Spirited Fun: Ghost hunters reveal some of the liveliest places in their cities

These lively haunts may not be spooky, but they’re certainly fun
Station Street

Photograph courtesy of Chattanooga Choo Choo

Amy Petulla
Owner, Chattanooga Ghost Tours

“Our new office is at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, and that side of town has really gotten to be a hot and happening place. There are a lot of entertainment venues, like the Comedy Catch, Escape Experience, and Gate 11 Distillery. Station Street runs right next to the Choo Choo; it’s one of only two streets in Tennessee where you’re allowed to have open containers, which draws a crowd of tourists and locals alike.”

Sidney Smith
Owner/Operator, Haunted History Tours, New Orleans

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop is the oldest bar in New Orleans and has a huge amount of ghost and vampire history. I go there if I’m taking out-of-towners into the French Quarter. Its dark, candlelit interior takes you back to the 1700s when it was originally built. With a piano bar inside and a patio bar, it’s always pretty crowded.”

Photograph courtesy of Ripley's

Charlie Hanneman
Ghost Tour Manager, Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventure, St. Augustine

“One really cool place to hang out is Aviles Street. It’s the oldest street in America, and they’ve got a bunch of art galleries, a wine bar, restaurants, some thrift stores, and museums. The street’s also a major hub for the city’s art walk that takes place on the first Friday of each month. It’s fun, free, and some of the galleries even serve wine.”

Andrew Kuhn
Tour Guide Manager, Charleston Ghost Tours, Charleston

“One of my favorite spots is the Blind Tiger Pub. Like the speakeasies in Chicago during Prohibition, Charleston had “blind tigers.” Customers paid for a ticket to see a mythical beast, like a blind tiger, which allowed them to enter and drink. It’s a fun place that has good food and a little bit of history. My favorite cocktail is the Carpetbagger.”

Photograph courtesy of D. Paul Graham

Shannon Scott
CEO, Shannon Scott Tours, Savannah

“The Wyld Dock Bar is a really interesting place where you can ride your boat up and eat. They have a patio with an oyster-shucking bar, and in the fall and winter, people hang out around the fire pit. It’s got the most beautiful view on the water in Savannah—period. Incredible food, too. I order the fish tacos made with swordfish and cooked in banana leaves.”

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Southbound.