Grange Ghost Tours
back by popular demand
they have experienced strange things
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. Norma Jean Burley is startled
by things that go bump in the night. And she should be. Her restaurant
building, Norma Jeans, is supposedly haunted, as are many of the
buildings that line La Granges historic downtown district. The
previous owner had told Burley a little about its history, and then
she experienced paranormal happenings herself.
by Cassandra Trueblood
Jean stands in front her restaurant,
one of many buildings in La Grange
that is allegedly haunted.
Burley purchased the former business known as Kaelins
Trackside Restaurant in fall 2005. She learned not long thereafter that
people had reported bazaar incidents happening there.
She didnt think much about this until one night at closing time.
She was sitting facing her kitchen door with no one else in the room
but one waitress. Suddenly, the kitchen door swung open and a cold breeze
wafted into the room.
Burley and the waitress looked at each other, held on to one another,
and then ran out of the building. The waitresss husband came back
later, but could find nothing amiss.
Burley and her husband, John, have recorded such stories for the third
annual Spirits of La Grange Ghost Tours. Held every Friday and Saturday
at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., this 1 1/2 hour guided tour will run from Sept.
1 through Oct. 28.
Tickets are $12 and reservations are required. Tour size is limited
to 20 participants and will begin at the Oldham County History Center
located at 106 N. Second Ave., La Grange.
Its a fun thing to do in the fall, said Discover Downtown
La Grange Executive Director and Tourism Commission Director Keli Quinn.
Many couples pick an evening to spend in Oldham County and have dinner
while theyre in town.
Theres even a waiting list because weve been swamped
with calls in previous years, said Quinn. Weve gotten
a lot of response outside of the county.
The Bank of Oldham County and Metro Mobility of La Grange are co-sponsors
of this event. Proceeds go to the Discover Downtown La Grange Facade
The tour consists of seven allegedly haunted locations, and participants
will have the chance to go into at least two locations where paranormal
activity has been documented by researchers, said Quinn.
Burley had heard about the tours last year and wanted to become involved.
Her restaurant will be open and serving a meal while the tour is being
Burley and her husband live in an apartment over the restaurant but
have never experienced anything out of the ordinary upstairs. But the
previous chef lived there, and his son supposedly experienced things
all of the time, said Burley. The little boy would fall asleep, wake
up feeling cold and see images walking past him.
Burley said she doesnt think its unusual to experience such paranormal
activity in La Grange when considering the fact that many Civil War
soldiers camped out on the Oldham County Courthouse lawn. These soldiers
temporarily rested and ate there before moving on to their next battle.
And naturally, many died there as well.
She refers to her ghost as Pete and said there was a man
by this name who was either killed or hung himself in her building.
To register for the Ghost Tours, call (502)
Back to September 2006