Brooklynites may not be afraid of no ghosts, but they are certainly intrigued by them.
Boroughs of the Dead, a locally owned tour company devoted to dark and unusual walking tours of New York City, has brought its haunted stories and spots to Brooklyn with its Haunted Brooklyn Heights Tour.
Owner and founder of the Boroughs of the Dead Andrea Janes explained how she brought the chills and thrills to Brooklyn. “We started the Brooklyn Heights tour in our second year of business because I always intended to expand beyond tours in Manhattan,” she said. “The neighborhood was a logical choice for our first Brooklyn neighborhood tour because it’s one of the oldest settled parts of Brooklyn and we all know that where there’s history, there are ghosts. I’d love to expand into more Brooklyn neighborhoods eventually.”
As a result, many locals have taken the tour. “We get more locals on this tour than just about any other except our Astoria tour, which also attracts a lot of neighborhood residents,” she added. “New Yorkers in general really support our tours, and I think people love to learn stories about their own neighborhoods.”
The company states that it hires and support artists, writers, historians and museum educators, like-minded in the mission and goals of sharing the strange, dark, and unusual stories of our city with both locals and visitors. “Many of our guides are writers either by profession or passion,” Janes said. “We know how to tell ghost and horror stories, as both fans and authors of weird and Gothic fiction. We only ever use licensed guides.”
Given its unusual niche, the activity offers something different for the borough. “I really think our guides bring a lot of the uniqueness to it,” she added. “Currently one other guide and I conduct the tour, and we’re both research-obsessed, so every time we hear any ghostly or macabre stories about the neighborhood, we file them away and add them to the tour. Because our research is ongoing, and because it’s enriched by the stories locals tell us on the tour, we have some amazing material that’s always evolving.”
The tour, which lasts near two hours, features stops at the site of a former “ghost-haunted” fort, with the guide telling the story of what occurred there, as well as mystery houses, and a fan favorite, the former home of horror master H.P, Lovecraft.
“People get a kick out of hearing a haunted story about the site where Trader Joe’s now stands,” she said. “Our H.P. Lovecraft stop is always fun for fans, and everybody loves hearing maritime ghost stories and creepy tales about the Brooklyn Bridge on the Promenade, because who doesn’t love a stroll on the promenade?”
Although each borough has its unique stories and tours, Brooklyn Heights offers a special experience. “This tour is uniquely beautiful due to its amazing and beautifully preserved architecture and gorgeous harbor views,” Janes said.
The tour begins at Court Street and Atlantic Avenue. Attendees then head north through the Heights and go along the Promenade, with the tour ending at Court Street and Montague Street. “I can’t give away too much about the individual stops,” Janes added. “You’ll have to take the tour to find out.”
The final tour of the summer is on Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. The meeting point is the northwest corner of Court Street and Pacific Street. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information, visit www.boroughsofthedead.com.