It was a perfect evening to be outside for the inaugural Elkin Ghost Tour Thursday night. The $8 fee to participate includes the tour and the participant’s choice of drink at the coffee shop at Diana’s Book and More. For an additional $2, participants get a choice of seasonal lanterns helpful for walking on uneven ground. Tours will continue every Thursday at 9 p.m. in October.
According to Vicki Blevins, “the town of Elkin backed this completely,” with participation from several local businesses and residents including the owners of Wanderlust Studio who seemed to enjoy the tour as it stopped at their home. History and entertainment were not the only reasons to initiate the ghost tour, as stated by Scotty Vestal. “We want to encourage you to shop local businesses,” he indicated on a stop at Kennedy’s Auto Supply where the owner invited tour participants to have cold water and a restroom break.
Participants were ready for local history to get active with a walk up the hill to Hollywood Cemetery. Enhanced by the contributions of local historian Dr. Jason Couch, tour guides led the group at a comfortable pace with frequent stops through the dark night.
Vestal shared history of several locations and people, including Royals Soda Shop, Foothills Arts Council, the Gwyn Museum and several private homes ending at Brushy Mountain Winery. Fires, floods, murders and multiple mutilations of one body by a train were discussed.
At one location, tour guide Serena Martin shared a personal experience with the unexplained, withholding until later her reluctance to enter another. “Mary doesn’t want me in there,” she explained after participants witnessed unusual behavior at one of the Main Street stops.
After having worked in a local house with an unusual history, Alec Wooten was eager to learn more about Elkin. He found the information about the tunnel system below the Chatham Manufacturing buildings and house to be the most interesting part of the tour. “To actually still have one,” and to be able to see it was remarkable.
Wooten’s wife Sonya was also very enthusiastic about the tour. After having previously taken a similar excursion in another local city, she was interested in the history available through the Elkin tour and found it “very educational,” stating she really enjoyed it.
Depending on interest, ghost tours may continue beyond October. Call Diana’s Bookstore and More at 336-835-3142 for more information.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.