Haunted History Tours this weekend promise to bring spirits to life in downtown Black Mountain’s historic district and help raise money for the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center.
The tours will take participants along some of Black Mountain’s most storied streets to learn about the humorous, haunting and harrowing history of Swannanoa Valley, while also meeting some of its most famous spirits, both friendly and frustrated.
Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center and its volunteers will lead the roughly two-hour tours this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23.
This is the eighth year the museum has hosted annual haunted house tours, which are a major fundraiser for the museum.
“These tours are a staple for the museum, and our volunteers always bring a lot of enthusiasm and creative ideas every year,” said LeAnne Johnson, the museum’s executive director. “The tours help visitors and locals realize how much history they are walking through every day, even if they’re just visiting a bookstore or admiring our local depot. So many stories lie just below the surface.”
In past years, the tours have been hosted at various landmark sites in the Swannanoa Valley, including In-the-Oaks, the historic estate of Franklin S. Terry, first vice president of General Electric, that is now part of Montreat College’s Black Mountain campus.
This year’s tours, with their focus on downtown Black Mountain’s historic district, will dig into the long history of the area and the ways that floods, fires, tourism, trains and even pandemics have all helped shape its past and present.
Tours will depart from the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center at 223 West State St. in Black Mountain, with ghostly guides taking people to notable spots in the town where historians will deliver tragic and fun facts about its history.
At many of the spots, people associated with Black Mountain’s past will appear in spirit form.
Tour stops include the Inn Around the Corner, an early 20th century home that used to serve as a boarding house and is now reported to have a resident ghost; Sassafras-on-Sutton, a former livery stable and site of a significant downtown fire in 1912; and the McKoy Building, which served as an emergency hospital for victims of the Spanish flu in 1920.
Tours will start at 5 p.m. and will be offered every half hour, at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person for museum members, $30 per person for non-members.
Register online at swannanoavalleymuseum.org/event or call the museum at 828-669-9566. Some fees apply when paying online. The museum can also accept checks in person.