Monday, October 20, 2008

touring for ghosts

Last night I went with some friends and took the Spartanburg Ghost Tour. The tour is taken while riding a open air trolley through several areas of our fair city. It is an evening event that even this paranormal skeptic would highly recommend.

Why would someone who is quite uncertain about ghosts and all that is about them go on such a tour? First because I was invited by friends, and second because, even if you don't see a single thing that may confirm the existance of the otherworldly, you will get an entertaining history lesson about some of the places in Spartanburg.

For example, The Old Main Building at Wofford College was used as a military hospital by the confederate army. Another was the site of a former flour mill, of which only a small portion of the building remains, where a multiple murder took place committed by a disgruntled former employee.

Several of the older buildings in the downtown district have historical stories attached as most have had changed in ownership and purpose. Where Wild WIngs now stands used to be a departments store, and Justin's Steakhouse used to be the location of a bank. Both locations had stories attached where a tragedy took place.

All of the locations we visited, including the two cemetaries had a story attached about people seeing, feeling or hearing something unexplained. To my knowledge the only thing we felt was interested in the tour and chilly, as the temperatures were probably in the upper 40's, and we were in an open air moving vehicle.

Our tour guides were knowledgable and quite funny. Two of the passengers, one of which was part of my group, got to be the spokes people of the tours. Well, rather our guide asked them questions to see if they were paying attention, then teased them mercilessly. My friend Chelsea may never speak to us again, as we joined right in with the ribbing.

When I got my half-frozen hieny back to my car I was quite surprised that two hours had passed. I enjoyed the tour so much I never realized that we were taking so long to see all the sights. I'll have to try the tour again, or maybe do the walking tour.

One thing I did enjoy is that the guides, who are paranormal experts didn't try to find a ghost under every rock and bush. They discussed some local legends and reports of what people had witnessed as well as some experiences they themselves had witnessed. They also were not afraid of discussing stories that had proven to not be accurate. Their website lists at least one haunting legend that, although a fascinating story and linked to actual people and events, was proven to be unsubstantiated. I found that refreshing.

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