26 October to 2 November 2018: Half-term holiday week

With a reputation as the most haunted city in Europe, but as spectral sightings are often unpredictable, Visit York and The York Dungeon have joined forces to create a tantalising twilight trail of glowing ghosts around the city, with phantasmagorically good prizes for those finding them all!

The family-friendly trail is available all day, but the magic hour – when the ghosts really glow in the dark - takes place ‘twixt dusk and night (5pm–7pm) – the perfect time for aspiring ghost hunters to explore York’s myriad cobbled streets, snickleways and ancient thoroughfares.  In total, 26 illuminated ghost lamps will be hidden in windows across the city.  An accompanying Ghost Search Map will be available for collection from Visit York’s Visitor Information Centre, located at 1 Museum Street, or for download from www.visityork.org/haunted  All correctly completed trails will be entered into a prize draw to win a family Merlin Annual Pass. 

“York is incredibly atmospheric as night falls, and with ‘secret’ snickleways revealing hidden parts of the city, it is the perfect place to stir the young imagination,” comments Paul Whiting, head of Visit York.  “Our Great York Ghost Search is the perfect early evening introduction to the city’s paranormal-offering, preparing visitors for either a spinetingling stroll on one of our many ghost walks, hopping aboard a Ghost Bus Tour, or sampling the spirits in one of our haunted hostelries.”

Additionally, 400 mini ceramic ghosts will be specially hidden in nooks and crannies and other fiendishly clever locations along the search route free to keep by children who find them.  New for 2018 are 50 special-edition ‘orange’ mini-ghosts.  Anyone lucky enough to find one of these will receive a family ticket to The York Dungeon valid for one year. For those not lucky enough to find a mini-ghost during their search, a selection of 300 pieces will be available to purchase in the Visitor Information Centre.

For 2018, the trail has been ‘taken over’ by one of York’s attractions that promises scares (and laughs) below ground level throughout daylight hours every day!  The York Dungeon in Clifford Street has a fiendishly-good reputation from bringing some of the spookier and most chilling stories from York’s colourful history to life, with 10 live shows highlighting murky parts of 2,000 years of the city’s history.  Special late-night opening is planned for the October half-term week, including adult-only tours.

“We’re immensely proud of being found in Europe’s most Haunted City, and we love every opportunity to spread the scares at Halloween!  And by being a part of the Ghost Search, we can make sure that families can explore the sites of York, before experiencing its scarier side at The York Dungeon,” comments Simon Alnaimi, marketing executive at The York Dungeon.

The search is being co-ordinated by Angus McArthur, owner of Snowhome, Gillygate, and Make It York, in partnership with York College.  The ghost lamps have been designed by local designers and artists in York.  Students at the ceramics department of York College have made the 700 bespoke mini ghosts for the Great York Ghost Search.

“We are really looking forward to working on the second Great York Ghost Search.  You won’t be able to take part in a ghost search like this one anywhere else in the world - it’s a one-of-a-kind event which provides some old-fashioned family fun around the hauntingly atmospheric old streets of York, with some special additions and prizes,” says Angus McArthur, owner of Snowhome.

The Great York Ghost Search joins a host of Halloween themed activities planned in and around York for late October, including York Maze’s award-winning Halloween and the award-winning Hallowscream activities.  Successful ghost hunters can share their eerie images on social media via #HauntedYork and @visityork.  For more details, please visit www.visityork.org/haunted


For further media information or photographs, please contact:
Jay Commins
Pyper York Limited
Tel:         01904 500698
Email:    jay@pyperyork.co.uk

Notes to Editor

Artists taking part
Becky Ridstall
Catherine Boyne Whitelegg
Jack Casling
Pica Studios
Owen Turner USD
Rainbow Ceramics
Jane Scaffer
Zosia Olenska
Anna Cook
Bang Hair
Mass Architecture
Paul Heaney
Alison Hardcastle
Spray Creative
Sarah Raphael Balme
Genius + Me
David Semple
Art of Protest
Ippuku Tea House
Katherine Semple
Paragon Creative
York Dungeon
York St John University
York College
York schools

About Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs

*Data is sourced from the annual Economic Impact Survey using the Cambridge Model – (one of the standard tourism models, the other being STEAM), using Visit York’s locally collected data from the Annual Visitor Survey as inputs.