What do you get when the Educated Wanderer and Tony Merkle partner up? A two-day all-inclusive paranormal tour to several haunted locations throughout the New York State area. The Educated Wanderer is a tour company owned by Creed Hyatt and Jen Hofmann.
The Educated Wanderer was born out of experiences designing and leading study abroad trips for college students. The experience of thinking deeply about the interchange between book learning and experiential learning led to a vision of travel that is slow, immersive, fun, and educational. After the exclusivity of only designing trips for students who could enroll in a college class, it seemed fitting to open our vision of travel to everyone. Over the years, we have run tours worldwide, offering so many people a different way to travel. Understanding and immersion in the culture are far more important than the number of stops on a given itinerary. Every tour is fully escorted by the owners, who are educated in the social and natural worlds, to offer unique insights into the places we go.
Tony Merkle is the host of The Confessionals podcast. In 2016, Tony created The Confessionals on YouTube as a video platform where people could voice the strange, extraordinary things they experienced. His YouTube channel attracted worldwide attention, followed by a phone call from a leading member of the cryptid community. Seeing value in Tony’s endeavors, they encouraged him to take his work to the next level. After revamping his creation with eyewitness accounts, narrated stories, and expert guests, The Confessionals was officially reborn as a podcast.
On his show earlier this month, Tony announced that he would be trying something new that hasn’t been done with any other podcast: a two-day, one-night paranormal tour, including an overnight stay at the Burn Brae Mansion. Guests here have heard children’s voices and balls bouncing and have seen doors open then slam. People have also seen apparitions of a woman in white, a man in turn-of-the-century clothing, and a modern man in overalls. The distinct sound of an organ can be heard when there is no organ in the house. Others have reported that an elderly couple in their 90s who died in the house can be seen from the front yard playing chess through the window.
I emailed Creed and Jen to talk more about the Unexplained Occurrences Tour only to find out that they sold out the tour in a matter of couple days. That didn’t surprise me because of how popular Tony’s show has become over the last few years. However, what did surprise me was how far everyone was coming from to take this fantastic trip. People from California, Idaho, Colorado, Rhode Island, Maryland, and New York have signed up to hopefully have a paranormal experience of their own.
Even though this trip has been sold out, Creed said they are planning on having more paranormal tours with Tony in the future. If you are brave enough to stay in a haunted place, you can contact Creed or Jen to get on the waiting list.