Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Haunted Halifax

By Erica Newman, Arts Contributor

 

The Tattle Tours’ ghost walk aims to show residents and tourists places in Halifax that are scarier than the Dome on a Sunday night. While this is a difficult task to achieve, Andy Smith manages to do so with humour, history, and dramatic flare.

Smith describes himself as an “actor looking for an outlet” and he has been guiding tours for ten years. His unique tour shows Halifax in a new, ghoulish light accentuated by the evening’s darkness and chill autumn breeze. Smith is dressed appropriately in black and has the perfect voice for storytelling, punctuated by gripping pauses.

The tour begins at Citadel’s clock tower. The site, as you learn, of Halifax’s first recorded murder. As the clock eerily rings against the setting sun, you begin a tour that will surely send chills down your spine. Like any good campfire ghost story, Smith’s stories are a collection of history and folk legend interwoven to create chilling and plausible scenarios. Events such as the sinking of the Titanic and the Explosion of 1917 changed Halifax’s landscape, history and, depending on your beliefs, spiritual world as well.

“Most of my stories do concern people not letting go,” says Smith, as he explains the connection between events and spirits. “Whether it is not letting go of their business, or an event that happened to them: business is not taken care of.” From his tale of an angry restaurant phantom, to a prankster ghost roaming the Maritime Museum, Smith’s stories cover much of Halifax’s downtown area.

What you can expect from this tour is an interactive history lesson of Halifax. You will learn that in between serving exquisite seafood meals, The Five Fisherman servers conduct exorcisms, and that the origin of The Press Gang’s is just as wicked as their prices. You also might find out what famous author’s ghost takes residency at The Waverley Inn, and why you may think twice about crossing the Macdonald bridge next time.

Tattle Tours runs five nights a week from Wednesday to Sunday, six months of the year. What better time to learn about haunted Halifax than October? The tour even runs for a full week leading up to and on Halloween night. That is, of course, if you dare.

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