Jendaya Fleming

(Fort Mill, S.C.) — The Fort Mill History Museum got into the Halloween spirit by hosting their fourth annual Lanterns & Legends walking tour, which featured stories about history and hauntings.

The tours were conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 in Unity Cemetery, at 303 Tom St. in Fort Mill, for people over the age of 12.

Lanterns & Legends attendee Cathi Kelly said the tour helped to get her in the Halloween spirit.

“I really enjoy Halloween and, like I said, being in a cemetery at night and like my son would say ‘spooktacular’ frame of mind,” Kelly said.

“We have two tours a night, Thursday, Friday and Saturday that we started the second week of October all the way through Oct. 31, and we actually have a few private tours too that we are doing that are outside of those,” said David Ward, the board chair for the Fort Mill History Museum and tour guide for Lanterns & Legends.

Participants had the opportunity to learn the history of Fort Mill and hear some local ghost stories, which those who took the tour said they enjoyed.

“I liked that were local people doing the tour and they knew the stories firsthand and the legends that were here,” said Judy Garner, a Lanterns & Legends attendee.

“I loved hearing the stories about Fort Mill. I am not from here, so it was very interesting to hear some of the stories from Fort Mill,” said Mandy Cherry, who also attended the tour.

Participant Leah Barrett said one story in particular gave her goosebumps.

“I think the ‘cat women bridge’ one kind of got me the most, just a little spooky with what the people experience there as far as driving across it and sort of the sensations they had and experiences they had,” Barrett said.

The popularity of the tour, combined with tours being limited to 20 people at a time, meant that those who planned to attend had to get tickets in advance.

“It usually gets sold out and it’s one of those things that moves pretty quick and people really jump on it,” Ward said. “I was looking at the list tonight and we got some folks from Illinois and we got some folks from, of course, Georgia. Again, I know they didn’t drive all the way up here for this tour, but I want to say they did.”

Lanterns & Legends is the first event the museum was able to have this year, since being closed in March, but they are planning to host more tours like Lanterns & Legends in 2021.

Information about upcoming tours can be found on the museum’s website.