Two years ago, Rob Tymec thought he was performing his final ghost tour of old Sandwich Town in Windsor, but the spirits have something else in mind. Tymec is resurrecting the Spirits of Sandwich Walking Ghost Tour for one last time over two days this weekend (October, 16 and 17, 2020).
“I remember it well.” he recalls when asked about the final performance, “It was actually a bit rainy. There were still some hardcores that showed up even though the weather was bad. It was very flattering to see so many people there just to catch the final ghost walk.”
Why was he bringing this Sandwich tradition to end?
“The walking tour was morphing into other things. A local producer bought some of the Sandwich stories off of me to incorporate into a city-wide bus tour. I was also doing a theatrical adaptation where we shared stories about the entire city and county since we were on a stage rather than walking through a specific part of the city.” Rob explains, “Attendance on the walking tour was starting to decrease and these new versions were gaining popularity. So I figured it was time lay the walking tour to rest.”
Rob really believed that would be it for the Sandwich Tour. The event had a good run. It lasted for over a decade and thousands of people had taken it. He had even written multiple versions of the tour with different stories in each so that people could enjoy it over and over and get new material on a regular basis. He really was happy with its success and was willing to let it die.
But then, along came the Pandemic. And Rob recognized that, maybe, he needed to resurrect the tour for one more Fall season.
“When we hit Stage Three, I started doing plays indoors with a 50-person audience limit.” Rob elaborates, “Lots of people were messaging me saying they were still not comfortable being in large crowds unless they were outside. This got me thinking, of course. Maybe there would be a big enough demand if I brought the walking tour back.”
And so, the Spirits of Sandwich Walking Ghost Tour has been resurrected.
“October was filling up for me like crazy!” says Rob, “I almost wasn’t able to bring it back because I was getting booked for so much.”
Fortunately, Rob managed to find one weekend in October to fit it in: Friday and Saturday, October 16th and 17th. He’s going to do it a bit differently this time, though.
“Normally, I hire two other actors to do the show with me. But I’m really trying to stick to single-person performances as much possible, right now. It’s just a safer way to work in front of an audience. Also, I want to keep trying to offer people deals on the admission. We’ve all taken a financial punch below the belt and I’d rather not drain people’s finances more than necessary. So I’m going to do a pass-the-hat admission fee. Something I’ve never done before for a ghost tour. But I’d rather as many people as possible take the tour and just pay what they can than charge a rate that might be too much for them to afford, right now.”
That’s just some of the bigger alterations he’s made to the tour. While it’s the Pandemic that brought back Spirits of Sandwich, some adaptations had to be made to work within the context of the times. But Rob’s okay with all this. He wants what he does to always be safe. Which is why he’s asking everyone on the Walk to keep their masks on even though they’re outdoors. It’s just one more extra precaution to make sure everyone is protected.
“The tour is going to be a bit different from its previous iterations.” Rob admits, “But it’s still going to be a lot of fun. I look forward to it.”
This may be a one-time-only thing for the Sandwich Town Ghost Walk. After this, it may be put back to sleep. So if you never caught it before, or you want to enjoy it one last time, this could be your final chance.
The Spirits of Sandwich Walking Ghost Tour begins at the parking lot of Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre in Windsor (3277 Sandwich Street at the corner of Sandwich and Brock) at 8:30 pm on Friday, October 16 and Saturday. October 17.
Rob is also offering a special in-house performance of the Sandwich and Amherstburg Ghost Walks at Water’s Edge Event Center in Windsor (2879 Riverside Drive at Drouillard and Riverside) on Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24.