I am long overdue with a new post and for that I apologize. I am in pre-production for a new film I am producing called Curse of the House of Usher. I hope you all will check out the website and Facebook page and send us some love!
Scouting for the film took me back to Charleston, SC where we will be shooting and I could not pass up the opportunity to go on a new ghost tour! This time it wasn’t haunted jails or pirates, but something none-the-less imposing! This time around, I followed in the footsteps of Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters and went aboard the “fighting lady”–The USS Yorktown. As I’ve said before, getting the right guide can mean the difference between a tour that sucks and is a waste of money or one that is spectacular. This was the later.
Our guide, Bruce Orr is a retired Charleston Police Detective and has written several books about Charleston crime and the paranormal. His matter of fact demeanor and solid research elevated the tour from the start. One thing that I certainly appreciated was the fact that the tour was not structured to “scare” but rather honor those that fought and died aboard the USS Yorktown. Located in Charleston Harbor in Mt. Pleasant, SC, the Yorktown (CV-10) was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the US Navy. It was named after the Yorktown (CV-5) that was sunk at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.
“Built in an amazing 16-½ months at Newport News, Virginia, Yorktown was commissioned on April 15, 1943, and participated significantly in the Pacific Offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation, and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II. Much of the Academy Award-winning (1944) documentary “The Fighting Lady” was filmed on board Yorktown.”
The Yorktown can be toured daily from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The Ghost Tour is Friday and Saturday evenings. One thing to note before you go is that you will do a lot of walking and stair climbing. One of the people in our party didn’t even make it to the opening of the tour, exhausted from the stairs to board the ship. Be warned!
The tour began with a brief video giving a history of the aircraft carrier and clips of the Ghost Hunters episode featuring the Yorktown. From there, we toured various areas of the ship getting a combination of history and stories about paranormal activity in the area. We also got highly amusing stories about teenage girls climbing the walls in fright after seeing a mannequin in one of the displays.
A trend I am seeing on ghost tours that I really like is the use of portable tablets/ ipads and using them to show pictures and documents relevant to the tour. It gives us someone to connect to and makes the experience much more personal–and at times, much more creepy. Our guide, Bruce, knew his subject matter very well and you could tell he had a great respect for the stories he was telling. He was adamant, however, that he was not there to make us believe in ghosts, but rather present the facts as he has experienced or has been relayed to him.
The Yorktown is a intimidatingly large vessel and the more Bruce said “it is what it is” in regard to the stories of the paranormal, the more we began to experience signs that we were not alone. The tour consisted of around six people and other than a near-by custodian, the ship was completely empty. We constantly heard heavy doors open and close deep with-in the ship–well away from any interfering drafts.
It is a fine line between honoring those that fought on the Yorktown and having a truly creepy ghost tour experience. However Bruce certainly managed to pull it off! If you are in Charleston and looking through the many, many ghost tour options, I can highly recommend the Yorktown Ghost Tour! As always, tell them The Macabre Tourist sent you!
Reservations are required and can be made by calling (843) 277-0587 and at YorktownGhostTours.com!
Next the Macabre Tourist heads to New Orleans! Do you have a ghost tour or macabre recommendation? Let us know in the comments below!