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On the evenings of Friday, October 23, and Saturday, October 24, The Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center is hosting the Haunted Valley Rally, a driving tour of the haunted history of the Swannanoa Valley. This COVID-safe event will take attendees on a roughly two-hour journey through some of the spookiest and most storied places in the Valley.
For each tour, attendees will arrive in their own cars, then follow a lead car from stop to stop. At each stop, visitors will listen to an audio tour, downloaded as an app on their phone, that will describe historic calamities, hauntings and tragedies that have occurred at sites in downtown Black Mountain, Swannanoa, local cemeteries and more. In addition to the audio tour, booklets will be provided that give explanatory text for each stop. At many of the stops, actors will enact ghostly scenes for the audience.
There will be several opportunities for attendees to stretch their legs during the tour. One stop at a local cemetery will allow visitors the option of a short, socially-distanced walking tour of prominent gravesites. Attendees who exit their vehicles are expected to wear masks. Bathroom facilities will be available at two stops.
The Haunted Valley Rally will not only recall tales of ghosts and hauntings in the Valley, it will also offer a big dose of history for participants. Attendees will learn about the Great Flood of 1916 that killed more than 80 people; the building of the Swannanoa Tunnel, which led to the death of more than 120 African-American convicts; and the use of sanitariums in the valley to treat patients with tuberculosis. Even recent history, such as the 2003 fire that destroyed Beacon Manufacturing in Swannanoa, will be explored.
To register for the Haunted Valley Rally, visit swannanoavalleymuseum.org/event, or call the museum at 828-669-9566. Tours will begin each evening at 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $125 per vehicle for museum members and $150 per vehicle for non-members. (FLASH SALE! From 10/12 – 10/18, tickets are on sale for $50 per vehicle for members, $75 per vehicle for non-members.) There’s no limit on the number of people who can travel in each vehicle.