Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ghost Walk

Last night I went on a Ghost Walk. The air had a light chill. The Fall dark settled in long before the 7:30 tour began. It was a perfect night for ghosts. Philadelphia is one of this nation's oldest cities and thanks to wars, yellow fever, criminals, and ordinary people, Philadelphia is reputedly home to a large number of ghosts.

I thought ghosts were supposed to be scary. Most of the ghosts on this walk were friendly. Ben Franklin haunting his library. A woman who protected the potter's field burials from being dug up for medical students to study, continues her vigil after death. A servant who now haunts the house where she cooked and cleaned. Even a tavern that has been rebuilt totally new after a fire, has ghosts from the previous tavern.

The scariest tale was of a ghost who had been exorcised from her home and now wanders her old neighborhood, a homeless ghost, screaming at passers by.

The guide said she got her stories from actual witnesses, some of whom currently serve as rangers, who give tours at historic buildings. She even said that one of the tourists taking the Ghost Walk on a previous night had photographed a ghost in an ancient cemetery.

I don't want to ruin the tour for anyone who might take it. The guide was an excellent story teller. Ghost Walks seem to be an international trend. Several of the people on the tour said they take ghost tours in every town they visit. My only advice is to dress appropriately for slightly colder temperatures than you expect.

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