Meet our ghosts

The big news came out last Wednesday. On Thursday at 4pm, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island would be revealing a digital online Ghost Tour of Olde Amherstburg.

Now, ghosts around here aren’t necessarily new. The cemetery on Texas Road has long been rumoured as being haunted.

It didn’t make this list but many of the buildings downtown did.

A couple of very important events happened here that would make it ideally attractive to suspect ghosts.

I was lucky. The tour itself is in downtown Amherstburg where Jaimie and I walk every evening! So, I loaded the app and we were off!

There were lots of places to explore in a short area of the downtown.

Off we went, and checked out the areas.

Each of the areas provide you with images and an audio story behind what you’re seeing. The images came from the Marsh Historical Collection. The stories are interesting and the presentation gives you a virtual 3D walk through in some of the locations.

But, the winners were the actual ghost images that you can summon. Instructions are to step back as they appear — it was then that we realized that we weren’t alone. Some of the images were from Dalhousie Street so it is good advice to look around you because you could end up in the middle of the street. There were a number of people backing up while looking at their phone on this cold evening.

Near the Park House, we found this ghostly resident

The ghost was scarier on my phone as it wasn’t a static image but a shimmering figure that gave it a 3D effect. There were a number of these images that also included a downtown gallows.

At the foot of Richmond Street, another one…

It was fun exploring and I was able to continue from at home although since it uses GPS, I had to start out from at home each time.

If you download the image or visit the website, you’ll see that there are a number of tours. While ours is free, some of the Toronto ones are pay to use. I guess our ghosts work for free.

When you launch the application for the first time, there is a huge terms of use reading; the biggest I’ve ever seen. Because it’s using GPS, you’re warned up front that they’re collecting location data. Their list of partners give you a sense that your data is safe. (Canada Media Fund, Government of Canada, Ontario Creates and FACTOR)

The whole activity brought back memories of a workshop that I used to offer a number of times for our district and I’m sure that I’ve done it for other events like the RCAC Symposium or ECOO Conference.

The workshop was a virtual tour of your school. I found out that the Plant Department had 8.5 x 11 floor maps for every school in the system. Since my office was right next to theirs, it was a short walk to go over and get photocopies of them all. In the workshop, we would scan them and bring them into Hyperstudio as a background. Then, we would overlay a hotspot on the various classrooms and link them to a separate Hyperstudio card where information about the class, pictures, and even movies taken by the schools RCA Small Wonder camera. GPS wasn’t an option at that time but it would be interesting to redo this project and use location generated from the phone. I’m stumped though at how to create the 3D ghosts.

It was a wonderful experience to go through the downtown and get some more history about our very historic town.


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