If you think tours are just not your thing, or you’re tired of the same old boring city tours, Twisted History Tours might just change your mind. As haunted historian and Port Townsend local Grymm explains, “We are not your typical history tour company.”
And that’s a major understatement.
Not only do participants learn about the town’s history, “but also the debauchery, the crime and the mayhem the area was once known for. Then we talk about some of the ghosts who apparently inhabit buildings in town,” he recently told the Peninsula Daily News.
Twisted History Tours offers a variety of tours in Port Townsend as well as Astoria and Portland, Oregon, and we wanted to find out more. In this week’s “Faces of the Northwest,” we’re proud to introduce you to this very unique Northwest attraction.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
We are not your typical history tour company. We specialize in stories of death, crime, mayhem, debauchery, and prostitution! My team truly believes that it takes more than stories of past weddings and social galas that make up the flavor of a community. We want the people that take our tours to walk away with a view of the city that reflects the past. Via haunted history walks, private events, story nights and writing, we highlight the twisted history of the community. Our Haunted History tours take about 1.5 hours and cover a broad range of stories of unfortunate, humorous, and downright strange. For those that enjoy storytelling, try out our story nights called Tales and Ales. Join Grymm, our local haunted historian at a local brewery called Propolis as he regales you with some the lesser known facts about the town and those who called it home.
Do you have any insider tips?
The best time to take the walking tours of town would be in the evening. We offer 8 pm and 10 pm tours nightly. If those times do not work out for you, we can always set up a private tour just for you and your party. If you are staying in a local hotel be sure to check out the in-room guide or other local publications for possible coupons, discounts, and other special offerings.
Grymm himself explains more…
How did you get started in the business?
We have not always been a twisted tour company. We actually started out as a pedal taxi business, touring couples around the streets of Port Townsend showing them all the wonderful buildings and homes. Each ride through town was more than just a ride, but a small history tour as well. Many people, while sitting in the back of the pedal taxi would ask questions about hauntings and soon, our peddle master Grymm, started offering walking tours as it was much easier to walk folks through the city as there was not enough room on the pedal taxi for the number of people that wanted to learn the past tales of town. Over the years, Gussy and Grymm have hired some amazing researchers and added to the stories that have entertained over 1000 guests in 2016 alone.
Is there something about Twisted History Tours that not everyone knows?
One of the unique aspects of our company is our staff. Grymm, our lead haunted historian has a love for history and the strange. Gussy, the creative force behind not just the history tours, but our special events as well, has been involved in theater most of her life. When she was not performing on stage herself, she was running children theaters and workshops, and that really lends to the total feel of each of our events. Most all of our staff fall into the category of performing artists in some way. Be it through theater or singing they very much love walking the streets entertaining the crowds, but they truly shine when given an opportunity to participate in one of our many private events or special offerings.
When you have a day off, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Northwest?
(Grymm explains) Gussy and I love to explore. There are so many things to see in the Northwest. Even though we stay busy with our business, we always take one day a week to explore something new. All of our free time focused on creating adventures for our 7-year-old daughter that includes travel to a destination in the region. Our little one is an aspiring video blogger and wants to start a blog dedicated to travel for children. After each adventure, she writes about it in her journal and sometime this summer her online blog will be going live: Adventures with Nevaeh.
If you had to describe what you love about the Northwest in 3 words, what would you choose?
Always something new.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know?
I think the biggest thing we want people to know is during the year we offer special events. Paranormal Insights, classes on different subjects, and workshops. Our favorite event of the year is a book release party hosted by us every October for a group of New York Times best-selliauthors that have written a series of historical romance books based in Port Townsend. Every year they come to PT with a bunch of their more dedicated fans and we throw a 3-day party in celebration of the book release.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.