Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Return of Heritage House Ghost Walk brings Orange history to life

Quentin Tarantino doesn't have anything on Orange. He may have written "Pulp Fiction" but, Margaret Toal said, "Orange has Pulp History."

Mark Twain said, "Truth is stranger than fiction," and Orange's colorful past is certainly that.

Last year the Pandemic canceled the Heritage House Ghost Walk, but it returns this year 4:30-6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23 with all new tales of Orange's checkered past. 

"Margaret Toal who serves as one of our board members was the driving force behind the Historic Ghost Walk," said Adam Conrad, the current president of the board of directors of the Heritage House Museum. "She knew so many stories about Orange that just had to be told to a new generation. It was within these stories that the Historic Ghost Walk was born." 

This year will be the fifth appearance of the Ghost Walk.

"In 2019, we had over 400 people attend this community- wide family friendly event," said Conrad.

Conrad is also the drama teacher at Vidor High School. The museum board knew the first year Toal developed the idea for the ghost walk they would need help to bring the true stories to life.

"The first year it was very bare bones, but with the help of area students we were able to get this event off its feet," said Conrad. "We of course have learned a lot along the way and the event changes as it grows."

It started with his theater students from Vidor, but now also includes students from other Orange County schools too.

"This year we will have about 30 students from Vidor High School Theatre Department, about 20 students from Bridge City High School Theatre Department, and about 10 students from the Orangefield High School Theatre Department," said Conrad. "Plus, many other volunteers from across the area to help bring this event to life."

"This event really couldn't happen without them. They work as docents, storytellers, and ghosts." 

Conrad said the students, with the help of their teachers, provide all the costuming and makeup.

"You will see characters that are primarily based in the early 1900's. You will of course see a pirate or two," said Conrad.

Students get scripts about a month before the event and work with their school directors in creating the storytelling for the event. 

There are nine scheduled stops this year. All the stories will be new, so even if you have done the ghost walk before, it will be a unique experience. Docents will function as tour guides from one stop to the next to give even more history of Orange.

"And remember, all of these stories are true stories that actually happened in Orange," said Conrad.

Conrad said he never has a problem getting students to volunteer again once they have experienced the ghost walk.

"They love the fact they get to meet students from other schools. They also love getting into make up to help portray their ghostly personae's," he said.

New tours start every 15 minutes between the hours of 4:30-6:30 p.m., Oct. 23, at the Heritage House Museum at 905 W. Division Ave. in downtown Orange. The walking tour is just over half a mile and will take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

When asked if it was an accessible tour, Conrad said they utilize the sidewalk system, but Heritage House Museum does not have any walking assisted devices on hand for this event.

"I know in the past we have had strollers and wheelchairs make it through the tour," he said. 

Cost for the event is adults $5; children under age 12 $3. This is a family friendly event. Barbecue sandwich meals will be available for $5. Free State Cellars will also be serving select wines and sangrias. Prices will vary. 


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