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First Act: Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington

Published: Oct. 9, 2008 at 2:52 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 20, 2008 at 3:52 PM EST
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Burgwin-Wright House
Burgwin-Wright House
Williams-Holladay House
Williams-Holladay House
Latimer House
Latimer House

Reported and posted by Heather Setzler  bio | email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -- In the daylight, the beautiful old homes around downtown Wilmington help shape the city's history, but at night they tell a darker story.

Denise Ward, a tour guide for the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington, tells countless stories to groups of interested tourists and locals as she leads them through the cobbled streets and back in time.

The first stop on a recent tour is the Burgwin-Wright House on Market Street.

"It actually was once the site of the old jail of Wilmington, and then later in our history, it's where Cornwallace occupied the home during the Revolutionary War," said Ward. "Many ghosts haunt the halls and rooms of that beautiful building."

From there the tour moves to the Latimer House on 3rd Street, where in the 1850s, Zebulon Latimer and his wife Elizabeth dreamed of filling the rooms with their children.

"To this very day, folks that enter this home can still hear the soft sobbing cries for those who died much too young," explained Ward.
 
A short walk to 4th Street leads the group to the Williams-Holladay home.

"Where a mother that died giving birth to one of her babies is still haunting the home, and she now looks over the young for others."

No ghost walk would be complete without a visit to a graveyard. The tour stops by the one that sits beside Saint James Episcopal Church.

"Samuel Jocelyn was buried here in 1810.  He was buried completely alive."

As the tour wraps up, no one has seen anything very paranormal, but Ward says she's experienced some spooky things over the years.

"Curtains open and close and no one lives in this home at night. There's a window on the second floor that will suddenly just frost over and you can read the word 'help' scroll across. Someone will suddenly feel someone place their hand on their shoulder and when they turn around to look, no one is there."

"You get a little cold chills every time you hear a ghost story, and it's very fascinating," said Amber Johnson who traveled from Asheboro, NC to take the tour.  "If you're not a believer, it kind of makes you think."
 
Think about what happens when the lights go out, and Wilmington's haunted history comes alive.

Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington

  • Nightly at 6:30pm & 8:30
  • Through Oct. 31
  • Hours/days change during winter

For more information about the Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington or to make reservations, call (910) 794-1866 or click here.

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