It's the time of year when everyone enjoys feeling a little extra spooky. There is no shortage of fun activities to do in October, but if the pumpkin patch seems a little tame and standing in line for hours to spend 15 minutes in a bloody haunted house isn't for you, consider going on a ghost tour. Ghost tours can be found in many major (and not so major) cities during October and they can be a fun way to enjoy the season. Here are some Do's and Don'ts to make your experience a spine chilling good time.
Do consider the type of experience you want to have.
Ghost tours aren't all created equal and you will want to decide what type will be the best fit for you. Some tours are focused on storytelling and spooky historical facts. These can be a really fun way to learn about some of the events in a city that might not be on a 'conventional' tour. Other tours are all about the science. You might be given ghost hunting tools like EMF meters to try out in paranormally active locations. These will tend to attract more 'believers' than the historical type which is something to keep in mind if you are a skeptic. It is usually easy to tell what type of tour a company specializes in by looking at their website, but if not calling ahead will help you make sure to get the type of experience that interests you most.
Do tip your tour guide
Many people who lead tours are volunteers and appreciate tips. Tipping is certainly not necessary, but if you had a good time or if your guide seemed especially good tipping is a great way to thank them for the experience.
Don't forget about the kids
Many ghost tours are family friendly and welcome children over a certain age. It helps if you know your child's tolerance for scary things before booking a tour though. Tours generally take place after dark and with very low light so even brave kids can get spooked. Also, be prepared for some unexpected questions to come up. I once heard a boy ask "If ghosts are people who died, why aren't they in Heaven?" If your family has strong religious beliefs or had a recent death in the family consider how a ghost tour will fit into your belief system.
Do bring your camera
All tour guides encourage photography and it can be really fun to snap pictures hoping to spot a ghost. No fancy equipment is needed. Just a regular digital camera will work. Review your pictures regularly throughout the tour and if you happen to catch something speak up. The rest of the group will be excited to see it and will want to take their own pictures in the same spot.
Don't spoil other's good times
Yes ghost tours are spooky, but they are not a haunted house so don't get upset if you don't experience any activity. Ghosts don't materialize according to tour schedules. Sometimes people on tours will try to scare their friends or the guide by screaming or sneaking up on them. Don't be one of those people. It ruins the experience for the rest of the group who might be trying to just enjoy the spooky atmosphere or listen to the guide's stories.
Do wear comfortable clothes
Most ghost tours will take place rain or shine so be sure to dress for the weather. You will have a much better time if you aren't freezing. Also, expect a good amount of walking. Most companies will tell you on their website how far you will be walking so if you have mobility issues be prepared for that. If your tour takes place in a very old city be prepared to walk on a lot of uneven surfaces like cobblestone streets. And don't be afraid to ask your guide to slow down if they are walking too fast.