Friday, August 10, 2007
"Hi, would you like to join us on a ghost walk tonight?"
Another one of those, "If I only had a dollar for every time someone asked me that!"
They're everywhere. And idiots pay good money to walk along with them, some believeing every word spoken like it was the Gospel itself. There are haunted bus rides, ghost walking tours, haunted carriage rides, etc. Some of them even let you take along their 'spectro-analysis' equipment, so that you can experience the presence of the spirits as you pass. I personally have experienced several types of spirits as I've passed through Gettysburg. Mine have been the kind that come from a bottle, not the types that roam the streets. Though, those in search of the type that roam the streets can cause one to consider heavy drinking.
They wouldn't be so awful bad except for a few things. First, and foremost, they get in their little (sometimes large) groups and act like they own the town. As the tour leader is babbling about ghosts, with the entire audience hanging on his or her every word, they don't realize that they are hogging the whole sidewalk. I challenge you to walk past one of the groups on the weekend without having to walk into the street to get around them!
Secondly, as the group crosses the streets, they have no problem taking their good old time, blocking traffic in each direction as they go. News Flash: Gettysburg has enough traffic! We don't need to back it up even more by having to wait for these fools. You want to cross the street? Fine. Wait your turn like everyone else, and when your turn comes, do it quickly!
Third, they have no respect for private property! If you live in one of the so-called 'haunted' buildings along the tour route, don't expect to be able to plant flowers and so forth in front of your house. They'll inevitably get stepped on! Do expect kids to be climbing on your porch railings, and also, don't plan on leaving your windows open and getting a peaceful, refreshing blast of fresh air. These idiots have no problem standing right outside your window, babbling their BS!
There's a younger girl who sells tickets for one of these fiascos personified. She hangs out in the area of the Regimental Quartermaster on Steinwehr. 14 out of 18 days, I've walked past her, and 14 times she asked me if I'd like to come along. Finally, after a string of 5 in a row, she now only just says "Hi!", but doesn't waste either of our times asking me to come along. Guess she finally got the picture!
Now, I know we've all told ghost stories, and I know for families with kids, this is a great way to keep them entertained. I don't wish to see the ghost tours banned entirely. I do wish to see some regulations, so that every "Joe-Bozo and his brother" doesn't come along and set up shop to get their piece of the pie.
And, speaking of pictures, look at those I posted. Is this really what we want the town of Gettysburg to come to or be remembered as? Are we honoring the sacrifice of those who fought so bravely and gave so much by putting blow-up ghosts and skeleton statues along the streets of the town where it happened? I think we owe them all more than a bit more, and I think the proprietors of such establishments should hang their heads in same, after they've finished counting their money, of course!