PLYMOUTH -- Saturday, October 26th, the Marshall County Museum Historic Crossroads Center hosted its 2019 Ghost Walk. The goal of the night was to allow the community to meet esteemed folks from our community from the present and from the historical origins of the county.
Karen Reddinger, archive manager of the Marshall County Museum and head of the genealogy department, says that “she got the idea of the ghost walk while she was just a part-time member of the museum and thought it would be fun” in 2008.
This year is Dennis Bottorff’s second year participating in and volunteering for the Ghost Walk. Bottorff states that he likes the Ghost Walk because “it’s fun and funky and wonky and also the fact that it raises money for this great place. The Ghost Walk gives people the opportunity to drop in who maybe haven’t been here in a while and maybe they’ll look around and say ‘wow, this place is great I’m going to come back and bring more people around.’ It’s just a great event for everyone to get together and have fun. What really made this perfect was the dark and stormy night it just really made it perfect.”
Men and women of all ages were welcomed to the event. Romantic couples, families, and a group of friends or two dotted the museum throughout the event. Jared Schmidt, a self-proclaimed Halloween, and all spooky things enthusiast brought his girlfriend Janet Banks along for the ride. Banks is not a self-proclaimed Halloween and all spooky things enthusiast but rather an avoider of all things creepy and crawly. However, by the end of the night, Banks had been won over by the various ‘ghosts’ of the Ghost Walk and stated, “I am not nor have I ever been a big fan of Halloween. Jared [Schmidt] loves it. He finally convinced me to attend this event as it was either this or a haunted house. It wasn’t that bad, in a spooky sense. There was one really big jump scare but other than that it was just harmless fun. I would totally consider coming here again next year. It made me like Halloween just a little more.”
Marie Hoppkins, mother of 6, brought her half a dozen along for the ride at the Ghost Walk. Armed with a toddler on each hip, Hoppkins was practically jumping with excitement before the event. Hoppkins states, “I have been coming to the Marshall County Museum annual Ghost Walk for four years now. I came with my husband for the first year, then we brought the kids the second year. They were addicted. It’s not really a typical haunted house where you have to worry about the kids getting too scared and bursting into tears, and you don’t have to worry about any creepy clowns scaring the bejeesus out of you when you walk around a corner. It’s surprisingly a very educational night for young and old alike. The ‘ghosts’ of the ghost walk were real people, and while some of the stories can be really depressing, the various volunteers and the members of the museum try their very best to ensure that the history lesson is entertaining as well as educational. My kids love it and have turned into history buffs because of it. For anyone thinking about coming next year, you should give it a shot. Not only is it for a great cause but it’s a truly great experience.”
Annabelle Hoppkins, oldest daughter of Marie Hoppkins states, “My mom dragged me here the first year. I was less than thrilled. But this whole thing is actually really fun. The guys always try to make me laugh if I get too creeped out and the best part is mom always gets us ice cream after! I really liked the Gilbert Eakins character this year, he made me laugh the most. That and the guy who basically got killed by a squirrel.”
This year's theme relied heavily on the Spanish flu epidemic and featured an ‘authentic’ nursing station. The various characters each shared a bit, or a lot, about their lives and their deaths. It was truly a community effort. The volunteer cast as listed in the program included Reverend John Houghton as Pioneer John Houghton, Tom Boys as Baptiste Goldkette, Teresa Wellborn as Lora Burden, Sam Erwin as Fred Fesser, Cydni Dietrick as Emma Bowles, Dennis Bottorff as Gilbert Eakins, Mark Senter as Daniel McDonald, Milo Johnson as Brent Martin, Jeremiah Horan as Monty Peden, James Heminger as Tom Buchanan, Peter Lichtenbarger as Don Balka, Marilyn Gochenour as Faye Albert, Sean Surisi as Daniel Day, and Brenda Anderson as Louberta Meredith.
The next community event the Marshall County Museum will be hosting is the Brown Bag lunch event, “Battle of the Bulge: a 75th Anniversary Story of a Local Soldier,” on December 13th. For more information about coming events and museum happenings, visit 123 N Michigan St. in Plymouth or the Marshall County Museum Historic Crossroads Center Facebook page.