This year’s Conway Ghost Walk: Spirits of the Lowcountry will still be devilishly divine, even though it’ll look a little different.
“A walking tour through the shadowy streets of downtown Conway, stopping at historic landmark locations to hear tales and learn of haunts” is how Conway Downtown Alive’s executive director Hillary Howard described it.
Keeping with social distancing regulations, the event will be self-guided, instead of in groups of 20 or more as in other years.
The Ghost Walk will be Oct. 22, 23 and 24 with tales told every 15 minutes from 6 – 8 p.m.
Advance $15 tickets are available through conwayalive.com or by calling 843-248-6260.
When tickets are purchased, participants will get instructions on how to access each of the seven stops.
Conway Alive has manned the event for about 10 years, and before that, the Conwayborough Neighborhood Association put it on.
Guy Dozier, who’s been one of the storytellers for about 15 years, said the stories “are designed to entertain rather than frighten people.
“You won’t see any bloody arms laying around and no one is going to be carrying a chain saw and chasing you through a cemetery.”
“There’s no haunted house, nobody will be jumping out at you and there’s no blood and guts.”
Every story starts with a grain of truth, she said, and that grain of truth is “reworked.”
The tales, she said, are always spooky, sometimes humorous and guaranteed to become part of your family’s Halloween traditions.
The storytellers dress in garb appropriate to match their story, and Dozier, well-known for his participation in local theater, will be the one in a top hat, scarf and overcoat.
Stories are only five minutes long, and the whole tour is about a mile.
Participants can begin their self-guided walk at any of the locations and continue in any order.
There are variations in the walking surfaces, which include sidewalks, grass, slight inclines and roadways. People should wear appropriate walking shoes and if there are very little ones, strollers are encouraged.
They might also want to bring a flashlight to the rain-or-shine event.
And while listening to the stories, masks are required.
One of the benefits of the tour being self-guided, Howard said, is that if people approach a storyteller and are uncomfortable with the number of listeners who are gathered, they can move on to another location and come back later.
Over the years, people have looked forward to hearing their favorite stories retold.
For Howard, her favorite part of the Ghost Walk is knowing the Conway area’s oral tradition is being passed on from one generation to the next.
“There were teenagers who heard these stories and are now married and pushing their little kids in strollers,” she said. “It’s very cool to see the generational turns that come out of this event.”