Ghost stories among Warren’s historic homes

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

l Barbara Root continues to mine Trumbull County’s history for Ghost Walk inspiration.

Regular attendees of the popular event will find mostly new tales on this year’s trek, which runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 20 to 21.

“I wouldn’t want to go out and see the same old thing every year,” said Root, coordinator of the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County event.

New tales include the story of a murder in the early 1900s by Alfred Kinsman of the Kinsman family. He was convicted of killing the man in charge of his trust fund. He was found guilty but insane and committed to a state hospital in Lima. Root said she doesn’t know if he was insane or if the family’s influence kept him out of prison.

“Would you rather have someone insane in the family than a murderer in the family?” she said.

Another stop features two ladies encouraging Ghost Walkers to come visit their Prohibition-era speakeasy in Kinsman called The White Kitchen. Root learned about the illegal drinking establishment while talking with township residents.

The tragic death of the sister of Warren native Kenneth Patchen, a renowned artist and poet, also will be a part of this year’s walk. Kathleen Patchen was killed by a drunken driver in 1926.

Members of the Sutliff family were strong abolitionists in the 1800s, but this year’s walk will give audiences the perspective of a slave catcher, who will share his stories of searching for runaway slaves from the South.

“Under the fugitive slave laws, they could go into any house they wanted, even if it was up north,” Root said.

All of the stories are rooted in the historical record but Ghost Walk is designed to be more than a history lesson.

“I always try to put in a human element,” Root said. “It’s not just facts they’re spouting. It’s real people talking about their lives.”

Ghost Walk tours leave every 10 minutes from First Presbyterian Church 256 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren, and the mile-long walk stops uses the historic locations along Mahoning Avenue NW as the backdrop for the stories.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. There is a $1 discount for tickets purchased in advance at The Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County / Art on Park, Beautiful Whirl’d, Mocha House, Simpson Gallery & Gifts and Trumbull Art Gallery.

l Steve Van Zandt might not be the smartest businessman.

Taking a 14-piece band — including a five-piece horn section, two keyboard players and three female backup singers — on the road is an expensive proposition.

Luckily, because of his work with Bruce Springsteen, his acting gigs and his Underground Garage empire, Van Zandt can afford to spend the extra dollars to leave no disciple behind when he takes his Disciples of Soul on the road.

And whatever Van Zandt lacks as a businessman, he makes up for as a bandleader. His performance Friday at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park dazzled from beginning to end.

Mixing songs from his 2017 release “Soulfire” with favorites from his earlier albums (“Forever,” “Lyin’ in a Bed of Fire”) and songs he wrote for Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Little Steven and the disciples played rock and soul for a solid 140 minutes. The show opened with a horn-driven arrangement of “Even the Losers” in memory of the late Tom Petty, and the energy never waned.

It was one of the best shows I’ll see this year.

l I’m looking forward to watching Warren native Dennis Drummond’s run on NBC’s “The Voice” (check out the interview with him in Wednesday’s Tribune Chronicle).

I’ve made my share of wildly inaccurate predictions over the years in this job, but excuse me if I gloat a bit for what I wrote on May 31, 2012: “Drummond and the band will have a busy summer with lots of bar appearances as well as some free outdoor performances. Take advantage of the opportunity to see him now, because in 10 years — probably less — you’ll be bragging to your friends, ‘I used to see him when he was playing local bars.’ It might as well be true.”

Good luck, Dennis.­

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at