The sun is setting as the storytellers begin to spin their tales. Saturday evening marked the beginning of the Ghost Walk tours, and for six years Cindy Johnson and the team at Chestnut Square have educated and entertained many citizens and visitors. This year however, some new things have been added and removed, most notably the addition of Goodies and the Faires house. Along with a trolley to the infamous Finch Park, participants can listen to stories as well as shop and dine during this spooky self guided tour.
We began our tour with the Landon Winery. A mysterious well acts as a centerpiece for the claims of bottles flying off shelves and doors opening and closing on their own. Folklore suggests that wells can act as a gateway for entities and spirits to enter and exit between worlds. You can decide what you like about the wells purpose so stop by and take a look but watch your head for zooming bottles of wine.
Moving on to the Courthouse or MPAC as it has become known. In the pale moon’s light, the building gives off a more foreboding presence as we hear of the woman in white and while she is the more popular legend, the trial of Candace Montgomery is a true tale as juicy as any myth. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” comes to mind as she stood accused of murdering her husband and his former lover with an ax. Perhaps angry spirits are in the courthouse, enraged that she was acquitted or maybe they are people who have had judgment passed upon them.
Walking along the sidewalk down to Morning Star Treasure, a rather large crowd gathers to hear of the ever faithful employee who even in the afterlife works in the store, or of Catherine. Catherine is a French woman who married a man who worked for the railroad. Apparently he was shot outside of a saloon here in town. Devastated and alone, she became a nanny and sadly she contracted a fever and died. She has been seen wear a black mourning dress and veil, sulking in a corner upstairs. Amy, our storyteller at Morning Star says, “Spirits are also attached to the antiques, like a Geisha woman who belonged to a World War II artifact.” But she vanished after the item was sold. Morning Star Treasure appears to have a lot of activity due to the fact that its been around 1888 and many people have passed through it over time.
All the stops along the Ghost Walk inspire chills but more importantly the Ghost Walk demonstrates that every one of these stores and their owners are invested in preserving McKinney’s history. Some might theorize that activity has increased downtown due to construction, or maybe spirits love downtown as much as everyone else.. And though this is the end for TownSquareBuzz.com’s coverage of myths and legends, we encourage you to keep the history and truth alive. Because without our past, we have no future.
Editor’s Note: If you missed previous entries in TSB’s Myths and Legends series, please click on the links below:
The Ghost Walk continues on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.
Story by TSB’s Emily Garrison
Photos by TSB’s Sawyer Erickson