EATON — The Preble County Historical Society (PCHS) holds various events throughout the year, but in October the historical grounds turn into one of Preble County’s destinations for Halloween-themed events.
The spooky fun begins Saturday, Oct. 5, with two Historic Cemetery Tours.
In its second year, the Haunted Hayride has been expanded to two weekends, on Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 as well as Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19.
Ghost Tours will end the celebrations on Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26.
According to Executive Director Misti Spillman, these events were organized — not only because Halloween is her favorite time of year — but also as a way to get people to come out to the Preble County Historical Society and experience what they have to offer for the first time.
“When we started brainstorming these ideas, it was a good way to mix the ghost stories with the history – people are getting some element of Preble County History. We also wanted to create an event like the Haunted Hayride for families of all ages who can come and enjoy the Historical Society and the grounds,” she said.
“It is really about getting people aware of the Preble County Historical Society, but also bringing them out to the site.”
The Historic Cemetery Tours will start on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 3:30 p.m. at Mound Hill Cemetery. Attendees will learn about the history of Eaton’s cemetery and hear the stories of the first settlers who found their final resting place at Mound Hill. The cemetery is full of history, intrigue, and tales of love and loss.
The group will meet at the parking lot beside Mound Hill Cemetery at 3:15 p.m. The tour will start at 3:30 p.m. and will last about 90 minutes.
Later in the day, there will be a Historic Ghost Tour of Fort St. Clair starting at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the history and hear stories of the past. There even might be a few ghost stories to tell.
The group will meet at the entrance of Fort St. Clair. Participants should arrive by 6:15 p.m.; the tour starts at 6:30 p.m. and will last about 90 minutes. It is a lantern walking tour, but everyone is encouraged to bring flashlights.
The cost each tour is $15 per person. If anyone would like to attend both the Mound Hill and Fort St. Clair Tours it is $25 per person.
There is a limited number of spots for the tours. Reservations are made upon receiving payment. For further information please contact PCHS at 937-787-4256. The deadline is Thursday, Oct. 3.
The Haunted Hayride will continue into its second year of existence. This event is held on the Historical Society grounds, located at 7693 Swartsel Rd., Eaton. There are two weekends for the hayride, both Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 and Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19.
Tickets are $10 and are bought the night of the event. All participants must sign the waiver form. Minors attending (without their parents) must have their parent/guardian sign it and bring the waiver to the event.
While the event is marketed as a Haunted Hayride, according to Spillman, the night will provide fun for even little goblins and ghouls.
“This is a good way to get the younger people and the families out to the Historical Society to visit the grounds. I know we advertise it as a scary haunted hayride, but I think it is appropriate for children over the age of seven,” she said. “Last year, we had a lot of families come out.”
The Haunted Hayride will be held rain or shine.
Also at the Historical Society farm will be the Ghost Tours, held on Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26. The event will be held from 8-11 p.m. Check in is at the Log House.
Tours will be held at 8 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10:15 p.m. Tickets are $12 a person, ages 12 and up only.
Join PCHS staff and volunteers as they lead participants on a tour of history and mystery and hear the eerie happenings of the Sayler-Swartsel House. This tour will be in a completely darkened house, led by a guide by lantern light. The maximum is 10 people per tour group.
Reservations are made upon receiving payment. Call 937-787-4256 for reservations.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH