Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery and magic, and is usually associated with a blurring of the boundary between the living and the dead, allowing ghosts of one kind or another to roam the earth.
Different countries and ethnic groups have for centuries observed their own distinct traditions, many of which were brought to the United States where the telling of ghost stories was a favorite feature of colonial Halloween celebrations, a tradition that has continued to the present day.
Although Halloween ghosts are often depicted as fierce and malevolent, most stories shared by those who believe that they have experienced a ghostly encounter do not tell of danger or evil, but of eerie unexplained events for which no other explanation seems rational. And those are the spooky tales that you will hear during the Ghost Walk, Darke County Center for the Arts’ annual Halloween-season fundraiser. Some of the stories are poignant, a few amusing, others a little gruesome, but all are intriguing, and originally related by a real, sane local person who was somehow involved in a mysterious happening.
DCCA’s traditional Downtown Ghost Walk will take place Friday, October 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26, leaving Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall (which according to many sources houses an amazing array of ghosts) at 7:30 each evening. If serious inclement weather precludes wandering the streets of Greenville, the stories will be spun within Memorial Hall. DCCA’s Cemetery Ghost Walk, initiated last Halloween season, will continue this year on Sunday, Oct. 27 as well as on Halloween, Oct. 31. Held at historic Greenville Union Cemetery beginning at 6 p.m. both nights, this walk will take you to the graves of former citizens whose spirits continue to touch lives long after their passing. However, as no appropriate alternative site is available, the Cemetery Walk will be canceled in bad weather.
In addition to experiencing the thrill of hearing chilling spooky stories, participants can also take pleasure in knowing that the purchase of a ticket to DCCA’s Ghost Walk helps fund DCCA’s wide-ranging programming which presents culturally enriching entertainment for citizens of all ages throughout our community. For example, DCCA’s Arts In Education program provides students in every grade of all local public schools with outstanding shows at no cost to the students; DCCA’s Family Theatre Series brings delightful plays, many based on classic and contemporary children’s literature, to historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, for a ticket price of just $5. You will have fun celebrating Halloween, while your Ghost Walk contribution assists DCCA’s ability to provide high quality programming benefitting the entire community throughout the year. What a deal!
Tickets for the Downtown Ghost Walk and the Cemetery Ghost Walk cost $10; however, tickets for the two Walks are not interchangeable. While advance tickets for the Cemetery Walk are only available on-line at www.darkecountyarts.org and by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org as well as at Greenville Public Library, tickets for the Downtown Walk can also be purchased at Ann’s Gifts, Readmore’s Hallmark, and Darke County Visitors Bureau Welcome Center in downtown Greenville. Tickets for the Downtown Walk will be sold at the door at St. Clair Memorial Hall; tickets may be purchased for the Cemetery Ghost Walk at the North Main Street Archway entrance to Greenville Union Cemetery immediately prior to the event. So, begin your own Halloween tradition or continue a treasured one by participating in DCCA’s Ghost Walk; you’ll hear fascinating tales and learn some local history while having a good time, a culturally enriching activity for all concerned.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.