Ghost Walk Fundraiser to benefit Buchanan library, fine arts council

BUCHANAN — Those looking to indulge in some Halloween-inspired local lore are likely to get a few thrills and chills from the fourth annual Ghost Walk Fundraiser, hosted in partnership by the Buchanan District Library and the Buchanan Fine Arts Council.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, beginning at the Tin Shop Theatre. From there, a tour guide will take those who participate to several downtown destinations, where storytellers will share ghost stories and have some interactive activities prepared. The tour will wrap up at the Buchanan Community Center where there will be cider and doughnuts to enjoy.

Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for students ages 5 to 17 and can be purchased at the Tin Shop. Proceeds from the event will be split between the Buchanan District Library’s building campaign and the Buchanan Fine Arts Council.

Sarah Gault, a youth services coordinator for the library, is helping to organize the event. She said the tour got its start five years ago, although it did not take place last year.

“I had always wanted to do a ghost walk,” Gault said. “I thought what a perfect town to do a ghost walk [to create] just a fun, silly, event. A lot of people love it. They love hearing the stories.”

Gault said about 20 volunteers will help to bring the tour to fruition by dressing in character and creating some of their own tall tales to share. 

Megan Goodrich has volunteered to tell stories since the event’s inception. She said the stories people will hear will be based on local legends, a dash of fiction and some local history. For example, those that visit the Tin Shop will hear about its origins as a makeshift hospital during a 1918 flu epidemic. People are rumored to have died during this time in the Tin Shop and local legend has it that those working late night hours in the Tin Shop have been subject to some strange sounds, such as a closing door when no one else is there and footsteps on the stairs.

“A lot of theater people say, ‘every theater has a ghost,’” Goodrich said. “Ours probably has multiple.”

At Union Coffee House, Goodrich and fellow volunteers will share a story. After the tour, people are invited back to the coffee shop to hear another tall tale and take a trip to visit a vault in the basement. The coffee house was formerly a bank and the vault is a reminder of the building’s history and an incorporation in the story.

Goodrich said they are inviting people after the tour, in case there are people that cannot climb stairs, but want to participate in the regular tour. Young children are also not advised to be in the basement for safety.

Goodrich said she has been working to transform the basement space into the ideal spooky backdrop for her story. While Goodrich has not revealed what her story is about, she said those who listen to it should hear some familiar Shakespeare-inspired story lines.

In previous years, the Ghost Walk Fundraiser has helped to raise between $5,000 to $7,000. Gault said they hope that the event brings out at least 100 people to participate this year. In the event of rain, she said they will move the tour indoors and story tellers will perform on the Tin Shop Theatre stage.

Those interested in learning more can visit the Buchanan District Library’s website.

Gault encouraged people to support the cause.

“It’s fun entertainment for the family and it is inexpensive fun that is helping causes that are the backbone of Buchanan, which is the Buchanan District Library and the Buchanan Fine Arts Council,” Gault said.

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