Each city has myths or documented occasions that formed its current. Aiken is not any totally different.
Tidbits of the city’s previous – from het unsavory historical past of a common who feared ghostly repercussions from these killed by his invention, to a novel connection to the presumed cursed Hope Diamond – are explored in Aiken’s downtown strolling ghost tour.
“Everybody loves a great ghost story, particularly if it is obtained a great backstory or some drama behind it. Most of my tales do,” mentioned Kent Cubbage, a biology professor and a self-described “aficionado” on Aiken’s historical past who has led the excursions for practically 20 years now. “For a small Southern city, we actually have superb, distinctive historical past.”
Annually, Cubbage leads as much as 40 folks by means of historic downtown Aiken’s most infamous spots and provides a glimpses of its previous. Among the tales have the tendency to stay with the individuals lengthy after the tour ends.
The tour begins on the graveyard of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, the place dozens of veterans from quite a lot of wars and different notable figures relaxation, after which glides by means of different downtown areas.
Some of the in style spots on the tour is the Outdated Aiken Put up Workplace, at the moment the situation of the Savannah River Nuclear Options.
The story goes that an worker of the publish workplace was elevating a flag throughout a wet day, solely to slide and change into an indentation on the chilly, muddy floor.
Many witnesses have mentioned they’ve seen a person in interval clothes floating above the dome of the constructing, Cubbage mentioned, particularly on comparable, moist days.
“I as soon as had an older lady who works down the road at Financial institution of America come on my tour and say, ‘I used to see him on a regular basis,’ and, like a great ghost, anytime (she) referred to as somebody over to see, he’d be gone,” Cubbage mentioned.
The tour has shortened considerably since its begin in 2003, nonetheless, what the tour has misplaced in distance can nonetheless be made up of within the telling of fascinating tales alongside the way in which.
“…Among the finest tales I’ve gotten and incorporate within the tour are those visitors have informed me,” Cubbage mentioned.
Understanding Cubbage’s background as a biology professor has led many to imagine him a skeptic in the case of the paranormal.
Reality be informed, such issues like Bigfoot and even aliens are a stretch for the person of science, nonetheless, the concept of spirits dwelling amongst us appears completely logical, particularly from a scientific standpoint, he mentioned.
“Each time in historical past we thought we had science discovered and we have all the time been improper. There’s a lot to know in regards to the universe, it is likely to be a millennia earlier than we get all of it discovered. I all the time depart the door open to the unknown as a result of the unknown has all the time taken us without warning,” he mentioned.
After 17 years of exploring Aiken and studying the tales of those that have lengthy handed and contributed to the realm’s growth in a technique or one other, Cubbage has come to seek out that every gravestone, marker or constructing holds a reminiscence of somebody who walked amongst its grounds at one level.
And such reminiscences can manifest themselves into the dwelling world.
“As soon as yearly or two (a photograph) will present up in my e-mail (from a tour member,) Cubbage mentioned. “There was one about 5 years in the past of a top level view of a human being … it was kind of standing behind all people … I requested the girl who despatched it to me, ‘Did you photoshop this?’ and he or she mentioned she did not know the right way to do one thing like that.”
Many attendees will depart shaking of their footwear, Cubbage mentioned, later telling him they “could not sleep for per week.”
Nevertheless, many depart enlightened, Cubbage mentioned, not nearly Aiken’s historical past, but in addition of the religious world that many nonetheless do not perceive.
“When folks can relate the tales they hear to different human beings or their very own lives … they change into somewhat extra open-minded,” Cubbage mentioned. “It isn’t a nasty factor to go away the door cracked, particularly in the event that they discover a solution to join with what’s on the opposite aspect.”
Ghost Tour schedule
Ghost Excursions might be held Thursday, Oct. 29 by means of Saturday, Oct. 31. Every tour prices $10 and lasts roughly an hour-and-a-half. Flashlights are beneficial.
Although the tour is exterior and patrons might be socially distant, masks are insisted, Cubbage mentioned.
To make a reservation, name Cubbage at 803-270-0773 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.