The spookiest time of year often calls for some creative dress-up, but integrating that with historical story-telling is something that Fiddlers Grove has pulled off.
Over the weekend, guests attended Ghosts in the Grove, with some folks coming from as far as the Jackson area, just to take part in the event that has become an annual pastime.
“Every year it seems like it gets a little better,” Gwen Scott — a coordinator of events at Fiddlers Grove Historic Village — said.
At the onset, it appeared as if weather might dampen the parade, but the volunteers who put on the show were able to relocate many of the attractions under the venue’s Opry Pavilion.
Every year, Ghosts in the Grove takes visitors on a walk through time, with scary twists and turns. The event takes guests on tours throughout Fiddlers Grove. Admission comes with a time slot, a group and a tour guide.
“We try to take you all around the Grove,” Scott said. “It’s dark and a little spooky. It adds to the character of the event.”
As much as Scott said that she enjoys getting into the Halloween spirit, the appeal of the event helps curate Fiddlers Grove’s larger mission, to preserve the history of the area. As such, the storytellers featured at Ghosts in the Grove impart historical context along with the scary tales.
Many of the stories are steeped in folklore, but as Scott explains, that’s just another kind of history.
“Everything is more like a history lesson, but it’s all fun just with a ghostly twist,” Scott said. “All the stories are either based in folklore or history.
“The Appalachian people who ultimately settled here were Scots-Irish. So, they brought with them funny signs and superstitions that we use today.”
The story-tellers were volunteers, people that the Grove either know or who were recommended. One of the best stops along the tour features what Scott called granny-isms. She said these quirky sayings date back to the Appalachia region and to those early settlers of the area.
As one example of a granny-ism, Scott cited, “He’s cute as a speckled pup.”
People inevitably have their own examples, delivered first-hand or heard through the grapevine.
By Monday, organizers were still tabulating attendance totals. Since the Grove opted to honor Friday tickets for the Saturday event after the weather altered things Friday, there may have been some overlap.
Most importantly though, outside of the weather, Scott said that she didn’t hear any complaints.
“It just turned out wonderful,” Scott said. “Everybody just had a ball.”