The middle of August is upon us, and the summer heat continues to encroach on our mountain town. It is hard to believe that fall is just around the corner, and with fall comes changing leaves, hot cocoa, cool nights, bonfires, and scary stories. As Halloween approaches, interest in haunted houses, ghost tours, and all things spooky is on the rise. Asheville has a handful of haunted tours, including walking tours with well known ghost hunter Joshua P Warren, that are sure to delight you or your friends. This September, get ready for a new tour in town – a Dark Ride Tour.Dark Ride Tours is putting a unique spin on your traditional ghost tour, offering a truly fun and scary time for all involved. The star of the show is Lenore, a 1972 classic Cadillac hearse – correction – a 1972 classic haunted Cadillac hearse. Your host Virgil Nightshade will regale you with his knowledge of the dead, while his assistant Charon will serve as the chauffeur during your ghostly ride.
Dark Ride Tours offers several different tour options to tickle your spine and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The Haunted Graveyard Tour takes you through Riverside Cemetery before the sun sets. Spirits On The River takes you along the banks of the French Broad, from the old Craggy Prison to the Church of the Redeemer, looking for the mysterious woman in white who glides from the church steps into the frigid waters of the river at moonlight. For those craving a more spontaneous journey, Lenore will appear at Lexington Avenue Brewery, Highland Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, and Public School. If you see the hearse appear, don’t worry it’s not your beer talking – you can jump in for a thirty minute impromptu tour.Pets and food are not allowed while being a passenger of the haunted hearse, but drinks are allowed as long as they are opened and consumed while in transit. Virgil Nightshade assures us that each tour is a unique and terrifying experience. While ghostly encounters at each of the visiting locations is not a guarantee, your hosts are confident you will have several spooky experiences. During her time as a ferry for Charon over the river Styx, Lenore has transported hundreds of bodies to their final resting place, and some of the souls have lingered, continuing to enjoy her plush interior. Those that do remain like to appear whenever they so desire, so you are most assuredly going to encounter some form of ghostly being during your time with Virgil, Charon, and Lenore.
Dark Ride Tours kicks things off in Asheville this September, so if you see a hearse outside of Lexington Avenue Brewery, don’t be concerned. It’s only the Dark Ride crew collecting their next batch of victims. Keep your eyes open for an official announcement from Virgil and Charon, and get ready to hop inside Asheville’s haunted hearse.