Thursday, December 10, 2020


"A Pocket Guide for the Paranormal enthusiast" 
By Michael Williams

People have always been fascinated with the paranormal. This intrigue with the dark history and the unknown draws out those that are curious about the hereafter and those that have an appetite for ghostly activity. This utter fascination with the paranormal has sparked a new industry in the past 25 years that is scaring up big profits and contributing to the bottom line for tourist towns anxious to bring in those much sought after tourist dollars. Literally hundreds of ghost tour companies have materialized in recent years. Below is our top 10 list of Ghost Adventure Tour companies in the southeast United States.

The tours are ranked according to the reviews, activities and content, the hair raising factor and the fun factor.


Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours takes the first place in our list for several reasons but mostly for its inclusion of the guests in detecting ghostly phenomenon. The tour is led by J-Adam Smith a noted paranormal expert that has appeared in two nationally televised TV shows pertaining to the paranormal and an award winning documentary. The hair raising factor for the HKGT, and what makes them unique, is the fact that the guests become the investigators investigating Knoxville's History and Ghostly happenings.

The guide provides the guests with meters and other equipment and instructs them on what to look for and what might be classified as supernatural. The tour takes the guests through numerous areas where paranormal activity has been reported and introduces them to the science of haunted investigations. The company's owner J-Adam Smith has experienced hauntings on a first hand basis having once purchased a haunted house in Florida, Smith is a paranormal historian whose research has uncovered numerous ground zeroes where ghostly activity has been reported. He has used his paranormal investigation service to raise money for historic preservation thereby impacting local history and lore for all perpetuity. No one ever considered Knoxville to be a center for haunted history until Smith began his research through which he has put Knoxville on the map for ghost enthusiasts. HKGT was even put on the map by TAPS team (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and with SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" whose host dubbed Knoxville the "The Hidden Gem of Haunted America."

Favorable reviews on Trip advisor indicate how this tour produces evidence and new detectives by providing scientific training for both the skeptics and believers alike

Because they are the innovators of allowing the guests to become investigators and ghost hunters in their own right I give HKGT 5 stars. Visit their site at http://hauntedknoxville.net/.


French Quarter Phantom Ghost Tours

This company has wisely chosen New Orleans as its home base because the Big Easy is definitely the most haunted city in the U.S. The tour is near the famous French Quarter. The hair raising factor is that guests will be touring in one of the oldest cities and certainly one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Guests will visit the Haunted Mansion on Royal Street, where the victims of criminal Delphine LaLaurie are said to still scream and cry at night. The home on Dauphine Street where the guide recounts the story of the Sultan’s ghost. If it’s a rainy evening, listen closely for the sound of Pere Dagobert, the French monk whose singing is said to haunt New Orleans rain. I give this company 4.80 stars. Visit their site at https://www.frenchquarterphantoms.com/.


Birmingham Historic Touring Company and Ghost Walk

The 2016 Birmingham Ghost Walk is a casual stroll through a collection of sites that make up some of the darker aspects of history in the Magic City. The guide recounts murders, suicides (including some that were spectacularly public), legends of outlaws and gunfights, and the occasional brothel thrown in for flavor. The tour has been rerouted this year so that all new discoveries of mystery and mayhem can be included, but there are still many of the old favorites for those who have gone before and there are plenty of sites that include ghost sightings and activities. The Ghost Walk is a two to two and a half hour stroll through the historic center of downtown Birmingham, Alabama and is completely paved and mostly flat smooth walking. Those who have mobility issues should not have difficulty maneuvering on the walk and the guide will monitor for potential difficulties and accommodate those who might have issues with maneuvering through any aspect of the tour. 4.8 stars. Visit their site at http://www.bhamhistory.com/the-birmingham-ghost-walk/.


Haunted Vicksburg Ghostwalk

Vicksburg, Mississippi is considered one of the most haunted small towns in America and with good reason. This quaint little city perched high on the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi River; was the center of one of the most significant campaigns of the Civil War, is the home of the largest Civil War Cemetery in the nation, is the location of the most haunted house in Mississippi, and served as a way station on the “Trail of Tears.” Visit their site at http://www.hauntedvicksburg.com/newghostwalk.htm.


