Haunted Tours of the Inn

Check out Haunted Tours of Netherland Inn this weekend. Below is the text to an article about the event by Jessica Fischer of the Kingsport Times-News.

Netherland Inn, 1948.
Netherland Inn, 1948.

Netherland Inn gets spooked for haunted tours

By JESSICA FISCHER

jfischer@timesnews.net

If Netherland Inn’s time-worn walls could talk, they might regale modern-day visitors with stories of stagecoaches and flat-bottom boats, tales of travelers venturing west along the Great Old Stage Road or proud remembrances of visits by such famed guests as Presidents Jackson, Johnson and Polk.

But this weekend, the only yarns being spun inside the 200-year-old historic site will be spooky ones.

A small army of volunteers, including members of Netherland Inn’s steering committee and Sullivan South High School’s Anchor Club, have been hard at work dressing the inn in ghastly garments for two evenings of haunted Halloween tours.

From 7 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, storytellers will be stationed on each floor of the inn, while costumed characters roam the grounds. New this year is a two-hour children’s event, to be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday, in the newly finished Bank Barn beside the inn.

“This is something we’re trying this year,” said Linda Freeman, who’s co-chairing this year’s event with Elizabeth Findley. ”It will be the witch’s walk, Jamie’s trick-or-treat adventure, a bean bag toss into the pumpkin, and we’re asking that parents bring their camera to take their children’s picture in the Great Pumpkin.”

Admission to the tours is $5 for adults and $3 for youngsters under 10; Saturday’s children’s festivities are included in Saturday’s ticket price. The event isn’t recommended for youngsters under 4.

Hot dogs, goblin goodies, witch’s brew and other tasty treats will be available for purchase as long as they last.

The haunted tours serve as a fundraiser for Netherland Inn, but it’s also a fun way to pique the community’s interest in the history of the nation’s only registered historical site that served as both a stage stop and a boatyard.

“It’s a fun introduction to the inn and we hope that folks who visit for the Halloween event will come back again and see it and learn more about the history of it,” said steering committee member Rusty Light.

This weekend’s haunted tours will close out Netherland Inn’s 2009 operating season, but folks will have one last chance to tour the inn before next April during the historic site’s Flatboat Christmas festivities, Dec. 4-6.

The inn will be decked out in its holiday finest for the event, which begins at 5 p.m., Dec. 4 with tours and refreshments, and the opening of the inn’s inaugural Stage Stop Wreath Festival next door in the Bank Barn; music under the stars begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a concert featuring the ETSU Bluegrass Band at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The festivities will continue with tours of the inn and Bank Barn from 7 to 9 p.m., Dec. 5 and from 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 6, when children can pay a visit to a Woodland Santa on the inn’s flatboat replica. Admission. Admission on Saturday and Sunday is $3 for adults and free for children under 12 when they bring a toy for charity. Donations of non-perishable food items and new clothing items are also welcome.

Proceeds from the sale of the wreaths during the weekend’s silent auction will be split with the Kingsport Interfaith Hospitality Network, which works with 20 local churches to provide services to Kingsport families who have fallen on hard times.

For more information about the haunted tours or the Christmas festivities, e-mail Freeman at lindafreeman@charter.net.

For more info check out the Netherland Inn Website.

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