Haunted weekend resurrects Valley history | RecordCourier.com

Haunted weekend resurrects Valley history

by Sarah Hauck
Laurie Hickey
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

With a history dating back to the mid-1800s, Carson Valley’s early characters are reaching out through the ages to the modern day in spirit, at least.

Grasping onto the Valley’s rich background, the annual Haunted Weekend hosted by the Douglas County Historical Society has added a Minden Ghost Walk on Friday to the original Genoa Cemetery tour on the following day.

“A lot of people want to go to a cemetery and explore, but they don’t want to go alone,” event coordinator Laurie Hickey said. “The tours allow for people to get up the gall to go exploring.”

For nearly 20 years, Hickey has been bringing to life some of the Valley’s influential people who are buried here today.

This year she has conjured six different characters from their graves to greet cemetery tour guests.

“There are some unknown people that were important, whose stories people don’t know about,” the 25-year member of the historical society said. “I like to try and give their lives some meaning. Most of your local history is in your cemetery. You just have to look.”

Hickey collects names from gravestones within the cemetery and then researches the families and their backgrounds to create the characters for the cemetery tour.

She even goes as far as trying to contact living family members to act as their ancestors.

“This is not scary at all, it is all history-based,” Hickey said. “I want everyone to be able to go. Not all people are going to learn about the history of the place where they live unless we teach them. We have a fascinating history here in Carson Valley.”

Groups will be led around the cemetery, leaving every 15 minutes, between 6 and 8 p.m.

After hearing each character’s story, visitors can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate provided by the Douglas High School National Honor Society.

Valley residents can warm up their scare defenses the day before at the guided tour of Minden led by Kim Copel.

Two different groups, leaving at 6 and 8 p.m., will hear stories of real hauntings told to Copel by residents, as well as stories she has found from her own research.

Cemetery tour tickets are $5 a person.

Minden tour tickets are $10 a person.

All tickets are available at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

For more information call 782-2555 or visit http://www.historicnv.org.