Ghosts of Carson City's past: Visitors receive haunting experience

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal The Bride Ghost greets guests from the Ferris Mansion staircase during the Wild West Spring Ghost Walk tour on Saturday. Weston Spann played the part of the Bride Ghost.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal The Bride Ghost greets guests from the Ferris Mansion staircase during the Wild West Spring Ghost Walk tour on Saturday. Weston Spann played the part of the Bride Ghost.

The unseasonably cool weather in Carson City resulted in a bigger-than-expected turnout at Saturday's Wild West Spring Ghost Walk, organizers said.

"You'd think it's spring, it's Memorial Day Weekend and we'd have plenty of sun," said Joy Evans, events manager for the Carson City Convention and Visitors' Bureau. "But, the cloudy weather has actually, I think, inspired more people to come out.

"It's nice walking weather - nice ghost-walking weather."

Indeed, every half hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., crowds from 15 to 20 strong gathered at the corner of Third and Carson streets to tromp around the capital city's historic neighborhoods and watch re-enactments of some of the town's tallest tales.

Some 40 volunteers were more than willing to oblige and keep the stories alive in period costume.

"I've lived here for 25 years, and I've never been on a ghost walk," said Dayton resident Brenda Kizor. "This is just the perfect day for it.

"I was in Virginia City last weekend and it was 95 degrees. Now, with a breeze and some cloud (cover), I can really get into the mood. I'm ready to see some ghosts."

One such specter was Carson-based actress Weston Spann.

Spann, dressed in an antique-lace wedding gown wore a ghostly grin as she portrayed the "dead bride" of the Ferris Mansion on Third and Nevada Streets.

"I guess legend says that a ghost bride came through this house during another wedding," Spann said. "I lot of people believe the stories."

As for her - does she believe?

"Hmm -sometimes," she said, smiling and taking a sip of water between walking groups. "It's fun to believe."

As adults patted their chests in mock-astonishment, and children sought shelter behind their parents' legs, (one performer said this year saw no "children crying - a first"), it seemed to many that there's nothing better to do on a blustery Northern Nevada afternoon than to learn a little history and let yourself be scared, a bit.

"Did I say I was scared?" Dayton's Kizor asked rhetorically. "I'm just really getting into Nevada history, and I think the more you learn, the more you appreciate and want to know.

"This is a great way to take a trip into the past. Who knows what you'll see."

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at apridgen@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

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