Haunting the Bainbridge Ghost Walk

When I saw it listed in the online calendar of the visitors bureau, I didn’t realize the Bainbridge Ghost Walk had been postponed a week because of weather – but that made it possible for me to attend last night, November 9th.

Being a Bearcat (class of 1987) I’m happy to support the capital of Paint Valley, and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of performances, number of stories, and support of the town in providing sites.

And no – I did not live through the camera in my smart phone! (What an empty life.) These are just snapshots during performances or creative photos while walking or waiting, many of them utilizing the nighttime sensitivity of a digital camera.

The tour started in the historic Paxton Theatre.
The entrance lobby, looking up to the mural.
The grand chandelier in the Paxton Theatre.
Oh look, an oculus window! (Sorry, these circular windows have been a recurring theme for me in the last few weeks. And note the double entendre in that first sentence: Oculus…eye…look?)
Getting our marching orders from the spirit world.
Make sure there is no phantom in the opera house!
Heading out to the first ghost, past…
…the mural proudly painted four years ago.
The site of our first ghost. He said he didn’t remember killing his father, the pastor – though he woke up from a drunken fugue and there WAS all that blood on his hands.

The Methodist church originally stood on the site of the Paxton Theatre…until it burned in one of Bainbridge’s many fires.
Heading back into the Paxton.
Now that’s a good sign…
Johnny Paycheck performed for us from the theater’s “green room.”
Next, the federal government even hosted a ghost site, with a sign from the past…
…where centenarian (and more) June Gregg recounts her life.
The young gal herself.
Into the 1890s Benner Block, undergoing renovations as Pap’s Hiltop Honey (and micro-brewery)…
…Where the “Moonshine Mayor” offers some advice.
Popular Bainbridge postcards from the 1900s and 1910s on display…most of scenes now gone.
…to meet Dr. Davis, who spoke on his archaeological explorations…and travails with Mr. Squire.
Under the big top next door…
…where Clyde Beatty couldn’t make it, but an associate spoke for him.
Speaking of the big top…and this is a little one…
…A fantastic model!
He started with one circus wagon.
The Women’s Christian Temperance ladies accosted us about not drinking. And warned us about the neighborhood lady-of-the-night…who offered to show a trick where she could make a dollar bill disappear!
The WTC ladies did not even spare drivers their sermons.
At the Rockhold House, John Hunt Morgan threatened us to surrender our money and to keep quiet. But he was on he run after escaping from the Ohio Pen, and had to leave quickly.

(Btw, my research has shown that this is one of the three oldest buildings in Bainbridge, which were here before Nathaniel Massie platted the town in 1805 around them. But that’s another story.)

You know it will be a sad scene at the funeral home…
…Where Massie’s widow mourned her husband, who died too soon in 1813 after returning from the War of 1812. Even bleeding him did not help.
The former Paxton branch library hosted a young woman who mourned motherhood itself: her mother had her given a hysterectomy to make her a better wife. (This was a brave performance and I didn’t dare snap a photo.)
Not a grave robber, but an honest grave digger…
…He mentioned he had his own tombstone already carved, just to be prepared.

After returning to the Paxton for a description of Bainbridge’s worst fire in the 1890s – where Waverly sent a fire crew at about 60 miles an hour on the DT&I (by my math)…

Into the last stop, the Senior Center…
…for a ghostly ride on the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton with our conductor (and ghost coordinator).

Then cookies and hot chocolate to warm our chilled souls…

…And a serenade outside by a stranded traveller seeking a little spare change.

The end! (Or is it?)

Published by:

Kevin B. Coleman

Pre/historian, architectural historian, re-enactor, guide, reporter, speaker, writer, gardener, craftsperson, husbandman, et al., who can work in stone (flint knapping, flintlock, silicon chip) among other things and who is determined to use my knowledge, wisdom, and personal survival to help the greater good. At least, my cats and dog here in semi-rural Ohio tell me that.

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