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San Antonio ghost tour group gives Elf on the Shelf a run for its money with new Halloween haunted doll


  • Courtesy of River City Ghosts
San Antonio ghost tour company River City Ghosts has debuted a special specter that locals can bring into their homes this year: Lily, the haunted doll.

A more openly creepy alternative to the popular yuletide surveillance doll Elf on the Shelf, Lily is purportedly based on a real-life haunted doll whose anonymous original owner found her mysteriously outside their door one fateful morning. Like the Elf, she can be placed on a shelf, a porch or even in a jack-o'-lantern as a silent sentry during the Halloween season.

Lily's haunting visage is based on the infamous Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Eased, a Hungarian noblewoman accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls and women. Though River City Ghosts admits that Lily is haunted and prone to mischievous ghostly antics, the company claims that her presence is actually meant to drive away malicious spirits.

River City Ghosts has resumed its in-person tour schedule with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, but for those who don't want a layer of pandemic fear intermixed with their Halloween activities, the company is also offering two remote ways to enjoy ghost tours.

In collaboration with its parent company U.S. Ghost Adventures, River City Ghosts introduced the Ghostflix live virtual tour program. Patrons can book either pre-scheduled or on-demand ghost tours of more than 20 cities across the nation, including New Orleans, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, all of which take place over Zoom.

Additionally, those looking to get out of the house can take advantage of self-guided tours using the Junket app on Apple or Android phones.

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