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Meet a Business: Haunts of Richmond

Meet a Business is a series featuring the person behind some of your favorite locally-owned businesses.
What is your name? 
Elizabeth Houlihan

What's your hometown? 
Richmond, VA

What is your business name? 
How many years have you owned/managed your business? 
6

What did you want to be as a child?
Dolphin trainer

What is the most popular item you sell?
Our walking tours.

What local business can you not live without?
The local restaurants and bars, especially since we partner with them for special events.

In what ways has your business changed since COVID-19?
We started doing a Facebook live show every week when we couldn’t give tours. We still do the show, although it is now every other week. We’ve also partnered with TukTuk tours to offer a haunted driving tour and with the John Marshall house to offer a new tour for the winter months.

What's the first thing you do every morning to set the tone for your day?
Make or check my list of tasks that need to be completed.

What tool, object, or ritual could you not live without in your workday?
Unfortunately my cellphone. I loath being connected all the time. But my phone has my calendar and my ticketing app on it, which makes things easier as well.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
Haunts of Richmond was named by the founders, Scott and Sandi Bergman. They wrote a book, Haunted Richmond: The Shadows of Shockoe, and then they opened a haunted house attraction on 18th St. in Shockoe Bottom. The rooms were based on the stories in the book. After the first year, my people were asking when does the walking tour leave? That is when Haunts of Richmond ghost tours was born.

How did you get the idea for your business?
My business was already established when the founders asked my husband and I to take it over. We have grown it from a seasonal business to a year round company and have expanded the offerings.

What does the world need more of?
Kindness and patience

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The powers of Storm

What's your favorite thing to do in Richmond when you're not in your business?
Enjoy the parks and trails in and around the city. I also love trying new or different restaurants.

What's your hidden talent?
I designed lights, set, and costumes for theater. I’m very good at repurposing or remaking items.

What was the first concert you ever attended?
John Denver in Saratoga Springs, NY

Who do you look up to and why?
Elenor Roosevelt because she knew who she was and wasn’t afraid to be a strong, forward, and intelligent woman.

What do you love most about Richmond?
The rich history of the area. So my people focus on the Civil War when there is so much more to Richmond.

What's the best thing about being a local business owner? 
Meeting many different people who live in the area and also those who come to visit Richmond.
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