News: Ghosts Haunt New Bern: Historic city offers two ghosts tours for Halloween
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
NEW BERN, N.C. - When Halloween approaches, New Bern ghosts come to life to tell visitors the history of the city.
Two ghostly tours of the city are available: the Ghosts of New Bern tour and the New Bern Ghostwalk.
Both tours offer historical value, teaching patrons about important figures and the city’s first settlers in August 1710.
The Ghosts of New Bern tour is in its fifth year and takes patrons around the historic side of the city showcasing New Bern’s haunted sites.
“A lot of these locations and stories are told to children growing up in New Bern as myths and legends to make sure they’re good,” said Molly A. Allen, a guide for the Ghosts of New Bern tour.
“Parents of New Bern will still say to their kids ‘you better be good, otherwise Miss Fanny will get you.’”
Miss Fanny was the youngest daughter of Isaac Taylor, a wealthy Scottish sailor who settled in New Bern in 1972. She was due to be married, but a week before her wedding, her fiancé went for a walk, collapsed in the street and died. Miss Fanny was heartbroken and vowed to never leave her house again, becoming very angry and mean. Legend states that her servants would make jokes saying, “You better watch out, or Miss Fanny will get you.” It is said if you walk by the house, you can see her sitting in the window, waiting for her fiancé to come home.
Joseph O’Callahan and his wife Joyce co-authored a book that contains many of the stories told during the tour. “All we would like is for people to come here and have a good time and learn about the paranormal history that this town has believed in since its creation.”
Those who prefer a ghostly ride to a walking tour can hop in a tractor-pulled hay wagon for an alternate version of the tour called “Haunted Hayrides.”
During the Halloween season, the tours meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday in front of Morgan’s Tavern in New Bern for both the hayride and walking tour.
The New Bern Ghostwalk, entering its 22nd year, is hosted by the New Bern Historical Society
Patrons are guided throughout the historic city to see actors and actresses dressed as ghosts of some of New Bern’s most notable past residents.
“Through these actors and actresses, we are able to tell about New Bern’s history in a fun and spooky way,” said Lynne Harakal, the executive director of the New Bern Historical Society.
This tour is offered October 25-27.
Tonight, participants will meet the New Bern ghosts at both historic theaters and inside the Cedar Grove Cemetery. On Friday and Saturday, the Historical Society adds more than 15 additional sites to meet these friendly spiritual phenomenons.
For more information on the Ghosts of New Bern tour, call Joseph or Joyce O’Callahan at 252-571-4766 or go to www.ghostofnewbern.com. For more information on the New Bern Ghostwalk contact the historical society at (252) 638-8558 or go to http://newbernhistorical.org/ghostwalk/.