Spirits and specters of old Mount Dora will take form near historic buildings, alleys and landmarks on six nights in October as visitors trail through downtown’s eerie and sometimes scary past during Madame Montessori’s Ghost Tour.
Characters associated with macabre tales, unsolved mysteries and curious happenings of days gone by will step out of the shadowy past to tell their ageless and chilling stories to passersby.
Adolescent students of Montessori at Roseborough, under the guidance of their teacher Travis Williamson and local historian Andrew Mullen, will play the parts of some of the unfortunate souls that figure in Mount Dora’s earlier years. Mullen is a veteran storyteller of ghost walk tales tied to historic buildings and sites in downtown Mount Dora such as the J.P. Donnelly House, Dora Drawdy Lane, the Renaissance Building and Lakeside Inn.
The students learn history, elements of acting, theatrical production, marketing and promotion. Their work culminates in a narrated theatrical ghost walk to more than a dozen places said to be haunted by ghosts, apparitions and spirits from the history of Mount Dora.
The ghost of Al Capone as a child is one of the characters who appear during the walk. Others include historical residents whose past lives figure in the walk include the apparition of a Lakeside Inn chambermaid, the unfortunate Jonas Hatfield, a despondent bride and even some of the ghosts of those who drowned in Fiddler’s Pond.
The one-hour walking tour starts at Lakeside Inn, 100 N. Alexander Street, a national historic register building associated with many ghost stories. The tour will be on three consecutive Friday and Saturday nights leading up to and including Halloween: Oct. 16-17, 23-24 and 30-31. Tours begin at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will help finance a trip by the school’s sixth and seventh graders to the United Nations headquarters in New York City. For tour reservations or sponsorship information call (352) 800-8178. Cost is $10 adults, $5 for children ages 3-12.