Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roswell Ghost Tour: Spirit Crawl

So last Saturday night, Northside Foods Amalgamated Industries experienced the first "Spirit Crawl" hosted by the Roswell Ghost Tour. What's a Spirit Crawl? It's a ghost tour, but with booze. How can this go wrong? (Hint: It doesn't!)

Roswell Ghost Tour "Spirits with Spirits"
Spooky old building? Or trendy new
Southern eatery? I'm so confused!
Before I get into reviewing the crawl itself, let me preface this by saying I'm not a believer in ghosts. I'm an "interested skeptic". I like hearing the history that goes with old buildings and feeling that creepy-cool shiver you get when you hear a scary story, but ghosts aren't a thing with me. That said, the Roswell Ghost Tour is one of my favorite local attractions and one I highly recommend. I've been on it multiple times and never had a bad experience. I like that they research and document their featured hauntings thoroughly before featuring them and never tell a story they don't have permission for. Even if I don't believe myself, I can respect someone that puts this kind of time and attention into creating a worthwhile experience.

So the Ghost Tour recently received permission from the owners of The Mill Kitchen and Bar to add their building to the tour. If you didn't know, that gorgeous stone building across the street from Barrington Hall used to be a funeral parlor throughout most of the twentieth century. The business has moved to Mansell road, leaving the building empty. Mimosa Salon on the lower level? Used to be where the corpses would get done up. The beautiful glass enclosed dining room? Used to be the portico where the hearse parked. The building has a fascinating history and it's no wonder it's thought to be haunted. The previous owner of Pico Autentico/Relish wasn't interested in any negative publicity from ghost investigators, so the building has only recently been added to the ghost tour.

For the spirit crawl, we were offered three flights along with the tour: beer, wine and specialty cocktails. All were provided by The Mill and served on the premises. You started the tour at the Square, where all Roswell Ghost tours begin, and walked over to the restaurant and upstairs to the private dining room where the beers were served. After that, we walked to Bulloch Hall and heard the stories associated with that house and the nearby Mimosa Hall. For the second leg, we went upstairs in The Mill again and enjoyed our tastings of wine while one of the restaurant employees told us about her personal experiences with the buildings ghosts. Afterwards, we walked over to Founders Cemetery, The Bricks and "The Creepy House", which is exactly as advertised. We ended at The Mill's bar, where we were served our cocktails.

Roswell Ghost Tour "Spirits with Spirits"
This is the oldest example of townhouse architecture
in the United States. And it's haunted. 
All in all, it was a good tour. It took about twice as long as a regular ghost tour, so if they offer it again, be ready for a late night. Our guide, Beth, was friendly and knowledgeable and kept things moving along at a good pace. The drinks themselves didn't wow me much. Everything was good, but not great. The tastings felt a little rushed to me, I found myself having to quickly gulp a glass of wine I was enjoying so I could leave with the group. Maybe next time they can truncate the tour a bit to give you more time to enjoy the drinks? Either way, it was a really nice way to spend a fall evening. If they offer this tour again, I'd recommend it. If they offer it again, but this time featuring another restaurant on the Square, I'd go on it again.

I took a bunch of photos with my phone, including some with the coveted "orbs" that are supposed to indicate a haunting. You can check them all out here.

Like my poorly lit iPhone pictures? I'm on Flickr now! And you can like me on Facebook!

No comments: