a Tour of Haunted Houston
By Karen Strawn
to the American-Statesman
When I called
to make reservations for High Spirits Tour of Haunted Houston, I
was told not to wear good shoes because we would be walking in a
cemetery and to bring 400-800 speed film to capture the best images.
Images? “What images?” I asked.
the voice replied.
High Spirits Tour of Haunted Houston is a year-round
three-hour interactive ghost expedition featuring an entertaining
mix of Texas history, grave paranormal activity (pun intended) and
stand up comedy.
While the hosts preview each site with respect
for the historical stories of specific ghosts, the theme song from
“Ghostbusters” is played and tourists are led to sing
The luxury coach tour, capacity 53, begins at
a haunted restaurant and ends at a chilling abandoned hospital built
near where bodies of the insane and sick were burned in an adjoining
crematory that still stands.
In addition, this unique walking/riding tour
includes stops at a library, two pubs and two cemeteries. Guests
get access inside the haunted locations, an opportunity to capture
spirit images on film and the use of an EMF (Electro Magnetic Field)
meter used by Paranormal Investigators to detect spirit activity.
take you on a journey through Houston that few have experienced,”
promises High Spirits co-founder and self-described paranormal specialist
Sandy Webb. “We explore some of the fascinating history of
Houston that often includes a piece of history that is still with
When I realized she was talking about dead people,
I cancelled the reservation for my 9-year-old son and decided to
nothing to be afraid of,” Webb reassured me. “We don’t
plan to encounter ghosts – but you never know.”
Not knowing is what attracts people. “People
don’t want to be scared or have a ghost follow them home,
but they do want something to wonder about and get the adrenaline
going.” she said.
There has been an increase in spirit activity
since High Spirits Tour began in Houston in March 2001. During that
year, more than 2,600 people have gone on the tour, stirring up
spirits in Houston’s most historical sites.
first, most of our guests reported no luck,” says High Spirits
tour guide and co-founding partner Scott Arthur, a Houston radio
personality. “But around the end of April something began
to happen,” he says of last year.
That something are pictures of curious images
called “orbs,” or “ectoplasm.” Orbs are
spheres of light energy that may appear as a white or blue light,
indicating a spirit, paranormal experts say. These circular spots
look like translucent warts and cannot be seen with the naked eye.
In photos, they can be seen hovering over people’s heads,
floating in trees, perched on dartboards, hanging from rafters and
suspended beside people. Ectoplasm is a semi fluid substance that
often appears cloudy or like mist, from which ghosts can materialize.
To capture these images, ghost tourists use film
and digital cameras. With the latter, spirit images are seen seconds
after the picture is taken.
of ghosts is one of the highlights of the tour. Ghost tourist Lisa
Mills took pictures with a friend during a recent tour. “We
found orbs in many of the pictures.” Mills said. “We
had a great time!"
High Spirits Tour of Haunted Houston is available
day and night for singles, senior groups, corporate parties, anniversaries
and birthdays. “We want people to not only be able to visit
some historic and haunted places, but learn a little about the spirit
world,” Webb says. “And maybe touch a place we all hope
is really there.”
TICKET INFORMATION: High Spirits Tours originates from the downtown
Spaghetti Warehouse at 901 Commerce in Houston, Texas. Reservations
are required. Tickets are $37.83 (tax included) for adults and $34.64
for seniors and children under 16. Parental discernment is advised.
Not recommended for children under five. For group rates, and more
information contact High Spirits at 713-22-HAUNT or visit their
web site at www.highspiritstours.com