TROY — Ghost stories from the city of Troy’s 200-year history will come to life on Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, as Ghost Tours of Troy returns for another year of frightening fun for charity.
“We’re just a two-day event, the weekend before Halloween,” tour chairperson Shawn Denoyer said. “It’s almost kind of like a huge play outdoors. We’re all pretty much in costume; there are costumed tour guides, we have hostesses who take the tours out, then throughout the tour, we have tour guides along the way too, who will tell the stories.”
Tour groups usually consist of 15-20 people.
“It’s a walking tour around downtown Troy, where we’re going to tell you the history and haunts of downtown,” Denoyer said. “Some of the buildings, we’re actually going inside.”
“We have someone to do our make-up,” she said. “We try to wear more period wear, whatever the time frame that we’re talking about.”
Tours will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, with a new group starting every half-hour until 9 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 26, tours will begin at 6 p.m. and run every half-hour until 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 pre-sale or $15 the night of the tour.
“You can buy tickets the days of the tours, too,” Denoyer said. “We usually open the table up an hour before the tours, if anyone wants to buy tickets before, but there’s a chance that certain tour times will be sold out.”
Pre-sale tickets are available online at www.ghosttoursoftroy.com and will also be sold at selected stores downtown.
“We’ll be announcing those very soon, which shops are going to have tickets,” Denoyer said. “They did that for us last year, and it went over really well.”
Tours are open to guests of all ages, but Denoyer does suggest some caution if you are planning on bringing small children.
“I call the tour PG, because we are in costume, so it could scare small kids,” she said. “Also too, there’s a lot of walking. People have brought small children in strollers; that has worked.”
“There’s a lot of walking,” she said. “We try to accommodate what we can, but I do always let everybody know because we’re going to be walking all of downtown Troy.”
Highlights from the tour include the Miami County Courthouse and the Elks building, a Victorian-style mansion that is rumored to be haunted by several different spirits. The tour also changes every year, as new stories and locations are constantly being added.
“Each year, we change the places,” Denoyer said. “If you take the tour one year, the next year it’s going to be a little different; we’re going to change it up a little bit. We always try to keep it fresh.”
“It started out extremely small,” she said. “It started out as just a small Halloween event, and it has spread through the years.”
All of the workers involved in hosting the tours are volunteers.
“We’re all in it together,” Denoyer said. “Everybody has something to give, and everybody volunteers their time.”
“We’re always accepting new volunteers,” she said. “We start as early as July, getting ideas, and we work up to the time of the tour. We walk the tour route, and we try to keep the tour under an hour. By the time it’s time for the tour, we’re ready to roll.”
Almost all of the proceeds from the ghost tours will go to local charities and nonprofit organizations.
“Basically, what we do is most of the proceeds go to charitable organizations and non-profits,” Denoyer said. “As a group, we make that decision together.”
Partners in Hope, the Miami County Animal Shelter, Cat Advocates of Troy, the Mayflower Arts Center and the Troy Elks are just a few of the non-profit organizations who have received donations from Ghost Tours of Troy.
“Last year, we donated to the family abuse shelter,” Denoyer said. “One year, we donated to a service dog; someone was needing a service dog, and we donated to that. A lot of times we don’t stick with one, we kind of share it with a lot of different ones.”