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story.lead_photo.caption A costumed interpreter tells the story of Mary Bolin, the first murderess in Rogers, on a previous Rogers Historical Museum Ghost Walk.

Death by poisoning.



Historic Rogers

Ghost Walks

WHEN — Oct. 19-21 & Oct. 26-28; first walk leaves at 7 p.m. with additional tours every 15 minutes until 9 p.m.

WHERE — Rogers Historical Museum, 322 S. Second St. in Rogers

COST — $5

INFO — Register at 621-1154

FYI — The tours are intended for older teens and adults.

Accidental death.

Weather-related death.

Murdered by family member.

Death by injury.

Murdered by a gang.

It might sound like seven episodes of "Forensic Files." But these cases are all cold -- really cold -- like 1891 to 1927 cold. They are the mysteries that surround this year's Rogers Historical Museum's Ghost Walks.

"It's the third time we've done the ghost walks," says Terrilyn Wendling, the museum's assistant director and curator of collections. "We do them every other year, and we always have new stories.

"We went through the obituaries and pulled out the strange occurrences and odd deaths and then picked out who might portray them," she elaborates. Each storyteller writes his own script, "so it's a very individual perspective, mixed in with what we know really happened."

Education assistant Ashley Sayers will be telling the tale of the death of Joe D. Baker, who was murdered in 1927 in his barn in LaRue. The farmer's 15-year-old son, Lawrence, told police three different versions of his father's death -- but were any of them the truth?

"We don't actually portray the deceased," Sayers says, but rather act as storytellers who might or might not be associated with the events.

"We're not trying to make it hokey," adds Wendling. "Everything that happened is true."

Storytellers Jennifer Kick, Dan Barrett, Robert Rousey, Michael Mattox, Shannon Bewley and John Ford -- along with Sayers -- will be positioned around downtown Rogers, and participants will go to them on what amounts to about a 45-minute walk. There is no correlation between the locations and the stories -- but that doesn't stop intrepid ghost hunters from coming armed with cameras, EMF detectors and Mel Meters, Wendling says.

Perhaps Mrs. Sam King will show up this year to point the finger at her poisoner. Or John Banks Hayes will let visitors know his death was no accident.

"It's October! And the popularity of ghost walks and ghost hunting and ghosts in general is a big thing," Wendling says. "We're just trying to put more of a history spin on it."

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 10/13/2017

Print Headline: History Mysteries

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