My husband, Christian, and I have been to Mystic, CT numerous times. In fact, you have probably seen me write about our trips down there a few times in the last year alone. We only live about an hour and fifteen minutes away, so while it’s still relatively close to where we live, it’s just far enough that it makes for a perfect weekend getaway spot.
Last weekend we found ourselves in Mystic yet again and had a chance to go on the Seaside Shadows Haunted Tour one of the nights. If you are a regular around here, you know that I a
m obsessed with love walking ghost tours. They combine two of my favorite things in one – history and paranormal activity. Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get much better than that.
**Disclosure: My husband and I received complimentary tickets to this tour thanks to my friends at Mystic Country. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way!
As I said, I have been in Mystic many times, but I had no idea that this community had such a dark past. I loved hearing the spooky stories as we strolled through downtown Mystic by lantern light.
The tour met on the sidewalk by the Mystic River Park (near the drawbridge). Once the tour started at 7 pm, we all headed over to the Park’s boardwalk to start the tour. It was there that the tour guide, Courtney McInvale Reardon, told us a little bit about herself. In addition to being a Connecticut native herself, she is a sensitive and has been connecting with the other side for many years. She also told us about her experiences growing up in a haunted house which was actually investigated by the famous Warren family.
All the stories on the Seaside Shadows Haunted Tour are factual and were researched thoroughly by Courtney and her team. While many of the stories we were told were based on historic events or even in some cases folklore, a few of the stories that she told us took place in recent times at several local eating establishments and can be verified by the staff that works there presently.
Like I mentioned earlier, Mystic has seen its share of tragic events over the years. One story that really stuck me was about the “Mystic Massacre.” During this horrific event, 700 Pequot Indians (mostly women and children) were burned alive by white settlers who wanted their land.
Along the tour we learned about the Mystic Pig Man and we stopped outside several buildings (Factory Square) which house a few popular restaurants hearing accounts of ghostly encounters that the staff and customers have had. Courtney also told us the story of the giggling ghost of Mystic which restaurant she visits….
And she told the story of local ghost who left footprints on the floor of a well known establishment…
If you’re concerned about the fact that this is a walking tour, fret not. The 90-ish minute tour is under a mile and it’s not a tough walk by any means. The tour didn’t end where it began, but it was not far from the starting point.
It was pretty obvious from the get go that Courtney really loves what she does. I have been on many of these kinds of tours over the years and you can tell when the guide is just giving the tour because it’s their job. Totally not the case with Courtney. In addition to being a great speaker, she provided us with an extremely informative tour, she was funny and was not shy at all about sharing her own personal experiences with the paranormal as well as other’s she knew of. I really enjoyed hearing her stories.
Robert, who is a Revolutionary War re-enactor, is also a tour guide with Seaside Shadows, and he was with our group the night we took the tour.
Tours run from April through November and start at 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. I mentioned earlier that the tour met at the Mystic River Park, but you will find Courtney on the Cottrell St. side. Tickets can be purchased through the website, www.seasideshadows.com or if you decide to go spur of the moment, there are walk up tickets available, but on a limited basis. Trust me, it’s no fun when there are 432,533 people on a tour like this, so they try to keep it manageable.
Tickets are $18 purchased in advance April through September and $20 at walk-up April through September. October tickets for high season are a bit higher and are $20 purchased in advance and $22 at walk-up. After November 1st — for the remainder of November prices resume to be $18 per person in advance and $20 per person at walk-up.
FYI, this tour is not recommended for children under the age of 13.
Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, or just want to hear some history of the area, the Seaside Shadows Haunted Tour is a great way to spend some time while you’re in Mystic. Bring your camera because photographs are highly encouraged. And if you do take the tour, just remember to show up with an open mind and your walking shoes.