On Saturday, August 19, the Rhode Island Historical Society will be conducting their superlative Lovecraft walking tour of College Hill, departing the John Brown House at 11 a.m. If you’re looking for a great orientation to both Lovecraft and Providence, or don’t think you’ll be able to squeeze in one of our dedicated tours during the convention, you can find more information on the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Walking Tours page.
But if you’re a hardcore Lovecraft enthusiast, you may be more interested in our own bus tours and walking tours. These tours visit more points of interest than the Rhode Island Historical Society’s tours and are for those who want to see it all, including paying a visit to Lovecraft’s grave in beautiful Swan Point Cemetery. Please note that these tours are only available to NecronomiCon pass-holders, but require a separate pre-paid ticket per person. These tickets are available for purchase at the bottom of this page.
We’ve partnered with Experience Rhode Island Tours to provide you with a professional tour of over a dozen Lovecraft-related points of interest on Providence’s East Side. You’ll see the site of Lovecraft’s birth, the site of two of his schools, Ladd Observatory, the home he lived in the longest, and his gravesite. Each tour takes up one programming slot (1½ hours) and costs $15 per person. Here are the times the bus tours are taking place:
|Thursday, August 17||Friday, August 18||Saturday, August 19|
|1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.||1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.||1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.|
|3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.||3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.||3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.|
We’re very proud to offer several walking tours of Lovecraft’s College Hill, led by some very well-versed Lovecraftian scholars and local guides, and organized by Lovecraftian geographer Donovan Loucks. These tours will lead you past Lovecraft’s last two homes as well as over 30 sites described in “The Shunned House”, “The Call of Cthulhu”, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and “The Haunter of the Dark”. Each tour takes up two programming slots (3 hours) and costs $10 per person. Here are the times the walking tours are taking place:
|Thursday, August 17||Friday, August 18||Saturday, August 19||Sunday, August 20|
|———||9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.||9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.||9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.|
|1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.||1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.||1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.||1:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.|
|———||3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.||3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.||———|
Which Tour Should I Choose?
The bus and walking tours cover completely different areas and provide entirely different experiences. The bus tours take up one programming slot (1½ hours), visit about a dozen points of interest, are air conditioned, require minimal walking, and cost $15. The walking tours take up two programming slots (3 hours), visit over 30 points of interest, require nearly three miles of walking, and cost $10. Our advice? Do both!
Tips for Visitors
Tickets: Only 28 tickets will be available for each bus tour, 25 for each walking tour. The buses only accommodate 28 passengers, so when the bus tour tickets are sold out, they’re gone. If tickets are sold out for a walking tour, additional visitors may be permitted on the tour at the discretion of the tour guide. However, those who pre-purchase tickets will be allowed on the walking tour before “standby” visitors.
Refunds: Should your plans change, you may request a refund no later than 48 hours prior to your tour. In addition, if we have to cancel a tour due to inclement weather or because a guide becomes unable to lead the tour, we will make every effort to refund your money. In addition, we reserve the right to substitute tour guides if some unforeseen circumstances arise.
Check-In: Bus tours depart from the Providence Visitor Information Center, immediately across West Exchange Street from the entrance to the Omni Providence. Walking tours depart from the lobby of the Providence Biltmore. Arrive at the departure point at least five minutes before your tour is scheduled to depart. Present your ticket to your tour guide, who will check your name off the attendance list.
Tour Length: The linear distance of the walking tour is 2½ miles. Just walking this route—and not stopping at any of the sites—will take about an hour. Though the walking tour is 2½ miles in length, visitors will also be ascending College Hill, attaining a height about 175 feet (or about 17½ stories) above the entrance to the Providence Biltmore.
Preparation: Given the scope of the walking tour, people with infirmities are discouraged from attending. It is highly recommended that you wear comfortable shoes. Also note that, while summer in Providence can be very pleasant, occasionally both the temperature and humidity can rise to a very uncomfortable point. As such, keeping hydrated is important. However, note that there are neither water fountains nor public restrooms along either tour route. And don’t forget to bring your walking tour map from the program guide! If you’re unable to attend one of the scheduled tours, by all means explore Lovecraft’s College Hill on your own using the walking tour map!
Privacy Note: Many of the buildings on the walking tour are private residences. Feel free to enjoy the walking tour from the sidewalks and rights-of-way, but please respect the privacy and property of the current owners.
Your Guide: Finally, be respectful of your tour guide. Remember, your tour guide is working to provide you with the best experience possible. Keep up with your guide and don’t talk while your guide is addressing the group—but please feel free to ask questions. And if you really enjoyed your tour, show your appreciation by tipping your guide!
Purchase Tour Tickets
Bus tour tickets are $15 each, which gives you an air-conditioned tour by a professional tour guide. Walking tour tickets are just $10 each, which provides you with a bottle of water and a tour led by an informative guide. To purchase tickets for a given bus or walking tour, select the quantity for the tour you’d like and then click on your payment method.