Are you afraid of the dark? Us too! That doesn’t stop us wanting to go on one of these spooky ghost tours in Canterbury. I caught up with John from Canterbury Ghost Tours about their fantastically scary tours, their great customer service and their fascinating history.
1) Please explain your journey as ‘Canterbury Ghost Tour’ so far.
My journey started when I was 13 at school in Goudhurst, I was at a private school which I hated and ran away more often than I stayed. On the last night I intended to run away with my best friend but on the night he missed the meeting and I went back to bed. He came to my bedside and said we had to go, I argued and he left on his own, the next morning I was informed by my housemaster that he had been killed some 10 miles from our school at the precisely the time he and I had argued. I had seen a ghost. From then on I was convinced that I could see spirits. I have been operating in the city of Canterbury every Friday & Saturday night since 1995 and have never missed a tour in all that time.
The best parts of working for myself, is if it’s a lovely sunny day I can get out and enjoy it, and at night I can do my day job. Every customer is a new friend to make.
I love talking to people about their own ghostly experiences and it always pleases me to read a glowing review of my tour, it means I may have changed an attitude on the way.
2) What differentiates your company from others?
My tour is based entirely on my own research and from garnering information directly from residents of the city that have experienced the paranormal in their own home. So it’s all first had experiences.
I always try to interact with my customers learning a little about where they are from and relating to their own area, I have travelled extensively in England and the world and picked up many strange tales along the way.
My tour is on all year, all weathers. Many of my competitors are only offering their tours during the summer or just around Halloween.
3) Do you have any exclusive information you can share with us?
I have regularly experienced the cold hand of the paranormal on my tours; many visitors have also felt the feelings of dread and misfortune, only last week an audience member fainted as I described the demise of one resident, and how the spiritual activity still affects current residents.
I have been running the tours since 1995 and have never missed a tour – making me one of the most reliable and longest running ghost tours in the UK, I have also published a book ‘Haunted Canterbury’ and appeared on National Television on several occasions to promote the city and my tour.
4) Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you’d like to tell us about?
In 2001 I started to work with partners in the city to allow meals to be included for a supplementary fee, these have proved so popular with groups that I can now offer them with a discount to couples and smaller groups. The tour and Meal Package allows customers to make a whole evening of it, after the tour relaxing in the knowledge that it’s all sorted in advance from pre-orders drinks and even a taxi booked for their return journey to the hotel.
I have expanded and contracted the tours over the years, I still offer (for group bookings) tours of Whitstable, Faversham, and Broadstairs.
5) What would you say is your most frequently asked question?
I am regularly asked “if it’s raining is it still on?” Yes is the resounding answer – the show must go on.
“Can we bring our dog?” – Yes well behaved dogs are always most welcomed
“Is the tour wheelchair friendly?” – Yes all on city streets
“Will I see a ghost?” – I can’t guarantee you will but then I can’t guarantee you will not…