What is a haunted pub crawl? Ah, there is nothing better than discussing ghosts with friends inside an old tavern...
Perhaps it would be better if we first explained a pub crawl. A pub crawl is when one or more people drink in multiple pubs in a single night. Now take that concept, and add a ghost tour of the bars and sites in-between, and you have a haunted pub crawl! (To find a ghost tour or haunted pub crawl, be sure and check out our Ghost Tours section.)
Pubs, (liquor bars) dot both America and Europe, and pub crawls have become quite the rage in certain towns and cities. Pub crawls have become especially popular where many pubs are in close proximity to one another, within easy walking distance. The higher the concentration of pubs in a small area, the better chance of a pub crawl taking place. Locals, as well as tourists, embark on a ritual of bar-hopping, and no place is more known for this than Key West, Florida. The standard custom is to have a drink or two, then move on to the next pub.
Some believe ghost stories are only for children, but a haunted pub crawl combines local legends of ghosts, with some good-hearted fun. Licensed guides typically provide an informative walking tour of a given area's beloved taverns. Many haunted pubs have their share of bizarre stories of local patrons. As one might imagine, bars can be a place where many a tale has been shared over the years. Some of those accounts have lived on over the years to become the stuff of legend.
The term "pub crawl" was coined in England where many pubs and taverns can be found within walking distance of one another. After having a drink at each establishment, by the end of the evening one might be in a state better described as "crawling," than walking. Pub crawls are always for adults of legal drinking age, only.
Most haunted pub crawls do not require that participants actually drink alcohol. In fact, many might enjoy a soda, or just one alcoholic beverage during the whole tour. What make the haunted pub crawl interesting is certainly the stories and the local people who populate the taverns. Most are very colorful, and can be quite entertaining in their own right. An evening of haunted pub crawling can become a very good time of human camaraderie, as stories are shared to inspire and intrigue the human imagination.
To add a new flavor during the pub crawl seasons, many touring companies will change the pub in which they begin the tour, providing a different route (as well as bars) to explore. A typical haunted pub crawl may visit a minimum of three taverns, interlacing ghost stories in-between stops as well as during pub visits. The time of the haunted pub crawl may vary, but traditionally many tours last about two hours or so, in length. Most pub stops are about twenty minutes in duration, just enough time to grab a drink, hear some tales, and visit the facilities.
One thing is sure, concerning a haunted pub crawl, and that being, you will see spirits! Of course, the spirits one experiences may not be solely of the ethereal kind. Yet, many have witnessed strange occurrences within the haunted pubs they have visited. Being places of history, and at times tragedy, bars and taverns carry quite a bit of emotional baggage, spiritually speaking. Former patrons, bar-owners and the like may still frequent the joints, according to some pub tour guides. During your haunted pub crawl, if you can seek out the owner of the bar, do so. You might be amazed at some of the stories of locals and phantoms some pub owners are able to recall. One haunted bar owner told tourists of the tragedies of former patrons, the history of the building, and shared photographs of the pub's resident spectres!
Below is a short list of some Haunted Pub Crawls you may elect to visit:
Savannah Georgia Haunted Pub Crawl
Two hour candlelight walking tour of Savannah's haunted pubs and taverns. ghostsavannah.com
Wilmington North Carolina Haunted Pub Crawl
A 2-1/2 hour, humorous adventure of Old Wilmington. hollywoodnc.com
Gho St. Augustine Pub Tour
Hear the ghastly tales within the nation's oldest city. ghostaugustine.com