Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Queen City is Haunted Walking Tour

My boyfriend recently surprised me with tickets to the Queen City is Haunted Walking Tour, which he scored through Groupon.  The tour departs from Cincy Haus in the gateway district downtown and is run by American Legacy Tours. 

"The Queen City is Haunted Walking Tour uncovers disturbing tales buried deep within Cincinnati’s storied past. Follow your expert guides to discover stories of ghastly murders and gruesome deaths. Linger with us in the halls of an archaic building teeming with paranormal activity, and walk the grounds where human remains have been recently unearthed. Learn about Cincinnati's Murder College, the ghosts of Music Hall, and the Tri-State's most prolific killer. Join us on Fridays and Saturdays in October to experience the chills and thrills of one of America’s most haunted cities."

Before the tour started, we stopped in Venice on Vine for a quick bite to eat.  I've been wanting to try it for a while and was happy we were finally getting the opportunity.  We split a delicious sausage hoagy.  I'm not sure if the level of deliciousness was warranted or if my taste buds were just happy to finally be fed!  We will make a return trip in the future and compare for a full review.

After we checked in at Cincy Haus, the tour headed a few doors down for a quick introduction and overview of what to expect during the tour.  Here is a photo showing you how many people were in the tour group:
I am guessing that they usually have much smaller groups and that this one was large because of the Groupon.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hear the guide's speaking, but they had absolutely no problem speaking loud enough for everyone to hear.

We made a number of stops to hear scary tales.  I didn't include all of the pictures here because you need a reason to go on the tour yourself!  Here are a few of my favorites.

The photo below was taken outside Memorial Hall, where the wreath that lay on Abraham Lincoln's grave is displayed.  One of the tour guides had a personal ghostly experience inside Memorial Hall and eagerly told us all about it.
My favorite stop on the tour was an unexpected surprise: 1313 Vine Street, the old Warehouse night club.  I frequented The Warehouse when I was younger.  Here is a description I found from a Cincinnati Enquirer article written in 2001, which sums up the atmosphere pretty well:

"An underground dance club to satisfy the angst-filled souls of the inner city, The Warehouse resounds with techno beats.  Music ranges from retro alternative to industrial, paired with throbbing dark surroundings."
In the photo above, you are in the front of the club looking back.  The bathrooms were through the doorway to your left.  If you went straight back from where I was standing, the rest of the area was a dance floor, dj booth, and bar.

I'd never seen the upstairs.  I'd heard rumors about the staff keeping a mattress up there for nights when their shifts ran too late to go home, but I never wandered up there myself.  I wish I had.  Look at this!
According to the tour guides, this is the only remaining indoor bier garten in the city.  The painting on the wall panels is not original.  The area was used for a movie filmed here in the 1980's, which I believe was called A Rage in Harlem.

 Notice the inexplicable circles of light in the photo?  These are called 'orbs' and are considered by some to be glimpses into the paranormal.  Others consider them to be particles of dust in the air caught by the flash of the camera.  I'm not sure what to think, as I tend to find them in spooky areas that are coincidentally quite dusty.

As a side note.  This was a night time haunted tour, which makes the photos dark.  If you're interested in seeing pictures of this area in the daytime in additional detail, click here and look through the photos.  They are pretty cool.

Here is another photograph in the second floor where you see a larger orb.

The photograph below is looking up at the ceiling over the bier garten, where there are many orbs.

My favorite shot of the night was done in Sepia.  This woman is standing on the main stairway that leads from the first floor into the second floor.  You can see that the building is in pretty rough shape.  The door on the left is a closet.  I don't recall what was is in the other door. 
We had a great time on the tour and are planning to head back before the month is over to check out the Newport is Haunted Tour, which features talk of a decapitation!  Can't wait!

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