York’s history is rich in tragedy, violence and gothic tales of grim lives. It was once proclaimed as the capital of Britannia Inferior by the Romans before becoming a Viking stronghold in the 9th Century. Since then, the city has been home to many a spooky character, who you can get to know a little better on the Original Ghost Walk of York.
Let yourself be guided through the dark streets by an expert guide, but be warned, this is no ordinary tourist fuelled gimmick of a ghostly encounter. The guides are keen for visitors to have a genuinely mysterious experience. Ghost sightings aren’t an uncommon occurrence in York, so when you’re with the experts who know exactly where to look, you may just end up leaving the tour unable to explain some of the things you’ve witnessed.
You can be sure you’re in knowledgeable hands as the guides for the original ghost walks are passionate about local history. Many of them have Blue Badge guide status and one even has a degree in Yorkshire History. Having run for decades, the Original Ghost Walks have gained significant media attention and previously featured on TV shows. They’ve also had some big names in attendance including Morgan Freeman and Noel Fielding.
From pub cellars to grand cathedrals and the colossal yet silent city walls, there are plenty of mysterious locations in York whose stones, bricks and beams hold horrors from the city’s past. There’s something distinctly Yorkshire about the types of ghosts you can find in this city, each tale has a degree of poetic grit to it which will have you empathising with the souls who may not have left our earthly realm.
The Original Ghost Walk start at 8pm every evening, from outside one of York’s oldest drinking establishments The Kings Arms. There are a couple of exceptions to the every evening rule where the guides take a few days off around Christmas and new year (rightly so). You can find out exactly which dates these are via their website. Aside from these you can turn up any day and join the walk without booking.