Ghost Tours returned to the “haunted” Taylor County History Center this year.
On Oct. 14 and 21, the Mesquite Storytellers of Abilene told haunted stories to those who dared listened. The historic village at the museum is considered to be haunted by many residents living in the surrounding community.
According to one of those long told tales, the Hill House is believed to be haunted by Belle Hill, the daughter of the original owner of the house. People that have visited the village have reportedly seen a female entity walking the grounds.
Heather Reed, executive director of the museum, described how the Ghost Tours are operated.
“The Ghost Tours are a partnership between the Taylor County History Center and the Mesquite Story Tellers of Abilene,” Reed said. “People go on a 45-minute tour of the village at night and the Story Tellers tell haunted stories. Some of them are rooted in fact of things that have happened here and other is folklore from the area.”
Mark Young, a six-year member of the Mesquite Storytellers, said Heather contacted their group after she needed a group who was comfortable telling stories.
“We were called by Heather at the BGHV (Buffalo Gap Historic Village) and asked if we would tell,” Young said. “Previously they just used volunteers and wanted to find a group who was comfortable telling stories and here we are, happy and haunted.”
Young said that sometimes it’s hard to keep people coming from one year to the next so they have to “freshen” up the stories.
“Here is the problem,” Young said, “you only have so many local stories, and if just retold them year after year, people would lose interest. So we take regional stories and adapt them to our area.”
Young said this is one of his favorite activities that his group does all year.
“It gives you multiple opportunities to tell stories and to entertain those folks who come out,” Young said. “A couple of years I’ve actually told it in character, which makes it even more fun and possibly my favorite years to tell.”