In honor of Halloween, TripAdvisor.com established a list of the 10 best haunted tours in the United States. For the next 10 days I’ll be showing you the tours and giving you some advice on what to do in the area.
The Original Ghost Tours of Catalina
Catalina Island, California
Above is the Catherine Hotel, rumored to be one of the most haunted sites on Catalina Island. It’s one of the many sites you’ll see on this hour long walking tour of the island. According to Tripadvisor.com, “Travelers can enjoy the eerie ambiance of Avalon, a small village that was established above a burial ground, on this spine-tingling tour. The ghost of Zane Gray, a local legend of Catalina, has been seen enjoying a cigarette along the Via Casino walkway; when approached, he disappears – leaving behind a thick cloud of smoke.”
Past tour guests say that not only does the tour include talk of ghosts and spirits but that it is also a great way to find out the history of Catalina and Avalon. They also suggest wearing comfy shoes and bringing a camera to catch any spirits that might manifest during your tour. The tour guides are interactive and guests give rave reviews for Constance, Michael and Johnny Vargas. One of the many highlights of the tour include the EMF meters offered to each guest. An EMF meter is a scientific instrument for measuring electromagnetic fields that many people believe signify the presence of a ghost. The tours are consistently rated as the #1 attraction on Catalina and run daily with a low price of $15 for adults and $10 for those under 12.
Another guest of the tour tells of his encounter with the supernatural, “There is a restaurant that has an apparition on film is called The Portafino. They said anytime you dine there to ask to see the photo and the chef will bring it out. We took our chances and although we did not dine we asked anyway (maybe it was because I was with 2 cute kids – who could resist). In less than 3 minutes they brought out the photo. It was taken by someone who was having a wedding. When she got her film developed there was an image of a gentleman wearing a tie next to her wedding cake! I told the tour guide to get a copy of this on their site ASAP as this will truly turn a non believer into a believer.”
Enjoy the Town Around the Tour
The restaurant that guest was speaking of is the Ristorante Villa Portofino. It’s a great place to dine during your stay on the island and guests give rave reviews for the seafood and pasta, especially the Cioppino.
While you’re on the island, consider staying at the highly rated Avalon Hotel. They feature ocean-view rooms and free transport from the dock to the hotel. While the hotel is on the pricier side, you’ll find that the island itself is a very upscale location and high prices are not out of ordinary. For the cost, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic ocean-view rooftop to eat your continental breakfast on in the morning and the best of mattresses to sleep on at night.
Another spot to visit is the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens. From the website, “The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr.” who is the same man who started the company that produces Wrigley gum. When he died, a memorial using local goods and items was made in his honor. His life later expanded the idea to include a botanical garden and today the area features nearly 40 acres of native California plant life.
So if you’re ever in the Catalina, California area, remember to go for the ghosts but stay for the beautiful scenic views and the wonderful seafood of the area. And be sure to check back tomorrow for #9 on the Best Haunted Ghost Tours in the United States.