With the month of October upon us, we started reminiscing of all the things we like to do during this time of year…pull out the fall boots and accessories, visit the pumpkin patches, make anything containing butternut squash, and prepare for Halloween. Living in Zurich doesn’t give us many opportunities to dress up and go trick-or-treating with the kids…but we found the perfect adult activity for a little ghostly scare!
Ladies, meet Dan Dent our sinister guide from Ghost Walk of Zurich. Dan is a veteran street entertainer and magician who will spook you with tales of historic executions, tragic suicides and frightful murders. Beginning and ending at Paradeplatz, learn about the gruesome and hair-raising tales of our ‘quaint and cozy’ Zurich. The 70-minute tour is a bargain at only CHF 15 / adult and reservations are not required so go ahead, before you chicken out!
ZuriGirl sat down with Dan at Paradeplatz to uncover the human side behind all the ghostly stories. We received a very interesting perspective from the man himself…and especially for our ZuriGirl readers, we are giving away 2 Complimentary Tickets to the Ghost Walk of Zurich. Visit our Facebook page at Girlfriend Guide to Zurich for entry details!
ZuriGirl: How did you discover Zurich’s Haunted Past?
Dan Dent: It took a great deal of research and it was not very easy at all. My best resources came in the form of old, historical books sold at antique shops and flea markets around the city. There are some rather interesting historical facts I share during the Ghost Walk…you are getting much more than a history lesson though, there are some creepy facts around our city!
ZuriGirl: If after Thursday’s tour we are hungry for more thrills, can we attend Friday’s tour for more scary tales?
Dan Dent: Most definitely! Essentially, the tour contains the same stories each day, but each group is different and we always have a great time. I like to feed off the crowd…for a more conservative bunch, the jokes between the tales are pretty mild, but if it’s a rather boisterous crowd I like to play a bit more to keep it interesting. There are some more thrilling stories that will make it into the tour as soon as I can nail down all the facts…my favorite is the story of a bar in Niederdorf that still puts out a bottle of wine once a year for their respected spirit!
ZuriGirl: Which is your favorite story to tell?
Dan Dent: We are all familiar with the Rathausbrücke…but not many know that this very bridge once crumbled due to the weight of hundreds of people who were swept into the Limmat River and drowned to their death. Some locals to this day will not cross the ‘Gemüsebrücke’ as it was historically named in honor of the flower, vegetable and fish market that once stood there…look up and notice architectural carvings on the Rathaus playing homage to history.
ZuriGirl: Which ghost story is most relevant to modern-day Zurich?
Dan Dent: I recently realized it is not a coincidence that Knabenschiessen falls on the weekend of 11 September – the Feastday of Zurich’s patron saints, St. Felix & Regula. Historical accounts suggest the martyred brother and sister, along with their servant Exuperantius, were captured and martyred near Zurich’s Wasserkirche on the Limmat River. After their beheading, they miraculously stood to their feet, pick up their own heads and carried them 40 paces and prayed prior to lying down in death…this very spot is now the Grossmünster church.
ZuriGirl: Do you tend to have more tourists or locals on the Ghost Walk?
Dan Dent: The tour is popular among those visiting Zurich as tourists, but frankly, there are mostly locals on the tour. I cater to corporate outings often, when I think about the list, I’ve worked with a lot of the big companies in Zurich for private tours and people are already planning their holiday outings with the Ghost Walk of Zurich.
ZuriGirl: When you are not out chasing ghosts, what do you do with your time?
Dan Dent: Being a ‘Hausmann’, I spend most of my time looking after my two children, Matilda aged 5 (tomorrow) and Gabriel aged 3. I’m very lucky that my hobby is also my profession; magic and street performance. I’m constantly inventing, scripting and rehearsing new magic effects and routines. When I can, I try to attend as many magic conventions and lectures as possible. Most importantly, what I do would not be possible without all the hard work and support of my Swiss wife, Nicole.
Curious for more before the tour? Check out this great video created by www.swissinfo.ch
The Ghost Walk of Zurich
Frighteningly Fun…Dan Dent, a veteran street entertainer and magician will spook you with tales of historic executions, tragic suicides and frightful murders. Beginning and ending at Paradeplatz, learn about the gruesome and hair-raising tales of your “quaint and cozy” Zurich. The 70-minute tour is a bargain at only CHF 15 / adult and reservations are not required so go ahead, before you chicken out!
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