York’s Original Ghost Walk Marks Half a Century
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York’s Original Ghost Walk Marks Half a Century

The ghost walks, believed to be the first of its kind globally, have inspired similar attractions nationally and internationally.

Established in 1973 by Peter Broadhead and Jon Mitchell, the company was acquired by Mark Graham in 1987.

Reflecting on the early days of the tour, Mark commented: “It was a simple idea to make history entertaining for children.

“It was an original concept that just kept evolving.”

The ghost walk has directly influenced similar tours in Italy, America, Australia, Oslo, and Amsterdam, and has also impacted the “thriving night scene” across the country, according to Mark.

He stated: “The goal has always been to showcase the city in its best light and to share the stories of its inhabitants with care and respect.

“It’s quite an achievement.

“Going almost every night of the year, we could not have succeeded without the dedicated team of guides and the valuable support of families and friends.

“This loving support and advice provided the confidence, resilience, and determination to sustain the business for so many years.”

To have continued entertaining and educating thousands of visitors, schools, and private parties for so long, innovation and storytelling have been fundamental to their approach.

Mark explained that the team of experienced guides is constantly building on the original work that founded the company: “Ghost stories are like a big jigsaw puzzle that you piece together

“Many of the famous stories about Roman soldiers have evolved as we’ve gained more knowledge.”

In addition to their own research, the current tour is also informed by the community they have built over time. Mark added: “We’ll have people from far and wide join our tour and then months later call us with their own stories.”

Expressing gratitude to those who laid the groundwork for the tour’s success, Mark said: “Special thoughts go out to the late Peter Broadhead for the original vision and the late Jon Mitchell for his in-depth investigations on which some of our tales are based.”

The tours continue to take place every night at 8pm, meeting at King’s Arms or Ouse bridge. Visitors do not need to book and only need to show up, with admission costing £7.50 for adults and £5 for children and students.