Pensacola, Florida
Thursday June 21st 2018


Pirates and UFOs and Ghosts, Oh My!

Tours That Teach and Entertain
By Jennie McKeon

Adventure awaits you this summer, whether it’s searching for treasure with infamous pirates, looking for UFOs at Ed Walter’s residence or ghost hunting in historic Pensacola.

First up is the “Curse of Tristan de Tuna” pirate tour—yes that’s tuna—on Friday, July 29 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. From the same Five Flags Trolley Company that brings Christmas to downtown Pensacola for Winterfest. The tour goes through the downtown area in search of hidden treasure, which of course is guarded by Godzilla.

“We made a seven foot green, scaly costume,” said Denise Daugherty of the Five Flags Trolley Company. “It’s hilarious.”

Obviously, this tour is not based on facts from the Pensacola Historical Society, but it is entertaining and crowd-engaging. There’s a bandana-tying contest, a chosen captain and plenty of chocolate coins. As for the curse, it changes every year.

“The BP oil spill was the curse last year,” Daugherty said. “One year it was that the Maritime Park would never be built.”

The 90-minute tour packs plenty of ridiculous fun that both children and adults will enjoy. And there are also pirate-friendly snacks such as gummy worm shish-kabobs and real worms for those who dare.

“They are actual, petrified worms,” Daugherty said. “Like a worm potato chip.”

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children.

If you are looking for a tour that is packed with history and mystery then check out the Touriffic Summer Ghost Tours hosted by the Pensacola Historical Society.

There are two tours. The Redlight Tour talks about ghosts of old bars and brothels around Palafox Street, and the Seville Mayhem tour takes you through Seville Square and Intendencia Street while you learn of the old homes that may have uninvited guests.

“The stories on the tours have been researched in the Resource Center,” said Wendi Davis, membership and volunteer coordinator for the Pensacola Historical Society in an e-mail interview. “We will do interviews with people who have stories to tell, and then we head to the archives to research the history behind the stories.”

It’s those stories that make Pensacola’s history entertaining.

“We want participants to enjoy learning the history of Pensacola,” Davis said. “People can learn a lot about the history of the city from the tours.”

You must be 18 or older to embark on the Redlight Tour because of its adult theme, but the Seville Mayhem is for all ages. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and infants are free of charge. The funds raised from these tours help cover operating expenses, which helps to keep the free admission museums up and running.

For $5 you can rent EMF detectors to read the electromagnetic fields.

“When ghosts are around there is supposed to be a spike in the electromagnetic field,” Davis said. “Yes, people have experienced ‘things’ on the tours such as seeing people who weren’t there and smelling and feeling things they couldn’t explain.”

The ghost tour dates are Friday, July 22, Saturday, July 23, Friday, Aug. 5, Saturday, Aug. 6, Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10. Tours run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Each tour is 30 minutes long.

Only walk-up tickets are sold during the summer months.

Once you’ve seen pirates and ghosts of Pensacola’s past, it’s time to hear of the tale of Ed Walters. Walters is the Gulf Breeze resident who claimed to have been abducted by aliens in the late 1980s. Taking that story and putting its own spin on it, Five Flags Trolley Company has created a tour that turns the story into an off-the-wall musical comedy called “Invasion from Planet X: A Love Story.”

Everyone starts the tour making their own tin-foil, brain-wave protective helmet—from there things only get weirder.

“It’s a stupid story,” Daugherty said with a laugh. “But how smart are alien stories?”

The tour travels to Gulf Breeze to visit Walters’ home, Shoreline Park and Pensacola Beach to see the “spaceship house” where the queen of the aliens supposedly lives.

This year, the aliens must put on their best show since the tour will be mentioned in a book about Florida tourism. However, no two tours are the same since much of the acting is improvisation.

“We have sections that are scripted and we stick to general actions, but most of it is improv,” Daugherty said. “These actors are brilliant. The tour evolves every time we do it. And we only do one rehearsal—isn’t that scandalous?”

Scandalous doesn’t even cover it. From the green turtle people to the alien eggs, this story is one that could only come from a right-brained person.

“Don’t look for any meaning in this tour,” Daugherty said. “The only truth we admit to is Walters’ abduction story.”

The next tour is Friday, July 22 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for children. If you are in the mood for a hilarious story that is out of this world, reserve your seat on the alien trolley today.

“We hope that people will look at their surroundings in a different way,” Daugherty said. “It’s just fun. Irreverent foolishness is unstoppable.”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 29
WHERE: Visitors Information Center, 1401 E. Gregory St.
COST: $20 adults, $5 children
DETAILS: 417-7321 or

WHEN: 7-8:30 p.m. Tours run every 30 minutes. Friday, July 22; Saturday, July 23; Friday, Aug. 5, Saturday, Aug. 6, Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10.
WHERE: Pensacola Historical Museum, 115 E. Zaragoza St.
COST: $10 adults, $5 children
DETAILS: 595-1559,, or call Wendi Davis at 595-5985 ext. 111

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22
WHERE: Visitors Information Center, 1401 E. Gregory St.
COST: $20 adults, $5 children
DETAILS: 417-7321 or