Niagara-on-the-Lake’s famous Ghost Walks are up and running again, offering a spooky time in “Canada’s most haunted town.”
Daniel Cumerlato, owner of Ghost Walks, said it’s nice to be back in business.
“I’m definitely relieved that the shop is back open and the tours are going. However, it’s, of course, still a struggle to get people to come out and take the tour,” he said Tuesday.
It’s understandable that people are worried to go out, but that the tours are taking every precaution to keep guests safe, he said.
“We keep the tours very small within the gathering limits and we’re doing correct social distancing and offering masks for sale, hand sanitizer and all that stuff,” he said.
“But I think people are still a little hesitant to do touristy things.”
He said masks are not mandatory, since it’s outside and distancing is easy, but he does “highly recommended” wearing one.
The groups are currently limited to 10 people.
He said so far people have been abiding by the rules.
David Green, a local comedian and one of the tour’s hosts, took his first group out for the season on Sunday.
“ 'Twas fun getting back in the saddle,” said Green, who plays a character called Sir Bob during the tours.
“It was a private walk with a group who have been on my walk, no joke, over 12 times over the years — ghost groupies — so it was fun to hang with them.”
He said the route has changed a bit to help with social distancing.
“We had a blast together and they all live together so (they) didn’t need to distance but standard procedure for the tours for now is social distancing.”
He said one thing that wasn’t so nice was the number of discarded masks “littering the streets.”
Green provides some background information on Sir Bob.
“When I first started 10 years ago my first few groups chose it as a joke and it just stuck. Guests from my first year gifted me my walking stick that I still use to this day,” he said.
“Each guide has a unique style and personality but Sir Bob is definitely the joker of the group — although I try to maintain the spooky vibe and just use jokes at the beginning and end of each stop.”
Cumerlato said the tours will be resuming every night in July with at least one group going out.
He said the tours are operating with a limited crew.
A few of his tour guides who are “highly susceptible” to COVID haven't returned yet, “but most of the team has come back.”
Business has been slower than usual, but he's confident things will pick up.
“It’s just a matter of the town itself being so quiet right now and not a lot of bookings coming in.”