Ghost Trek tours return Friday

After a long season of quiet, humble hauntings and modest materializations, Marietta’s spooky spirits are ready to be back in the spotlight.

Ghost Trek, a tour of Marietta’s haunted hot spots, returns Friday for the sixth season. The popular downtown tour, which is operated by Hidden Marietta, combines harrowing tales of strange experiences in downtown Marietta with the fascinating history behind the places where they happened, said Hidden Marietta owner Lynne Sturtevant.

“Even if you’re not really into ghosts and the paranormal, there’s a good bit of history,” she said.

The tour also features a good bit of something for which it and the city of Marietta have become well known-ghostly folklore.

The tours, which begin Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., start from the fountain near the Lafayette Hotel on Front Street, one of Sturtevant’s favorite local haunts.

“I like the weirdness at the Lafayette Hotel because it’s sort of an ongoing thing. It’s not like something that happened 100 years ago. It’s like this happened last week. This could be happening now,” said Sturtevant.

While spots along this year’s tour- The Levee House, Front Street, downtown alleys and Second Street- will be familiar to tour regulars, Sturtevant and her “ghost ladies” are always adding new tales of spooky experiences shared with them, she said.

The tours are an incredibly fun option for area tourists, said Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Usually when people come in (to the visitors bureau) they’re looking for things to do, and the ghost tour is absolutely one of the items at the top of the list,” she said.

In addition to the regular Friday and Saturday night tours, which run through Nov. 1, people can schedule private group tours and G-rated tours for children, said Sturtevant.

While children can attend the regular tours, parents should use discretion. When deciding to bring a child, parents should gage things like whether the child likes scary stories or is afraid of the dark, cautioned Sturtevant.

Tours typically last an hour and a half and entail approximately a mile of walking. Regular tour tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. No reservations are needed.

For more information on Ghost Trek and other upcoming Hidden Marietta tours, visit hiddenmarietta.com.