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Durant museum calls off ghost tour through Highland Cemetery

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

A celebration honoring Halloween and the history of Durant has been called off.

The Three Valley Museum's Facebook page was hammered with protests and negative comments after they announced their "Stories form the Grave" tour through Highland Cemetery.

President of the Bryan County Genealogy Library Dusty Suttles said the event was supposed to be a way to pass on stories of community members who played a role in the area's history.

""It's regrettable. I'll be the first one to say it's regrettable," she said. "There is a need for people to learn more about the people that came before us. They're interested."

The event was suppose to take visitors on a guided tour through Highland Cemetery, stopping at certain grave sites, where actors would tell the story of the person buried there.

It was a collaboration of the Three Valley Museum and the Genealogy Library.

That's before the museum board decided Monday night to cancel it.

Nancy Ferris, museum curator, said it's a disappointing scenario.

"I really hate if people were truly offended by that and I'm really so sorry that they were offended by that," she said. "Because that was certainly never our intent. I hate that the stories were not told."

It was cancelled after protesters flooded the museum's Facebook Wall, calling the event disrespectful and "a Halloween party."

"Unfortunately, it's just social networking at it's worst," Ferris said. "It was already kind of axed before people who read it in the paper and the positive thinkers had a chance to respond."

Some Facebook posts claim that having the event in a graveyard so close to Halloween makes a cheap mockery of their families' history.

Others say they don't mind the event, just the location.

But Ferris said she still doesn't understand what the big deal is.

"Our tours were gonna be guided, no one under 17 admitted [without a parent]. It was like the people on Facebook hadn't even read the news release," she said. "They just made a comment, and everyone just responded to that comment."


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