Supernatural Saratoga

History Ghost Walks expose city's ghostly side

Mason Winfield leads History Ghost Walks through Saratoga Springs in August, September and October.

Mason Winfield leads History Ghost Walks through Saratoga Springs in August, September and October. Submitted photo

— You won’t see ghoulish figures or be terrified by eerie shrieks, but you will discover the spooky side of Saratoga Springs during a haunted History Ghost Walk lead by author, researcher and supernatural historian Mason Winfield.

“Saratoga Springs has a lot of famous people who come back as ghosts,” said Winfield.

For 90-minutes, Winfield leads ghost walkers on a trek through downtown Saratoga Springs, starting on Broadway and passing through Congress Park and surrounding streets.

“We [talk about] haunting sites, buildings and supernatural folklore relevant to Saratoga Springs,” said Winfield. “Most people seem to enjoy the tour; it’s quite popular and they like our mix of skepticism with our understanding of both local history and parapsychology.”

Winfield hasn’t always been a ghost walk tour guide. He’s always had an interest in ghosts but said it wasn’t until he left his job as an English teacher that he made it his life.

“I’ve always been interested in the subject of ghosts and paranormal but the decision to specialize in it was a career move,” said Winfield. “I needed to be economically sustaining … to set up as a ghost walk guy, I can get started right away.”

That was back in 1996, when he led his first ghost walk around East Aurora in western New York. In 1999, he brought the walks to Saratoga Springs and now Winfield balances western New York business with Saratoga business.

“When I realized how common supernatural folklore was in my home area, I decided that doing a ghost walk would be a great way to promote local history,” said Winfield. “I was shocked at the success. We have a number of employees [now] and are incorporated.”

He doesn’t claim to be an expert on the paranormal or to even know the truth about it. He said he’s not a “ghost hunter” like many people see on TV and he doesn’t go out searching for a paranormal experience.

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