Visit York and The York Dungeon have joined forces for the third consecutive year to create a tantalising twilight trail of glowing ghosts around the city. This year, the Great York Ghost Search returns to York for an extended 3 week season from 11 October to 1 November.
The family-friendly trail is available all day, but the magic hour, when the ghosts really glow in the dark, takes place ‘twixt dusk and night (5pm–7pm) – the perfect time for aspiring ghost hunters to explore York’s myriad cobbled streets, snickleways and ancient thoroughfares. In total, 26 illuminated ghost lamps will be hidden in windows across the city. An accompanying Ghost Search Map will be available for collection from Visit York’s Visitor Information Centre, located at 1 Museum Street, or for download from www.visityork.org/haunted
Paul Whiting, Head of Marketing and Communications, Make It York, says: “York’s charm truly reveals itself as the night falls, telling stories of the city’s dark past and supernatural. The Great York Ghost Search has proved very popular with visitors and residents alike and as a result this year we’ve decided to extend the season of ghosthunting. The trail is the perfect early evening introduction to the city’s paranormal-offering, before venturing forth on a spine-tingling ghost walk, frightful tour of the York Dungeons or sampling the spirits in one of our haunted pubs.”
The Great York Ghost Search is once again ‘taken-over’ by the York Dungeon and those who complete the trail and uncover the names of every ghost hidden in York will be able to enter a competition to win a family Annual Merlin Pass. The York Dungeon in Clifford Street has a fiendishly-good reputation for bringing some of the spookiest and most chilling stories from York’s colourful history to life, with 10 live shows highlighting murky parts of 2,000 years of the city’s history. Special late-night opening is planned for the October half-term week, including adult-only tours.
“Halloween is our favourite time of year!” says Stuart Jarman – General Manager of York Dungeon. “The ghost search is a wonderful way to engage everybody across York and showcase parts of York’s darkest history. Being in the most haunted and terrifying city in Europe, it would be amiss not to celebrate this spookiest of seasons.”
During the last week of the search (28 Oct – 1 Nov), each day from 5 – 7pm, 400 mini ceramic ghosts will be hidden in the nooks and crannies of York’s haunted streets – free to keep for those who find them, but we politely ask that you limit your collection to just one per person. Ghosthunters should especially be on the lookout for ‘special’ bright green mini ghosts – anyone lucky enough to find one can hand it in to the York Dungeon to claim free tickets to experience the scare of their lives.
For those not lucky enough to find a mini-ghost during their search, a selection of 300 pieces will be available to purchase in the Visitor Information Centre. The proceeds from these mini ghosts will be donated to the Family Holiday Association and York Food Bank. Both charities will also receive a donation from the Ebay auction of the Ghost Lamps after the end of the trail.
The search is being co-ordinated by Angus McArthur, owner of The Ghost Merchants on Shambles and Make It York.
“This is the third Great York Ghost Search and we hope that it is now becoming a Halloween tradition that is specific to York”, says Angus. “York provides the perfect backdrop for the event with atmospheric streets and ancient buildings telling ghost stories of their own. 26 handmade porcelain ghost lamps are being customised by an award winning graphic design company, an airbrush artist and a Michelin starred chef amongst others. We are expecting some incredible ghosts and hope to raise a record breaking sum on the Ebay charity auction this year.”
After the success of the Great York Ghost Search, Angus has recently opened a new store on Shambles – the Ghost Merchants – selling handcrafted ghost statues made in a workshop above the shop, and placed in its own travelling box. Each ghost is a unique souvenir of the frightfully fun time in the city this Halloween. Opening of the store has also marked history for Visit York as Ghost Merchants is the 1000th business to become a member of Visit York.
The Great York Ghost Search joins a host of Halloween themed activities planned in and around York for late October, including York Maze’s award-winning Hallowscream. Successful ghost hunters can share their eerie images on social media via #HauntedYork and @visityork. For more details, please visit www.visityork.org/haunted