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History Center offers a ghostly tour of city's haunts
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Northeast Georgia History Center’s 10th annual Ghost Walk will spin yarns about ghosts and haunts, but unlike campfire stories, these tales are all true, based on local events, history and legend.

“It’s not a scary walk, but it is eerie,” said Kathy Amos, Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute director, who helped research the stories.

Last year, hundreds of participants took part in the tour, which meandered from the history center on Academy Street to different stops on the Brenau campus. And investigators with the Southeastern Institute of Paranormal Research came along, discovering a new haunt in Brenau’s Pearce Auditorium.

“One of the investigators was up on the catwalk over the stage, while the rest of us were outside. She said she heard footsteps on the stage, but when she looked down, no one was there,” Amos said.

Tour guides will lead groups from the center on 322 Academy St. in Gainesville to each of seven story-telling stations where they will learn about the area’s paranormal history. The tours will leave every 20 minutes — rain or shine — between 6 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27.

Some of the tales featured well-known characters like the storied ladies of the lake and Agnes, who is said to be Brenau’s resident ghost.

Other stories had less well-known characters, like Dr. Hilbert Tingley, a New York doctor who met an untimely death and somehow ended up in a plot in Alta Vista Cemetery in Gainesville. Although the history center’s staff have pieced together some of Tingley’s puzzle, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

“The tour will feature old legends as well as newly discovered ones,” said Julie Carson, history center education and volunteer coordinator.

And because some of the stories may be more frightening than others, the tour isn’t recommended for children younger than 10.

Seven walks per evening will be departing from the History Center at 6, 6:20, 6:40, 7, 7:20, 7:40 and 8 p.m. The tickets, which are still available, are $8 for history center members and $10 for nonmembers. Groups are limited to 20 to 25 participants each, so center staff strongly encourage advance reservations. To save your spot, call 770-297-5900 or visit

Because the stories include walking and standing for almost two hours, organizers say the Ghost Walk isn’t recommended for participants with mobility issues.