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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Barcelona’s ghoulish ghost tours
Barcelona Ghost Tours
It is a dark, damp October evening, the air lies heavy with fog and I find myself loitering nervously on the Plaça Reial for a man I have been previously acquainted with only by name. Nervously, because this is exactly the sort of climatic condition and location for the set of a classical horror movie (Ancient, labyrinth-esque alleyways? Check. Isolated, gloomy and cold? Check. They didn’t film Perfume here for nothing…). And with a name like Tyler McGee, I’m not entirely convinced that a spritely, clover-clad Irishman jubilantly guiding me through the Gothic quarter (as he clarifies the nuances of eighth century witchcraft and bloodshed) would be up to the job.
After all, a Ghost tour is of pretty heavy-going calibre, requiring a guide of sufficient heft to lead us through the Barrio Gotic’s “dark and twisting corridors,” – protecting us from the ghouls of years-past. Thankfully then, a moment before my imagination persuades me that it would be better for everyone if I just forgot this nonsense and went home (who you calling chicken?), an immense, encaped shadow befalls me and I am thrown into darkness but for a single lantern. Tyler McGee, or Ty, is exactly the sort of imposing figure that really cuts the mustard to chaperone you around Barcelona’s most ancient, haunted enclaves. What a relief.
Today there are only four of us, and Ty illuminates the dark, winding alleys, swooping around corners as his cape billows behind, dramatically pausing to draw our attention skywards towards the city’s antique gargoyles, demons, lions, tigers and bears – Oh my!, in a way that it is so captivating that the past literally bursts into life before our very eyes. Curious onlookers are drawn to the drama and I imagine him as the Pied Piper of Barcelona as we gather new additions to the group and delve ever deeper into the depths of the Gothic quarter.
He skillfully guides us through the original myths and legends of Catalunya – “Who knows if they’re true….?,” – and reveals multifarious, shocking truths of the city’s brutal past in the very locations they originally transpire with humour and finesse. It is a spine-tingling experience and as we are invited to ghost-hunt for images of paranormal activity in some of the city’s most notorious areas (details only to be revealed on the tour, I’m afraid), I find myself wondering what would have become of me if I´d had a history teacher like him at school.
Before we know it, the hour is over and Ty leads us onto C/Escudellers for a warming, post-tour drink. Expecting a piece de resistance – an ancient, underground bodega, perhaps? A warming Vermut in a medieval hole-in-the-wall? – the scruffy Irish pub is a little disappointing (maybe more-so for the snobbier British/Irish among us – “I didn’t come to Barcelona to go to the pub”) but admittedly the economic prices do cater to all, and it’s a relaxing, sociable end to the experience. All in all, I come away feeling enlightened thanks to Tyler McGee’s expert knowledge and would thoroughly recommend the tour for anyone with more than a fleeting interest in scratching below the surface of Barcelona’s rich and murky past.
Barcelona Ghost Tours leave Plaça Reial nightly at 21:00, between the fountain of Plaça Reial and Las Ramblas.
[...] go bump in the night (in keeping with tradition, of course), check out Barcelona’s theatrical Ghost Tours for an insight into the city’s dark and spooky past and the opportunity to visit some of [...]
October 25th, 2011 at 14:57, posted by Destination BCN Apartments – News and Views on Barcelona » …how do you like your halloween?