Thursday, August 12, 2010

Haunted happenings

Ghost trails are big business in Prague with the city's Old Town streets and alleys providing the perfect backdrop for tales of haunted happenings. Prague is 'besieged' by infamous spirits and, according to some locals, it has the dubious distinction of being the most haunted city in Europe. There are walking tours aplenty and whether or not we made the right decision, we opted for McGee's Ghost Tours of Prague. Maybe the name McGee's should have rung the warning bell - sounds like an Irish comedy doesn't it? At the appointed hour, layered with our thermals and thicker than thick coats, we ventured out into the Old Town Square for our arranged meeting with the Man with the Red Umbrella. As fate would have it, we were the only two crazy enough to wander the city streets in the freezing cold at night in search of paranormal activity. I admit it would have been difficult to get into the spirit (pardon the pun) of things when there are only two observers on the ghoulish adventure but the ghost hunter was witty and enthusiastic, much to our surprise. The fact that he was an American ghost hunter took the gloss of the experience a little - I think it would have been more tantalising had he spewed forth his narrative with a strong Czech accent. At 9pm, from our meeting place under the Astronomical Clock, we ventured forth to explore "the darker side of Prague" following our ghost hunter's lantern as he lead the way down narrow lanes, twisting corridors and passages that lead to nowhere, past ancient structures, haunted churches and legendary theatres that have "birthed many of Hollywood's monsters". Our American ghost hunter and paranormal investigator spoke of mass executions, homicidal thieves, and Gothic creatures whetting our apetite for as many gruesome tales that he could dish up. Check out for a full rundown of his "bone chillin' ride". We took this tour in the middle of an icey Prague winter...perhaps in summer the tour is packed, but I rather liked having this wicked gent all to ourselves.

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