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Rochester Candlelight Ghost Walk 

A creepy, informative Halloween alternative for families

Spirits of the season

Too old for the pumpkin patch and too young for the grave? Check out Rochester Candlelight Ghost Walk tours, now in its third year.

My kids and I caught the "Ghosts of Mt. Hope" tour, conducted on the sidewalk alongside Mt.HopeCemetery. The experience was part traditional ghost walk and part ghost hunt. We heard stories of Rochesterians' encounters with the supernatural while visiting the cemetery and had a chance to try dowsing --- communicating with spirits via brass rods held loosely in each hand. Digital photography was encouraged to capture evidence of ghosts.

The informal, interactive atmosphere was a hit. "I liked all the stories, and I think it's cool I got a photo of an orb," said my 13-year-old, Mike.

"It was so incredibly amazing! I talked to two ghosts! They were male, and one had a crush on me," said 10-year-old Julia. She refused to leave without a $10 pair of dowsing rods. But if it keeps her from whining for a cell phone, it'll be money well spent.

Questions were welcomed on the tour. We learned that it's hard out there for a ghost. The modern embalming process breaks the attachment between spirit and body.

The tour ended with the tales of The White Lady and Rochester's Francis Tumblety, a prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. With kids on the tour, our guides adjusted the level of gore accordingly.

"Ghosts of Mt.Hope" departs Fridays through October 27 at 8:05 p.m. from the corner of Mt.Hope and Elmwood Avenues. "Spirits of Seabreeze" ghost walk departs Saturdays through October 28 at 8:05 p.m. from Shamrock Jack's, just south of Seabreeze amusement park. Tours end about 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 12 and under. Haunted dinners offered, too. Visit or call 259-6175.

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