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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Boo! Ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties on spooky tours

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 19/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Beware of things that go bump in the night, especially at this time of year.
   Ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties delight in scaring the wits out of mere mortals as all hallows eve approaches on Oct. 31.
   Tales of “haunted” places abound and the “bumps” denote ghosts or other supposed supernatural beings, as the cause of unexplained or frightening noises heard at night.
There are plenty of scary tales on the Ghosts of Stratford Theatrical Walking Tour. (Nicholas Russon photo)
   Numerous tours are held to get up close and personal with these ghosts and supernatural beings.
   If you “ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” London has its share of spooky places from the Grand Theatre to the old courthouse, while Stratford offers walking tours of its creepy in habitants.
   The Ghosts of Stratford Theatrical Walking Tour – Halloween Edition runs on Oct. 25, 26, 29and 30.

   You meet ghostly tour guides at the Birnam Wood Arboretum and from 8 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. go haunting on a candlelight tour.
   The haunted pub tour and others are led by one or two spirits in full costume and makeup – “but for Halloween we go all out,” said Susan Kennedy, artistic director of the Playmakers Theatrical School.
   Upcoming tours are led by Dr. Emmanuel Blood and his assistant, doctor-in-training Zephyr Darkwood.
The Queen's Inn is a grand place to stay, even for ghosts. (Stratford Tourism)
   They recount tales of Stratford’s dark and haunted past during a walk through the atmospheric park area surrounding Gallery Stratford.
   These ghostly characters are supported by about 25 additional apparitions and sprits in full costume and makeup.
   Hear about Henry Derry, a headless wanderer known to frequent the riverbank frightening tourists.
   MacPherson House is where “home children” from the United Kingdom haven’t all gone away.
   There’s also the haunting of the 1885 jail by Almede Chattelle who was hanged for the notorious murder of Jessie Keith.

   The Avon Theatre is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of tycoon Ambrose Small, while the Grand Theatre in London also claims he’s there, too.
   “Patrons at the Avon should definitely keep an eye out for a dapper gentleman in full Edwardian evening dress, taking his seat as the lights go down,” said Kennedy. Details: makers.ca/ghost-tours

   Boo who
   Other ghostly sites include Queen's Inn, a “grand place to stay” but where some guests simply refuse to leave even though they’ve been dead for many years, said Cathy Rehberg of Visit Stratford.
Ghosts are said to haunt Foster’s Inn in Stratford. (Stratford Tourism)
    Foster’s Inn has its share of ghostly residents with heavy footsteps and crashing in a closed-off kitchen are heard while in the tap room, a tiny elderly woman dressed in black sometimes appears and then promptly disappears.
   Ghosts have been known to create mischief at the Parlour Fine Dining and Gastropub where the most dreaded location is the basement.
   Many employees refuse to venture past the shadowy figure lurking about the doorway leading to the cellar. visitstratford.ca

   Other haunted haunts
   - Historic St. Thomas has its share of legends, myths and stories of spirits. Ghosts are said to haunt Alma College, the courthouse, the old St. Thomas Church Graveyard, Princess Avenue Playhouse, Sparta Tearoom and Wellington Street and Myrtle Street schools. railwaycitytourism.com
See what lurks in the cornfield at Fear Farm in Waterloo Region.
    - Fright fanatics are invited to “experience twice the terror in Waterloo Region with a Haunted Weekend package. It includes admission to two of the scariest attractions – Bingemans’ Screampark with four horrifying houses, three execution rides and an escape room. Participants are chased by zombies, go on ghost walks, visit a haunted corn maze and tour terrifying haunted houses. There’s also Fear Farm and accommodations at Sunbridge Hotel & Conference Centre. explorewaterlooregion.com


   Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
   For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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