Ghost Dancers. Photo by Lawrence White.
Darkness descends upon Albany. There is a flicker of fear that cannot be extinguished from the shadowy outlines of bodies awaiting their fate. “A Ghost of Albany tour depends on the guide,” Roshni Bhambhwani, manager of Ghosts of Albany, says. “They are a blend of historical stories, local ghost legends, and stories that have been shared by people who have come on our tours.
Different guides emphasize different aspects of this mix. I like to bring out historical documents and maps. Another guide, Colin Dermody, brings out instruments ghost hunters use to identify the presence of paranormal spirits. I like to say they are historical tours with a paranormal twist.” They begin the journey at the Hilton Albany at Lodge and State streets, then walk up State Street around the State Capitol building, up to South Swan and then back down Washington to return to the Hilton. Have no fear, they aren’t that scary.
“There have been rare cases of encounters with the spirits on the tours,” Bhambhwani says. “I have not witnessed these myself, but I imagine they could be very scary. The tours are more fun and funny than scary; a lot of the ghosts in the area are either friendly or harmless. Erastus Corning II, for example, makes his presence known by snoring.” The Ghosts of Albany tours are available until November 6. Check the website for more information: ghostsofalbany.com
Spooky tours can also be found at Haunted Saratoga Ghost Tours. For 90 minutes you can discover the hundreds of spirits that are rumored to materialize in the city. The tours cover Congress Park and parts of Downtown Saratoga. The Haunted Saratoga Ghost Tours are available until November 14. Check the website for more information: hauntedsaratogatours.com