Ghosting Lawrence Returns with Eerie Tales of History

Everyone’s favorite spooky stroll is set once again to bring tales of terror to the streets as this year’s Ghosting Lawrence walking tour returns this week.

Ghosting Lawrence is a theatrical journey featuring Ric Averill as your terrifying tour guide. Averill will share our town’s harrowing history of being burned and scarred before rising like a Phoenix. Eight shows are scheduled beginning Oct. 21 and continuing through Oct. 30. Weather permitting, haunted shows will begin at 7 p.m., at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Averill gave a taste of what’s in store on the tour, sharing the tale of 1880s temperance crusader Lizzie Madden. Madden, who may have met her demise after harassing the “jointists” (bootleggers) just a bit too much one evening, was found the next morning upside down in a sandbar under the old Kansas River bridge.

“The coroner claimed the 90-pound Madden must have moved too close to a loose railroad tie and ‘flipped’ it to land with only her bloomered legs showing and sticking straight up out of the sand,” Averill recounted. “More of her was seen as her ghost haunted the bridge for years, documented with pictures and in newspapers as far away as Chicago and St Louis. Pedestrians avoided the bridge until it was taken down.”

Also joining the tour again this year is local artist Tony Peterson, who shares tales of his own home, which is said to be haunted by two men, an elderly woman, and two children. After living in the house for nearly 20 years, Peterson said it is not uncommon to experience the sounds of footsteps, shadow figures, crashes, knocking, children laughing, and “full-body apparitions” within the home.

“We finally had a paranormal group come in to do an investigation to prove it wasn’t my imagination,” Peterson said. “The video and audio caught the balls of light I’d seen going through the house and the whispering voices.”

Peterson said he believes that he is simply sharing his home with these other beings – existing on parallel paths and not noticing one another until the paths happen to cross. Sharing stories, he said, feels like he’s simply sharing his regular experiences.

“On social media people post things about their cats,” Peterson said. “I post things like having a ball of light fly past my head when going to bed, hearing knocking coming from the middle of the air, and shadow figures. I’ve lived here for so long it just seems normal to me.”

These tales and more will be part of your tour with Ghosting Lawrence. Be sure to wear your walking shoes for this seasonal stroll through lovely Lawrence! No shows Oct. 25 and 26. Click here for tickets!