October 21, 2009
THE HAUNTS OF EUROPE - Prime haunting grounds full of legend and lore mark the European landscape. The city of London boasts its share of ghastly lore including Jack the Ripper. The Jack the Ripper Tour and London Ghost Walk (from $40 per person) follows the blood-soaked footsteps of the famous murderer down narrow, gas-lit alleyways led by renowned London Blue Badge guides. Continue to explore London's darker side during the Skip the Line: London Dungeon experience (from $41) where everything on display, including depictions of torture in the Tower of London and the grisly plague years, is based on historical fact.
In addition to the Rialto Bridge and the famous canals, travelers to this mysterious city who experience the Venice Ghost Walking Tour (from $29.50) will also travel down the Street of Assassins and other hidden parts of the city hearing ghost stories and gruesome tales from Venice's past. The Ghost and Mystery Walking Tour of Rome (from $32.50) is an intriguing blend of fact and legend exploring the nocturnal side of the Eternal City's sites including Campo de Fiori, Piazza Farnese and Via Giulia. Avoid the crowds with a private viewing of the Capuchin Crypt and Catacombs during the Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour (from $80). Chapels decorated entirely by human bones, an ancient Christian burial ground and a pagan temple await the adventurous traveler.
Begin the evening in Scotland at Mercat Cross, scene of punishment and public executions during the Edinburgh Ghost Hunter Night Walking Tour (from $13.50) and ponder tales of body-snatchers before heading underground to the haunted vaults. The Original Stockholm Ghost Walk and Historical Tour (from $32.50) begins when the day ends and the streets of Stockholm's Old Town are handed over to the spirits and vampires. Traverse through forgotten courtyards, deserted alleyways and empty cobble-streets while hearing true accounts of ghosts, poltergeists and haunted places, along with murders, myths and legends.
SPOOKY STATES OF AMERICA - Many cities in the U.S. feature their own mysterious tales of legend and lore. The New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour (from $20) explores the grim and ghastly deeds of the old French Quarter. Visit the ghosts of the numerous characters who contributed to New Orleans' mysterious past during the Cemetery and Gris-Gris Walking Tour (from $23). Travelers explore the most haunted cemetery - St. Louis No.1 - and visit the tomb of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. In a city where no tale is beyond belief, the Key West Ghost Walking Tour (from $15) explores the shadowy streets and lonely lanes of Key West's Old Town home to the spirits of pirates, wreckers and smugglers. Travelers listen to tales of Atlanta's Civil War Ghosts, the legends of Humbug Square, and Georgia's haunted houses while "hovering" themselves during the Atlanta Ghosts and Legends Segway Tour (from $60). Hosted by a 17th-century grave digger, the Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour (from $35.50) includes visits to Copp's Hill Burying Ground and the Granary Burying Ground where John Hancock, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams are buried.
Heading West, the San Francisco Vampire Walking Tour (from $20) examines the Gothic side of Nob Hill and the role vampires played in the city's history with stops at Grace Cathedral, Nob Hill Café, the Fairmont Hotel and the Mark Hopkins Hotel. The Chinatown Ghost Walking Tour (from $24) brings to life Chinatown's supernatural past and present with tales of mystical folklore of this spirited San Francisco enclave. Travel to Hollywood and meet with the Director of Undertakings for some of the most sordid and ghastly tales of the recent past examined during the Dearly Departed: The Tragic History Tour of Los Angeles (from $40). From the location of the Manson murders, the Menendez home and Hugh Grant's arrest spot, almost 100 infamous L.A. sites are explored.
For more travel inspiration and suggested itineraries, travelers should visit the award-winning Viator Travel Blog (travelblog.viator.com).
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