supposedly don’t harm anyone. Jake claims they’re just a pack of poltergeists looking for a good time. Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods are the haunt of choice for hometown apparitions. Down at Pike Place Market, an official paranormal posse swears Chief Seattle’s daughter, Princess Angeline, regularly walks through walls in a long faded gown with a basket on her arm. It’s possible; the shack she called home stood on pre-Market land. Inside Capitol Hill’s landmark Harvard Exit Theatre, you may see more than a movie. According to reports, a turn-of-the century trio generates phenomenal special effects.

Between spook-taculars, Jake rattles off homicide and bordello trivia. In Seattle’s Georgetown area, a shabby mansion -- once a brothel -- keeps changing owners. Blame Sarah, a matriarchal mirage that comes with the manor. Her murdered baby is allegedly buried under the stairs. Lodgings attract their share of apparitions, including a hotel-turned-apartment building on Queen Anne. After one woman strangled her hubby with a rope and Murphy bed, residents say he decided to hang around. There’s a litany of long-time Seattle spectres, but since any decent ghost-hunt includes a graveyard, Jake steers her flock to a cemetery where 11 homes were built over the children’s section. Apparently, one little fellow rises up for regular house-calls. Does the tour-tribe ever spy any ghosts? Jake admits she did once, years ago, but was too frightened to enjoy it. —- Starla Smith.

Tip: Don’t expect Stephen King’s ‘Rose Red’ digs on this tour; his saga was filmed in Lakewood.

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Ghost Tour of Ocean City, New Jersey
East 9th Street and Central Avenue
Central Emporium
Ocean City, NJ 08226
609-814-0199

Ocean City has long been known for two things: family-friendly beaches and a no-alcohol policy. But ghosts? Only the long-time residents knew about them until the Ghost Tour of Ocean City was begun in 2002. Led by the same team who started the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, the Ocean City version takes you to several seaside haunts and provides a colorful history of this old resort town. Stops include the Flanders Hotel, which is haunted by a well-known ghost named Emily, and the site where the Sindia ran aground in 1901, which is now covered by beach. Residents and visitors have claimed for years that ghosts appear at night near the shipwreck site, presumably to look for their ship. Whether you're a believer or not, you'll be entertained by these and several other ghost stories from Ocean City's past.

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Chicago Supernatural Tours
1800 North Clybourn
Goose Island Brewery
Chicago, IL 60614
312-915-0071

October is a busy month for Chicago historian and ghost hunter Richard T. Crowe. Starting October 18, Crowe hosts 24 consecutive nights of his acclaimed ghost tour that uncovers the dark side of Chicago's past. Let his experienced hand guide you to places too creepy to visit on your own. Crowe's luxury coach bus (complete with washrooms!) will take you to pubs, restaurants, cemeteries and gangster spots that have all been touched by the supernatural. There are several tours to choose from, including a cruise that has participants exploring Chicago's waterways at night. This is much more interesting than the history you learned in school. Bring your courage and a group of friends for a spooky odyssey that promises surprises at every turn.

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