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Pretzel Kaiser

Advisory Panel
Apr 5, 2011
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Colonial Williamsburg, being steeped in history, has always had the attention of fans of ghost stories. Hundreds of stories exist of ghosts in the hamlet; they vary from love sick widows to cruel slave owners. While tours have existed for some time provided by third parties telling tales outside, Colonial Williamsburg has recently offered their own tours that explore the supernatural legends of time. They offer two different tours nightly, “Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk” and “Ghosts Among Us”. This review covers the “Ghosts Among Us” tour, but after my experience I am very eager to do the other tour.

The first thing that should be mentioned about the tours is that you should plan ahead. The tours were at capacity. This might be because it was the day after Halloween, but regardless it's a good idea to plan. The location was the Lumber House ticket office and people were separated into two groups to keep the size from being too big, which is good for something that’s supposed to have an eerie atmosphere.

We visited three different buildings in the tour. It’s important to note that when you enter the buildings, you’re not going to do a tour of the building itself. You’re lead into a candlelit room and an actor will come into the room shortly after. They proceed to tell a story about their character. These are all based in the supernatural, but more importantly they’re based in known history. I’d rather not spoil any stories, but the character and tales were based on known events and archaeological finds. I was very pleased with this, as it maintains the historical integrity that CW strives for. After each story the group goes outside and the guide explains the real world basis for the story, detailing the fact from fiction.

The actors are very dramatic and certainly do everything to try to create a sense of dread as any good teller of ghost stories should. Sometimes the acting approached into “too much acting” territory, but that’s something that is totally normal when it comes to ghost stories. It is worth noting that there were no children in my group, which could have easily killed the atmosphere had there been any there.

It is also my understanding that they frequently switch which stories are told and what buildings are visited. For a local like me who loves these sort of stories, this makes me happy because I could potentially do this tour multiple times and get different stories each time. The buildings I visited were all off the Palace Green. My hope for the future is they expand to different locations, such as the jail or the Randolph House.

Overall, this is really something great if you’re into ghost stories of a historical nature. At $15 (without membership), you could certainly do much worse and the unique setting of CW offers something truly one of a kind to do. I highly recommend this.
 

Zachary

BGW Eggspert
Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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This has been relatively high on my to do list for a while now. Thanks for the review! I'm glad to hear it's a worthwhile experience.
 
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