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Sky

Jul 7, 2010
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Various Dates:    7 – 8pm & 8:30 – 9:30pm

Price:   13.00 per person

Departs:   Lumber House Ticket Office

Booking:   Smart to book ahead and reserve you and your family’s spot

Children:   I believe they are allowed, however I would advise against bringing smaller children. Topics on my tour ranged from public hangings to cannibalism/murder.




Before leaving for my Semester living and studying in Dublin I wanted to do something strictly Americana, and, growing up forty minutes from Colonial Williamsburg has it perks. With that in mind my family (three people that night – 21, 51, 51) and I have always been interested in going on one of CW’s Ghost Walks. We deliberated between two different tours, “Ghosts Among Us” and the “Tavern Ghost Walk.” It came down to my decision due to the fact that it was my last night so I chose the “Ghosts Among Us” tour since it sounded like it involved a few actual scares instead of modern day sightings. Paranormal occurrences are great but I’ll take the stories actually told in Williamsburg any day. The “Tavern Ghost Walk” focuses on contemporary sightings. We saw that tour taking place as we exited past the King’s Arm Tavern. Guides were wearing Polos and tennis wear. Strollers and four year olds comprised the majority of the group. (We decided we had made the right choice).

We strolled around Duke of Gloucester for a bit and enjoyed a cool August evening and then headed over to the Lumber House to pick up our tickets and then take our places. During Peak Summer Season these tours can get huge – our hour had at least fifty people – however the group is split up into two or three smaller tours so that the experience becomes a bit more personal. This is done for comfort and safety reasons, more on that later.

At the top of the hour our tour guide in full colonial costume lit her lantern (I want one) and began with a short introduction to Williamsburg and began to weave a few quick stories about apparitions in and around the area. She then explained to us that this tour isn’t about the seen, but the spoken word. The tour focuses on stories told during the height of British Rule in Williamsburg. These stories are all told by costumed interpreters who are connected in some way to the stories they are telling (don’t want to give anything away though). You are led into three different buildings surrounding the Palace Green, and the groups rotate through these buildings. We were rotated through the Geddy House and then two gate houses connected to the Governor’s Palace. The rooms are tight even with smaller groups and are only lit by candlelight, which obviously lends a great atmosphere to the storytelling. Being in the homes and quarters at night isn’t a common occurrence, so simply being inside these perfectly recreated homes is worth the price of admission. We couldn’t get over the fact that we were actually listening to these stories in the very houses where they may have been initially told. In addition, you must know that many if not all reconstructed CW buildings are built to the specifications set forth when they were originally built, so the rooms are musky, dry, creaky, and literally the greatest stage on which these stories could be acted out upon.

[TIP: Choose the later tour time so that the Sun is sure to be set. Moving from place to place in complete darkness with only a lantern to guide you adds a whole new level of immersion.]

Each story is told by a different interpreter, some more macabre than others. The audience ranges from calm, to uneasy about a character lurching about an almost pitch black room, or to screaming at the top of their lungs – it happened, and in a tiny, very possibly haunted room. The stories are different each night so each time is a different experience.  You finish the stories outside followed by a quick recap of each and a bit more explanation of the context which makes it all the more real and creepy. You then are allowed to continue ambling through the open public spaces of CW in the dark of night.

It’s a fantastic and well-done tour. It immerses you in the history of the area while simultaneously scaring the bejeezus out of you every so often. The interpreters are fantastic and obviously the setting is top notch. No matter the time of year, it makes for a fantastic evening.  It might even be smart to book an early dinner and then finish the night with the tour. Overall it’s a fantastic experience and well worth the price. With that said, I’m so excited to get back out to Williamsburg to participate again and see the darker side of the Old Capitol.




Official Colonial Williamsburg page for the tour.
 

Peter R.

Loch Ness Monster Lives...45 Years! 1978-2023
Aug 14, 2010
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Geez! It sounds like I should have followed through with taking one of these tours when I had my annual pass for CW. Now I really wanna get back up there to take one.
 
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Apr 9, 2013
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A quick Google search shows I did the Original Ghost Tour - we did this tour after a really terrific dinner at one of the taverns and decided, hey why not? It sounds like our tour was a very similar experience, except you don't go into any of the buildings and instead walk about the Old Capitol while your guide tells you ghost stories. As with any guided tour, the tour is only as good as the guide. Some of our guide's stories were really great; nicely rooted in history/folklore. But some of his stories/anecdotes were either factually wrong or just plain stupid. So it was a mixed bag.

For example, he urged everyone to 'go to the website and SEE ALL THE PICTURES OF REAL GHOSTS caught on film from the tour.' I'm sure most people didn't, but I pulled up pictures right then and there on my smart phone. While sure, one or two pictures actually are legitimately unexplained:

photo1_48.jpg


45 pages of pictures of dust your tour kicks up while walking around Williamsburg is far from what I call "proof."

photo1_147.jpg

"zOMG, ORBS!!!11ones"

Anyhow. It was fun, and memorable. I'd do it again. But if you're looking for undeniable proof of a haunting, you're probably better off watching The Travel Channel on the weekends.
 

Sky

Jul 7, 2010
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Nice Reggae. I think that tour has evolved into the new Tavern Ghost Walk. Still looks cool.
 
Oct 18, 2012
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I think Reggae may have been on a tour that is run by a private company and based on the L.B. Taylor "Ghosts of Williamsburg" books. They do not go into the houses because they're not run by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
 
Sep 24, 2013
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Jesy is right, the Original Ghost tour is one of the private companies in town. Ghosts Amongst Us is the only program that goes in the buildings though Tavern Ghost Walk is also managed by Colonial Williamsburg (put on by their hospitality department).

Everyone successfully confused? :)
 

Sky

Jul 7, 2010
1,030
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Florida
Zach feel free to do whatever! I just saw the post on my Facebook feed and my first thought was, "hey I know a Sky." Glad ya'll enjoyed it.
 
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