Ghost Tour Guides Share Their Scariest Experiences On The Job

Ghost tour guides go to haunted places night after night, so it only makes sense they would experience some spooky stuff themselves once in a while. Most tour guides have a passion for history and ghost stories, but that doesn't mean they don't get scared, too. While some guides are huge fans of the paranormal, others are skeptics who need a little more convincing to believe that something is out of the ordinary - and some of the guides on this list needed a lot of convincing. 

From mysterious swinging chandeliers to tourists getting stabbed in the leg by unseen forces, these tales run the gauntlet from mysterious to downright terrifying. These accounts of tour guide ghost encounters and horror stories proves that even skeptical guides are not immune to the supernatural.

  • That Was Not Part Of The Tour

    From Redditor /u/ThrowTheGhostsAway:

    "Frequently cited as the most haunted site in [Edinburgh], the Vaults are a series of chambers built into the arches of South Bridge. They were meant to be used as workshops and storage space, but thanks to inadequate waterproofing they were pretty useless. They were briefly occupied by homeless people, used as brothels and illegal taverns, then sealed up for a while. Now they're storage space and ghost tour territory, and they can be pretty damned creepy...

    First there was the Irish hen party. A group of 10 women looking for a little scare. I led them into the corridor and showed the Temple, which was a locked vault. No one could go inside, but tour groups could look through the gate and the barred window. I would guide their attention to different parts of the room, explaining the significance of various bits of pagan paraphernalia. 

    When I got to the circle of stools, one of the damn things picked itself up and flipped over. No one was in that room - the gate was definitely locked, and I had the first tour of the night so the entire section of the Vaults had been locked until I came in. I had also locked up the night before, so I knew that the place was empty. But the stool came off the floor as if someone was lifting it, then dropped back into place, upside-down. 

    All 10 women ran. I ran. I gathered them in the vestibule outside of the Vaults and explained to them that what they had just seen was not part of the act, that I didn't know why it had happened and I was more than a little unnerved. I told them that if they didn't want to go back in, I would make sure they all got a refund (even though this would have meant I earned nothing that night, since I was on commission). 

    That's when they calmed down, giggled and said 'Oooh, she's good!'

    I hate tourists sometimes."

  • Everyone Has Their Limits

    From Redditor /u/ThrowTheGhostsAway:

    "Although I still guide sometimes, I no longer set foot in the [Edinburgh] Vaults. I stopped guiding there after someone got stabbed in the leg on my tour... Apparently he didn't feel a thing before the pain hit - no sensation of the leg of his jeans being pulled up or his sock pulled down. His clothes weren't damaged. The wound was just above the ankle and the guy was wearing Doc Marten boots and they weren't damaged. Yet there he was, with a newly-inflicted flesh wound so deep that he had to get a tetanus injection, and no idea how he got it. That was where I had to draw the line."

  • His Spirit Waited At The Top Of The Stairs

    From the author:

    "I worked as a 'haunted tavern tour guide' in Nashville, TN, and there was one tour group that caught me off guard. A woman in the group pulled me aside at the second stop and said she was a medium. She was super uncomfortable being there (her in-laws had purchased the tour tickets for her and her family as a gift, thinking she'd have fun), and she said she needed to tell me some of the stuff she had seen so far. 

    At that stop, we were in the basement of one of the riverfront bars, where slaves used to be chained to the walls before being shipped down river in the mid-1800s. She told me she saw a man chained to the wall, crying, and begging an unseen person to spare the life of his little boy. It gave me goosebumps, but I couldn't tell if she was messing with me.

    At the final bar stop, I took my group upstairs to what used to be an apartment. I told the story of a woman who fell down the staircase and died, and how everyone had assumed her husband had pushed her. He is still frequently seen standing at the top of the stairs by staff. The medium came up to me again at the end of the tour and told me that he didn't push her; he still stands there because he feels so guilty that he wasn't there to help her. She also told me that the original staircase was moved to its current location during a renovation. 

    I took what she said with a grain of salt, and told my boss everything she had told me. He confirmed that the staircase had actually been moved many years ago, just like she said - but there was no way she could've known. I believed her after that, and never looked at that tour the same way again."

  • Guests Got A Little More Than They Bargained For

    From Redditor /u/ThrowTheGhostsAway:

    "I led my group into a room containing a small circle of stones. The story goes that it was once the pagan temple, before they moved it [to another room]. They had been forced to abandon the stone circle room because some ritual with a mirror had gone wrong and released a malevolent spirit into the room. According to some psychic who had visited years earlier, the spirit was that of a Spanish sailor who had killed two prostitutes and then himself in that room.

    I'm not sure I believe that - it's not exactly a story that can be proved. But I do know that when I was halfway through the story, someone began yelling and banging on the walls of the neighboring vault.

    My first thought was that someone had got in. We occasionally got teenagers or drunks (or drunken teenagers) sneaking in to cause trouble, so I asked my group to wait in the stone circle room while I investigated. I took a couple of tall, well-built men with me in case I needed to throw someone out.

    There was nobody there. Of course. Just an empty room where the sound had been coming from, and no way out that didn't involve going straight past us. I stood for a moment, trying to figure it out... then heard the banging and shouting again, this time coming from inside the stone circle room.

    I ran back through to find my group huddled against one wall. Some looked confused, some shocked, some were sobbing and pointing to the corner from which the noises were coming.

    I didn't waste any more time trying to figure out what was happening. I yelled at everyone to get out and marshaled them towards the emergency exit. Going back to the main exit would mean passing the pitch dark room again, and between the interference with the torch and the thing banging and screaming, I wasn't going to take any chances.

    Of course, being the guide means being last out, so I stood and fought the desire to run as I made sure the last tourist was out. As I finally stepped through the door I looked back and saw that the Vaults were in darkness. The handful of eerie green lights scattered along the main corridor were out. So was the emergency lighting. I slammed the emergency door shut behind me.

    The best bit was when a couple of the more traumatized tourists tried to ask my boss for a refund. He refused... on the grounds that you can't complain about being haunted on a ghost tour."

  • She Felt Hands Closing In On Her Neck

    From Redditor /u/ThrowTheGhostsAway:

    "When I took the group into the [Edinburgh] Vaults, the place felt... disturbed. Like something had been churned up in there. I recognized it. It was the feeling that lingered after the departure of a group that had been really frightened. The smell of fear, perhaps.

    It wasn't until I got into the final vault, the darkest vault, the one where I blew my candle out and plunged the group into darkness, that I realized that the guide I was covering for was Elspeth - sweet, spooky Elspeth who swore she would never leave unless something threatened to harm her.

    Just as I figured it out, I felt fingers close round my throat. I yelled and swiped at the air in front of me with my stick, but there was nothing. Just the sensation of something reaching for me and trying to choke me.

    I moved. I kept moving. I wandered amongst the tourists, unable to see them but judging where they were by their breathing and shuffling out of my way. Every time I stopped the sensation would start again. I gabbled through my final story so fast that by the time I gave the cue for the jumper (or jump-ooter, to use the correct name - the person who leaps out and screams at the group at the end), he wasn't yet in place. I sent the tourists on their way and high-tailed it home.

    By the time I had driven home I had just about calmed myself down. The whole thing, I was convinced, was just my imagination. I was surprised at myself for getting so spooked.

    Then I went to take my make-up off and saw the fingerprints on either side of my throat. I slept with the light on that night."

  • There Was No Reason For The Chandelier To Shake

    From Redditor /u/Spongemage:

    "I was on the front steps of one of our locations and the chandelier above me began to swing incredibly violently and start blinking when there was no wind. It was odd as hell."