Museum to provide chills and shivers with tour

By David J. Coehrs -

It’s time again for thrill seekers of the paranormal to delve into the 7th Annual Fulton County Haunting History Walking Tours, scheduled Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27.

The 1 to 1-1/2 hour walking tours will be held on those dates from 6:30-8:45 p.m., starting at the Wauseon Depot, 225 Depot St. Groups of 10 people will then be led by guides every 15 minutes, moving next to North Park to be regaled with ghost stories. Some will be historic to the area, others passed down from those who experienced them.

From the park, the groups will travel to History Manor at 229 Monroe St., the former location of the Fulton County Historical Museum. Long believed to be haunted by numerous spirits, the 19th Century building will soon open to the public featuring rooms depicting past eras.

During the haunting tour, however, guides will spin spooky yarns about the 16-room facility, which served through its history as a school, a hospital with a tuberculosis ward, and world war-era apartments. According to Scott Lonsdale, operations manager of the Museum of Fulton County, tour guests in the past have had first-hand supernatural encounters there.

“People have reported events that they have experienced that are out of the ordinary,” he said.

Because the spooky tour, while also educational, does deliver chills and shivers, it’s not recommended for younger children.

Staff members and volunteers who worked at the previous museum location confessed to sensing both benign and malevolent otherworldly presences and encountering phantom smells associated with them, according to John Swearingen Jr., Museum of Fulton County executive director. They identified several spirits in residence including a young boy named Johnny, a man searching for his spectacles, and a despondent nurse who worked at the former hospital and allegedly hung herself from an attic rafter.

“You’re going to hear stories about ghosts. You get quite a lot of cool supernatural information,” Lonsdale said. He said guests with ghost hunting devices on their cell phones will be welcome to use them.

The tour ends back at the depot; tours will be held despite weather conditions, so participants are advised to dress accordingly.

The popular tour was ended long ago by a former museum director, then revived by Swearingen seven years ago. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Reservations and pre-payment are required

For more detailed information on the Haunting History Walking Tours, call 419-337-7922.

By David J. Coehrs

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.

Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.