Angela and I went on a Columbus Landmarks Foundation Ghost Tour last night. For the last 20 years they’ve been doing these tours during the Halloween season. It wasn’t all that different from the Ghost Tour we took this Spring in Gettysburg, you went to some old, spooky places and heard the local ghost stories.
That, in itself, is pretty fun and interesting, but what really strikes me about them is just how much history you pick up from these stories. Last night, we toured an Antique shop on South High Street, that I used to live close to and never noticed before. This building had previously been a private home, a funeral home, and an Elk’s Lodge. We got the chance to go down into the basement, the old embalming and crematorium areas, and look around for ourselves. We heard about the two children who had died in the house when it was a private residence, and other stories about how the building was used through the years.
We also went down to the Jury Room, a tavern across the street from the Court House downtown that has been in the same building since 1831. Again, we had the opportunity to learn about the history of the building, and walk down to a basement that still had coal soot coated on the floor.
We heard stories about Columbus ‘ history as a British prisoner of War camp during the War of 1812, and how the British prisoners were left to die on an Island in the Scioto River that is no longer there, and also about the many places where Confederate Soldiers were buried from the prison camp located in Columbus . We heard about where Mound Street got it’s name, from the old Indian Mound that was dug up in the heart of downtown so that bricks could be made of the earth and used in the Statehouse, and many other interesting tidbits about Columbus .
So, even if we didn’t see any orbs, or really get all that spooked on our tour, we sure did learn a lot, and that’s a great reason to take a Ghost Tour in and of itself, even if you don’t like ghost stories.
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