Haunted History walking tours return to downtown Black Mountain

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Tours include Black Mountain's historic depot, where guides will discuss the tragic history of the building of the Swannanoa Tunnel.

The Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center returns with Haunted History, a series of walking tours through downtown Black Mountain taking place Oct. 22 and 23. 

"We're bringing it back," said LeAnne Johnson, the museum's executive director.

The tours serve as a fundraiser for the museum. Highlighting tragedies, dark pasts and local triumphs, the tours aim to bring to life ghosts from history that arose through the shaping of the Swannanoa Valley. 

"Traveling some of Black Mountain’s most storied streets, visitors will learn about the humorous, haunting and harrowing history of the Swannanoa Valley while being visited by some of its most famous spirits," the museum says in a press release. 

This year's tour, focusing on Black Mountain, showcases events of the town's history, including tourism as well as natural and man-made disasters. Led by volunteers in apparition and spirit form and informed by historians delivering tragic and interesting facts, tours will guide participants through three main locations of historic and spooky notability. 

Tours include a stop at bookstore Sassafras-on-Sutton, formerly a livery stable and motor company.

Tours are made possible through the coordinated efforts of volunteers, museum staff and the museum board.

“These tours are a staple for the museum, and our volunteers always bring a lot of enthusiasm and creative ideas every year,” Johnson said. “The tours help visitors and locals realize how much history they are walking through every day."

The tours will be held outdoors to maintain safety against COVID-19. Tourgoers are asked to wear masks when standing in groups. 

Tours start at 5 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 23, running every half hour. Each tours lasts approximately two hours. To register, visit the museum's website or call 828-669-9566.