Behind the Scenes: Chattanooga

What it takes to open our tours in a new City

Hello! My name is Tim and I am the founder of Ghost City Tours. As we embark, and near finish, our journey to offer Ghost Tours in Chattanooga I figured I would share some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes into opening up our ghost tours in a new city, in this case, Chattanooga.

Here at Ghost City Tours, we have been going strong in Savannah for a few years. As we start to expand into other cities like we are doing with our Chattanooga Ghost Walks and Tours, we met many obstacles and challenges. Offering quality ghost tours in a new city isn’t an easy as it seems. I thought I would share with you a little of what is going on behind the scenes here at Ghost City Tours as we get ready to launch our Ghost Tours in Chattanooga.

What City Do We Offer Ghost Tours In?

This is the first question that had to be addressed when Ghost City Tours decided to add an additional city to Savannah and New Orleans. We were very picky.

We didn’t want to simply go into a new city with lots of tourism, yet very little history and hauntings. We won’t sacrifice our brand image as America’s number one Ghost Tour company to simply make a few bucks.

When I first visited Chattanooga I was very surprised at the History and Ghosts which seem to be all over Chattanooga. From the times of the Native Americans, all the way to modern-day Chattanooga, this area has always been rich in history. One of my favorite periods of time to study, the American Civil War, took a heavy toll on Chattanooga. Luckily, this history has also created a number of hauntings and ghost stories in Chattanooga.

I soon realized that Chattanooga is a perfect city to start offering our ghost tours in addition to Savannah.

And the Ghost Tour Planning Begins

After we selected Chattanooga as our second city to offer ghost tours in, the planning began. We had to research the ghost stories and history of Chattanooga.

We are well aware of the famous ghost stories and haunted location in Chattanooga, but we wanted more. Of course, on our Ghost Tours in Chattanooga, you’re going to hear about some of the more famous hauntings. The Read House Hotel is a perfect example of that. Any great ghost tour in Chattanooga should visit the Read House, or at least mention it. However, we wanted to dig deeper into the local lore, Chattanooga’s history, to uncover the ghost stories that nobody is talking about.

This process wasn’t as easy as it may seem. After all, most of the information about Chattanooga’s ghosts can be found online or in books, and other ghost tour companies in Chattanooga use this material. We didn’t want to simply replicate the ghost tours that are in Chattanooga, we needed the stories and history to make our ghost tours uniquely ours.

Then the Ghost Tour Route planning started. Once we had a number of haunted locations that we wanted to feature on our ghost tours we had to plot out the ghost tour routes. Once again, this isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Just go from one location to the next, right? Nope. While we are walking through Chattanooga on our ghost tours we want to stories to flow, to follow some logical path. The story you just heard, the location you just visited, needs to compliment the location you’re visiting next. Otherwise you just end up with a jumbled up ghost tour of Chattanooga.

While each individual ghost story must stand on its own, it must support a larger narrative, which is the ghost tour in its entirety.

Oh, We Need Some Ghost Tour Guides

This is probably the most challenging aspect of opening up ghost tours in any city, Chattanooga is no exception. We have been, and still are, interviewing a lot of people, searching for the right people for our Ghost Tours in Chattanooga.

When you’re taking a ghost tour, whether in Chattanooga or elsewhere, your tour guide is going to make or break your tour. It doesn’t matter if you are taken to the most amazing locations that Chattanooga has to offer if our guides suck the tour is going to suck. And we will absolutely not have that. So, after finding just the right person for the job we have to train them.

Not only do they need to be well-versed in the history and hauntings of each location we visit, they must know Chattanooga’s history as well. We want our ghost tour guides to be able to answer any question you have about the ghosts in Chattanooga.

The training doesn’t end there. We then have our new hires work with our guides in Savannah. Our Savannah ghost tour guides are some of the best in the World. Everyone coming to Savannah knows the names, Nicodemus, Skippy. They work with our new hires to help perfect their story touring, to be able to interact and engage our guests with the authority of a seasoned actor. That is how we are able to offer the top-notch ghost tours we offer.

We need a Ghost Tour website too, right?

Luckily, this is one area where Ghost City Tours absolutely crushes our competition. Tim, the founder of Ghost City Tours owned one of the largest web design and marketing companies on the East Coast for almost 10 years. He is still a certified Google partner and is a member of a number of SEO organizations. Without his guidance and know-how, Ghost City Tours could not be where they are today. Plus, it is always nice to know that we have Tim’s former employees ready to dig in and help with any project we need. Talk about lifesaving!

And then we Make Friends

Last but certainly not least, we have to go out into the community and start making friends. We work with area hotels and bed and breakfasts, restaurants and tourist attractions to help promote not only our ghost tours but the ghost tour companies we consider allies as well. In a city like Chattanooga, with such a rich haunted history, we need to work to get the word out about our Ghost Tours.

When you come to Savannah it is only natural you think about taking a ghost tour. After all, we are America’s most haunted city. But a city like Chattanooga doesn’t have quite the same reputation as a very haunted city. I don’t understand why. There are soo many great ghost stories and haunted locations in Chattanooga. This city should be much more well-known when it comes to ghosts and hauntings. By increasing the general public’s knowledge of Chattanooga’s haunted history, we also increase our customer based. So, it is win-win.

And Then We Launch!

By mid-June 2014 Ghost City Tours will be offering tickets for our ghost tours in Chattanooga. We will announce the exact date on our Facebook page. Even after we launch, the work doesn’t end. It actually seems like we have just begun. After we launch our Ghost Tours in Chattanooga we will always be working behind the scenes, providing additional training to our guides, modifying tour routes, researching new stories and haunted locations…and it goes on and on.

Interested in Joining one of our Ghost Tours in Chattanoga?

Excellent! We hope that you decide to join Ghost City Tours on a ghost tour the next time you’re in Chattanooga. You can always purchase tickets by calling our Office at 855-999-9026. We answer our phones between 9 am and 10 pm, CST. You can also purchase tickets online by clicking the link to the tour you want to take. You’ll see a huge ‘Buy Tickets Online’ button. You can’t miss it. And finally, I want to thank each guest who has ever taken a ghost tour with us. Without all of our passionate and loyal fans from all over the World, none of this is possible. Sincerely, thank you! So, while in Chattanooga, or any other city that we offer Ghost Tours in, we hope to see you on a ghost tour soon. Stay Haunted!