Fall is the perfect time for a spooky ghost tour. Here are
five outings that offer tales of the paranormal with history
lessons to boot.
BY LAURIE MCCLELLAN | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARY ANN SMITH
304 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 | BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS? According to a 2013 HuffPost/
YouGov poll, 45 percent of adults do, and nearly a third of those
surveyed report they’ve actually seen a specter.
Whether you’re a believer or not, fall is the perfect time to take
a ghost tour, especially when the moon is full and leaves crackle
underfoot. You probably won’t meet any actual spirits on these five
walking tours, but you will hear stories about the houses, streets,
taverns and hotels they’re said to still inhabit—and along the way, pick
up some juicy gossip about historic places. “Our ghost stories center
on unfinished endings, broken relationships, things left unexplained,”
writes Colin Dickey in his book Ghostland, a study of haunted places
in America. “They offer an alternative kind of history.”
It’s true, for example, that when the U.S. Capitol was being
constructed in the 1790s, cats were brought in to control a growing
rat problem. But does one demonic black cat remain, terrorizing
security guards by growing to tiger size and springing at them with
a roar, only to vanish when they scream? Whether fact or fancy, it’s a
tale worth pondering while you stroll through the shadows on a chilly
evening. Put these tours on your seasonal “fun things to do” list.