The Hub October 2015 - Page 28

especially around Halloween. Each October, Tymec leads seasonal ghost walks in Sandwich Town and Amherstburg. These areas - some of the oldest settlements in the region - are home to several purportedly haunted buildings. The fact that these areas are rich in history - especially history surrounding early 19th century battles - may have something to do with their tendency toward ghost tales. Ghost stories tend to come from historical events, but not all historical events create ghost stories. Typical tales of strolling spirits and hauntings involve tragedies or unresolved mysteries - a common element in war time. Mackenzie Hall, which once served as a courthouse, prison and execution site, lends itself naturally to supernatural lore. And Kings Landing isn’t the only home to ghosts in Amherstburg - there’s also the former Bullock Tavern, among others. Tymec’s ghost walks have been running for about eight years, though his locations may shift. “Growth has been fairly steady but I do like to give them a rest once in a while. That's what I did with Amherstburg, this year. If you take a way the tour for a season, the crowds tend to come back more strongly because they missed it!” Local ghost stories serve a greater purpose than just sending chills up the spine, or providing some autumn entertainment. For example, when teaching history, to younger people especially, Tymec believes that having stories from the time period being taught makes it more likely that people will retain the information. “The stories stay with the people and make them proud to be a part of such a historically rich area.” And sometimes a ghost story just serves as some shared history between friends. Mariah Atherley, a local college student, was at her friend’s house when they saw something out of the ordinary. “My friend left the room and she ran into a tall black thing, thinking it was one of our other friends who is tall and was also there,” said Atherley. “She didn’t tell anyone about it until her brother saw the same black figure in the hall.” Atherley said she later saw a figure leaving a room. She thought it was her friend’s mom but when it did not reply to Atherley’s greetings she knew it was something else. The figure crept into another room and disappeared. “We tried to contact it with a Ouija board,” said Atherley. Atherley said they were exposed to the black figure one more time in a similar circumstance but had no luck in finding out who or what it was. She and her friends have not seen it since. With Halloween right around the corner, ghosts are likely to be top of mind, and stories will make the rounds again. Whether you’re a storyteller or the one having a hard time sleeping after listening to one, you can indulge your cravings for the creepy at one of a dozen haunted mazes, houses or walking tours in the area. Keep your mind open and your eyes and ears ready for H