The Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Community Theatre, MUW Center for Research and Public Policy and Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation recently presented a haunted tour of Columbus.
Ghosts and Legends included a bus tour to several historic and “haunted” stops around Columbus. Attendees met at the Tennessee Welcome Center and had their choice of departure times being 6:30, 7, 8 or 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12. Each tour lasted around 75 minutes.
Stops along the tour included an antebellum home called The Haven, the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, the Lowndes County Tax Assessor and Three-Legged Lady Road.
“This event has been going on for, actually quite a while, but four years ago, the Columbus Arts Council took over the management of it,” said Tina Sweeten, executive director for the Columbus Arts Council.
At each stop, members of the community performed as actors in short vignettes based on actual events and legends from the city’s past.
“We work with the local community theatre and with local high school students and college students to come up with the little vignettes,” said Sweeten. “All of them are historically based or legends of the town that people grew up with, and they practice the vignettes and stuff, and then we work in collaboration with the air base and Take Me Too Travels to do the buses.”
Each vignette was based on actual events and legends from Columbus’ history. These events included stories about Lorraine Street, former president of Industrial Institute & College; President William Howard Taft; and Thomas and Isaac Williams, freed slaves who helped to build The Haven.
“We want people to know the history and that, you know, we have all these great houses and these great places and we wanted to kind of know the legends behind those things and also, it’s a fundraiser for the Arts Council, so that’s helpful for us as well,” said Sweeten.
Learning about the history of Columbus is one of the reasons the tour is so popular.
“I really loved the one with the two guys,” said Patty Keffer. “That was great. Just the history, you know. You don’t hear the good stuff so much from that time. I really liked that.”