Where to Find Dinner and a Ghost Tour for Less Than $50 in Lower Alabama

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What can you do in lower Alabama the night before Halloween for less than $50? How about some casual fine dining combined with with a story-telling tour at a potentially haunted mansion!

From downtown Foley, Alabama, you’ll drive about 20 minutes to the teeny tiny area called Bon Secour, and you’ll pass incredibly old trees branching out in all directions along the way. The Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar seems aged but is actually in tip top shape, with warm wood and charming candles for each table.

They’ve added black accents on the walls and chairs, as well as black cloth napkins for a touch of understated class. I’m a real sucker for mood lighting, and as the sun goes down, the restaurant atmosphere takes on the warm glow of some freshly fried fish!

The Tin Top is regarded as a no-frills destination for amazing seafood, large oysters, and classic fried green tomatoes. With a menu designed with a New Orleans, Southern coastal flare, they serve award-winning chalkboard seafood specials in addition to premium aged beef. They use fresh ingredients and locally grown products, and every meal is made to order.

Their hours are Monday – Wednesday 11-9, Thursday – Saturday 11-10, and Sunday 10-9. 

You may need this address for your GPS: 6232 Bon Secour Hwy; County Road 10, Bon Secour, AL 36511
251-949-5086

Our waiter, Carter from Atlanta, was outstanding and our crew had a lovely, relaxed dinner.

The sun had gone down by the end of dinner, and it was time to head over to the beautiful Swift-Coles Historic Home, circa 1882, on the banks of the Bon Secour River. This Greek Revival home offers guided tours throughout the year with historical information, but that’s not really what we came for after dark on pre-Halloween Eve.

We were there for the ghost stories.

Charles Swift and his family lived in the home, located near one of the first Swift lumber mills, until 1976. At this time, it was purchased by Nick Coles, and in 2007, the Swift-Coles Historic Home was bequeathed to the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission.

There are not a lot of street lights on these back roads, so we drove up to the home in mostly darkness. I’d seen photos of the home taken in sunlight, and it looked like this:

When I laid eyes on the house for my first time in real life, it looked like this:

Add in some rainy weather and an abundance of humidity to the darkness, and you have a ghost story ready to be told. Rain drops dripped from the humongous trees, so there was subtle noises on our approach which definitely didn’t help my nerves.

Forgive my grainy cell phone photos, because after all, the tour was conducted by candlelight, and you wouldn’t dare disturb the restless spirits with a flash.

I’m not one of those people who believes in ghosts, although I got a tad nervous as I stepped onto the porch of a nearly 150-year-old house bathed in ghostly purple light.

We paid our money and waited for a couple of extra people to join our party, and once through the front door into dimly lit hallways and rooms, the colors intermittently changed to from a yellowish-red to nearly black.

Photo by ghost hunter Roberta Oden

Photo by ghost hunter Roberta Oden

The actors telling stories were all excellent and ghostly realistic. Being in a mostly silent home lit entirely by candles, simple bodies sitting in the darkness waiting to tell their stories was definitely creepy.

 

Ms. Lady in the picture below finished her story by singing “Stand in the starlight, stand in the moonlight. Lay your body down.” She means lay yourself down by the river bed where a ghost relative awaits to take you home.

Nah. That’s not my type of nature walk.

We made it out alive.

$30 for dinner and a tip plus $12 for the ghost story telling tour rings in at just under $50.

The Swift-Coles Historic Home is a beautiful Wedding & Reception (and special events) Venue, and you can visit the facility on Tuesdays  and Fridays for tours in the daylight.

Start saving up now for next year’s pre-Halloween tour, and bring your big girl panties for the darkness.

Amanda

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

 

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