Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night

No, really it was. It was 9:30pm and pouring down rain when we gathered on West 3rd just south of Washington Square for a 90-minute Ghosts of New York walking tour. I'd picked up a discount ticket online several months ago, and as the expiration date neared, I cashed it in for the tour "Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village."

I'm a lover of walking tours. Have been ever since a friend and I signed up for a London Pub Crawl Tour back in 1977. We only survived two pubs. But that's a story for another day. Anyway, back to the present. New York is a perfect walking town and has more history than you can shake a very large booty at, so I'm in. Though if I did a New York Pub Crawl Tour, I'd still probably only make it through two pubs.

Our tour guide was decked out in a sort Bestoink Dooley-ish outfit (sorry, only Atlantans of a certain age will know who that is) in a top hat, black cape, frilly shirt.There were about 20 of us, mostly couples, plus 4-5 NYU students that crashed the tour for about an hour. Everyone one was friendly and looking forward to hearing stories and getting a little spooked.

We did hear a couple of stories about Poe in New York (I was expecting more) and about various murders and suicides in the area. (Did I mention it was pissing down rain, with thunder and lightening?) The guide tromped us through puddles and mud to Washington Square, which started out as a big ol' burial ground and site of many a hangin' before it got a lovely fountain, massive arch, and ubiquitous chess tables. Dem bones, dem bones.

The site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire curiously has very little ghostly phenomena on record. I hope it's because the souls of those girls went straightaway to Heaven and had no reason to roam the earth thereafter.

Sanford White, Harry Thaw, and Evelyn Nesbit haunt several locations around Greenwich Village. Sex, murder, money. Well, I would hope these three still roam the area. Also, Aaron Burr has one or two haunting haunts in the Village. Must be feeling a little guilty over killing Alexander Hamilton.

Well, lots of little stories and worth the tour. I must say I was a little disappointed that it wasn't - I don't know - scarier. The guide was pleasant enough, though he sometimes seemed to be grasping for more stuff to tell, but I was expecting a tour de force ghost walk. With all the out of work actors in this town, you'd think there'd be a better ghoulish tour guide. Ah, well.

The rain stopped a few minutes before the tour ended, which made hoofing through the Village and Washington Square to get to my subway station a little easier. In fact, heading to the #6 was the scariest part of the night.

Ever made your way through Greenwich Village near midnight on a Saturday? Oooooooooooo!



1 comment:

Liz said...

WE did a couple of pub crawl walking tours in Dublin, not spooky ones though. But, as you say, with a choice of out-of-work actors a few spooky surprises would have been easy to create,.