What do you get when you pair Halloween with a gothic Victorian mansion? Ghost tours, of course.
The Castle, built in 1855 and located at 418 Fourth St. in Marietta, will be the backdrop for a series of tours focusing on the haunted history of the building and actual accounts of paranormal activity.
According to organizers of the event, people shouldn’t come anticipating the usual haunted “funhouse” experience.
“Don’t come with expectations of people jumping out and scaring you,” said Misti Spillman, The Castle’s education director since July.
Instead, volunteers and staff will be dressed in period clothing and will lead tours of up to 10 through the darkened house with only a lantern to see. For this reason, it is not recommended to bring children under age 8 or anyone who might have trouble navigating stairs.
Those who dare to reserve a spot on any of the tours, which will run every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. until after 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, might be witness to something they just can’t grasp, like unseen voices chatting in the dining room or doors which appear to have opened on their own.
It is thought that some of the unexplained activity – overhead footsteps, lights turning on, cool breezes – comes from two former residents of the home: Jessie Davis Lindsay and Stewart Bosley.
“I was in Jessie’s room, known to be one of the more haunted rooms at The Castle, and there were cold spots throughout, regardless of air conditioning or heat,” said Lauren Cunningham, 17, of Marietta, who has been involved with The Castle’s Victorian Wake and Funeral Tours. “Also, if I would leave the room, my chair would be moved back slightly every time I would return. Spooky.”
Jessie Davis Lindsay was the daughter of prominent Mariettans Lucy Nye and Theodore Davis and wife of John Lindsay. She inherited The Castle from her mother at age 55 and called it home until five days before her 100th birthday on Feb. 14, 1974.
“We don’t know for sure that it is Jessie (doing the haunting) but there has been a lot of activity in her bedroom,” said Spillman.
Stewart Bosely and his sister, Dr. Bertlyn Bosley, became owners of the property after Davis Lindsay’s death and began a renovation project that went on for close to two decades. Stewart died in 1991 before the project was completed.
“I think he comes back to check on us periodically,” joked Spillman.
Despite the random knocks and creaking of floorboards that sometimes spook the staff, volunteers and visitors of The Castle, Spillman assures that the spirits mean no harm.
“There hasn’t been anything negative happen and they definitely keep to themselves,” she said.
Reservations are recommended for the tours, which run about 45 minutes. The cost is $10 per person.