This past Friday, Sidney and I participated in a Halloween activity that was new for the both of us. Pairing up with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, the four of us went on the Conway Ghost Walk.
Conway is the small and historic town right next to Myrtle Beach. One of the oldest towns in South Carolina, it was founded in 1732. The town has significant ties to both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Well, we all know that old American towns with 300 years of history and connections to some of the bloodiest wars fought on our soil usually have one thing in common: ghost stories!
Officially called the Conway Ghost Walk: Spirits of the Lowcountry, the event was put on by the town’s downtown association. Participants were given the spooky opportunity to hear about the creepy legends of Conway as told by professional storytellers. I had four passes to attend the walk. Sidney, who hates anything scary, agreed to go on the adventure with me since the goal was more about historical awareness as opposed to getting frightened out of your wits. Courtney and John were nice enough to make the evening a double date by joining us.
The Conway Ghost Walk begins after dark falls. The tours leave every 15 minutes over the span of a few hours. Participants meet at the Conway Visitor’s House. Once you check in, they send you across the street to wait. If you arrive early, you can enjoy a beer/wine garden set up in the house’s lawn.
After a couple minutes of waiting next to an old cemetery, a Conway Downtown Alive official briefed us on the tour. Throughout the evening we would be escorted to seven different places in downtown Conway to be told seven different ghost stories told by seven different storytellers. We were told to follow our various guides and to expect to walk around a mile. We were then entrusted to our first tour guide, a woman dressed completely in 1700’s garb and carrying a lantern. She took us to a storyteller dressed in similar authentic clothing. This particular storyteller got more specific with the ground rules/background information of the tour but explained it more in a humorous/spooky way. After we finished with her, we walked to the lawn of a church that also served as a cemetery.
At this first stop, the gentleman who told the story, also dressed in 1700’s clothing, explained the legend of a girl who was buried alive. He told the story with passion and animation. After he finished, he thanked us for our time and instructed us to follow the tour guide and the lantern to the next spot. This is how it went for the next six stops. Our group would walk the dark streets of Conway until we came to the next location where the next storyteller would describe a spooky tale. The total Conway Ghost Walk took about 80 minutes.
If you are planning to go next year, let me tell you a couple things:
– The storytellers are actually in character and use theater to tell the story. Going in, I thought “professional storytellers” just meant they were going to tell a ghost story in a way that a favorite uncle might do so around a campfire.
– I mentioned it above, but the tour is not meant to scare. The evening is much more focused on the art of storytelling and the awareness of some well known local legends. It is very much kid appropriate.
– The best part of the tour, in my opinion, was just walking around Conway at night. They have luminaries guiding the walk path and someone with a lantern leading at the front. You go by beautiful old houses and you really experience a “Halloween” type feel.
The Conway Ghost Walk was a unique activity to do in order to get into the Halloween spirit. I am glad we can cross a “ghost walk” off our bucket list because it has always been something that I wanted to do. However, I am still itching to get chased by chainsaws this Halloween season so I imagine a haunted house is in my future before October 31. Don’t Blink.