Mr. Over The Top
This is the Guide that is "all in". A dead giveaway is a period costume or a fake accident. This also includes ghost tour guides who use spooky voices and try to scare you. Mr. Over the Top does not understand the art of subtlety. A ghost story can not just be eerie, it has to end with a blood soaked zombie biting someone's head off. All legends and stories are completely true and cannot be questioned. I went on a ghost tour in St. Augustine where the tour guide actually did "voices" for the ghosts in the ghost stories he told. It was more then a little distracting. Mr. Over the Top will tell about his own "encounters" that are clearly fake or unbelievable, often making the stories about themselves. You will also get local history tours where the historian needs to ratchet up their accent to a million. One of my favorites was a tour I went on in New Orleans where the Guide, in a thick dripping accent, ended every sentence with the phrase "In this crescent city of New Orleans". That one was actually pretty amazing.
The Buzzkill is Mr. Over The Top's Opposite. Instead of exaggerating ghost stories they end ghost stories by pointing out the historic inaccuracies that make the ghost story unbelievable. The Buzzkill talks about local legends dismissively and explains how they are likely not true. A good example of Mr. Buzzkill was a tour guide we had in a cemetery in New Orleans. Now popular legend is that Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, is buried in St. Louis Cemetery, exactly where is dependent on who you ask. Local custom is to place three Xs on her tomb and leave money to have her grant you a favor. Our guide told us that Marie was not buried anywhere in the cemetery and that anyone who participated in this practice was a vandal. Now, this may be true, but what fun is the truth when all it does is suck the life out of local legends. The Buzzkill needs to learn to leave a little bit of magic in his stories. The Buzzkill will often openly mock Mr. Over the Top, showing disdain for those who disperse false information.
The Stodgy Historian
|Okay, I admit, that's not a real person|
|The Babysitter approaches at the Billy Graham Library|
Not every guide falls into one of these categories and some guides take a little bit from each column. In my honest the best guides are the ones who somehow manage to sidestep these, but occasionally you will get one from one of these categories who manages to be interesting regardless.
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