Ventura's Got Spirit (and Many Ghost Tours)

The historic city has a wraith-seeking walk for just about every sort of phantom fan.

THE SPECTER OF TIME: The decades change a whole plethora of things about our lives, our cities, and the way we do things, but we might expect that ghosts, as a topic, are left generally alone. After all, visitors from the Other Side are believed to be fairly timeless, or at least unconcerned with our human clock-watching and trend-following and tide-turning. This, however, isn't always so, at least when it comes to the venerable concept of the ghost tour.

WALKS TO SEEK OUT WRAITHS, or at least to share fascinating stories of citizens who've moved to another plane, have been around for a good long time, and people have likely been doing it informally, with friends and family, well, forever. But group strolls around city are newer than that, though not too new. And back in the day? Even if a city had a ghost tour, it was likely the only one, or one of the few. Cable, however, and the internet has stoked a new wave of intrepid ghost searchers, and phantom fans, so tours have gotten more varied, more plentiful, and more juicy, by and large. Look to Ventura, that historic burg that is rife with a certain spirited atmosphere come sundown on a fall night. The area has long hosted ghost tours, but you may be delighted to learn how much your choices have grown, as to what sort of tour you seek. Want to take a peek, ghostians?

THERE ARE MANY... to choose from this autumn. If you've always wanted to poke about an adobe from the middle of the 19th century, sign up for the Ortega Ghost Hunt on Oct. 30. And Victorian Ventura gets its shivery due on Nov. 8. Want to put your hands on the whole phantomy flier? It's right here, seekers of spirits.

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