York and Other Ghost Walks
New York is the city that never sleep, and after spending an evening exploring the dark alleys of York, England, you’ll stay awake all night at New York’s namesake too. One of York’s claim to fame, apart from the long and eventful history (a post about what to do when visiting York will be coming soon!), is it’s ghost walk. Beginning in the 1970’s historians and actors walked tourists along the cobblestone roads of York. They dress up in a trench coat, put on their spookiest voice and teach people about the folklore of York.
York was originally built by the Romans and is still surrounded by the wall that protected the fort back in 71 AD. The middle of town is filled with restaurants and shops with modern facades and original store fronts that take you right back to the middle ages. The tour meets nightly at the Kings Arm Pub at 8 PM. No reservations are required and you pay your £5 (£4 for kids) at the beginning of the tour. The guide then walks you through the supernatural world of York.
You may hear the tale of a young girl heard skipping up the stairs in an old victorian house, a victim of a long ago fire. Or of a young boy, barefoot and dirty, appearing several places around town, whose identity is unknown (perhaps a victim of the plague??). There is also the piper that was convicted of treason for playing music, sentenced to death by hanging and then butchered. The treatment of his remains was so cruel that he is said to still haunt the church graveyard.
Overall, the tour was a fun walk with ghostly stories (nothing too scary for children). The guide even slipped some humor among the tales. After touring the town and hearing scary stories from York’s history, the tour guide invited us into a cellar bar for a beer.
If you’re spending some time in York, be sure to take a ghost walk. There was some time to kill between York shops closing at the ghost walk staring. I found something to fill that time though.
The York ghost walk has inspired similar tours in other towns. The original ghost walk makes recommendations. When I visit old towns in the future I plan to check that there is a ghost tour. I’ve included some links below as a starting point.
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