New spirits will haunt Warren’s Ghost Walk

There is no shortage of spirits waiting to be uncovered for Ghost Walk.

The 26th annual Ghost Walk will feature several new tales that will be told around some of the historic sites along Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren, over the next two weekends.

Barbara Root, who started out as a Ghost Walk performer about a decade ago and now is a writer and director for the event, said five of the eight stories featured on this year’s walk are new or have been adapted and / or rewritten from past years.

“People like sometimes to see the old stories, but yet they expect something new,” she said. “That’s why we do both.”

Ghost Walk, presented by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County, takes true stories from Trumbull County’s history, with costumed actors telling the tales. In some cases, the tales are told in front of the historic homes where they took place.

This year’s walk features three tales involving the Perkins family. Henry Bishop Perkins Sr. was a 19th century business and civic leader who committed suicide in 1902, two years after his son “Bish” killed himself.

“Like the Kennedys, they were a premiere family of Warren,” Root said.

One of the stories involves young Bish Perkins and a family maid with whom he may have been involved. Ghost Walk writers try to stay factually accurate, so the stories provide the facts and let the audience decide the truth for themselves.

“Was the maid a girlfriend or just a gold digger? Did he really love her? We present all different aspects for people to come up with their own ideas,” she said.

Other stories involve the scalping of a young woman, told this year from the perspective of the Native Americans; a Civil War veteran who tried to kill his wife; and two girls trading stories about a flood in 1913.

Last year’s Ghost Walk featured a story about the Cortland Opera House, and this year’s event features a tale set in Kinsman.

“It’s not just Warren, it’s all of Trumbull County,” Root said. “That’s what we’d like to do, keep expanding it throughout the county.”

There is a macabre element to many of the stories, but Ghost Walk isn’t a standard Halloween attraction. Root said she believes that’s part of its appeal.

“I like that it’s history and it’s not scary. It’s interesting, but it’s not a haunted house where people are going to jump out and try to scare you. It’s a little classier in that sense. It’s more for the whole family.”