Why We’re the Best
There are a few things we would like to point out about what makes us a different experience than the other ghost tours in the area, because we are sincerely passionate about hauntings in Williamsburg. We put a lot of hard work into these tours and we want you to get the best value for your money. That’s why US City Traveler has rated us as one of the Top 10 tours in the US, and we are mentioned in INC and Huffington Post.
Interview with a Colonial Ghosts Tour Guide
1. What makes Williamsburg unique for ghost tours?
The obvious answer most would tell you is its history. The focus is on Colonial history, so most of the ghost stories understandably revolve around it, but there’s so much more to the area’s history than the colonial period. One of the most unique aspects is the intimate and small town feel of Williamsburg, and how empty the streets are at night. It doesn’t have an urban feel like ghost tours in New York City, Las Vegas, DC, or New Orleans, which are also fantastic. But the quaint feel of ghost tours in Williamsburg is definitely one of it’s strengths!
2. What makes your particular ghost tour unique?
While many tours overlook the people and events that took place outside Williamsburg’s role as the capital of Colonial Virginia, we endeavor to tell the often forgotten events that took place here during the Civil War, and following the civil war, including the Spanish Flu outbreak. While Colonial History is great, a lot of Williamsburg’s history is naturally overshadowed by the focus on colonial history.
We raise the bar through research and documented hauntings. Many ghost stories that have been told for decades are based on a book that is historically inaccurate, and we feel it offers a weak foundation for hauntings. Most people see ghost stories and tours as made up entertainment, but we really try to bring out the truth in it. For example, it really bothered us that an innocent slave who was victimized and basically tortured is blamed for the hauntings at the Randolph House. We conducted detailed research and found more compelling reasons that no one talks about.
In addition to performing historic research periodically, we also take care to document the hauntings themselves. Without the hauntings, what’s the point of a ghost tour? We seek out the stories of the hauntings, the people, and how they felt. We do our best to deliver that feeling to our guests. Every year we change our stories slightly to add more historical depth, as well as strengthen the spook factor. We’re the only ones that don’t carry lanterns, even though guests typically expect it. We don’t want to add light to our tour. We want it to be dark. We don’t deliver dramatic tours, and we keep our groups to manageable sizes. We want to be different.
We’re nationally recognized, and offer a different lineup of tours, including ghost hunts, two different types of ghost tours, and cemetery tours during the day.
3. What are some of your more popular tour packages? What are the most popular times of the year for the tours? Do you see an increase at Halloween or offer any specials during that time of year?
Our Ultimate Tour at 10pm is the most popular, and our ghost hunt offers a very different experience, as we provide guests with ghost hunting equipment, who have captured some disturbing happenings. Naturally, October is always the most popular month for ghost tours, and we’re often sold out for October weekends, so we suggest people book ahead.
5. How did you get started in the business? Why do you like being in the ghost tour business? What is your favorite thing about the job? What is your favorite tour?
I was hired as a W&M student by a W&M alumnus. I’m proud to work for a W&M owned business, appreciate the history, and the aspect of “keeping it real” with the tours. Being with Colonial Ghosts doesn’t mean I only focus on tours here either- my favorite part is learning about the ghost stories and happenings all over the country, and being able to see the striking similarities between all of them. Yes, ghost tours are entertainment. But, I believe there’s something more to it. Science can’t explain it yet, but there’s definitely something to these “ghosts”!
My favorite tour is the ghost hunt, because it’s more interactive, but people looking for a traditional ghost tour shouldn’t take the ghost hunt if they’re not into that sort of thing. However, it is a great chance to get introduced to ghost hunting if they’ve never tried it before.
6. Have you had any personal experiences with ghosts or paranormal activity? Or do you have any memories of any patrons who’ve experienced anything out of the ordinary on one of your tours?
Yes. I’ve had many things happen on ghost hunts, and have seen various things on tour. Tour guides and guests alike report unusual activity- not orbs on camera because that hype is fake and we don’t endorse that- but some real spooky stuff. Check out our website and youtube page to see what I mean.
7. Who do you recommend comes on your tours? What is your customer base? Locals, tourists, families? Ghosthunters? Do you have repeat customers?
Everyone! We have something for everyone, of all ages and interests. Yes, we do have repeat customers.
8. Why do you think ghost tours and stories about ghosts are so popular? What is the appeal?
The allure of the unknown, a connection to the past, and the experience. People want to feel, they want to be intrigued, but also moved in ways that other tours and experiences can’t.
Enough preamble. Here are 12 reasons Colonial Ghost tours are your best bet in Williamsburg, VA:
1. Colonial Ghost tours are genuine and original.
We are the only ghost tour company in town that has done our own research and actually documented our hauntings. We fact check and verify every story we tell, but more importantly, we document the haunting activity (see blog here for proof!). Other tours rely on books or made up urban legends, and adorn these with silly costumes, props and gimmicks. Which is fine, if you’re a theatrical company. Or your goal is just to entertain. But Colonial Ghosts has a different mission. We are fascinated with real human stories and real hauntings, and we want to share these incredible experiences with you.
2. Exclusive access to stories and sites you won’t see with other tours.
Because we do our own research and investigations, our stories and the sites we visit are unique. You won’t learn these secrets with any other tour in town.
3. The most haunting sites of any walking ghost tour in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Our tours cover 19 different haunted sites. And every year, we work to improve our tours by digging deeper into the stories and hauntings we’re already familiar with, or else finding and verifying new sites.
4. Colonial Ghosts has been voted the highest rated ghost tour on Tripadvisor, and the 4th overall highest rated tour in any category.
Colonial Ghosts tours define the standard for professional walking tours, and our company has consistently been rated the top ghost tour attraction in Williamsburg, Virginia for years because of our fantastic guides.
That’s saying something because the competition is stiff here (this place is severely haunted)! In fact, our guides, our material, and the haunting site selection have made Colonial Ghosts consistently competitive on lists for doing anything in Williamsburg, Virginia, including sailing, food tasting, wine tasting, beer tasting… even zip-lining!
5. We only hire the best guides in the business.
Have you ever had a terrible tour guide? Someone who wasn’t very likable, wasn’t very knowledgeable, didn’t have a good command of the group, was boring, unengaging, and just left you feeling like you had wasted your money?
Our tour guides are the polar opposite. They will make a believer out of you. Not just in ghosts, but in how awesome a properly guided tour can be. Our guides take their role seriously - they are guiding you through 300 years of history, in places that have been evidently haunted, almost weekly, since they were discovered.
Colonial Ghosts only employs guides that pass a series of benchmarks, including story telling ability, friendliness, tact, historical knowledge, command presence, organization and time management, rapport building, and most importantly, responsibility! No matter how big your group, where you’re from, how old you are, or what language you speak, our guides will deliver a terrifyingly fun, spooky and memorable experience. You will look back on your tour fondly and reminisce for years about the experience, thanks to our fantastic guides!
6. We share the entire story with you, in hair raising, bone-chilling detail, for every location!
On our tours, you will discover the amazing and gruesome stories that have made Williamsburg, Virginia one of the most haunted locations in the continental United States. You’ll learn things like:
The intriguing origin of the phrase “bite the bullet”... and what it has to do with the haunting of the Governor's Palace!
The true story of Lady Ann Skipwith, and why she is reported to be the most spotted ghost in Williamsburg! Not one in a thousand ghost hunters gets this story right, but we have verified the facts for you, and Colonial Ghosts reveals all!finding and verifying new sites.
The secret name for Tucker Hall, twice reported by the newspaper, that the College of William and Mary does NOT want you to know!