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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Historic Preservation Club brings 30th annual Ghost Walk to downtown

Courtland Lyle/The Blue & Gray Press

Courtland Lyle/The Blue & Gray Press

By COURTLAND LYLE

There’s something undeniably eerie – and yet so intriguing – about the night. The enveloping darkness that blinds one’s vision, the inability to pinpoint a strange noise, and yet the mystery of what’s out there – all of it gives even the bravest of us the chills. Combine these emotions of mystery, awe and even some fear with the unexplainable idea of ghosts, and you have a recipe for a fright-filled night.

Though not aimed to be necessarily scary, the Historic Preservation Club utilized these nighttime emotions to add some flavor to their 30th annual Ghost Walk in downtown Fredericksburg. The event was held this past weekend on both Friday and Saturday evening.

According to event organizers and historic preservation majors, junior Sam Biggers and senior Alaina Haws said that the Ghost Walk was aimed as an attempt to reach out to the community and include both more students and Fredericksburg locals in the club’s activities.

Evidently, this attempt was a success. Biggers went on to say that the turnout for this past Friday was over twice that of the previous year’s Friday and Saturday combined. Naturally, the attendance was high for a reason.

Kelly Gallo, a UMW parent in town for homecoming, commented that the tour was an excellent way “to get you out in the town.”

“It’s nice to see all the history,” said Gallo.

To reinforce the historical significance of many of the sites, the Historic Preservation Club made use of volunteer student actors to play the parts of certain historical figures, from soldiers of the Civil War to Red Cross founder Clara Barton.

Apart from educating the community on Fredericksburg’s history, the tours provided a chance to explore the downtown area. Far too often, students and faculty at the university are buried in books and work. The Historic Preservation Club allowed for new students to see Fredericksburg from a different angle – as a place with meaning, history, and significance, not just a place to go to school. Also, the tours were a nice chance for upperclassmen and freshmen alike to escape the familiar view of campus.

All in all, the 30th annual Fredericksburg Ghost Walk was a big hit. The tours offered a little something for everyone, whether it was a chance to brush up on the local history or just learning your way around historic downtown Fredericksburg.