More than 150 years ago, settlers made their way to the mountains of Western North Carolina. While the land had been long since inhabited by the Cherokee Indians, pioneers took over the region piece by piece. In 1855, the Franklin area began to be developed as early settlers started to make their lives in the Macon County we now call home.
The history from past generations that is still alive in Franklin today is the reason Gregg Clark set out to begin Where Shadows Walk, Franklin’s haunted history tour. The tour is a combination of classic walking tours, both evening and late night versions, and a unique storytelling event held at Franklin’s Historical Museum.
Amidst ghostly lights flickering from tree tops, and the sound of the whispering wind in the dead of night, Franklin patrons can feel the eerie truth behind the mystery, myths, legends and tales of downtown Franklin's historical past through the haunted ghost tours.
With historical focal points such as the Nikwasi Indian Mound, one of the oldest standing Native American earthmounds, the final Confederate surrender of the Civil War, brutal unsolved murders, lynchings, phantom Indian tribes, the beginning of the Trail of Tears, and countless other legends and myths, the tours are built on ancient stories from explorers and adventures.
“Every Friday night, guests can choose either a regular haunted history walking tour or the late night version of the walking tour,” explains Gregg. “On Saturday nights, guests can spend an evening nestled inside Franklin’s Historical Museum on Main Street for a one-of-a-kind storytelling event guaranteed to entertain, mystify and terrify. Directly following Saturday night’s story telling event will be a Saturday night late night walking tour as well. During the months of June, July and August both versions of the walking tour will be available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.”
Each version of the tour, both walking and in-house, is approximately two hours in length.
Guests of a Where Shadows Walk Haunted History Tour will leave astounded, according to Clark.
“The tour is not a brisk walk filled with dates and faded faces from the past, but instead it is an experience, a slow dance through time and space, breathing new life into lives and legends and times when time stood still,” he said.
Guests are told to listen closely in order to hear of a little girl still playing in her backyard 150 years after her death, a breathtaking last minute stay of execution, Revolutionary War battles, massacres, brutal lynchings and unsolved murders, witches, strange mountain beasts, Cherokee lore and legends, pirates of the Civil War and ghosts around every corner, all woven chronologically into a timeline of Franklin, North Carolina from its inception to the present.
“When guests drive away after completing either the walking tours or the in-house version of Where Shadows Walk, Franklin’s Haunted History Tour, it’s our desire that they are speechless and awestruck and moreover, that they feel they have walked into the past, looked into eyes long since entombed, listened to voices silent for generations and felt the wind of yesterday,” said Gregg. “History will repeat itself and ghosts will tell their stories.”
For more information, visit www.whereshadowswalk.com, or call the Historical Museum at (828)524-9758 or visit Franklin Historical Society Building on Main Street for dates and times.