Ghost hunters heading for spooky festival in York

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GHOST-HUNTERS in York are being asked not to overdo it on spirits of a different kind when they take a look at the spooky side of the city’s pubs next month.

Free treks around haunted hostelries with tales of the unexpected to tell will be among the highlights of the fifth York Ghost Festival, which hopes to lift the lid on the paranormal world.

Organised by York-based Paranormal & Spectral Investigations (PSI), those taking part will be given leaflets at one of the city’s historic bars on four nights of the event and invited to follow a route around pubs with a ghostly heritage.

Founder and organiser Rachel Lacy – the city’s very own Ghost Finder General – hopes they will take a sober approach to finding out more about York’s famous haunted history during the festival, which takes place between Wednesday, October 29, and Tuesday, November 4.

“The events this year have been altered to reflect our commitment to keeping costs down for the public, so the walks will be free as we trial a set of new, self-guided routes,” Rachel said.

“It means people can go at their own pace and choose which pubs along the way they want to visit, before making their way to a final meeting point if they want to.

“But we obviously encourage responsible drinking, so we are reminding ghost-walkers that it isn’t compulsory to visit every pub or have an alcoholic drink in each of them, and we are printing this reminder at the bottom of the leaflets.

“They are also designed to follow different routes to existing ghost walks in York, as we’re not in competition with them. They are a brilliant idea, but we’re looking to concentrate on the historical rather than the theatrical.

“It’s all designed to be good fun – we don’t take it too seriously, but we won’t be jumping out and shouting ‘boo!’ at people!”

Members of group will also be on-hand along the routes to answer questions on York’s ghosts and other spooky matters.

The ghostly legacy of York’s pubs was illustrated once again this month when The Press revealed how unexplained phantom orbs had been captured on CCTV at the Light Horseman pub and hotel in Fulford Road, although this will not be on PSI’s route in order to keep walking distances down.

As well as the walks, the group will also stage spooky investigations over the weekend of the festival and host the York ParaConf gathering on Sunday, November 2, between 5pm and 9pm.

On Wednesday, November 5, the York ParaTalk pub meeting – a social evening for those intrigued by the paranormal, open to everybody – will return to the Tap & Spile in Monkgate.

The routes of the walks and venues for the other events will be announced nearer the festival. More information is available by phoning 07903 509216, emailing ghostfinder.general@gmail.com, or by logging on to www.yorkghostfestival.co.uk or www.psi-chicks.co.uk

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