Ghosts of Christmas Past

Ghosts of Christmas Past. Ghost Specialty Tours by Boroughs of the Dead, NYC

Feel the dark magic of Yuletide

Nothing said “Christmas” in Victorian England like sitting around the fire telling ghost stories. But how did this tradition come to be? Was it all the work of Charles Dickens – or are there perhaps other factors that lend a ghostly magic to this darkest time of the year? Delve into the spooky side of Christmas folklore with Boroughs of the Dead and find out!

This special holiday tour will reveal the connections between “Christmas Ghosts” and New York City (whose patron saint is none other than St. Nicholas himself)! Discover the holiday’s connections to the Dutch colonists and, later, German immigrant communities. Marvel at the terrifying aspects of Yuletide folklore, replete with witches, werewolves, trolls and other monsters. Find out which famous New Yorker utilized Santa Claus as psychological warfare during the Civil War. Uncover the ways Washington Irving, John Pintard (a founder of the New-York Historical Society) and Clement Clarke Moore, all members of New York City’s 19th century “Knickerbocker” elite, changed the way we envision Christmas… and may have even influenced Dickens himself. And, because this is a Boroughs of the Dead tour, we’ll share some of our favorite local ghost stories with you in the true old Victorian tradition.

Feel the dark magic of Yuletide as we regale you with tales of ghosts, goblins, trolls, and spirits, and discover the truly tumultuous history of Christmas on this enchantingly unconventional holiday tour. Perfect for those who love the holidays, hate the holidays, or just want to add a dash of delicious fear to all that enforced cheer!

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Tour at a Glance
Start Location:

In front of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 131 East 10th St.

End Location:

Washington Square

Tour Duration:

90 minutes


1 miles

Tour Run Dates:


Important Information




Not currently open for booking, check back soon!

Important Information


  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Cash (or your preferred app, i.e. Venmo) if you want to tip your guide


  • Pets
  • Drugs and/or alcohol
  • Film/photography/recording equipment without prior permission


  • Tours run rain or shine, so dress appropriately for the weather! (See our advice here)
  • Wear comfortable shoes! Most of our tours are at least a mile in length.
  • In the event of extreme or severe weather conditions, this tour may be amended or postponed; if postponed you will be given a rain check to take another tour at your convenience.
  • There are no bathroom breaks or rest stops on the tour.
  • Tours start on time, so please try to get to the meeting point 15 minutes early to give yourself time to check in and get comfortable before the tour starts.