Ghost Walk proves spirited

Published 12:13 am Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Staff Writer

A Ghost Walk offering the best of Washington’s folklore and legends has come to life during the summer months, with the first warm-weather Ghost Walk scaring up nearly three dozen participants this past Saturday night in downtown Washington.
Gary Ceres and Richard Snow, owners of I Can’t Believe It’s a Bookstore, sponsor the haunted hikes, which take place Saturdays following Music in the Streets events, which are held the third Friday of the month from April through October.
Participants walked downtown streets, learning about history from tour guide Terry Rollins, who talked about the Great Fire and how it destroyed much of the downtown area, as well as many more bits of history and legends.
The one-hour tour included many of the well-known ‘hot spots’ of reported ghost activity in the downtown area, as well as some of the not-so-well-known sites.
“Washington is a very spirited place with lots of history and legends,” Rollins said. “And a lot of the architecture here was built after the Great Fire of 1864, which is why there are a lot of brick buildings.”
As the tour continued, patrons found out more about murders, strange occurrences, strange sounds, aromas and myths and legends. Tour-goers were accompanied by fireflies and bats that flew overhead throughout much of the tour and in a graveyard.
Leeann Delmonte, a Washington resident for 20 years, said she had never been on the Ghost Walk.
“I had a really good time,” she said. “I’m glad I went on the tour. I’m here in the downtown area every day and never knew about all this (folklore and legends), about the buildings.”
Chrislyn Beresheim said she and her children had a great time, too.
“I think this would be wonderful for anyone wanting to take a walk and experience the local legends of Washington,” Beresheim said. “My kids really enjoyed it.”
Tour-goers also learned about the legend concerning the building housing the bookstore.
In the past, the tour was given only on Halloween, but now it is offered throughout the summer, as well as on Halloween.
Ceres was intrigued by the Ghost Walk that the now-defunct Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association put on every Halloween. He wanted to put on the Ghost Walk during the summer because it is such an interesting and fun thing to do.
Rollins has been the tour guide for past Ghost Walks, which is why Ceres wanted him to guide the tour.
“He’s so knowledgeable about everything down here, and I wanted him to do the tour as well,” Ceres said.
The best way to find out about the ghosts and legends is to experience the Ghost Walk in person.
Ghost Walks will be conducted July 17, Aug. 21 and Sept. 18. There is a minimum of 10 patrons and a maximum of 50 patrons per tour. Tickets are $12 per person. Tickets may be obtained at Ceres’ bookstore the night of each Ghost Walk or prior to it.
Ceres said Ghost Walks will happen rain or shine. Tickets are nonrefundable, unless the event is canceled or rescheduled. Tours begin in front of I Can’t Believe It’s a Book Store at 8 p.m. Patrons should arrive 15 minutes early.
To find out more about the Ghost Walk and how to obtain tickets, call Ceres at 252-946-0855. The bookstore is located at 128 W. Main St.