Underground tours for the haunted history buffs

If you like your history with a side of spooky, this one’s for you.

A black and white, crosshatch-style drawing of an old western building. Trees line the front, and men in cowboy hats stand to the side near a saloon-style wooden building in the corner.

Sacramento History Museum offers tours inside the museum and all over Old Sacramento.

Photo courtesy of Sacramento History Museum

Sacramento History Museum is notorious for immersive tours all over Old Sacramento, and Halloween is the perfect excuse to learn all about what haunted history lies six feet under.

No — we aren’t talking graves, rather underground corridors that extend all over downtown. Discover the ins-and-outs of what’s underfoot in Old Sac with tours from the museum’s program coordinator, Aly Kowalski, and her historical cohorts.

The underground tour includes noteworthy historical landmarks (below and above ground). Here are some highlights:

A western wear-clad tour guide gestures at the old stone wall of an underground hallway in Old Sacramento.

Tour guides for the Sacramento History Museum get in full character of Old Sacramento’s own famous figures.

Photo by Dayna Wergedal, courtesy of Sacramento History Museum

Guided tours are led by local experts fully in character of significant figures in Sacramento’s history, including B.F. Hastings himself, or (City Editor Madeline’s personal favorite) Madame Johanna Hiegle, a woman of “ill repute.” This makes for a unique experience for each tour, said Kalowski.

With over 10 years of experience in the Sacramento History Museum, Kalowski has borne witness to some visitor accounts of the paranormal herself. If you consider yourself more sensitive to the other side, who knows? You just might pick up on something.

A sign in front of a two-story brick building reads Sacramento History Museum, marking the entrance.

The Sacramento History Museum is open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo by SACtoday staff

Underground tours run seven days a week, and can be booked online. If you want to throw some old school gaming into the mix, check out the Gold Fever! Game tour.

Thrill-seekers — mark your calendars for January 2024, when the Old Sac Paranormal Investigation tours will pick back up. Participants will be equipped with handheld monitors to pick up any EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) for the full experience.

We braved the underground last year and met B.F. Hastings ourselves — pretty spirited for a 174-year-old.

More from SACtoday