If haunted hotels, apparitions, and grisly tales pique your curiosity and stir your blood, then this is the time to embark on a local ghost tour. Throughout New England, a variety of outfits, such as the ones below, offer historical walking tours (some appropriate for children) all aimed to entertain, and to send chills down your spine.
Ghosts and Gravestones Boston Frightseeing Tour
Historic Tours of America, 617-269-3626, www.ghostsandgravestones.com, 1½ hours, $39.90 adults, $36.75 seniors, students, military, $25.20 children ages 4-12.
With visits to two out of three graveyards, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Granary Burying Ground, and King’s Chapel Burying Ground, this trolley tour — with two 20-minute walking segments — travels through Boston’s sordid past with alarming noises included. A changing cast of costumed storytellers that might include a cursed privateer, demon nanny, and pyromaniac circus ringleader tell about the city’s famous killers, such as the Boston Strangler, past tortures and executions, and haunted places, such as Omni Parker House.
Haunted Boston Ghost Tours
Haunted Boston, 617-605-3635, www.hauntedboston.com,
1½ hours, $18 adults, $15 over 62, $13 under 16.
This family-friendly walking tour meanders through Boston’s historic streets with a lantern-grasping guide relaying true stories about the city’s famous ghosts and creepy, tragic happenings. Guests will make seven stops along the way to learn such things as the secrets hiding beneath Boston Common, the untold stories buried inside the Boston Athenaeum , and the witchcraft practiced long ago.
Red Cloak Haunted History Tours
in Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Damariscotta, and Wiscasset, Maine;
Haunted History Tours
207-380-3806, www.redcloak hauntedhistorytours.com, 1½ hours, $12 adults, $7 under 12, free under 5.
The towns of Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Damariscotta, and Wiscasset each offers a child-friendly, 90-minute walking tour of historical sites and ghostly haunts. “The Lady in the Red Cloak,” a crimson-hooded woman in period dress from the late 1800s (Sally Lobkowicz “an experienced genealogy researcher”), will guide guests by lantern while she tells gruesome tales.
Barnstable Village Ghost Hunter’s Tour, Cape Cod’s Haunted & History Tours
.com, 3 hours (or longer), $20 adults, $10 ages 8-12, free under 8.
Created by Derek Bartlett, founder of the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society, this walking tour stops at various spooked locations, including “The House of 11 Ghosts,” commonly known as The Barnstable House. Guests are encouraged to bring cameras and digital or analog voice recorders to chronicle paranormal activity.
Raven’s Walk, Nantucket’s Ghostly Adventure
walk.com, 2 hours, $15 adults, $10 seniors and teens, $10 children, free under 6.
Nantucket native Robin Zablow and her raven named Edgar (spoiler alert: the bird is stuffed) take guests on a two-hour walking tour to some of the island’s most sinister locations, based on author William Alexander’s book “Haunted Nantucket Island.” The tour also shares the story of Nantucket’s beginnings. There is an additional Raven’s Walk just for children.
Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour, Salem Historical Tours
toricaltours.com, 1½ hours,
$14 adults, $10 students, military, 60 and over, $8 ages 6-12.
Salem’s spectral history comes alive on this 90-minute walking tour led by costumed, lantern-bearing guides, all of whom are members of the Salem Paranormal Independent Research Initiative Team. True tales of paranormal activity are shared, along with stories of murder and witchcraft.
Providence Ghost Tour, The Providence Ghost Tour, LLC
denceghosttour.com, $18 adults, $10 under age 12.
“We do not spook you with the way we tell our stories, we spook you with the stories themselves,” say the creators of this 90-minute, lantern-lighted walking tour through the historic East Side.
Costumed guides stop at buildings along the route that are believed to be haunted and share stories of real murders, accidents, and suicides that have occurred over the years. Guests are encouraged to bring cameras to capture paranormal activity.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi can be reached at variccardi@rcn.