— Trisha Benton Cedar County News HARTINGTON - There’s a spooky collaboration brewing.
For the first time, the Cedar County Theater Group and the Cedar County Historical Society are joining forces for an eerie activity - a Historical Ghost Walk. The event is set for one night only - Saturday, Sept. 24 - with ticket sales starting at 5:30 p.m. at Big Hair Brewhaus in Hartington.
The witching hour starts shortly after.
“Come early. Get your tickets. Don’t wait. There’s been a huge amount of interest and it’s only one night,” said Julie Meirose of the historical society.
Hartington will turn into a ghost town for the 60-minute guided walking tour which explores seven stops along the historic district. Those attending can expect to be thrilled and chilled with interactive storytelling of mayhem, murder, strange happenings and ghosts.
“It’s mixed media is what I would call it,” said Beau Fleming of the Cedar County Theater Group. “There’s traditional actors at some of the stops that delve into some of the stories and histories. Business owners are participating with their businesses whether it’s through displays or projections. There's a lot of dierent unique things. It’s not going to be a traditional theatrical performance. There’s something for everyone.”
The tour will focus on the early 1900s with some of the best ghost stories based in historical truth.
The importance of the railroad to Hartington and the mayhem that led to the new depot will be explored. Longtime county coroner and furniture maker Frank Reifert’s inquest practices will be revealed along with the strange occurrences at the auditorium during the Armistice Day celebration.
The murderess jailed at the courthouse in a love triangle will not be overshadowed by the ghost that haunts the Hotel Hartington today.
The final stop will be in the saloon district with a tale designed to give shivers.
Clothing and items from the Cedar County Museum will be used during the tour, adding to the realistic, historical nature of the stories being shared.
The Historical Ghost Walk will not rely on a skeleton crew; it will take a dozen from the theater group, and doz ens more from the historical society and the community to pull o the event. Tickets are $25 with groups leaving the brewery about every 10 minutes. The tour contains some mature themes so children under 13 should not attend. Those attending should dress for the weather.
Proceeds from the event will be split among the historical society and theater group. The event was made possible through grant funding through the BNSF Foundation.
Along with money, both groups hope the event also raises awareness and broadens their reach in the county.
The historical society and theater group are discussing more collaborations in the future.
“Just the stories we’re going through are the tip of the iceberg,” Fleming said. “There’s so much history.”