John Clark and Gail Stoy are looking forward to presenting their spirited series about the haunted past of German Village.
The co-founders of German Village Tours will present "German Village Ghost Stories" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18; Wednesday, Oct. 24, and Oct. 31 at Valters at Maennerchor, 976 S. High St.
"It's like going to a John Carpenter movie," Clark said. "You know you're going to be scared, but that's part of the excitement."
Admission is $18. Advanced registration at germanvillagetours.com is encouraged because seating is limited, Clark said.
"We've had a lot of fun collecting these stories, and we look forward to sharing them with others," Stoy said, "but a word of caution: Be sure to bring a friend or relative because you won't want to go home alone."
Clark recounts the story of a couple living on City Park Avenue, who were repeatedly awakened in the middle of the night by a man who pulled up in front of the house, shouting incoherently and driving off.
After several incidents over the course of the year or so, the husband finally caught up with the man and asked him why he kept shouting at the house.
"He said, 'I wasn't yelling at your house, I was yelling at one house north,' " where his grandmother once had lived, according to Clark.
"I keep seeing her face in the window," the man said, according to Clark. "He said, 'I pushed her down the stairs sometime back.' "
The fall apparently killed her.
"I'm just coming to tell her I'm sorry," the man said, through Clark's retelling of the story.
Clark and Stoy will present a multimedia event, complete with pictures, memorabilia and -- if all goes well -- a paranormal expert at each of the events.
Another spine-tingling tale involves a couple on Stewart Avenue who had encountered ghostly occurrences -- doors slamming, dishes flying off of the shelves and such -- a few times over the years before they decided to move.
They were in the process of moving boxes, with some remaining outside awaiting transport, to the new house. When they returned about 90 minutes later, the boxes were gone. They tried to re-enter their house but they couldn't because the boxes mysteriously were moved back inside and blocked the door.
The suspicion: The ghost was responsible and didn't want the couple to leave.
The wife had a talk with the "feminine" spirit, Clark said, and invited her to move with the couple. The ghost apparently didn't accept the invitation or has decided to be quiet ever since, he said.
Not all of the stories involve specters, but patrons will suspect "ghosts were involved somewhere down the line," he said.
Verifying paranormal activity is, more or less, impossible, Clark said.
Long-departed residents have been seen scaling fire escapes, appearing in windows and creating nocturnal sounds since anyone can remember, he said.
The point isn't to affirm suspicious activity but merely to share it and leave the possibility of phantoms still inhabiting the village up to those attending the event, he said.
Often, older communities have that commonality: Ethereal beings reaching out to the living, trying to communicate some message.
"I think people like to boast of ghosts," Clark said. "I think it's been a source of pride to someone who has had an encounter with ghost or some kind of paranormal activity."