One of the chilling pleasures of October in this neck of the woods is the annual “Tour of Southern Ghosts” at produced by , Thursdays through Sundays, October 13 – 31.
Nearly 15,000 visitors are expected to venture on the latern-lit tour of the authentic Antebellum Plantation where storytellers will regale audiences with both spooky and fun ghost tales.
Whether you’re a skeptic, a full believer, or just enjoy a good yarn, the event featuring six professional storytellers will captivate your imagination. Each night offers different story tellers and at the end of the 45 minute trail guests are treated to hot cider and cookies and a gift shop filled with ghostly paraphernalia.
The family-friendly event is meant to be enjoyed by everyone
from toddlers to grandparents, so come prepared to be entertained without fear or blood curdling screams.
“Audiences will be participating in one of the oldest types
of communication there is,” said veteran storyteller David Hirt, who’s participated in the event for more than 20 years.
“People have been passing tales through this form for thousands of years,” he said. “It’s a way of relaying information, but it’s also pure entertainment.”
Early on Hirt discovered he had a talent for gathering audiences
when he told stories and jokes to the students on the college campus where he lived with his parents and brother as a young boy.
“I’ve been telling stories my whole life," said Hirt. “Sometimes I couldn’t remember my school work, but I sure could tell you a story.”
After earning a degree in theatre arts, he began his professional
voice career as a broadcaster where he delivered news stories for nine years.
Today he narrates films, makes commercials and performs voiceovers. He also performs at Crossroads in Stone Mountain as Cavendash the World Explorer, is a regular at the ART Station and participates in storytelling events all over the country.
This year Hirt will tell his original story about “Old Grannie Annie,” based on the character of an elderly mountain ‘healing’ woman who lives in the woods and meets a terrible beast.
In just one night, he may tell the story 30 times, but it never gets old, he said. “That is God’s gift to me. Now it’s my responsibility to use that talent.”
The 26th “Tour of Southern Ghosts” takes place at Stone Mountain Park's Antebellum Plantation, Thursdays - Sundays, October 13 – 31. The first tour begins at 7:00 p.m. with additional tours every 10 minutes. Vehicle entry to the Park requires a $10 parking permit.
Tickets are $12 in advance tickets and $15 on the day of the tour. Tickets for children 12 and under are $7. Tickets may be purchased nightly at the box office of the Antebellum Plantation beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Oktoberfest, Oct. 8, 9. Sponsored by the city of Stone Mountain the event features live German music, dancers and authentic German food. Kids' activities, arts and crafts and puppet shows. Shop for fall produce and pick up your pumpkin for the season. Sat. noon to 9 p.m. and Sun. noon to 8 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Festivities will be in front of the Village Corner German Bakery and Restaurant, 6655 James River Drive, Stone Mountain, 30083.
“Out to Lunch” Oct. 17, noon to 1 p.m., ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive. “A Tour of Southern Ghosts, A Sampler Plate” ART Station storytellers offer a ghostly sampling of haunting tales from the 26th Annual “A Tour of Southern Ghosts.” Event includes a boxed lunch for a ticket price of $10; $5 for presentation only. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more two days in advance. 770-469 1105 or visit www.artstation.org.