When my editor suggested I try out a new activity that was out of my comfort zone, I was filled with excitement as the possibilities were endless. However, I settled for something practical and not too expensive, the Ghost Walk through the lanes of Brighton cost £8 per adult (the walk becomes cheaper for students, children and senior citizens).
The Ghost Walk runs Tuesday through to Saturday, all year round, (excluding Christmas and New Year, also running 7 nights a week throughout August) starting at 7.30pm outside the Druid’s Head, Brighton Place.
I was slightly apprehensive about taking part in the Ghost Walk, as I am usually scared easily and can’t sleep for a week after watching a horror film. However I took part at the end of September with a few friends, dark skies quickly flooded over Brighton which added an eerie atmosphere to the evening and the weather was satisfying.
At 7.25pm, we waited outside the Druid’s Head; all anticipating what lay in wait for us, a large group of tourists gathered outside the pub. A few minutes later, a tall man dressed in Victorian finery headed towards us carrying an antique bell and a briefcase, bursting at the seams. We paid our money and headed to the first stop on the walk.
The bell that this man had been holding when he arrived, was now ringing as we made our way through the lanes, this carried on throughout the evening, constantly ringing when we walked which became irritating very quickly, and brought us some sense of embarrassment as everyone stared as we walked past the shops and bars.
Arriving at our first destination, Brighton Old Town Hall, after less than a minutes’ walk, it quickly became apparent that our guide, Rob, was an “actor” and the whole experience would be a theatrical farce. Rob attempted to keep the audience engaged by interacting with us, though sometimes the interaction turned into a pantomime, if our sound effects weren’t loud enough. Rob would respond with ‘oh that was terrible’ or ‘make some effort’. I found this to be a little too theatrical.
Our walk was largely made up of German students, who seemed to struggle with the English language and therefore mostly talked amongst themselves, which became distracting for all involved; despite this Rob carried on, keeping in character-staying very animated and very friendly.
At our second destination, the Old Steine, It became apparent that the bulging briefcase was used to store props, Rob used them enthusiastically to demonstrate “ghastly murders” which were meant to bring each “terrifying” story to life, but for me, the props seemed pointless and made the experience seem a joke.
The ghost stories told were in no way terrifying, the only thing slightly captivating was the animation of Rob’s voice and body movements that were used when they were told. We did not experience any supernatural occurrences that were suggested. However the historical content of the walk was interesting, I certainly learnt something about the town I live in, it is just a shame I wasn’t spooked as well!
If you are looking for something to terrify you, this certainly isn’t worth spending £8 on, but if you have young kids (I’d say about aged 10) that you need to entertain for just over an hour and they like an adventure, then this would be a great experience, unless they are scared easily.
Admittedly some of the stories are gruesome, and potentially horrifying but the theatricality of the experience as a whole, turns it into a farce.