Hearse Ghost Tours, Savannah, Georgia

Savannah’s Historic District is full of beautiful and stately old homes; but apparently, many of them are haunted! You’ll visit the Pirate’s House on Broad Street, which is one of the oldest buildings in Savanna, and you’ll hear about drunk and bullying ghosts spotted in the basement and on the second floor. You’ll also see the Olde Pink House, where the ghosts of its former owner and some its former slaves are still said to roam. The hair raising factor is the fact that the guests ride along in an actual hearse. This tour scores 4.65 stars. Visit their site at; http://www.hearseghosttours.com/.


Winston Salem Ghost Tour

Home to one of the earliest permanent Moravian settlements in North Carolina, Winston-Salem has earned the reputation of being one of the most haunted cities in the state. Your guide, Roy Heizer — though he prefers you simply call him Mr. Heizer because “Roy just doesn’t sound like that creepy of a name” — will take you through the West End Historic District on this particular tour. The Camel City has a lot of spooky history to explore, and this tour just begins to dig the grave. The story of Thomas Ellegood at Edward Belo’s pond is the hair-raising factor. Visit their site at http://www.winstonsalemghosttour.com/.


Ghosts & Gravestones St. Augustine Frightseeing Tour, St. Augustine, FL

Visit the creepiest spots in one of the country's oldest (and some say most haunted) towns aboard an ominous trolley-style bus decked out with Spanish moss and vintage portraits from St. Augustine's past. The guides give bloodcurdling performances that mix ghost tales with true stories from the city's history. Explore the darker side of the Nation’s Oldest City. Visit Potter’s Wax Museum’s Chamber of Horrors for a unique retelling of the famed pirate Andrew Ransom’s gruesome execution and enter the town’s most haunted building, the “Old Jail,” for an up close and personal and frightfully fun encounter. 4.4 stars. Visit their site at http://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/st-augustine/.


Ghost and Graveyard Tour, Charleston, South Carolina

You’ll get an exclusive opportunity to walk inside the gates of one of Charleston’s oldest graveyards after dark. When all the other walking tours are looking in through the wrought iron fence, you’ll be on the inside. Explore the graveyard’s dark corners, closely inspect the headstones to see what you might learn, and take a moment to step across the graves, if you dare. Learn about the history of Charleston’s graveyards and hear the stories of the famous individuals who found their final resting place in the Holy City. The fun factor is you can combine a ghost tour with a harbor tour on the 80 foot Carolina Belle. As one of the oldest cities in the south, Charleston has plenty to offer on a ghost tour. Guests will hear about the beautiful Miss Lavinia Fisher, quite possibly America's first woman serial killer. She suffered so much in Charleston's all male jail even the devil wouldn't take her when she died. She remains in the jail to this day. The remaining black Union soldiers of the Massachusetts 54th (whose story was the basis for the 1989 blockbuster Glory). The jail was the last place they were together after the Battery Fort massacre. 4.2 stars. Visit their site at; http://bulldogtours.com/charleston-ghost-graveyard-walking-tour/.


Memphis backbeat ghost tours

Beyond the rhythms of Beale Street's blues lies a darker history of vice, voodoo, phantoms, ghosts and lost souls. During this two-hour tour, your guide will lead you through the dark mysteries and spooky tales behind such haunted sites as: The Orpheum Theater, home of "Mary," who has haunted performances since 1921; John Alexander Austin House, a Victorian era mansion haunted by lovers; Potontoc Hotel, haunted by former caretaker Sidney; we see paranormal phenomena here on an almost weekly basis; The notorious Ernestine & Hazel's, a former brothel long recognized as one of the most haunted buildings in Memphis. It is home to several ghosts as well as a haunted jukebox; and no, Graceland is not on the tour. 4.1 stars. Visit their site at: http://www.backbeattours.com/tours/ghost.cfm.


Ghosts of Old Louisville's Lantern Ghost Walk, Louisville, Kentucky

David Domine, a travel and food writer, started researching Old Louisville's ghosts after purchasing the Widmer mansion in 1999 (where he clearly had some company!). He and three other history and architecture buffs now lead a lantern-lit stroll through the neighborhood's "Millionaire's Row" area, stopping to see if ghosts such as the "Lady of the Stairs" at the First Church of Christ Scientist are also out for the evening. If you aren't into ghost tales, you'll still enjoy this tour through Old Louisville, America's largest Victorian neighborhood. The hair raising factor is a lantern lit tour that lends a sinister, gloomy ambience. I give this tour 4 stars. Visit their site at: http://louisvillehistorictours.com/.


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