Costumed actors will portray figures from the village's past during the annual Ghost Tour sponsored by the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society.

Costumed actors will portray figures from the village's past during the annual Ghost Tour sponsored by the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society.

The eight stops on the tour Oct. 1 and 2 include the Prentiss School, a one-room schoolhouse built in the 1850s; the Leonard House, built in 1879, which formerly served as a hotel; Miller Furniture Store, built in the 1850s; the Madison Grange building, constructed in 1874; Gayman's Store, built in 1851; the site of the original Heffley House, now the location of a Tudor Revival home; and two homes on West Mound street.

Historical society trustee Carol Note said when selecting locations for the tour, organizers try to keep the stops within walking distance of North High and Oak streets.

"We don't want people to have to walk too far or drive from place to place," she said. "The historic district is concentrated in our downtown area."

Organizers also try to find stops that have an interesting story behind them or stops that historical society members have managed to collect information about so they can put together a skit for the tour, Note said. For instance, the Madison Grange building, now the site of Robert Warren's Art Loft, is a reminder of an organization that once was very widespread. According to, the Grange is the nation's oldest national agricultural organization that provides service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues.

"Not too many people know any more what a grange is about and its history," Note said.

The two houses on Mound Street were constructed by people of German descent. One is an example of the small, brick, A-frame homes built by families of German heritage in the 1870s. The other was built in 1877 as a parsonage for the United Brethren Church.

Note said the guide will actually take people for a tour down Mound Street and explain its development as the "German Village" of Canal Winchester. Historical society member Jeanette Schneider said the tour brings history to life.

"We go to eight different stops and talk about the person who lived there, what they did and some information about the building, too," she said.

Note said it takes about 30 to 40 people to pull the Ghost Tour together. There are historical society members who organize the tour stops, others who write the scripts for the stories that will be shared, guides and actors, she said.

Organizers expect at last 200 people to participate in this year's event. "Unlike other tours we are not about spooky ghosts," Note said. "This is more of a living history tour. We do a lot of research on the homes and businesses in the downtown area and in many cases, find descendents of the original owners."

The descendants like to share stories about their ancestors to be included in the stops on the tour, she said.

"I think it is a wonderful opportunity for people in the Canal Winchester area to learn a little history of a small town," she said. "It is a good way to put you back 100 years and get in the time period mentally."

Groups will leave the historical society complex at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2. Each tour will last about 90 minutes. Canal Winchester Human Services will provide a van for those who cannot make the walk.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students age 6-18 and may be purchased beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the event at the railroad depot on High Street. Tickets may also be purchased in advance by calling the historical society at (614) 833-1846 or (614) 837-8400 or by mailing a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 15, Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110.