Calling all ghosts

Published 1:28 am Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CAHAWBA — Turn-of-the-century residents of Cahawba and Selma may not be around to tell their stories, but that doesn’t mean their spirits are ready to leave yet.

And with a little help from guides, everyone can experience the ghostly history of the area.

The Haunted History Tours of Central Alabama is hosting two different tours of Cahawba and Selma for the third annual event on Oct. 16 and 17 to explore paranormal spirit activity.

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Friday tours journey from the Cahawba Visitor Center by hay wagon through Old Cahawba to two locations. Initially stopping at an outdoor location, attendees will listen to first-hand experiences, history and participate in a mini investigation of the site with a local paranormal team.

Then moving by wagon to an inside location, all will hear about first-hand experiences, history and participate in an investigation of the home. Participants end the event at a bonfire near the Visitor’s Center and are invited to share stories about any experiences during the tours.

“This is not staged and not a jump-out-scare-you haunted ride,” said Candace Johnson, Selma Tourism Director. “If you hear something, it’s not at all staged.”

This is the only time the park opens its gates at night.

Saturday tours travel in Selma to Sturdivant Hall and to a walking tour though Old Live Oaks Cemetery. Guides will divulge stories of the murders, love triangles and intrigue related to some of those buried in the cemetery.

This is the only time Sturdivant Hall will be open at night. Participants must transport themselves between sites. Tickets are sold out for the Saturday event in Selma.

Guests are encouraged to touch things at the sites and ask questions.

“Paranormal interest is picking up now, and this is a great way to get in the fall mood,” Johnson said.

Friday tours of Cahawba are 90 minutes and begin at 6:30 p.m., running every 30 minutes, with the last tour starting at 9 p.m. All attendants can visit at the bonfire until 11 p.m. All groups have limited space, so reservations are required.Saturday tours run 2.5 hours, beginning at 5 p.m. with the last tour starting at 8 p.m.

Check out YouTube videos featuring the Alabama ghost trails to catch a sneak peek of Cahawba. Tickets are $15, ages 12 and up only. For more information or to buy tickets for Friday night, call 334-875-7241.