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Ghosts walk through Trumbull history

October 11, 2012
By ANDY GRAY Tribune Chronicle , Tribune Chronicle | TribToday.com

Twenty-five years after the first Ghost Walk, organizers still are finding new stories to tell.

The annual event organized by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County returns Friday for two weekends of strolls through some of the strange and haunting stories of Trumbull County's past.

According to Ghost Walk director Mark Klinger, this year's event will have a strong Civil War theme

''With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we felt it was appropriate to have several stories related to it,'' he said.

Two of the new tales involve a Civil War veteran named Charlie Frease. In doing research on the people buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Klinger discovered that the cause of death for Frease was listed as ''whisky.''

''I had to look into it,'' Klinger said. ''I figured there had to be a story behind it. He was in the Civil War, involved in some of the major engagements, and then came home to an even more interesting life ... Barbara Root and I spent weeks in the genealogy room at the library on these stories.''

Fact Box

WHAT: Ghost Walk

WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 26-27

WHERE: Tours leave every 10 minutes starting at First Presbyterian Church, 256 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren.

HOW MUCH: $7 adults and $5 children ages 12 and younger. There is a $1 discount on tickets purchased in advance at Trumbull Art Gallery or online at TrumbullArts.org. The discount is available at the event with a Warren-Trumbull County Public Library card.

They also did additional research on the Sutliff family, who were strong abolitionists and whose home was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Organizers tried to provide a different perspective on some familiar segments. The story of a young girl scalped by Indians has been a frequently told tale on the Ghost Walks, and this year they added a new story about a maid defending a home during the Delaware Indian riots. But there's also a story that looks at the conflicts between the settlers and the Native Americans from the Native American perspective.

As they researched the accounts of Indian attacks, Klinger said there was evidence that the stories and the bodies counts were inflated and exaggerated as they passed from one person to the next.

''The truth in all of these stories between the Native Americans and the settlers was somewhere in between,'' he said. ''We had to show both sides of the story.''

The new tales will join old favorites, like Aunt Lizzie and the death of young Bish Perkins.

About 15 actors will recount the tales at the 10 stops around Mahoning Avenue N.W., and between 50 and 60 volunteer tour guides will work over the four nights. Tours will leave every 10 minutes from First Presbyterian Church with the last tour departing at 9 p.m. each night.

Klinger said he believes Ghost Walk has endured because it appeals to different audiences.

''No matter who you are, there's something about Ghost Walk that catches your attention,'' Klinger said. ''There's acting, there's history, and it does have some unique stories, these off-the-wall things.''

 
 

 

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