Ghost stories and haunting tales from the old days are a sure sign Lee’s Summit is heading into the “chilling” season.
As a nod to this spooky time of year, Downtown Lee’s Summit will host the Haunted & Historic Spaces Tour on Saturday, Oct. 17. The outdoor-only tour, for guests 13 and older, features five prominent historical downtown buildings with haunted pasts. Attendees are required to wear masks, and tour groups are reduced to 16 to adhere to social distancing.
Ashley Nowell, assistant director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, said the city has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s.
“We collect stories from locals who have had creepy experiences, and we share them on the tour,” Nowell said. “We work to find new stories every year.”
The tour features five stops with interesting histories, Nowell said. Tour stops are the old Lee’s Summit Hospital, the old mortuary, Howard Station Park, the Lee’s Summit History Museum and the west side of the train tracks where a fire started in the 1880s.
To enhance the ambiance of the tour, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street partnered with Summit Theatre Group.
Ginger Birch, company manager for the group, said she and board member Kirby Asplund created theatrical monologues to illustrate the tour’s historical stops. Costumed performers will dramatize historical scenes to set the mood, while remaining 6 feet from visitors.
“Seeing historical events come to life in regular entertainment really immerses people in the experience,” Birch said. “It’s more personal to see a person tell the story, rather than hearing a speech of historical facts.
“Summit Theatre Group is always seeking ways to better our community, and be involved beyond what we do in our organization. We want to make connections with patrons in the community, and participating in interactive events helps us build these important relationships.”
The event is expected to raise between $4,000 to $5,000, with proceeds benefiting Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic Downtown Lee’s Summit. Funds allow the organization to promote the district and support small businesses.
The Haunted & Historic Spaces Tour is presented by Country Club Bank and Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street’s Economic Enhancement Committee. Supporting sponsors include The Historic Browning Inn, Local Foundry and Summit Theatre Group.
A VIP package is new this year, and includes an overnight stay for eight at The Historic Browning Inn, as well as a private tour.
Tickets are $25, and tours are available at 5 p.m., 5:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Downtown Lee’s Summit.
Visit downtownls.org for ticket information.