St. Louis is teeming with ghosts, some claim -- granted, we are approaching the Halloween month, so the city is packed with haunted houses, the self-guided chambers of horror ripe for the teenage crowd -- but we're talking about the real thing. This confluence of rivers has witnessed all manner of horrors, from Indian raids to the abuses of eccentric families, and all those bad vibrations have forever shackled spirits to the Mississippi Valley. So for the thrill-seekers and the schadenfreude subscribers, there's Ghostride Tours' Haunted Historical Tours.
Ghostride ferries you from the Arch garage at Laclede's Landing to places like St. Louis' old cemeteries, all the while filling you with wine and dark tales of macabre history. Yes, we said wine -- these tours are for grownups ($40 per person). There are also dinner tours for $52; they meet October 30 and 31 at Al Smith's Feasting Fox (4200 South Grand Boulevard), where you can brave the Bavarian Hot Brown, a sandwich not for the faint of heart.
Just how haunted is St. Louis? Well, the whole river-bend area is said by many "experts" to be inundated with furious spirits chained to this mortal coil. Madness, suicide, murder -- the cobblestones of old St. Louis were stained with blood, apparently. And we regret having to put quotes around experts, but some of us are stained with unbelief. For those of you in the same boat, the tours are a great look at the region's history, which can be just as chilling as a cold spot in a house or screams from a locked room. There are three October Ghostride tours to choose from: the general tour, departing at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; the Spirits of the Civil War tour on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. (October 17 and 24 only); and the Cemetery History and Symbolism tour on Saturdays at 2 p.m. (and Sunday, October 3 and 10, at 2 p.m.). Call 314-849-3211 or 618-451-2381 for tickets, and visit www.ghostridetours.com for more info.