By Pat Smith
---- — GREENSBURG – It’s been said, way back in time, that there was murder and mayhem on or very near the Decatur County Courthouse Square.
In fact, rumor has it that this year, on Oct. 25, is the very year that something will happen to bring back memories of those unusual years: a cackling laugh from a skeleton, a weeping woman’s bleached bones, a man seen sitting in a window long after people thought him deceased; a man shuffling about muttering he’s so sorry; a long low train whistle and a woman.
The Historical Society of Decatur County has planned an unforgettable Halloween event for everyone this year. For the first time ever, there will be a “Ghost Walk” on the square. Locations of some of the powerfully melodramatic scenes include Decatur Apartments, Story’s Restaurant, The Decatur County Jail, the courthouse lawn and the Decatur County Historical Society museum on North Franklin.
Greensburg Community High School teacher John Pratt will be narrator for both the 7 p.m. and the 8 p.m. walk.
Spotlights, sound effects, unusual attire, creative lighting and out of this world stories are almost secondary when the list of local “actors” are exposed.
People say that Dr. Hank Martin and his wife Susan are brilliant pantomimes. Others insist that while Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeff Emsweller and Sheriff Greg Allen are not exactly great actors, they certainly deserve an “A” for effort. It’s been whispered about, however, that Sean Durbin and Clayton Zeigler are determined to be triumphant if “Oscars” are given.
Adrian Scripture is biting his nail with anticipation and Tom Barker, known for his films and photography, is raring to go do some pantomime. Jeannie Coy of State Fair Blue Ribbon fame, Katy Swinford and Nathan Willis are rumored to be headed to Hollywood but Fire Chief Scott and Police Chief Stacy Chasteen are alleged to be on their way to Broadway as soon as the Ghost Walk is over.
But wait! Chitchat around town is that Mayor Gary Herbert and Attorney Peg Polanski are playing their parts at the museum so well that they may actually create some panic. The good news is that Daily News Editor Brent Brown and Decatur County Historian Russell Wilhoit promise to play their parts with such quite composure that it will generate a near tranquil scene. But then, there’s Chris and Valerie Stephens who are alleged to have an aversion to “near tranquil scenes.” Come to think of it, no one knows what Nathan and Abby Willis might be up to or what surprises are in store.
Museum Director Dustin White might play a skeleton in this Ghost Walk, but is that all he’s up to? Is he really prepared to help Dallas Whipple with the sound and lighting? Marilyn Beaver, who dreamed this fantastic evening up in the sanctuary of her kitchen, will act as Lamp Carrier. Marilyn has said that this will be the one and only Ghost Walk, so enjoy this year’s.
This is bound to be a fun evening. Tickets are on sale by board members or at the museum for $5.
A party after the Ghost Walk is open to the public for $10 at the museum. Proceeds will go help finance the yearly Spook Tour for children. The Spook Tour for children is Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. and admission is free.