Ghost Tours, Haunted Tours, or Spirited Walking Tours – the popularity of these guided walks throughout cities has grown and for one good reason: it’s a fun way to learn about the history, architecture and yes, even hauntings in whatever town you’re visiting.
The second great reason? Many walking tours are pet friendly. Dogs especially love walking in packs, including my crazy little terrier back when he had the energy and focus. (Standing still and listening to long stories, not so much).
The best pet-friendly ghost tours, in my view, keep you moving a bit longer than keep you standing, and are well-researched. The ghosts you can believe or not, but the historical facts of who, what and when happened at a specific spot – well, that’s got to be bang on for me.
Where can I take my dog on a ghost tour or walking tour in North America?
Granted, some city ghost tours don’t allow dogs because the tours go into buildings, travel via shuttle or because ‘some people are afraid of dogs.’ The latter is one reason I’ve been given by a company. (Afraid of dogs? But not ghosts?) Other companies allow dogs on select tours or times, and even others host ‘bring your dog’ fundraisers for local rescues. Whoot! Whoot!
Considering how much I love spending a few hours strolling through the city I’m visiting and listing to tall tales of spiteful spirits, I’m surprised I only took my precious pup and fearless travel companion (who I sadly Iost July 13, 2020) on four tours – but that’s four memorable ones.
Find out if your city offers Haunted Walking tours then take your dog along – often. Some in smaller towns only run at select times, but it’s a fun way to learn history – and get doggie exercise and socialization too.
Check out the dog-friendly Haunted Walking Tours we’ve pawed along – then please recommend your own in the comments below!
1. Toronto Distillery District Haunted Tour
A tour with The Haunted Walks of Toronto was the first time I took my dog Victor on a walking tour and he did ok, but like most tours didn’t stand too long for stories (like a kid). But the busy Distillery District in Toronto, Ontario lined with cobblestone proved amply fodder for doggie approved smells and distractions, along with stories about gangsters and gunrunners who made this former whisky producing hub a not-so safe harbour during 20th century prohibition.
2. Haunted Hunstville Ghost Tour
Easily one of my favourite city walking tours, and one of the longest, we covered a lot of ground on the downtown Hunstville, Alabama paranormal tour, and that’s just how my high energy pup liked it. At the time, before his second ACL injury or dementia, he was raring to go and might have tracked a ghost or two along the way himself.
3. Ottawa Haunted Walks
Unfortunately, this would be the last walking tour I took with my beloved Victor – he half walked it, half strollered it. (Check out our dog stroller here – affiliate link). It was late on a hot summer day and a lot to ask of my aging guy, but for others the downtown Ottawa Haunted Walks is an easy way to see the historic buildings of Canada’s capital city and hear some tall tales too.
Wagging tails are welcome but will likely howl at the Guard House along the Rideau Canal because that’s the most haunted spot. This company offers Haunted Tours in Toronto and Kingston too.
4. Creepy Caledonia
We did this local Creepy Caledonia tour when Victor was younger and energetic – he loved being part of a pack and exploring some hometown haunts familiar to him, and I loved learning about our town from a new perspective. Creepy Caledonia runs sporadically throughout the fall, usually in conjunction with the town’s fall fair (not dog-friendly).
TRAVEL GUIDE: Haunted Walks runs ghost tours and events in Kingston, Ottawa, and Toronto. In the fall of 2020, the company is offering ‘bubble tours’ in each city limiting participation to 12. Tours are outdoors – downtown Ottawa, the Distillery District and U of T in Toronto.
Haunted Walks is also offering unique at home events – Virtual Haunted Campfires is online ghost stories on Oct. 27, 2020 (Battlefield Ghosts) and Oct. 29 (Canada from Ghost to Ghost) at 7:30 pm EST. $10 per household.
Also, if your family is really creepy (and whose isn’t?), sign up for The Haunting at Home online audio and search for evidence of the paranormal in your own home. $34.99.