Area walking tours feature haunted buildings and ghostly adventures
Evidence of spirits detected at some sites
(October 2019) – For those who enjoy a scare around this time of year, October offers several options to experience a ghost walk or tour. Ghost walks are planned for Vevay, Ind., La Grange, Ky., and Madison, Ind.
Vevay, Ind.’s Swiss Inn has been around since the 1830s, and so have some of the “resident” ghosts, according to town ghost lore. The inn, the oldest in Switzerland County, has had its share of unusual happenings and supernatural occurrences.
This year, tourists participating in “The Original” Vevay Ghost Tour will not only visit the inn but can actually stay in the haunted hotel. The tour, which will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, will feature three locations with a history of being haunted. Tickets are $30, and there is very limited availability.
Angie Priest leads “The Original Vevay Ghost Tour” each year in Vevay, Ind.
Vevay Ghost Tour Guide Angie Priest said, “The Swiss Inn, also originally known as LeClerc Inn and Candles Inn, was rumored to have once housed a witch doctor and had a few guests die.” Visitors can make reservations to stay at the inn during the tour weekend. Anyone interested will have to contact the Swiss Inn.
• For more information, contact “The Original” Vevay Ghost Tour at (812) 493-9572, the Spirits of La Grange Ghost Tour at (502) 269-0126 and the Lanier-Madison Ghost Walk at (812) 265-3526.
In addition to the Swiss Inn, the Historic Hoosier Theater, built in 1837, and the Phoenix Hotel, built in 1860, will be featured on the tour. Priest also said book author, psychic and medium Ellen McKittrich will be available after the tour on Sunday night for mini readings for an additional cost. Those readings will be $25 each. “She is always a popular attraction with the tour visitors,” said Priest.
Tour goers can bring their own smaller paranormal investigative equipment and take their time at the locations. “There have been lots of recordings of ghostly activity by investigators, and some of those who have experienced ghostly happenings will be on hand to talk about them,” said Priest. The tour is not completely handicapped accessible, and children under 14 are not permitted to attend.
La Grange, Ky.’s Main Street Program will also hold its 17th annual Spirits of La Grange Ghost Tour Thursdays through Saturdays during the month of October. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online. According to their website, proceeds from the tours fund the Facade Grant Program of the La Grange Main Street Program, helping to preserve historic buildings. Due to the potential spirit activity, all 100 percent genuine, tours are not recommended for children under 12. ?The two-hour candlelight walking tour combines a historical aspect with introductions to the town’s ghostly residents.
“La Grange has always been a very “spirited” town, with a rich and colorful history of ghost lore and stories passed down for generations. It seems that when people come here they don’t want to leave,” said La Grange Main Street Program Executive Director Sandie Fulks.
One of Fulks’ favorite stories recounted on the tour is of a particular building that has had some supernatural activity even recently. For decades, residents have thought the child in the events was possibly a young girl. Looking through historical records, it was discovered the building has originally been a hotel. The owner of the hotel had a daughter, Jenny, who died of Typhoid Fever in 1855 when she was 8 years old.
“A great deal of research and investigation has been conducted in order for the ‘spirit activity’ experienced to be related to actual historic records of people and structures. These are well documented true stories of past residents of our city,” Fulks said.
In Madison, Ind., visitors and residents can experience a night time, behind-the-scenes tour of the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, built in 1844, and hear some spooky stories about the house and the people who lived there. The annual Lanier-Madison Ghost Walk is scheduled for 7:30-8:30 p.m. and 9:30-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26. Ticket prices vary.
In addition to the historic home, tour goers will walk the nearby streets in historic downtown Madison and make three stops at supposedly haunted buildings.
The last stop will be the Historic Broadway Tavern, 313 Broadway. The tavern, established in 1834, is the oldest continuous operating tavern in Indiana. Ghost lore has rumored the tavern has numerous “spirits” in addition to the spirits still served for tour goers over 21. Like the other tours, there are some accessibility and age restrictions.
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