Haunted and Hidden walking tour

Meet the Host – Haunted and Hidden, Bristol

Last updated on Wednesday 24 April 2024

Now in its 19th year, Bristol's Haunted and Hidden experiences reveal the darker side to Bristol's history all in an entertaining and informative way. It won Trip Advisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2022 & 2023 and was also featured on TV's "Most Haunted". All experiences come with your host, John’s, knowledge of Bristol and humour, making them popular with locals and tourists alike.

Find out more about John's story and journey with Yuup below.


Could you share the backstory of Haunted and Hidden and how your passion for uncovering Bristol's darker history shaped the creation of your experiences? 

I got the idea after doing a fun Tour of New York City with a legendary guide called "King Michael", he cleverly made a regular city tour a bit different, with celebrity tales and including locations where TV shows were filmed.
Before writing the Bristol tour I did know a bit about some of the haunted buildings I feature on each walk, so I put them on a map and researched nearly every building I could between each of those to create the tour.


What inspired the name "Haunted and Hidden"?

I came up with the name "Haunted and Hidden Bristol" as I wanted to show the tour was not just haunted buildings but also featuring the many TV and film locations we visit. 


How do you craft an experience centred around Bristol's past, particularly regarding the ambiance, storytelling, and overall vibe? 

Through 20 years of doing the tours, I've learnt to pitch it with a bit of humour as well as being informative. I also try do it with a passion for a City that I love.


Can you tell us a bit more about the other walking tour you host: Bristol Rock 'n' Roll Tour? 

The other tour "Bristol Rock and Roll Walking Tour" I wrote during lockdown, as in my spare time I've been involved in the local music scene for over 30 years now. I thought it would be nice to do a Sunday afternoon walk taking in many of Bristol's Music venues and telling people about the legends that played there. I also show guests posters and photos from each of the venues that we visit.   


What led you to choose Bristol's streets and landmarks as the backdrop for your tours?

I chose Central Bristol's streets as it's the area I know best having lived in the centre for over 20 years, plus the Old City at night is a great backdrop and location for the walk. 

Haunted and Hidden tour in the lanes

Any highlights on the tour in terms of locations with significant historical or paranormal significance? 

The White Hart pub by the Bus Station is a highlight (we also stop there on the pub stop tour I run) as it's very haunted and every landlord I've met there takes the pub over as a sceptic but leaves a believer!   The pub has a poltergeist following a murder back in 1706. 


What prompted your collaboration with experience platforms like Yuup, and how has this partnership enhanced Haunted and Hidden's visibility and accessibility?

After lockdown interest went very quiet and I was lucky that my friend Jess recommended Yuup to me. I am hugely thankful I took her advice as Yuup has been so helpful to me regarding promotion, social media, and photographs, and has always been very approachable providing help and advice when I've needed it. 


What hurdles did you encounter while bringing your walking tours concept to life?

The hardest thing to start with was making sure the tour wasn't too long or too short timewise for guests and also to avoid covering Bristol stuff that other tours may feature. So, I think both my walks lasting approximately 1hr 40 mins is about right. 


Any insights or advice you could offer to a new host embarking on offering a walking tour of the city?

Would advise any new possible tour host to try to be original and cover a subject they are passionate about and importantly avoid covering subjects that other Bristol tours already cover.


For those participating in Haunted and Hidden experiences through Yuup, what can they anticipate in terms of spine-tingling stories, immersive atmosphere, and the overall thrill of uncovering Bristol's hidden secrets? 

After 20 years I have tried to make the tour so there is something for everybody and also ages too, it features around 7 haunted buildings and many famous TV locations...Dr Who, Being Human, Sherlock. I also include plenty of Bristol quirky facts on route too!     


What lies ahead for Haunted and Hidden, and how do you envision the evolution or expansion of historical and paranormal experiences in Bristol and beyond? 

As the weekly walk is where I want it to be, I will be doing a few talks at Libraries and WI Groups for people who can't possibly make the tour itself. During the Summer I will also be running a few tours in London celebrating 50 years of the iconic Police TV series "The Sweeney" and taking fans to many famous locations from the series. 

Fancy becoming one of our Bristol hosts? Find out more here.

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