Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Inc has opened a second location at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and will be launching a new tour route to start and end at that location beginning Friday.
Owner Amy Petulla said, “We are ready to take our ghost tours to the next level, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo is the perfect location for our expansion, both because it is now the place for entertainment downtown, and because of the awesome ghosts and amazing history of the area.
“One of my favorite ghost stories of the city is from the Choo Choo itself, and we stumbled across a really astonishing piece of history when searching for a ghost that was described in several of the shops directly across the street.”
The inaugural tour is set to begin this Friday at 9 pm.
While some spots for that night's tour are being held for media, a few spots will be available for purchase through the group's website.
Officials said, "While the tour does explore the famed entertainment complex, it will also venture out for tales about several ghosts in the surrounding neighborhood. It is possibly the easiest walk of any of our tours, flat with several stops within a short circular distance. Besides talking to the various businesses and doing extensive historical research, Ms. Petulla undertook some more unusual measures to prepare this tour, using ghost hunting equipment in one location, and bringing an established sensitive whose previous findings in other locations were subsequently backed up by research to several of the new stops.
"At one location, the management had told CGTI the name of one of their ghosts, and during the investigation there, the talking Ovilus gave that name not once but three times - despite the fact it had never given that name before in the eight years they have been using the equipment. At another location, believed to be haunted by dead KKK members angered at some of the content of the current shop, the sensitive could not figure out why she was overcome by a sick clammy feeling when standing next to a display aimed at children - until Ms. Petulla pointed out books two feet away about Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement."
CGTI opened in June 2007.
Though they started out simply meeting their guests at the Walnut Street Bridge, in 2013 they opened their first shop across the street from the Aquarium, sharing a building with Cheeburger Cheeburger. Shortly before celebrating their tenth anniversary, half that building collapsed and they were forced to move, finding a new home at 57 E 5th Street, in back of Time to Escape.
They have thrived in their “haunted steampunk” shop there, and received national awards in 2018, including awards for their Murder & Mayhem ghost tour route they started when they moved to the new location, and for their ghost HUNT investigations they began in 2011. They also continue to offer their original tour during Nightfall. Over the years, they have continuously brought new offerings to their guests, including collaborations with the Cycle Boats and with the Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley while those businesses were active.
The new tour route is appropriate for both children and adults, it was stated.