Recently, the officers of the St. John’s Haunted Hike were kind enough to invite me on one of their tours. So on Thursday evening I tagged along on their Ghosties and Ghoulies tour, their classic walk full of spine-tingling tales of local hauntings and crimes through our history. For an hour and a quarter, we wandered the streets of downtown St. John’s, learning all kinds of things that will almost definitely make me rush past certain spots when I’m walking at night.
My friends and I arrived at the meeting point just before the 9:30 starting time, joining a group of about 30 people who were also anxiously awaiting our guide. Right on time, our guide, Dr. Jonathan Ignatius Wilkinson, came sweeping through, climbing the steps of the church. He introduced himself and set the scene for our walk, all in a booming, dramatic voice.
Now, obviously, I’m not going to give away their stories. Those are for you to go and listen to and think about as you settle into your bed in the dark room and inevitably hide under the blankets because everyone knows you’re safe from stuff then.
What I will tell you is that the officers of the Haunted Hike know their stuff, and they know how to catch you. Dr. Wilkinson completely becomes the dramatic storyteller, and his attentiveness is unshaken by anything. Despite loud traffic, shouting passersby, weather blowing his cape around, or even the dog that started barking (conveniently right at the end of a story) and frightened the living daylights out of the rest of us.
Dr. Wilkinson had an emphatic voice that carried clearly, even with the rise and fall of his natural storytelling cadence. He made sure that everyone in the group could hear him, without sacrificing the dramatic flare that brings his tales to life.
Another thing that I really liked was that not all the stories are from days long gone. Of course, many of them come from days when the city was smaller, when lovers were more vengeful, and when public executions were a thing. But they’ve also collected stories from recent times, with witnesses that are still living.
And those stories are kiiiiind of terrifying. Just sayin’.
My friends and I had a great time on the Ghosties and Ghoulies tour. Such a great time, in fact, that we’re already planning when to do the Sinners and Spirits walking tour, and their sit-down show, Ghosts of Signal Hill.
If by chance you’re feeling fearless enough to take in one (or more!) of these tours, you’ll find the Sinners and Spirits tours on Sundays and Mondays, the Ghosties and Ghoulies tour on Tuesdays – Thursdays, and the Ghosts of Signal Hill on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’re curious about anything else, you’ll find the Haunted Hike on Twitter, Facebook, or on their website.
But seriously by’s. If you can’t sleep, don’t blame me!