of La Grange
ghost tours to include
storytelling on the square
report strange happenings
(September 2010) When Shannon Pottie and her
parents, Nancy and Randy Winstead, purchased the home on the corner
of 109 N. Walnut St. and Main Street in La Grange one year ago to house
their barbeque eatery, the previous tenant told them it was haunted.
At first they laughed it off. But since then, Pottie has become a firm
believer that there are certain spirits that just wont leave the
There have been a couple of different things that have gone on
here, said Pottie. For example, the day her family was moving
in and cleaning, a lady stopped by to ask if they were hiring and said
the house was haunted.
by Helen McKinney
of the owners of Big
Rs Barbeque in
La Grange, poses on
the staircase of the
We kind of joked about it and just playing around
my sister said, Ghosts, you better be good. As soon as she
reached for the light above her it blew up, said Pottie.
According to her, a lot of strange things happen in the house with lights.
The coffee pot has been known to run over, and the cooler door has been
found wide open when the family knew they had shut it. But the most
hair-raising episodes have occurred with Potties three-year old
One day while Pottie was in the kitchen and her mother in another room
of the house, they both heard Brooke carrying on a conversation. When
Pottie walked around the corner leading to a set of stairs, she found
Brooke and asked who she had been talking to.
Brooke replied, The man. Hes a really nice man. Pottie
was puzzled but thought maybe her daughter just had a vivid imagination,
until it happened again about a month later.
As Pottie was upstairs working her daughter ran up and grabbed her by
the shirt and said, That man just scared me. Brookes
grandmother told the girl to show her where the man was. Brooke took
her to the room she had been in and looked around in each corner of
the room, stating the man was still there, but in a different corner
of the room this time.
Weve had three groups come out and spend the night,
with their paranormal equipment, said Pottie. One group got some
interesting things on record such as voices speaking back to you,
The house originally dates back to the 1800s and is supposedly haunted
by a mother, Annie Wheeler, and the son, Gilbert, who shot her. It is
one of several stops on this years Spirits of La Grange Ghost
Tours, which will begin on Sept. 10 and run through Oct. 30 on Friday
and Saturday nights. One tour per night will be offered in September
starting at 7 p.m., and a second tour will be added based on demand.
They seem to start out slowly in September, I think because of
the heat and people just dont really get in the mood
until October, said Barbara Edds, executive director of Discover
Downtown La Grange, the organization that runs the tours. During the
month of October, two tours per night are offered at 7 p.m. and 7:30
This will be the seventh year for the Ghost Tours, said
Edds, who is frequently a guide on the tours. Some of the favorite old
haunts will be visited in the nine block walking tour, in addition to
a new stop at Big Rs Barbeque. Lots of spooky things are
going on there! said Edds.
The candle-lit tours begin at the Oldham County History Center located
on Second Street, adjacent to the Oldham County Courthouse. Tours are
limited to 18 people and not recommend for children under age 12. Reservations
Children are encouraged to attend a new offering held in conjunction
with the Ghost Tours, Ghost Stories on the Square. Professional storytellers
Roberta Brown, Bill Watson and Thomas Freese will spin their spooky
yarns at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 on the grounds of the Oldham
County History Center. This is a bring a blanket, lawn chairs
and picnic family evening, Edds said. Admission is free.
Were really excited to have ghost stories for the first
time this year, said Karen Eldridge, board member for Discover
Downtown La Grange.
Roberta Simpson Brown will be one of the storytellers whose tales are
not for the faint of heart, Brown said. Known as The Queen
of the Cold-Blooded Tales, she grew up on a farm in Appalachia hearing
family, friends and neighbors relate stories.
It was our entertainment back in the country, said Brown,
71. Where she grew up near Russell Springs, Ky., it was a tradition
to spend a summers evening out on the front porch sharing stories
of all kinds. Im glad La Grange is bringing back that interaction
and tradition that we had.
A retired teacher, Brown now devotes most of her time to storytelling
and writing. She has written seven books, the latest with her husband,
Lonnie E. Brown. The book will be released in October and is a
collection of stories we heard growing up, she said.
Brown has always preferred ghost stories. She refers to her signature
story as Storm Walker, based on an incident that happened to her when
she was a child and terrified of storms.
She has been a featured author and storyteller at many events. Brown
has traveled to California, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, among other
states to speak about her work.
Tickets for the Spirits of La Grange Ghost
Tours can be reserved by calling The Spirit Line at (502) 291-1766.
Price is $15 per person.
Back to September 2010