Author Topic: Ghost Walks  (Read 259 times)

Offline Hydra009

Ghost Walks
« on: May 23, 2021, 04:44:17 PM »
I recently got roped into a ghost walk.  They're these fun little activities where pay $20 to walk around downtown and a very sane-seeming person says a bunch of insane-sounding stuff to you for about two hours.  Protip: walking is free and you can probably come up with some great stories yourself if you have a good enough imagination, and using your imagination is also free.

The actual experience wasn't quite that insufferable as it sounds, though.  It was mostly just a pleasant stroll with mild insanity.  I noticed the sex ratio was about 4:1 female/male.  Dunno if that's typical or if that was an outlier.  Reportedly, church attendance is slightly skewed female, so that might be normal for all I know.  Essentially, the tour went to famous landmarks and told stories (heard secondhand) about the people inside.  These supposed ghosts are all from the late 1800s to the 1930s, much like the buildings themselves.  (Where are all the ghosts from before that and after that?  I'm positive there are more than a couple from the 2012 YOLO fad)

The stories go like this:  a hotel customer was about to go to sleep when his TV turned itself on.  He turned it off and went to sleep, then awoke and it was on again.  Spooky!  Some lights flickered, too.  Naturally, the culprit was definitely a ghost and not faulty wiring.  A maid was working and a drawer unexpectedly shot open.  Suspecting ghosts, she quit on the spot, lol.  (This was a very different economy than today)  An asylum was converted into cheap apartments for students and a student went to sleep one place and woke up another.  Can't explain that!  My personal favorite is a ghost who visited the local library at night to read and impolitely neglected to put the books back.  I mean, what other explanation is there for books not being where they're supposed to be?  (Big into geography, philosophy, and cooking - that last one appears to be a futile effort)  And the final one: a shut-in lived somewhere for 60 years and then died.  She reportedly appeared as a glowing figure at the top of the stairs and likes people who pronounce her name correctly and dislikes people who pronounce her name incorrectly.

Some things immediately popped out to me: very vague and nonspecific (almost as if made up), zero attempt at naturalistic explanations (even though some stories are practically begging for one), and a surprisingly PG-rated afterlife (almost as if tailored to a PG audience).  I very much doubted very many people were into it - a couple people whispered MST3K-like commentary  - which I found hilarious - and the other two guys ducked out for a smoke and conversation.

I have to wonder what attracts people to these sorts of things?  To be scared?  To affirm the existence of some sort of afterlife?  To learn local history?  I know for a fact that it's definitely not the writing.

On a serious note, ghost stories absolutely do deserve skeptical inquiry.  And there actually are some very good possible explanations for a lot of this stuff:  sleep paralysis, carbon monoxide, sounds that humans can't quite hear that give us the heebie-jeebies, electrical problems (flickering lights are a staple of ghost stories), and just plain human psychology in the power of suggestion.  None of that is quite as thrilling as having a disembodied spirit living in your basement, so they're usually not people's go-to explanations, but they should definitely be their first considerations.  Natural explanations should be ruled out before anyone thinks to offer a supernatural explanation.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 05:19:08 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Ghost Walks
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2021, 06:00:16 PM »
If one is looking for female companionship, this could  be the place. :)
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Ghost Walks
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2021, 06:56:18 PM »
The best part of being skeptical is you can really enjoy the nonsense and watch the gullible as their eyes widen to aid them to "take in" the supernatural.

I went on a voodoo tour in New Orleans. We were half lit. The best part was midway in the tour there was a stroll through the graveyard to see where a famous chicken bone reading priestess was buried. I noticed a large cumulonimbus cloud developing overhead and suggested to the tour guide we may wanna head on back. We had just passed the gates out of there when zzzzzzzz--BAM !!! pretty near to where we had just been. I suggested the Madame was upset with us and many agreed.

We exited through the gift shop and there was some  suggestions about what bad juju might happen should you not make a purchase.

Re: Ghost Walks
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2021, 10:01:50 PM »
I went on a nighttime Jack The Ripper walking tour in London and a ghost tour in Charleston, SC and enjoyed them. It is a good place to meet people because everyone ends up at a bar and has something to talk about. I think ghost tours can be fun but in my experience it has everything to do with the crowd having the proper "spirit" of fun. I don't believe in the supernatural but I love a good ghost story.

Re: Ghost Walks
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 10:06:47 PM »
My personal favorite is a ghost who visited the local library at night to read and impolitely neglected to put the books back.  I mean, what other explanation is there for books not being where they're supposed to be?  (Big into geography, philosophy, and cooking - that last one appears to be a futile effort)  And the final one: a shut-in lived somewhere for 60 years and then died.  She reportedly appeared as a glowing figure at the top of the stairs and likes people who pronounce her name correctly and dislikes people who pronounce her name incorrectly.



Re: Ghost Walks
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 01:27:21 AM »
I remember I used to have a TV that would turn itself on when the power blinked. Dunno why it did that, but it never occurred to me to assume a ghost was pushing the power button just to screw with me.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville