The ghosts of York are set to feature in their own map in a new initiative from Visit York to cater for the city’s growing market in paranormal tourism! Locals and visitors alike are being invited to log their supernatural experiences, which will then appear on a live map charting the entities who were unwilling – or unable – to leave their spiritual homes.
The latest announcement by TripAdvisor shows that York is the fastest growing destination in the world for spooky experiences, building on its reputation as the most haunted city in Europe. “Ghosts and the paranormal have been synonymous with York for centuries, with stories of unexplained phenomena like the bleeding walls of Clifford’s Tower, as well as phantasmagorical encounters that featuring in just about every guidebook about the ghosts of Britain,” comments head of Visit York, Paul Whiting.
Indeed, whilst a huge amount of time and effort goes into marketing York’s many other attractions – from world-class museums to quirky independent shops – Paul believes that the full potential of York’s supernatural attractions have yet to be harnessed. “York is a city unlike any other, where many of the residents and occupants of the historic buildings are so accustomed to things that go bump in the night that they almost dismiss these unexplained encounters as no more unusual than the city walls – and these are the stories that we are hoping to capture with our new map of paranormal hotspots,” explains Paul. “We want to create the first comprehensive map of York’s ghosts, past and present, where we can highlight our most famous ghostly experiences alongside those that take place on an almost daily basis.”
The source material for the map is already rich, with several ghost tours – on foot or even on a Ghost Bus – taking place around the city, and tour groups getting larger as the calendar edges towards All Hallows Eve (31 October). Anyone who has had any paranormal encounters can log their experience at: visityork.org/ghostlog, and the entries will then be transferred onto a regularly updated map.
For those unwilling to wait for the paranormal map to be populated with the city’s ghosts, Visit York has teamed up with The York Dungeon to create a family-friendly ghost trail, the Great York Ghost Search, which will run over the October half term holidays.
Ceramic ghosts – which will glow with the help of LED bulbs rather than psychic energy – will be hidden in shop windows all over the city. Make It York has commissioned York’s trail specialist, Angus McArthur of Snowhome in Gillygate, to work with local designers and students at York College to create 26 large ghosts, and hundreds of tiny ceramic spectres that will feature in the fun trail. Although most of the mini-ghosts will be white, anyone finding one of 50 special-edition ‘orange’ ghosts will receive a family ticket to The York Dungeon valid for one year.
“We’re immensely proud of being in Europe’s most Haunted City, and we love every opportunity to spread the scares at Halloween! And by being a part of the Great York Ghost Search, we can make sure that families can explore the sites of York, before experiencing its scarier side at The York Dungeon,” comments Simon Alnaimi, marketing executive at The York Dungeon.
The Great York Ghost Search joins a host of Halloween themed activities planned in and around York for late October, including York Maze’s award-winning Halloween and the award-winning Hallowscream activities. Successful ghost hunters can share their eerie images on social media via #HauntedYork and @visityork. For more details, please visit www.visityork.org/haunted