Photo by Megan Wolfe
Dave and Pamela Zelman are all dressed up to help with the ghost walking tour.

Photo by Megan Wolfe
Alexandra Ashmead is pictured at Featherston.

Haunted Holly huge success

The second annual Haunted Holly Springs Ghost Walking Tour drew about 500 guests, with 90 percent coming from out of town, according to Phillip Knecht.

There were about 200 more guests than last year.

Knecht and Andrea Edgeworth, co-host of the tour, provided the anchor for the evening tour, while local businesses also stayed open.

The tour commenced again this year at Lost River Mercantile, with Merideth Gray and Christy Owens keeping the store open for people to gather for the tour and to shop.

Ten percent business discounts were offered at Lost River and Retro Rooster while Southern Eatery pitched in free desserts and JB’s had two for one prices on drinks. The wait time at Southern Eatery was up to two hours at times, Knecht said.

Ten characters played people in Holly Springs history.

Some of the more interesting characters included:

• William Holland at the Yellow Fever House, played by Wesley Dobbs. Holland was chairman of the Relief Committee and died October 25, 1878, at age 36. He owned the local newspaper.

• Charles Henry Nelson, played by Phil Knecht, murdered at the end of the Civil War in 1865 by marauders from out of town, who came in and ransacked the whole town. Nelson was shot and killed.

• Princess Lakota, Chickasaw princess before white settlers came into the area. The princess was played by Andrea Edgeworth.

• John Cannady, an Irish immigrant in the 1870s who was hanged at the courthouse after being charged with murder. Dave Zelman played Cannady.

• Father Joseph Ingraham, played by Tim Tatum. Ingraham was accidentally shot with his own firearm inside Christ Episcopal Church.

“This was a huge hit,” Knecht said.

• Lizzie McEwen, played by Alexa Ashmead. McEwen lived at Featherston Place and died during the 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Holly Springs. Her ghost is one of the most famous in Holly Springs.

• Elvis or Paul MacLeod, played at Graceland Too, with owners Marie and Geoff Underwood telling the story.

The walking tour began at 6 p.m. and ran until 1 a.m.

• Other characters included Carol Parks, played by Margaret Mason Jones; Mittie Manning, played by Molly Busby; Charles Wells, played by Abby Busby; Mrs. Randolph, played by Pam Zelman; Yellow Fever Victim, played by Mary Dobbs; and Mrs. Nelson, played by Sarah Miller Taylor.

Edgeworth thanked everyone for their participation.

“We had another great Holly Springs Haunted Ghost Tour – our second tour,” she said. “Thanks to all the actors and everyone who came and made it a success for myself and Phillip Kyle Knecht. Lost River was wall-to-wall humans. Breakfast at 2 a.m. at Huddle House was the great finish. Get ready. We already have plans for our next one. Special thanks to Christy Owens and Merideth Gray.”

Knecht thanked Mayor Kelvin Buck, fire chief Kenny Holbrook, and police chief Dwight Harris, who assisted with blocking off Craft Street at Gholson Avenue at Featherston Place so participants could safely cross the street, and stood by in case first responder services were needed.

Haunted Holly Springs was billed as having more spooky ghost stories and tales of murder and mayhem and the most haunted houses in town, bringing terrifying fun for the whole family.

Photographer Megan Wolfe said on her Facebook post, “The second annual Haunted Holly Springs Tour was so much fun! Great work, hometown spirits!”

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
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