September/October 2016 Cape Cod Life Magazine

Barnstable Haunted Tours—a nice paranormal night in the village

Cape Cod Life  /  September/October 2016 / , ,

Writer: Catherine Kierce

Barnstable Haunted Tours—a nice paranormal night in the village, Sept/Oct Cape Cod Life |

Interested in local history? Curious about the paranormal? Feeling brave? If so, consider joining a Barnstable Haunted Tour, which commence nightly at 7 p.m. in the village of Barnstable.

There are two tours available for families and groups, and another that’s tailored for couples. The Ghost Hunters Tour, held on Monday and Friday nights, brings participants on a three-hour adventure with professional ghost hunters. Along the way, the group investigates rumors of hauntings at a local cemetery, uses sensory equipment to detect paranormal activity, and visits and hears tales about The Crocker Tavern House, Barnstable Court House, “The House of 11 Ghosts,” and more.

The Haunted & History Tour, held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights, is a two-hour trek that focuses more on local “haunted” history than ghost hunting. The tour visits 10 locations, including Cobb’s Hill Cemetery, each with their own ghost stories to tell. Finally, the Love You To Death Tour is a private, 90-minute tour for couples, with content that’s heavy on lost love stories from the Revolutionary War era.

Tour guide Derek Bartlett of West Barnstable is president of the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society, and has been studying the paranormal for years; he founded Barnstable Haunted Tours in 2001. Chatting about his hobby with others years ago, Bartlett says people began to ask him to bring them around—and pretty soon he had a small business underway. Today, some 400 people take part in the tours each summer.

“The history and stories behind the locations and places is why we go,” Bartlett says. “On the last stop on our tour, we go into the oldest wooden jail in the United States. People have had to quit the tour then; they feel a presence brush up against them, touch them.”

Each of the tours begins at the U.S. Coast Guard Heritage Museum/Old Jail at 3353 Main Street (Route 6A) in Barnstable. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, visit, or call 508-241-1151.

This local restaurant is scary good!

At 3176 Main Street (Route 6A), The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern is a few blocks from the haunted tours’ starting point—and it’s a great place to enjoy lunch, dinner, or a drink beforehand. Try the restaurant’s award-winning Grilled Tavern Burger, and leave room for the molten chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and whipped cream. Note: it is said that a non-alcoholic spirit lurks in the dining room. 508-362-2355 — Rachel Walman

Catherine Kierce

A resident of Yarmouth Port, Catherine Kierce is a student at Salve Regina University, majoring in communications with minors in marketing and gender studies. A former editorial intern for Cape Cod Life Publications, she is currently working as the communications & outreach assistant at The Potter League for Animals in Newport, Rhode Island.