Nighttime Ghost Boat Takes Journey into Haunted Canyon Beginning Memorial Day Weekend in Wisconsin Dells

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Dells Boat Tours' spooky after-dark excursion explores hidden canyons in Wisconsin Dells this summer, taking passengers on a frightful journey into the night. Ghost Boat: Journey into Haunted Canyon begins May 22.

Ghost Boat Wisconsin Dells

Haunted Canyon Boardwalk

At times you are walking into nearly complete blackness...and that pushes the fear factor off the charts

A spooky adventure on the Wisconsin River at night begins Memorial Day weekend when Ghost Boat: Journey into Haunted Canyon embarks for another summer of scares and chills. The popular excursion begins with an eerie boat ride upriver to Cold Water Canyon where passengers disembark and continue their expedition on foot into the shadowy recesses of the haunted gorge.

“Our summer Ghost Boat is a pure scary expedition into the dark side of the Dells,” said Amanda McGowan, assistant manager of Dells Boat Tours. “Onboard, chilling tales set the stage for what may lie ahead when you go ashore and dare to walk into the nearly pitch-black canyon on foot.”

The summer Ghost Boat runs exclusively to Cold Water Canyon.    When darkness falls, the Ghost Boat leaves the safe harbor behind for an ominous 1½-hour adventure into the heart of the Dells. The nocturnal excursion begins with a ghostly tale on board the vessel. The murky waters that flow beneath are an unnerving reminder of the deadly history of this once treacherous waterway. Many river men were swept away as they tried to navigate their rafts of lumber through the swift current.

The mysterious stage is set as the Ghost Boat docks along the solemn shores of Cold Water Canyon. Draped in darkness, the canyon beckons to passengers to disembark and walk into the gorge on foot to find out what lies in wait. The narrow pathway at times requires a single-file approach as rocky cliffs hug you and an abyss of darkness adds to a truly intense adventure.

“At times you are walking into nearly complete blackness,” added McGowan. “It’s pitch-black, and that pushes the fear factor off the charts.”    

Visitors will be able to get their creep on all summer long. Ghost Boat: Journey into Haunted Canyon kicks off Friday, May 22 of Memorial Day weekend with tours being offered May 22 – 25 and May 30. Nightly Ghost Boats begin June 5 and run through August 30. Tours will continue weekends through mid-September.    

In the fall, Dells Boat Tours offers a Halloween adventure. Ghost Boat: Season of the Witch takes passengers to Witches Gulch, another creepy canyon further upriver. Running weekends from mid-September through October, the fall Ghost Boat is its own unique experience to celebrate the Halloween season.

All Ghost Boat adventures embark from the Dells Boat Tours’ main landing dock, located at 11 Broadway in downtown Wisconsin Dells. Tours begin nightly at 8:30 p.m. with various departure times. Ghost Boat tickets are $23.99 for adults ages 12 and older. For children ages 11 and under, tickets are $17. However, the excursion is not recommended for children under the age of 10 and those faint of heart. Discretion is left to parents and guardians for older children.

Reservations are suggested. Ghost Boat tickets can be purchased online at Once making the purchase, visitors are asked to call the Dells Boat Tours office at (608) 254-8555 to reserve their spot on the date they choose. Reservations and ticket purchases can also be made by phone or in person. Ticket booths are located throughout the area including: the Dells Boat Tours main landing building at 11 Broadway just over the Kilbourn Dam bridge in downtown Wisconsin Dells, and at kiosks on either end of the bridge (Exit 87), as well as at the Dells Boat Tours ticket center at Highways 12 and 23 (Exits 89 & 92).

For more information, including a map of ticket and dock locations, please visit the Ghost Boat web site at

Ghost Boat: Journey into Haunted Canyon and Ghost Boat: Season of the Witch are presentations of Dells Boat Tours, one of Wisconsin Dells most historic and long running attractions with more than 150 years of operation. For more information about Dells Boat Tours and other leisure and adventure tour offerings, including money-saving ticket combination packages, please visit

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Andrea Novotny
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