For people looking for something spooky and educational to do this Halloween season, Kent Cubbage’s Ghost Tours may be just the thing.
The walking tour will begin at the entrance to St. Thaddeus Graveyard in downtown Aiken at the end of Pendleton St. at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, 30 and 31.
It will be a short walk through the core of downtown Aiken, but depending on the crowd size it could last 75 minutes or closer to 90 minutes. Up to 40 people can join Cubbage on this tour per city regulations.
The spookiest month of the year is underway, and one local man will be hosting tours to tell attendees about Aiken legends and lore.
The tour will begin with a brief history of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, one of the oldest churches in Aiken.
Then it will continue with the story of the Battle of Aiken during the Civil War and the ghosts of two Confederate soldiers whose bodies are buried in the graveyard. Plenty of other ghosts will be discussed in the graveyard to mentally prepare the audience for the scary trek.
“We start in here and it just creates great ambiance,” Cubbage, the ghost tour guide, said. “Oh, usually, the sun is going down, so I always say when the sun goes down, the spirits come up.”
Every town has myths or documented events that shaped its present. Aiken is no different.
The tour will then leave the graveyard and walk over to Hayne Avenue. Cubbage will talk about the ghost who burned down the Highland Park Hotel, the ghost of a woman who owned the cursed Hope Diamond during the Winter Colony days, legends of the railroad, legends of the old post office, which is considered “the most haunted building in all of Aiken,” and much more.
After exploring Hayne Avenue, the group will go back across the street to talk about the ghosts associated with the gas explosion of 1953.
A Halloween tradition is returning to Aiken that showcases the town’s history and folklore – with a chilling, spooky twist.
Talking about history will be a large part of the tour because this tour is about more than ghosts. It is about Aiken’s history, Cubbage said.
That is done by design. Cubbage hopes that his guests will enjoy learning not just about the ghosts, but also about the history he has learned over the years.
“People really like hearing about it, even folks who’ve lived in (Aiken) in their whole lives,” Cubbage said. “At the end of tours, I hear, ‘I had no idea there was all that history here’ or ‘I had heard those legends but never heard the stories firsthand’. So, people really enjoy hearing ghost stories that they may have heard bits and pieces of, and I can actually tie together for them. So, they really love that, too.”
This year’s Halloween season will be the 20th year of the tours. Except for a break he took one year due to health reasons, Cubbage has been guiding this tour every year since he started Ghost Tours in 2002.
The tour has been successful and growing every year since it started, he said.
The requests for spots on the tour have been so high that in the past Cubbage has added an extra tour on Nov. 1 just to accommodate the overflow. Reservations are recommended since spots tend to sell out quickly.
The tickets are $15 per person. Children 16 and under get in for $10.
To reserve a spot or get more information, those interested can call Cubbage at 803-270-0773 or email him at [email protected].
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