I don’t really know of a better way to celebrate Halloween locally than going on Darke County Center for the Arts’ Ghost Walk. Tramping through the brisk night time autumn air over Greenville’s sidewalks and back alleys could be spooky enough even without the ghostly tales accompanying the trek. Stops on the route include the old fort at Greenville City Park, The Palace, and the Finnarn Law office; in addition to tour guides, several local actors will be stationed along the way to portray characters who share stories of hauntings, some involving famous people from Greenville’s past, others telling of unexplained happenings to ordinary folk.
Whether you strongly believe in ghosts, think that such things are figments of the imagination, or land somewhere in between those opinions, you’ll have a good time at DCCA’s 13th annual Ghost Walk this weekend. You’ll learn true historical facts, and hear spine-tingling stories that leave much unexplained but recount events that happened to real people who are not insane. This is a Halloween tradition to thrill, entertain, and inform all ages, although in order to fully participate you need to be up to a long, long walk that cuts through back alleys and over uneven surfaces.
If you’ve never participated in the Ghost Walk, you’ve missed out on a seasonal treat that is unique to our community. Just ask past participants, many of whom return year after year. Like most theatrical events, each performance is one-of-a-kind, so each incarnation of the Ghost Walk is something that you will never again experience in the same way. The tour guides bring their own personal flair to stories based on tales collected and published by local author Rita Arnold, undoubtedly embellishing here and there, and sharing a perspective that may differ from person to person. Each new audience brings a new outlook as well, adding another dimension to the event.
I can’t promise that you’ll encounter ghostly others if you attend DCCA’s Ghost Walk, but Ghost Walk has engendered some spooky tales of its own. While an enthusiastic young tour guide stationed on The Palace’s third floor was performing for the first time a few years ago, peculiar things began to occur—doors slammed, a presence loomed, participants screamed—and the tour guide refused to return to her post the following night—or ever again; and the Ghost Walk no longer ventures inside that building. Last year, another young guide stationed outside the Darke County Court House saw a dark figure lurking in one of the building’s windows, then saw the figure make a threatening move, then ran as fast as he could, heading back to St. Clair Memorial Hall where he arrived breathless and still “spooked.”
The fact that Ghost Walk is a fundraiser for Darke County Center for the Arts provides another good reason to join the fun; your $10 donation will support DCCA’s programming including the Arts In Education series that takes high-quality performing artists to each grade of all local public schools at no cost to the students. DCCA’s Family Theatre Series which will open with ArtsPower Touring Theatre’s production of Chicken Dance on Sunday, Nov. 6, also benefits from funds generated by the Ghost Walk.
So join the fun; bring the family, join with friends, or bravely strike out on your own to celebrate Halloween by exploring familiar sites while learning previously unknown local lore. The walk starts and ends at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, leaving at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, Oct. 28, tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30. Tickets will be available at the door.