The ghosts of Hillsboro residents past will come to life Tuesday, Sept. 29 when the annual Highland County Historical Society Ghost Walk is held in the Hillsboro Cemetery.
This year, though, the ghosts will be presented in a little different way.
”The ghosts will be doing the walking and the attendees will stay seated, spaced apart, around the stage beside the cemetery chapel,” said Vicki Knauff, director of the historical society’s Highland House Museum. “Attendees must wear face coverings — masks or shields — to the event. We don’t want our ghosts endangered by coronavirus.”
One of the ghosts being portrayed this year will be Virginia Bell, who gave up a stage career in New York City to return to the Hillsboro company her grandfather founded to run the C.S. Bell Foundry.
“You’ll learn about the difference she made in the company,” Knauff said. “’As honest as Mr. Hibben!’ That was the phrase used around town to declare a person to be extremely honest and upstanding by comparing him or her to Mr. Samuel E. Hibben, who founded the S.E. Hibben Company, a merchant business in Hillsboro which was a staple in the uptown area for well over 100 years.”
Knauff said there are few people in Hillsboro whose life hasn’t been touched by a member of the Harewood family. It all started with Barney Harewood, who was an active member of the local community, touching many lives through his church, his work and the Boy Scouts.
“There are only two soldiers from the Revolutionary War buried in Green Lawn Cemetery — or as we know it now it — the Hillsboro Cemetery,” Knauff said. “One of those will be telling us his story. That is Samuel Gibson, who was an Indian spy as well as serving our country in other ways.”
Another ghost being portrayed is Dr. William Henry Harrison Dunn, who ran a respectable drug store business in uptown Hillsboro, according to Knauff.
“He got into a row with the Temperance movement ladies and was the holdout from signing the pledge not to sell alcohol,” Knauff said. “He’ll tell you his story, as well as his sad ending.”
The host for the evening will be R.R. Grim, an imaginary character in the person of a 19th century undertaker. He will fill the audience in on the funeral practices of that time between the appearances of the ghosts.
Participating in the Ghost Walk this year will be Jeff Beery, Tara Beery, Bob Brown, Tim Hennison, Earl Smith and John T. Willis. The Sept. 29 walk will start at 6 p.m.
There is no admission fee for the event.
”Come and be entertained and learn about local history,” Knauff said.
For more information, call the Highland House at 937-393-3392.