Because I have a healthy fascination for anything paranormal, and because I had an itch to do something different, I went down to Old Town Alexandria in Virginia and went on a “Ghost Tour.” It was the 4th of July weekend, and the entire town was in the midst of the Independence Day celebration, including the patriotic decor, store offerings, and crowds. I thought I was going to drive into the Potomac River before I reached the only one-way road where I could turn to find the parking garage!
The tour itself was thoroughly entertaining. Appropriate for all ages, the tour offered a healthy dose of local history, which was a good thing to a new Virginia transplant such as me. I felt sympathy for the tour guide, dressed in colonial clothing from the 1700s in July, but to his credit, he hid any discomfort well. Even with the tri-pointed had he wore. With his colonial-era lantern and messenger bag from which he produced occasional show-and-tell items, the guide provided a pretty good illustration for the ghost stories we learned.
We were entertained with stories of Victor of Market Street, who was hanged after pushing his good-looking self onto one young girl too many-who ended up on the wrong side of the whole life-and-death spectrum. We learned of the Unnamed Stranger who died inexplicably at the same pub George Washington frequented.
A few stories and stops later, the guide escorted us into the historic cemetery, on the property of a historic church where every president of the United States but two has visited. The guide ended the tour with the story of rebel soldiers whose graves had been moved to a separate location in the cemetery because their friends and family could not stand the thought of their remains’ final resting places intermingled with those of the “Damn Yankees.” Instead of a joke about Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw, however, he made a crack about Derek Jeeter. I guess the younger crowd would identify more with the New York Yankees than the long-haired rock band over a decade in the past.
There’s no accounting for taste!