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Red Cloak Haunted History Tours opens in Bar Harbor

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BAR HARBOR - With the Halloween season only months away, Red Cloak Haunted History Tours has opened in Bar Harbor, with their iconic Ladies in the Red Cloak leading the lantern-lit walking tours.

Red Cloak Haunted History Tours is the largest company of its kind in Maine, with well-established tours in Bath, Wiscasset, Boothbay Harbor, Hallowell, Damariscotta, Rockland and Camden. The company opened in 2007, with Damariscotta as the first tour location.

'We plan our tours as adventures in discovery, with tales of haunts lacing through an emphasis on history,' said Sally Lobkowicz, director of Red Cloak Haunted History Tours. 'The greatest compliment we get is when residents tell us we've revealed local history to them that they never knew. Of course, we also appreciate the occasional gasps we get when we tell our ghost stories!'

Establishing the new Red Cloak Haunted History Tour in Bar Harbor began in September 2014, when Lobkowicz and Red Cloak Haunted History Tours Research Associate Greg Latimer spent several weeks visiting the area. 'People often ask where I get my stories from,' Lobkowicz said. 'It's from people who have first-hand knowledge of events and from archives that have tales lost in time and clutter.'

This type of research typically involves plenty of book and online work, but according to Lobkwicz, it is the personal interviews that usually provide the most compelling stories and are the most fun to investigate. 'Here in Bar Harbor, as well as many of our other locations, I often find myself at in-town areas going door-to-door asking folks, Do you have any ghosts around here?'' Lobkowicz said. 'The responses are always great, whether positive or negative, and it's a great way to introduce our tours to the town.'

Red Cloak Haunted History Tours had a 'soft opening' in Bar Harbor in July, and over 200 guests have already enjoyed lantern-lit walks through the back streets of in-town Bar Harbor to hear tales of local hauntings and the history behind them, according to Lobkowicz. The walks are short enough in distance for anyone to enjoy, limited to the in-town area and last approximately 60 to 90 minutes.

Local involvement is important to Lobkowicz, who is always seeking to ensure her tours ring true with residents as well as visitors. That is why Lobkowicz always seeks to hire local residents as Associate Ladies in the Red Cloak to lead the tours. 'We were very fortunate to find two qualified applicants, both residents of Bar Harbor, to join Red Cloak Haunted History Tours as Associates,' Lobkowicz said. 'First, there's a sense of local pride when the stories are told by someone who is already emotionally invested in the area. Secondly our guests are, of course, curious about haunts and history; but they often need information on local dining and other activities, and locals are always the best source for that.'

Another advantage with local Associates is that the frequency of tours can be enhanced. With two Associate Ladies in the Red Cloak in Bar Harbor, tours are available six nights a week, Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 7 p.m. The tours are by reservation only through (207) 380-3806, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or www.redcloakhauntedhistorytours.com. Questions about the tours, and ghost stories about Bar Harbor, are always welcome. Red Cloak Haunted History Tours will run through October, with special events planned for the Halloween season.

Caption for Attached Photo: Sally Lobkowicz, director of Haunted History Tours clad as the 'Lady in the Red Cloak.' Red Cloak Haunted History Tours recently opened in Bar Harbor.

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