Scary Stories at Fort Watauga set for Oct. 26

Published 11:45 am Saturday, October 21, 2017

As the moon rises on Oct. 26, the walls of Fort Watauga will come alive with tales of all manner of ghosts, witches, and haints from days gone by.

Scary Stories at Fort Watauga has become a popular annual event at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. The fort is decorated for the Halloween season, which creates a unique atmosphere for an evening of spooky tales geared toward the entire family.

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This year’s event will once again feature crowd favorite storytellers C. Keith Young and the Front Porch Storytellers — Mary Jane Kennedy and Chad Bogart.

“It’s a mixture of boogey stories that are family friendly,” Kennedy said. “Some are humorous, and some will give you a shiver down your spine.”

Kennedy and her partner raconteur Bogart present a number of different storytelling events throughout the year, but Scary Stories at Fort Watauga is one of her favorites.

“It’s just a really fun night,” she said. “I love that we get to many families with children who come out to hear the stories.”

“It really sets off the season to me,” Kennedy added. “It’s a special night for us.”

During the month of October Kennedy and Bogart are host the Historic Ghost Walks of Elizabethton, which is the original haunted history tour for one of the oldest communities in the state. While both events feature the theme of ghosts and goblins, Kennedy said the Ghost Walks and the Scary Stories at the Fort are different programs with each featuring their own collection of stories.

“The ghost walk stories are based off of the history and legends that are particular to this area,” Kennedy said. “For Scary Stories at Fort Watauga we pull stories from all over to share.”

Kennedy she, Bogart, and Young try to include a variety of stories in the program at the fort, making sure to include a bit of humor for the night.

“I’m going back to one I haven’t told in years — The Granny Curse,” Kennedy said of her repertoire for this year. “It’s hilarious.”

Each year the tales shared at the event are different as well, Kennedy said, adding she and Bogart usually collaborate to come up with their story list for the year.

“Keith always surprises us,” she said. “We never know what he’s going to do, but I can guarantee it is always lively. He’s such an amazing storyteller.”

This year Scary Stories at Fort Watauga will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

Those planning to attend are advised to bring blankets or chairs to sit on and to dress warmly as the evening is expected to get chilly. Attendees are also invited to bring snacks and drinks to the event.