POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 11, 2012
Skeptics should not ruin tour for others
Question: My family and I recently went on a “ghost tour” in a city we were visiting in October. There was one guy in the tour group who made it very clear that he thought all of the stories were bunk. He was constantly laughing and rolling his eyes and saying, “People really believe this stuff?” I thought that was very rude. What do you think? Shouldn’t people who don’t believe in ghosts choose a different type of tour?
Answer: I think that guy was very rude. There are plenty of people (myself included) who don’t believe in ghosts, but still enjoy ghost tours. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating ghost stories purely as folklore or to take a ghost tour simply because it visits some interesting sights.
However, if you’re going to take any tour, you have to respect the guide and the others in the tour group.
Making snide comments, rolling your eyes, etc., is not appropriate. You don’t have to believe what the tour guide is saying, just like you don’t have to agree with a museum docent’s interpretation of a particular painting. But in both cases you need to keep your opinions to yourself during the tour. Anyone who can follow along politely should be welcome. If someone can’t do that, then yes, I think it would make sense for him or her to choose a different type of tour instead of ruining things for the other participants.
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.