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Walk if You Dare!

A walking ghost tour led by Karen Altieri and Gary Cook.

If on a hot and humid day, a cool breeze suddenly floats by you, it might be that you were touched by something supernatural. For believers in the afterlife, a cool breeze is often times a sign there is a ghost nearby.

If you are interested in discovering the parallel world of Island ghosts, you can find Karen Altieri and Gary Cook armed with lanterns near Edgartown Books on Tuesday nights, ready to give a walking ghost tour of Edgartown.

"I’m the skeptic, and Gary is the believer," she said. "But tonight, I’m teetering."

Altieri admits this is the first time she had admitted that she is a ghost agnostic.

“Come with us if you dare," she said, as she carried a lighted lantern down the brick sidewalks of town.

The first stop is the building, where, she said, a negative vortex surrounds the area.

Some of the negativity can be explained by when the was being built. There were Indian remains that “were not treated very nicely,” resulting in a negative atmosphere.

She and Gary proceed to tell stories about the Gazette, as well as the tale of a girl in a white dress lying in a bed of roses.

Nearly 25 people cross the street to the to hear the tales of women crying in the courtyard, as well as a black dog, the size of a calf, seen running out of the bushes once by an employee of the church.

“We had a black cat follow us last night,” Altieri said. “We cannot hire cats.”

As the group files into the church, the sun sets on the longest day of the year, and the energy remains high.

Cameras flash inside the church as Altieri’s voice echoes throughout, telling the tale of a woman who loved singing Christmas carols in German, especially in August.

In front of one Edgartown house, Cook and Altieri paused to explain that six children were buried in the front lawn. Nearby, in an unmarked grave were the parents.

“Some of the oldest remains on the island,” Altieri said.

A previous tenant of the house didn’t seem to have much trouble living in the house, Altieri explained. However, Simon their Siamese cat did not do well, described as possessed.

“But they do have kitty Prozac,” Altieri said.

With small tales sandwiched between main stops on the tour, the group approached a large Chinese pagoda tree, given by Captain Thomas Milton in 1837 according to the plaque nearby.

The tour concluded with the tale of the sexiest ghost of Edgartown.

Find out who is the sexiest ghost of Edgartown, every Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m., departing from . Tour Oak Bluffs on Mondays, departing from the . Or tour  Vineyard Haven on Thursdays, departing from .

$10 per adult; children ages 8 and under, $5. June 14-October 19.

Private tours are also available in the off-season.

dogged July 11, 2011 at 05:13 PM
I know it's just a coincidence with the "WALK IF YOU DARE" headline but with the young woman hit in a crosswalk the other day, it's just bad timing. Interesting piece, just bad timing for the headline. Thoughts are with all that involved.
Beverly July 30, 2011 at 01:30 PM
We showed up Tuesday July 26 along with ten other people. It was lightly raining but everyone was carrying an umbrella. The tour guides were No Show. Someone in the group called and the tour guide claimed she had come to the bookstore and no one was there so she left. We were there five minutes before tour time and when we arrived prospective customers had already gathered, one saying she had called the tour operator earlier and was assured the tour would take place regardless of the very light rain. As for my family we rushed through dinner to get there on time only to be disappointed. This is no way to run a business. If you are considering taking this tour perhaps you should be prepared with a Plan B just in case you get the shaft like we did. Incidentally the person from our group who called stated the group was willing to wait for the tour person to arrive and that offer was rejected.
Jessica July 10, 2012 at 08:57 PM
We took a private tour in Edgartown last week. Our tour guides were late arriving, they bickered with each other the whole time, they didn't know the stories they were telling us very well, and one of them wanted to leave early. It was a terrible and boring experience.

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