The Museum of Fulton County’s Haunting History Tours this year will include things that go bump in the night in the Village of Delta.
The first leg of the 2019 tour, to be held Oct. 18-19, will focus exclusively on the village’s history and rumored haunts, according to Scott Lonsdale, the museum’s facilities operations manager. Approximately 1 to 1 1/2-hour walking tours will begin every 15 minutes both days between 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Delta’s Memorial Hall, 401 Main St.
Lonsdale said the museum’s management decided to expand the tour in order to explore the county’s creep factor beyond Wauseon.
“We’re the Museum of Fulton County. We decided we should look at doing another town,” he said.
While the Delta tour may not be as ghost-centric, it will definitely hit upon spooky speculations and rumored paranormal phenomena in the village. Stops along the Main Street and downtown route will include the former First Presbyterian Church, established by the prominent King family and now serving as an attorney’s law office and private residence. Guests will also visit the abandoned Toledo-Indiana depot that closed in 1937.
Stories will center on an historical bank robbery and the Great Fire of 1897, which started in a horse livery and burned through most of Main Street. Guides will also relate the weird story of David Christman, a village resident who was electrocuted when he touched the electric line of the village trolley. Christman survived but lost both arms to the jolt. He replaced them with homemade prosthetics, one of which may be displayed during the tour.
“They’re very strange looking. They’re creepy,” Lonsdale said.
He said the tour will cover both the village’s factual past and its history of heebie-jeebies, leaning toward scary lore.
“We’re going more in the direction of creepy stories, of rumors of hauntings,” he said. “We’ll be touching on places that are supposed to have hauntings.”
People awaiting tours can browse a mini exhibit of Delta’s history at Memorial Hall.
The traditional Haunting History tours in Wauseon will be held Oct. 25-26, beginning at the city depot. They will also be held for an hour or so, starting every 15 minutes both days between 6:30-8:30 p.m., and will make stops at several buildings associated with spooky stories.
The focus, however, will be on History Manor, 229 Monroe St., which is the former museum site. Formerly housing a school, a hospital with a tuberculosis ward, and World War II-era residential apartments, the 19th century, 16-room building is steeped in tales of ghostly occupants from its past. They include a boy named Johnny, a grumpy doctor, a man searching for his spectacles, and a despondent nurse who hanged herself in the attic.
Staff members and volunteers at the former museum site often reported sensing otherworldly presences, smelling phantom odors associated with the spirits, and witnessing paranormal activities, according to John Swearingen Jr., museum director.
Tour participants will also be educated on a typical Victorian funeral, an occasion during which the deceased were often photographed.
“Victorian funerals were very creepy,” Lonsdale said.
The last two tours each day in Wauseon and Delta will be reserved for guests 18 and over. And while the tours in both communities are considered family-friendly, they are not recommended for small children. Photography is not permitted during tours, and, because they’re held despite weather conditions, participants should dress accordingly.
The cost is $10 for adults and $8 for museum members and children age 12 and under. For more information, call the museum at 419-337-7922.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.