Ghost Walk tours scare up hundreds of Carson history buffs
October 20, 2007
Did you hear that?
Creak, creak, creak – bump.
“Well, I just heard somethin’ – maybe,” chuckled Reno resident Phil Patzner as he perused the Rinkel Mansion. Patzner was one of about 20 “ghost walkers” enjoying one the “Eye of Frog” tour during Saturday’s 15th annual Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk tour, benefiting the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau shortly after noon Saturday.
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“Something Wicked this Way Comes,” this year’s Ghost Walk theme, featured local performers and volunteer Ghost Walk docents dressed in garb to simulate the early Nevada look from before the turn of the 20th Century.
More than 600 visitors, most from Northern Nevada, but some from as far away as Boston and New York, enjoyed the pair of tours (the “Toe of Newt” tour accompanied “Eye of Frog”) – and learned a thing or two along the way.
Reno resident Brian Morten, a native Nevadan, said he made a point to come out on the tour because of his love of local history and the fact that “not many Nevadans know their heritage.”
“You start talking about what went on right in our own backyard and people are just like ‘what?'” He said. “It’s a real shame – people need to know their history. And ours is so interesting. That’s what gets me. You’ve got the whole real West right here and people just go about their business not knowing.”
As Morten toured the Ferris Mansion and heard some of the gatherings of the well-to-do Nevadans, he whistled and commented to nobody in particular, “See, I knew I should’ve lived in the Old West.”
Indeed, it was more than a nostalgia trip for many.
“You find out so much – it’s the little things that hold the most interest,” Reno resident Patzner said. “Like, when they said the Rankel Mansion had indoor bathrooms before the White House – well, that’s something to know.
“Something you’re gonna want to share.”
Sharing Carson’s haunted haunts was exactly the purpose of the day, said Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Candy Duncan – who was artfully dressed in the spirit of the season, a black Victorian frock – for her role as tour leader Saturday.
“Well for all the (volunteers) it’s as exciting to see some of these buildings as it is for the participants,” she said. “And no, I don’t dress like this every day.”
Carson resident Nanci Hoffman, who took a break between tours with Duncan said she always looks forward to taking a gander at the Bliss Mansion.
“That’s why I dress up to do this,” she said. “There’s always something wonderful about these old places and the people that lived there.
“And yes, to help that live on – is a special honor.”
• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.