Ghosts of Bath in for a hauntingPublished 7:40pm Saturday, September 7, 2013
BATH — The ghost of Blackbeard appears. The notes of Edna Ferber’s ‘Showboat’ songs drift eerily down Main Street. The Rev. George Whitfield curses the town—again.
Just in time for the Halloween season, history teams up with theater in the first-ever Historic Bath Ghost Walk on Oct. 12. A product of Walk in the Light Production’s Judy Downey and Historic Bath State Historic Site’s Bea Latham, the tours will combine a history of North Carolina’s oldest town and the drama of a ghostly walk down the centuries-old Main Street.
“It’s a fun way to bring people out to learn about the history of Bath,” Downey said. We’re super-excited about it … It’s an interesting way to talk about the history that a lot of people don’t get to hear when they come into Bath.”
That history will be wrapped up in theatrical vignettes along Main Street, Downey said. Performers will act out scenes from history during the walking tour, telling the stories of the dead who once walked the same street.
The part-production, part-history lesson nature of the event came because both Downey and Latham had the idea simultaneously. For Downey, it was a script she was writing; for Latham, it was the idea of a ghost walk, according to Downey. The two got together and decided to take the stage to the streets.
“It’s funny because I had been putting a script together for the theater (Ormond Amphitheatre) called ‘The Ghosts of Bath,’ and then I got a call from Bea,” Downey said. “I think it’s a lot more fascinating to do the walk than to do it onstage.”
Downey said distance-wise the walk will not be long—only down the length of Main Street—but the performance will last roughly 90 minutes.
She stressed that while the walk will be scary, it won’t be “gory, Halloween” scary, so children of all ages are invited to attend. Several participating restaurants will be offering discounts for the ghost-walkers, as well.
“We’re trying to get people to come out early and make a night of it,” Downey said.
This year is a trial run for Bath’s Ghost Walk, but Downey imagines it will be a portal to great things.
“If we get a really good response, we’re hoping to do it year after year,” she said.
For more information about the Historic Bath Ghost Walk, visit www.bath.nc.historicsites.org or www.baththeatre.org, or call 252-923-3971. Ticket cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under and can be purchased at the Historic Bath Visitor Center starting at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. The walk starts from the visitor center promptly at 7:30 p.m.