In his blog From New York to San Francisco, Greg Caggiano sort of takes the Gettysburg ghost tour operator’s to task. Hey, who am I to argue? I took one year’s ago and my wife says I haven’t stopped complaining since. I think she’s exaggerating a bit.
Here’s an excerpt from Greg’s post:
“It is expected that an old town would be haunted, furthermore, with so many dead and dying people laying in the surrounding fields and streets. The passion exerted by both sides during the heat of battle is the perfect set-up for a haunted city. But unfortunately, the town of Gettysburg has blown it out of proportion, sparking different available ghost tours at almost every gift shop in town–there must be at least twenty to choose from.
Each offers “guaranteed” sightings of ghosts, and that you will be scared out of you mind for the hour you will be walking the streets. Each tour comes with an experienced, and period-dressed guide that will walk you through a section of the town of your choice. Many take place right on the main street in town, Steinwehr Avenue, but many venture closer into the battlefield on Seminary Ridge.”
First, think that a little research will indicate that while many gift shops promote ghost tours, there are only a few actual operators. Can I blame a shop operator for trying to squeeze a little extra revenue from their foot traffic? Of course not. It’s exactly what I’m doing here as I blog about a town I love, but post those little Google ads here and there.
Second, while I admit I’ll have to take a closer look this Fall, I don’t recall EVER seeing a promise of “guaranteed” sightings of ghosts. If I had, I’d like to think that I’d be sophisticated enough to recognize a bit of promotional fluff. I think the last time I believed that type of guarantee, I was 16, it was in the back of a comic book, and I was “guaranteed to be irresistable to women of every decsription” if only I’d send $9.95 for some booklet or other.
Finally, it seems remarkable that Mr. Caggiano is so willing to knock the tours, but has never taken one.
With all of that said, it’s important to me to note that Mr. Caggiono has a great blog. He wrote a fascinating and extremely well researched and written post on the the meaning of the confederate flag.