Storytellers will mix the historical, the humorous and the spooky

Published 8:29 am Monday, September 29, 2014

Halloween is just around the corner, which means ghosts, goblins and other spooky, scary creatures could be lurking to make their presence known.
The Front Porch Storytellers will be hosting their first Historic Ghost Walk of the season on Thursday, Oct. 2, beginning at 7:30 p.m. starting at the Bonnie Kate Theater. The walk will be centered in downtown Elizabethton and will share both spooky and historical stories about the downtown district.
Additional walks will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16; Thursday, Oct. 23; and Saturday, Nov. 1.
The Front Porch Storytellers is made up of Chad Bogart and Mary Jane Kennedy.
The duo has been involved in storytelling for six years and frequently involved in activities at Sycamore Shoals Historic Park. The Front Porch Storytellers is a private endeavor by the group and is not affiliated with the park.
Kennedy said the tales told during the walk do include some spooky stories and also some historic tales about the downtown area. She said the group did six months of research before starting the Ghost Walks and new stories have been added to the ones from last year.
“We were told by some history buffs that we told them stories they didn’t know about,” she said. “As we have had the walks, we learn more stories each year from the people who come out. They tell us about their personal experiences.”
Kennedy said not all of the stories would be considered scary. Some are more historically focused, she said, while others are humorous. Some stories will focus on individuals while others will be more about specific buildings or landmarks.
“We combine the history of the building, the people with interesting, mysterious stories,” Kennedy said. “People come away learning something about Elizabethton they didn’t know before.”
Kennedy said she had a few favorites that would be shared during the walks. One is centered on the Covered Bridge and another tells the story of a former downtown employee.
“I don’t want to spoil the stories,” Kennedy said. “We have such an amazing history. We love it. There are laughs as well as chills.”
The tour is recommended for people age 10 and up, and the group size is limited to 20 people. The cost of the Ghost Walks is $12 per person. All veterans and senior citizens age 55 and up will be admitted for $10 per person. Walks are expected to last around 90 minutes.
Kennedy explained the age recommendation is not because of content – which she described as “family friendly” – but because the duration of the walks could be too long for some of the younger children.
Because the groups are limited to 20 people, Kennedy recommends those who are interested sign up quickly. After a group is filled, additional names will be put on a waiting list. However, the next date for another walk hasn’t been set.
“You will laugh and shiver and gasp in awe,” Kennedy said. “People will learn about the history of Elizabethton and the spirits that still roam through downtown.”
To sign up for the Ghost Walk, call Kennedy at 542-9360.

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