Operations

Ghosts and Goblins equal dollars for tour operators this fall

LCT Staff
Posted on September 9, 2009

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love haunted houses, hay rides and outdoor festivals. With the cooler weather settling in, I head outdoors to fill my days with everything autumn. This year, I am in search of a haunted ghost tour. I have searched the internet and found tons of these. The majority are put on by local historical societies. Most include transportation but some are walking alone. You still have time to capitalize on the season and build your own. Some areas do focused ghost tours throughout the year. You will need to know the history of the area or find an expert who can assist you.

Developing Ghost tours

The first line of information should be your local historic society. Realize that most of these are non profit organizations run by volunteers and retirees. Ghost tours can be great fund raisers for them and charter work for you. Ghost tours are extremely popular and when properly promoted they are quickly “souled” out. Do your homework when building these tours. Every area of the country has a hidden unsavory past. People love tales of the macabre. Anything sinister can be developed into a tour. It helps if there has been ghost citings there. A resident ghost who could pop up at any point along the tour is a big draw.

Keep your audience interested

I live in New Jersey and would love to find one that specialized on the Jersey Devil. Pick topics of interest for your geographic area. The success of these tours is in the preparation. Before developing tours, visit potential sites. In addition to the legends and history, you will need to know if there are any problems with bringing people to the site. Work with the municipality to understand the laws and regulations with the area you are considering for your tour. Also find out if you will need any kind of permit.

Murders and Mayhem

Murders fascinate. Contact your local newspaper and see if they keep archives. Concentrate on the unsolved crimes. Serial killers, cult activities, and ghost citings are great sources. Cemeteries are creepy places. Many areas have historic cemeteries with their own lore which tales and tours can be spun around. My area has ghost towns. They truly no longer exist. Perhaps the spirits though are still there protecting the legends of the past. Seek out the information and you may be surprised all of the information that you will learn.

Develop your tour for your audience

Think about who you will market to for these tours and develop them around them. Older audiences can have a more gory and graphic tour. If the boy scouts book, you may need to tone it down.

Have fun when creating these tour packages. People are fascinated with tales of what went on their communities. A little research could net you big gains on these types of tours. Happy haunting! Source: Linda M. Moore, LCT Magazine

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