Thursday, September 26, 2019

Digging Up The Dirt with KillDozer and Kitty Nasarow, Founder of The Vampire Tour of San Francisco



A lot has changed in the city of San Francisco over the years but one thing you can be sure of is that some people are still trying to keep it weird and interesting. Mina Harker (aka- Kitty Nasarow) is one such person. She's a creature of the night who loves to expose groups of thrill-seekers to one of a kind dark experience that takes them into the world of vampires. The Vampire Tour of San Francisco have been happening since 2001 and I was lucky enough to meet vampire tour guide Mina Harker and dig up some dirt at this year's Creatures Con.




KillDozer: Let's start with introductions. Who are you and what is it you do for SF Vampire tours?

Kitty Nasarow: I conduct the tour as Mina Harker from Dracula, but my mortal name is Kitty Nasarow. I started the business and wrote the script, and have been conducting the tour since June 1, 2001.


KD: How did the the idea for a Vampire tour begin?

Kitty: I was working for the pharmaceutical company, Roche, and went to New Orleans for a training session.  My boss asked me to find some fun things for the group to do at night, and I noticed that there were a lot of walking tours in the French Quarter.  Some of them were vampire tours.  I couldn’t imagine what a vampire tour could be like, so of course, that’s what I booked.  About 15 of us went on the tour.  While we were walking and listening to the guide, I kept thinking to myself, “Why isn’t anybody doing this in San Francisco?”  Then I thought, “Why don’t I do it?”  I knew that my tour would be nothing like the one in New Orleans because theirs is very horrifying and scary.  I don’t want to scare anyone.  I write comedies, so the tour had to be just that.  The script is about 85% true San Francisco history with fun vampire lore and humor mixed in.  Even little children have come on the tour and enjoyed it without being frightened.


KD: How did you go about deciding what content the tour should have?

Kitty: I wanted the tour to be mostly true history, so I went through about 4 months of research, mostly. In old books about the City.  I first wrote the script as just the history.  I wanted to include the kind of history that is true, but you most likely won’t hear it on other tours.  I took some of the tours around the City to see what they contained, so I would know what not to include in mine.  After I wrote the historical part of the script, I went through it, and where I thought it fit, I added in the vampire lore and humor.


KD: Are you a believer when it comes to the existence of vampires or is this pure entertainment and dark history?

Kitty: No, I don’t believe in blood sucking vampires.  The tour is purely entertainment and is suitable for all ages.


KD: How does someone go about booking a tour with you?

Kitty: There are companies online that sell tickets to the tour, i.e. Goldstar Events, Viator, Eventbrite and Purplepass.  You can also just come to the tour and pay cash for your ticket before the tour.


KD: Do you find that you are busiest around Halloween?

Kitty: Yes, definitely.  This has always been the case.  I get a lot of requests for private tours, and the regularly scheduled tours are very busy as Halloween gets closer.  As always, large groups attend on Halloween night, which includes a costume contest.


KD: What are your tour groups like? Do you have a lot of diversity amongst those who come for the vampire tour?

Kitty: Yes, it’s always been a very diverse group, and that makes it especially fun for me.  I have had people from all over the world, and of all ages.  I’ve also had celebrities attend, some without notice, and we have run into celebrities on Nob Hill during the tour as well.


KD: Do you visit film locations as well? Or is it purely historical?


Kitty: We do visit some film locations because they are a part of the history of Nob Hill.  Some examples are: Grace Cathedral, the Pacific-Union Club and the Fairmont Hotel.  There are sites on Nob Hill that are included in the tour that were featured in major movies.  There have also been movies and TV shows being filmed on Nob Hill during a tour.


KD: What is your main inspiration for doing the tours?

Kitty: The audience.  I have met the most fabulous people doing the tour!  For the first 10 ½ years, I kept a diary of every tour conducted.  I wanted to be able to look back and read about all the people I have met on the tour.


KD: Where can we go to follow you on social media?

Kitty: I have a Facebook page for The Vampire Tour of San Francisco. My website is at: SFVampireTour.com.


KD: Do you tour all year long or is there a season specific to doing Vampire tours?

Kitty: For the first 10 ½ years, when I lived on the Peninsula, I conducted the tour every Friday and Saturday night, all year around, and on Halloween and New Year’s Eve. I now live 3 hours from San Francisco, so I only conduct the tour on the first Saturday of the month, from May through October, and on Halloween.  I also still conduct private tours for groups of 10 or more, any day of the year, depending on my availability.


KD: What do you hope your tour groups get out of the Vampire tour experience that they won't get anywhere else?

Kitty: I want them to hear about the humorous and unique aspects of San Francisco’s history, and to be entertained as they are being educated.  I want them to have a very fun experience.


KD: What is the strangest thing to ever happen during one of your tours?

Kitty: We have experienced some ghostly activity at the Pacific-Union Club several times.  In fact, on the tour on July 6th, we saw definite activity, and the audience was amazed!

KD: Is this tour for monster kids or will anyone have a good time on the SF Vampire tour?

Kitty: I have had people of all ages and backgrounds come on the tour and thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve even had history teachers and professors bring their students on the tour because there is so much true history in the script.


KD: If you could have any vampire in film history give you a tour who would it be and where would they take you?

Kitty: Being a woman, I would have to say Frank Langella.  He was the most gorgeous Dracula there has been.  He could take me anywhere he wanted.


KD: What is your favorite vampire film?

Kitty: That’s a tough one.  Of course, the original Dracula is superb, and so is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  I also love Shadow of the Vampire and last, but definitely not least, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein!


KD: What would you miss most if you actually became a vampire? For me it's garlic ha ha!

Kitty: I would have to agree with you on that, but I would also say food in general!




Visit SFVampireTour.com to get all the information you need.
And follow The Vampire Tour of San Francisco on Facebook!


-KillDozer

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