Ghost Tours of Georgia's Golden Isles Oct 16, 2015 21:16:19 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Oct 16, 2015 21:16:19 GMT -5
Ghost Tours of Georgia's Golden Isles
It’s no secret that the history of the Golden Isles is rife with forgotten heroes, centuries-old cemeteries and urban legends, among other things. But the area is also a hub of paranormal activity, which can be found at most, if not all, of the well-known historical sites. With Halloween only a few days off, several local organizations are keeping the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve alive with tours that explore the ghostly lore and tales, some of which date back to the 18th century.
Last Ride Ghost Tours. Cruising along the residential area and business district of Historic Downtown Brunswick, Last Ride Ghost Tours explores the ghosts believed to be haunting several of the area’s homes and businesses. But the tours are more than riding around downtown in the converted 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood hearse in search of ghosts. “We always research and interview people (downtown) to hear about what they’ve seen,” said April Hann, owner of Last Ride Ghost Tours. “Our inventory of homes is always changing because we are always doing research and interviews and adding new houses. Brunswick is an old city like Savannah and St. Augustine, and there’s a lot of activity here.” And it’s been evident for Hann on numerous occasions recently. “Lately some of these properties have been active and people have been picking up images and orbs on their cameras. In one photo that I saw, there was this perfect outline of a woman’s body in a long dress. It was a misty image and the dress looked like it was from the Victorian era; it was on the porch of a property downtown,” she said. “In another photo, someone had caught [what appeared to be] a cloud floating inside a window inside of a house. And it wasn’t on fire.”
Those who want to get in contact with the unknown spirits of Old City Hall (above) will now get a chance, Hann added. “We are providing paranormal tours in Old City Hall and will be going into the historic property with ghost touring equipment,” adding that the 45-minute tours will cost $20 and require advance reservations.
While the two tours look into paranormal activity in the downtown area, she indicated it will be especially fun for those who enjoy history. “This is not like Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. If you love hearing about history, this tour is for you. The stories are all factual and peppered with short stories on homes and businesses. It’s a lot of fun and this is a way for you to ride in a hearse and live to tell about it,” Hann laughed.
Toe tags, or tickets, are required to ride the hearse-led tour – driven by the Undertaker – and cost $15 for adults and $10 for children. The one-hour tours will begin at Fox’s Pizza, 1435 Newcastle Street, where bodies will be picked up and dropped off. Reservations are required and private tours are available. Details: 912-265-2666.
St. Marys Haunted History Tour. It may be the seventh year the St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association and St. Marys Little Theatre will host its haunted history tour, but Barbara Ryan promises the tour is anything but repetitive. This year, it will be held Friday, October 23, beginning at 6 p.m. “The Haunted History Tour is one of St. Marys’ most popular events. Year after year, we recreate true scenarios of yesteryear that are then presented by talented storytellers in character and in full vintage garb. It’s a great event for all ages,” said Ryan, chair of the St. Marys Little Theatre. “We have 11 different venues … (and) all the stories are related to history and are true stories. For example, the drowning victim of the 1898 hurricane that hit St. Marys. Our ‘victim’ will be telling that story on the waterfront.”
Many of the venues will include the Peacemaker tall ship, Orange Hall, Clark House and Oak Grove Cemetery (above), where professional and amateur storytellers will expound on the local lore and historical facts of some of the city’s earliest occupants. “There are more Revolutionary soldiers here than any other cemetery in Georgia ... [and] we will have a Revolutionary War soldier at Oak Grove Cemetery to talk about some of the soldiers that lived here. It’s a way to gear up interest in them and how St. Marys played a role,” she said, adding that Scarlett O’Hara will lead some of the tour and a duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton will ensue. “[This tour] is one of our most popular events of the year and people can also do the scarecrow crawl as a two-for-one special,” she added. “This is an informal evening and you can begin where you want and stop wherever you want. And if you don’t want to walk, you can ride in one of our carts.” Advance tickets are $8; tickets on the day of the event are $10. Tickets can be purchased at Once Upon a Bookstore and St. Marys Welcome Center. Proceeds will benefit businesses in downtown St. Marys and the St. Marys Little Theatre.
Ghosts and Legends of Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation. Bill Giles is no stranger to the paranormal activity that thrives on the grounds of Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation (above). In fact, he, several volunteers, staff members and visitors have had their fair share of encounters. To Giles, it’s to be expected seeing as Hofwyl’s history stretches back to when it was a rice plantation at the turn of the 19th century. Those who haven’t experienced the supernatural will get a chance to do so with the plantation’s program at 6:15 p.m. every Friday through October 30. “We walk all around the plantation and you get to see a lot of things that you don’t normally get to see during regular business hours,” said Giles, site manager. “We talk about the history of the site and weave in stories of strange things that have happened.” Though tight-lipped about some of the stories, Giles said some of the pictures he’s received from guests include images of ghostly faces. “[Hofwyl] was owned for five generations by the same family and 357 slaves were working on the rice plantation. A lot of people have lived here and a lot of people have died here, too,” he added. “Historically, a lot has happened here. It has gone through the War of 1812, the American Civil War, numerous depressions and recessions, slavery, emancipation, hurricanes and more. There has been a lot of strife and turmoil here through the years ... (and this tour) is another way to think of history.” The half-mile tour will walk beneath centuries old Live Oak trees, explore the plantation out-buildings and finish with a lantern tour of the plantation house. Tickets are $20 per person, but pre-paid reservations will reduce the price to $15 each. Details: 912-264-7333.
Source: Brittany Tate, Golden Isles News, October 16, 2015.