With Halloween just around the corner, many are looking for opportunities to participate in thrilling, and sometimes spooky, outings to help create that eerie, holiday feeling.
Hays Community Theatre is bringing something new to the table this year, with the first-ever Haunted Hays City Historic Tours — an event designed as a fundraiser to help pay for renovations to its new venue at 116 E. 11th, the former Arc Thrift Shop.
“It will be a wonderful, animated tour of downtown Hays where you’ll encounter ghostly ghouls and historic figures,” said Hays Community Theatre’s Pamela Grizzell. “The tour even includes a gun showdown along the tracks.”
As ghostly guides lead groups through downtown, approximately 60 actors will haunt the streets, acting out a script that was written by the Ink Plots — a group of Fort Hays State University graduate students.
“They wrote the story based on 32 people who lived in downtown Hays,” Grizzell said.
The writers conducted research through the Ellis County Historical Society and also interviewed Jim Drees, a local historian who has written books on Hays City.
“It is as historically accurate as possible,” Grizzell said.
Each night of the walking tour will be different, with various tour guides switching for the groups of people that come through.
“One tour may vary quite a bit from the tour behind it or the one the next evening,” Grizzell said.
Downtown Hays Development Corp. Executive Director Sara Bloom said she is looking forward to watching the haunted evenings unfold.
“Any time there is a new event that attracts new people to our downtown, it’s exciting,” she said. “I know there will be ... animals and all sorts of things, so I think it will be an exciting evening.”
The tours will begin and end at 116 E. 11th and are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a new tour beginning every 20 minutes. The event will also take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 and Oct. 24.
Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (785) 656-0281 or online at www.hctks.com.