by Sandy McLeod

 by Sandy McLeod


Asheville, NC has some unique touring opportunities. Where else can a vacationer take a ghost tour of the town and visit bars en route?  The Haunted Asheville tour runs year round, not just on Halloween. The tour takes place in downtown Asheville where there are numerous bars within walking distance of each other.

Visitors take the Haunted Pub Crawl in Asheville to hear the stories of ghosts who once lived in or visited the town and now haunt the alleys, streets and pubs. Participants are encouraged to capture the apparitions on digital cameras and other types of devices. 

Why is the Haunted Pub Crawl a great tour?  Well, there are many ghost tours of Asheville. This particular tour was created by Joshua P. Warren, a ghost buster with a national reputation on cable television.  Warren has been interviewed extensively about his work - and written up in national magazines.  He’s author of two books:  Haunted Asheville and How to Hunt Ghosts. Warren is a native of Asheville and - you guessed it – his book informs the tour.  He’s as quirky, intelligent and creative, like many of the locals who live in Asheville. 

The Haunted Pub Crawl is just one in an assortment of ghost tours Warren has developed.  There’s the Classic Walking Tour, Biltmore Village Mystery Tour, the Trolley Tour, and even a Vampire and Occult Tour.  Yet the Pub Crawl ghost tour is the one that gets rave reviews because of the not so subtle combination of stories about the dead and alcohol. There is a minimum age requirement for this tour of 21 or older.  Take this tour for a chance to stop into some popular (and old) local bars where the stories about ghosts may have originated and spread. 

[caption id="attachment_812" align="alignleft" width="250"] Asheville's Masonic Temple is the starting point for the Haunted Pub Crawl.[/caption]

The tour begins at the Asheville Masonic Temple, where the Asheville Mystery Museum is housed.  Warren himself had a hand in creating some of the exhibits in this Museum, which explains why his ghost tour is the only one that seems to start here.  The Asheville Mystery Museum is not open all the time, so taking the tour is a great way to peer inside and uncover some of the mystery within. 

According to Cat Wilson, owner and one of the tour guides, “the tour is at least two hours. Included are a mix of local legends and haunted history that is researched and presented by locals.” Wear good walking shoes.  Downtown is contained in a small, easily navigated area - but there are a few challenging hills. The Pub Crawl leaves at 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and at 8 p.m. on Sunday evenings.  Book a Haunted Pub Crawl on another evening with a reservation. 

Many may ask, ‘Who Were the Ghosts of Asheville?’  These apparitions, seen walking or floating around town, were locals or visitors who either met their end in or near the buildings visited or had some association with them.  Some stories are tragic accounts of murders or accidents, while others chronicle the early, unexpected deaths of those who were not ready to leave – so they haunt the streets and taverns instead.

[caption id="attachment_813" align="alignleft" width="290"] The Vault is one of the bars visited on the Haunted Pub Crawl.[/caption]

Participants on the ghost tour visit four different bars: Barley’s, Hannah Flannigans, the Thirsty Monk and the Vault.  These buildings all date to the early 20th Century, during Asheville’s ‘gilded age.’ 

Wilson says, “The Haunted Pub Crawl is a great way to become familiar with Asheville’s ghoulish history and the frights and sights Downtown.”

The tour is a must for those who believe in ghosts and want to photograph them with a digital camera.  Joshua P. Warren is known for capturing all kinds of ghosts on digital cameras and recorders. 

Of course, some participants may just be curious about the town’s history and need an excuse to visit some of Asheville’s bars and sample some of the local craft brews available.  Whatever the motivation for attending, the Haunted Pub Crawl is sure to be a fun night out with lots of surprises. 

Reserve a cabin in Asheville that is just 10 minutes from downtown.