12th annual NoDa Ghosts & Legends Tour is back on Oct. 16

Ever wonder if your house sits on top of an old burial ground? There are quite a few of them in NoDa.

Could you have sworn you have seen a ghostly silhouette of a mill worker walking the grounds of Highland Park Mill #3? Perhaps you’ve even smelled smoke shortly after he disappears? Count yourself one of many.

Is there a reason walking the railroad tracks at night is super creepy? And is it really because of the multiple ghosts that traverse it, shoulder to shoulder with you? Yes. Most definitely yes.

Maybe none of these questions or occurrences has ever happened to you. But they have happened to your neighbors.

All of these tales, and more, have happened right here in our little neighborhood. The Back in the Day History Committee has researched stories, interviewed people who have lived here for generations, and simply listened to your own ghost stories over the years. We’ve compiled the best of them into walking tours of the neighborhood.

That’s right, it’s time for our 12th Annual NoDa Ghosts & Legends Walking Tour. We’re back for a full night in person and outdoors after a tropical storm we affectionately call “Hurricane Evan” in 2019 cut our tours short, and after the pandemic moved us to a mostly virtual tour in 2020.

We offer a different route each year, so you will be guaranteed to hear something new even if you’ve been on any of our past tours. Some of the basics, in case you aren’t familiar with our excursions:

Who: Back in the Day History Committee, along with the hundreds of ghosts, spirits, and legends that still hang out in NoDa. And YOU, of course.

What: Walking tour of the neighborhood. Don’t worry about special shoes, however. We stick to city streets and will not be going over any rough terrain. Tours last approximately one hour.

When: One night only on Saturday, Oct. 16. Tours will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run nonstop until the last tour leaves around 10:45 p.m. No joke. We’ll have tours leaving around every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait around too long for the next one to start.

Where: We will be setting up our table around Jack Beagles, near N. Davidson and 36th streets. We’ll have a sign and will be dressed in period clothes from the early mill days of the neighborhood. Seriously, we’ll look weird. You can’t miss us.

Why: Because it’s one of the most singularly cool things you’ll ever experience in your life. Ever. Plus everyone else is doing it, so hop on board. It’s also a great way to hear about NoDa’s rich and colorful history from our beginnings as mill villages to now. Lastly, you may find out that your house is on our tour and is in fact sitting over an ancient burial ground. Knowing that is worth its weight in gold.

How: Tickets will be available the night of the event. All you have to do is swing by our table and tell us how many you need and what tour you want to join. We advise coming early to secure your tickets, however, even if you plan on going later in the evening. 

How much (most important question): FREE!!! But donations to the nonprofit Back in the Day Committee, a local group of volunteers with NoDa’s best interest in mind, are gratefully accepted so we can keep doing things like this in the neighborhood.

Shoot us an email if you do have any questions about the tour, would like to be more involved with the committee, have a ghost story of your own that you’d like to share, or if you know of any current or former resident who we should interview so that we can capture our neighborhood’s history: backintheday@noda.org.