Haunted History of the Shoals Ghost Walk

If you’ve been in downtown Florence, Alabama at night in the past two weeks you might have noticed a group of people standing in the glow of a dimly lit street lamp in front of various homes and businesses listening intently to a woman telling a story. While The Shoals always has something going on, one event that you shouldn’t miss out on is the Haunted History of the Shoals Ghost Walk. This unique tour gives you a look into the history and local ghosts that haunt the homes, restaurants, and buildings around Court Street. There are only two nights left for this tour and with Halloween just one night away how else would you spend your evening, but by listening to spooky ghost tales on a dark, chilly October night?

The tour begins in Wilson Park at 7:30pm in front of the W.C. Handy statue where you are introduced to your tour guide, Debra Glass, who started the ghost walk in 2002, after the release of her first of many ghost story books, True Ghost Stories of the Shoals, Vol. 1. The idea occurred to her after going on a similar ghost tour in Charleston, South Carolina, and much like Charleston, Florence has a rich history and plenty of stories to share dating back to the frontier and Civil War era. Debra, who is from the Shoals area and attended UNA, grew up reading and hearing about ghost stories and has had a few ghostly sightings of her own. She has spent numerous hours interviewing eyewitnesses, researching genealogy sites, reading historical accounts, and talking to local historians to ensure an authentic and accurate representation of the spirit sightings. On the tour she talks about the apparitions in a way that is matter of fact and let’s history do the talking, leaving you to decide if the legends are true or not. 
After starting the walk at Wilson Park you will go on a 1-mile tour past Rosie’s Mexican Cantina and make a stop at the legendary Trowbridge’s where you will hear some haunting accounts. A little further along you will stand under a towering tree shedding it’s leaves, and in hushed silence listen to a tale you will probably never forget. A little further along you will stop in front of some haunted homes where you will learn the history of the former residents, including a famous ghost that resides in the Off Campus Bookstore. At each point after she finishes her stories of ghosts peeking out of windows and creeping up and down stairs, cameras immediately begin to flash, momentarily lighting up the shadowy haunted buildings. Previous guests on the ghost walk have claimed to have seen ghosts on the actual tour and have caught them on camera peering from attics and even standing on front porches during the walk. 

It’s an unforgettable night where you will learn a lot about this historical town and only be scared a little bit. It’s the perfect combination of spooky and fun, and can be a Halloween tradition for the entire family. No matter if you believe in ghosts or not, this eerie exploration of downtown is only happening for two more nights: tonight, October 30th, and tomorrow, October 31st-- both starting at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under—tickets are simply bought on arrival at Wilson Park and the tour takes off from there. Whether you believe in things that go bump in the night or you just want to experience a few goose bumps, check out this unique Florence event… if you dare! 

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