'Tis the season of ghost and goblins and Maggie O’Neill is out to visit some local ones with her “Into the Mystic” ghost tours in Beach Haven.
A popular weekly event during the summer, O’Neill will lead Halloween tours this Friday (10/25) and next Monday through Wednesday (10/28-30).
“We are encouraging costumes for the ones next week,” she said.
The tours will begin and end at the LBI Historical Museum at 129 Engleside Ave. “The Historical Association was gracious enough to invite me to use their building, which is a perfect location,” she said.
People have time to tour the museum as tickets are being sold and a portion of the proceeds go back to the museum, added O’Neill.
Local history is intertwined throughout the spirit search, said O’Neill. “We head down to Dock Road, which was where all the boats and ferries came in from the train station on the Mainland, long before there was a Causeway.”
The tour stops at The Gables, now a bed and breakfast and restaurant, as well many of the other Victorian homes in town.
Are there really ghosts?
O’Neill, an avid hunter, who has been on ghost tours around the world, thinks so.
“I could have hosted this anywhere on the island, but Beach Haven is the most walkable location for this type of activity,” she added.
She said she researched the island’s afterlife population for a year before launching the tours in the summer of 2009.
O’Neill would not give away any of the locations or identities of the ghosts, but said she and those on the tour have had several strong indications at three locations. “I keep trying to gather more information on them and add it to the tour,” she said.
A new addition to the tours this year are “ghosthunting” applications for smart phones that claim to pick up EVP’s (electronic voice projections). then show the words on the screen, or detect afterlife energy and colorfully display it.
“I have two on my phone and many of the participants do as well,” she said adding about one third of her clientele are avid hunters, along with children and those just looking for something different to try while on a beach vacation.
“Sometimes the parents just lay back and the kids surround me as I walk with my lantern telling ghost stories. They love it,” she said.
Reservations are required for the tours which cost $15 for
adults and $8 for children. Call O’Neill
at 609-709-1425 to reserve or for more information.
Tours begin at 7 p.m. nightly (weather permitting) and run about 90 minutes.
Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.
Flashlights are also permitted.
Private tours for groups of 10 are more are also available through November. Call for details.