(July 3, 2020) The Chesapeake Ghosts Tours has resumed its tours in Ocean City and Berlin for the seventh year.
“I started the tours because I wrote a book about the haunted Eastern Shore, and I did a Facebook page for it. It was just very, very popular,” said Mindie Burgoyne, owner and founder of the touring company and author of the “Haunted Shore” series.
After more than a year of declining requests to do tours, Burgoyne finally decided to respond to the local demand.
“We were very successful right off because of that demand,” she added. “There’s nothing like it. There really aren’t any regular weekly tours on the shore.”
With a limited staff, more than half of the ghost walk tours have been discontinued this year.
“We are in 11 towns, but we’re only doing four towns right now,” Burgoyne said. “That’s Ocean City and Berlin and then St. Michael’s and Cambridge.”
Also because of covid-19, the tour groups are limited to 10 people, including the tour guide.
“People that came together can stand together, but they have to socially distance at least six feet from any other group [on the tour],” said Burgoyne. “They just have to stand apart from each other, and they’re willing to do that, but the guide has to kind of manage that.
“And if the governor’s orders lift and allow us to do more than 10 people, then we’ll start expanding as the demand grows,” Burgoyne continued. “We’ll open up our other towns, and we’ll go back to doing it how we used to.”
Typically, each tour group has 20-25 people, she said.
Masks are not required because the tours are outdoors, but participants are invited to wear masks if it makes them more comfortable.
The Ocean City Ghost Walk includes stops such as the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, Trimper’s Rides, The Crying Indian and the Plim Plaza.
Burgoyne added that the properties vary per tour.
The nighttime 1.5-mile walk runs between the inlet and Fourth Street in the historic district.
One walk begins at the Ocean City Life-saving Station Museum at the southern end of the Boardwalk and the other starts at Shenanigans on Fourth Street. They are the same tour but in opposite directions.
“It’s a great storytelling experience,” Burgoyne said. “It’s a great visitor experience. It’s something different they can do.”
The Berlin Ghost Walk is also about 1.5 miles.
While standing outside properties, such as the Atlantic Hotel, St. Paul’s Graveyard and the Calvin B. Taylor Bank, haunting stories are recounted and unexplained events are shared.
Sightings on the town’s Main Street include the famous Ned France and a soldier in uniform walking near Pitts Street, according to the Chesapeake Ghosts website.
In addition, the Atlantic Hotel reportedly has five ghost stories associated with it and ghostly activity is said to occur at the establishment.
The walking tours begin at the Atlantic Hotel on North Main Street.
“One of the reasons our tours are so successful is because the haunted places, those people are very, very good to us,” Burgoyne said. “They’re good partners. They also help with mentioning the tours.”
Participants are encouraged to bring a flashlight, camera and an umbrella in case of rain.
Each tour is at least an hour, so tour organizers advise participants to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
The tours are set to continue through November as long as the governor permits them.
Advanced registration is required.
Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 8-12.
“We had to increase the price because we had to decrease the volume,” Burgoyne said.
For more information about the tour schedules and registration, visit chesapeakeghosts.com.