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“Not as exciting as expected”

Mystery Ghost Bus Tour
Ranked #19 of 96 Tours in Johannesburg
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
96 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Not as exciting as expected”
Reviewed July 11, 2012

We have just been on this ghost bus tour. A group of 5 of us. Started out at the Sunnyside Hotel, where we boarded the bus. The tour operators were friendly, and the bus ride was pretty decent. However, yes the infamous "But" - it was not as exciting as we thought it would be. Now obviously we didn't really expect to see any ghost of any sort, but it was boring because this was just a bus ride around the Johannesburg area. We weren't allowed to entire the premises of any of the supposed "haunted" places so we had to listen to stories of them as we drove by them. We stopped at two pubs, one of which gave you the feel like you were back in the 20's and the other was very vibey - so that was our hi-light. The stories on the bus told by the recording was a bit exciting. The last stop was the dousing rods and cemetery in Bez Valley, but we just stood in a field making rods move, so not as exciting and at the cemetery, we stopped at the first two grave sites, and then left, that was it. Now i'm a sucker for a good ghost story, but this did not do it for me.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Hash28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MysteryGhostBus, Owner at Mystery Ghost Bus Tour, responded to this review, February 23, 2016
Dear Hash28. Thanks for your comment. We did go into haunted buildings, are you sure you left the bus to enter them? We also entered a cemetery, but I see you mention that. I think if you try some overseas tours, you will find them very historical, whereas we go all out to add a great deal more. I see that in this instance you mention the dowsing rods, pub stops, the recordings and so on. May I ask that you try some overseas tours and see if they provide as much, or any of this. Were you perhaps wanting a ghost investigator type tour with EMF meters (we do use dowsing rods however), and thus an investigation rather than a tour? We don't know of any organizations who offer this to the public, as they ensure that their investigations are kept private, especially because of the private homes etc. that they investigate, and also because they feel that their investigations will be compromised if there are non-experts around them. Would you like to contact us with some suggestions however, as we would like to see if we can offer even more to you, Mark
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“DO NOT GO”
Reviewed May 17, 2012

Four of us went in Dec 2011. The fact that they are constantly fully booked may lead you to believe this is some amazing, ground-breaking experience but do not be fooled. If you don’t believe me do a quick Google search for more reviews on sites such as HelloPeter.

The “brains” behind the tour is an ex-stage artist and his band of miss-fits. The entire experience is badly organised (our bus got lost in Hillbrow around midnight – as a Joburger, this was the scariest part of the night!).

The experience amounts to driving around town and listening to either bad recordings of alleged ghost activity or one of the hosts reading some story off a piece of paper. It was all extremely theatrical and pathetic! The group does not have rights to enter any of the properties we visit so you stand outside a high wall or on the bus for endless hours. The tour is also advertised as part pub-crawl. The place where we went in the CBD was awful and badly stocked. Honestly though, even copious amounts of alcohol could not have made this night better.

We were “treated” on the night with the special experience of having the SA’s ghost-buster investigation group (I forget their name) join us and bring in their equipment for readings. Given how sensitive their equipment is to cell-phone signals and the fact that everyone was carrying phones I can’t take any of their findings seriously. It all felt like a bad joke complete with some morons jumping out of the bushes to scare us (yes, for real!).

The tour ends in the cemetery and I found the way the team acted there particularly disrespectful and in bad taste.

The night finally ended at 2:30am (NOT a typo!) some 7.5 hrs after it began!!! We were left cold, starving and fantasising how, if we come back as ghosts, we will haunt and torment these bunch!

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
49 Thank CristinaGabriela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MysteryGhostBus, Owner at Mystery Ghost Bus Tour, responded to this review, September 7, 2015
The various national media have variously said the same thing about our tours, here is one example: “You really get your money’s worth” – Mail & Guardian

It is most disheartening to hear complaints, albeit they are so few, when the complainant hasn’t been on other ghost tours around the world to be able to see just how much we do by comparison. According to everyone else, and the media, we are doing the right thing, and presenting far more than any other known ghost tour can anywhere in the world.

Our website is very clear as to what we present (which is more than any other known ghost tour in the world), and we are sorry that you did not fully enjoy the tour. We would like to point out that if the tours were not enjoyed by nearly everybody, they would not have run for 15 long & successful years, and to the countless thousands of people who have attended them. Nor be continuously hailed by the media nationwide, who are the experts when it comes to reviews, where there has never been a single negative review – nationally or internationally.

We’d also like to point out that it is by now well-known to most people, that any ghost tour around the world, usually comprises a mere 1 - 2 hours, where one can walk one’s feet off (ghost 'bus’ tours are extremely rare in the world), and mostly to the outside of buildings, hearing mostly about history. And that's it for the most part. We know, because we have been on many of such tours, and scrutinized the programmes of others.

May we also point out, that we have put our heart & soul into these tours, where as the result of a massive amount of work, ‘The Mystery Ghost Bus Tours of South Africa’, prides itself on instead presenting more – much more - than any known ghost tour in the world. Firstly you get 5 hours, not 1 – 2. Where you go into those haunted buildings which allow entry. Plus you get to go into a dark haunted room, plus there are theatrical props, and then pub stops to boot. Plus you see many parts of town (since we utilize a coach, where one hops off & on). Plus there isn't just history, but also the science of the paranormal, plus an explanation of the different types of ghosts, plus entertainment. Plus dowsing rods audience participation, plus dramatic studio-recorded stories (besides the live stories) in old radio-style, plus haunted music & sound effects, plus some clever scares (we don’t believe in childlike pranks), plus entry into a cemetery.

Thus we try to please all, to suit everyone’s very different tastes. Some like entertainment and/or the pub stops, others like the ghost stories and/or the history. Some like the architecture, and/or others like the science we present. Some like the dowsing rods and/or the clever scares. Some like the theatrical bits and/or others like the cemetery. And so on it goes. And given ‘all’ of this this, we welcome anyone clearly demonstrating to us what other ghost tours, anywhere in the world, provide ‘all’ of this, or even a quarter of it. It is for these very reasons that ‘our’ tours appeal to a broader audience, and have remained so successful for 15 years, playing to expert & critical media acclaim – both nationally & internationally – without a single negative review to date. The video on our website also demonstrates how much we do.
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