Looking for a haunting experience this Halloween?

The Morton Museum of Cooke County is planning its first ghost tour of Gainesville for Saturday, Oct. 25.

Ticketholders will meet at the Museum at 210 S. Dixon Street, and board the trolley for an evening of chilling stories about Gainesville.

The first outing is planned for 6:30 p.m.

A second departure is set for 9 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now and are $10 for museum members and $12 for non-members.

Jayleane Smith, is the tour guide for the trip.

She said she is in the middle of a research project about Gainesville’s ghosts and is “reading one book after another” on the subject.

It might surprise some people that the city has a history of hauntings.

Smith didn’t want to give away the details of the tour including the locations of every stops along the way, but she was glad to share some of her insight on Gainesville’s ghostly past.

The Butterfield Stage Playhouse has long been the sight of mysterious happenings including the appearance of a spectral woman in the quiet little alcoves of the historic building.

So has the old J.C. Penney building in downtown Gainesville.

“Workers would be on the first floor, and they’d hear footsteps and think there were shoppers upstairs. When they went upstairs, there wouldn’t be anybody there,” Smith said.

Then there’s the story about the carpenter who climbed a ladder to do some reconstruction work in a Gainesville building and found someone or something moved his ladder out of reach.

“Of course, there’s always the chance that some of this could be pranks played by other workers,” Smith admitted. “Still Gainesville has its share of (substantiated) ghost stories.”

Museum director Kathy Farquhar said she expects the tour to draw a crowd.

“We’ve had several people who contacted us from different cities and said they had a real interest in a ghost tour in Gainesville. We think people will enjoy it,” she said.

“We’re going to make it a fun time for everybody,” Smith said.

Space aboard the trolley is limited to about 30 riders and museum officials encourage those who want to take the tour to purchase their tickets early.

The museum’s new Book Nook and Boutique will also be open that evening.

“We dare you to climb on board and go Ghostin’ Around Gainesville,” Farquhar said.



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