Halloween Highlights Hartland’s Spooky Stories
Paranormal activity is the focus with the Cromaine District Library sponsoring a Haunted Hartland tour, but there's also more.
Mysterious footsteps and glowing orbs haunt in the Hartland Cemetery after dark?
Golf balls return by an "unseen" hand at the Hartland Golf Center?
The spirit of a dedicated community servant watches over the Cromaine District Library?
From tales on websites to local lore, there are plenty of Hartland ghost stories to tell around Halloween time. The library plans to delve deep into many of them this Friday and Saturday with its first-ever Haunted Hartland tour. Carol Taggart, the library's marketing director, will serve as the guide.
"We have a special downtown," said Ceci Marlow, the library's director. "Hartland is special and there is a lot of history here. If we can draw attention to that history in a way that is entertaining, why not?"
The tour is 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Registration is required and both Saturday tours currently have wait-lists. The tour is one of several Halloween-related events during the past several weeks in the Hartland area that have ranged from traditional hayrides to haunted houses. Others include:
- A Halloween-themed child costume parade will be held at 6:30 p.m. during the Hartland Community Chili Cook Off. The event is being held to raise money for the alternative high school. It is from 5-7 p.m. at the Hartland Education and Support Service Center, 9525 Highland Road.
- The library, 3688 Hartland Road, is hosting a pumpkin carving from 5-6 p.m. Thursday in the community room. The event is geared for teens. Registration is required.
- On Halloween (Sunday), the Hartland Area Fire Department will pass out candy starting at 6 p.m. until firefighters run out at the main station, 3205 Hartland Road.
Library officials declined to discuss what stories the tour will include, but here's more what Hartland Patch could find out about area ghost stories with some hints from them and additional research:
- According to Kenneth McCormick of AboutFacts.net, occurrences at a Hartland Road residence were recorded and televised by paranormal investigators years ago, but the actual address was kept secret. Back in the late 1800s Sallie was a girl of around 6 who died when a doctor residing at the home was unable to anesthetize her properly during a surgery being performed there. Beginning in 1993, anyone male living in the house would be periodically "scratched" by her in anger. All of the victims reported feeling a "chill" before being scratched.
- Marlow confirmed a 2006 investigation of paranormal activity detected a strong presence at the library, Hartland Music Hall and the Florence B. Dearing Museum, which some speculate could be Dearing herself. Dearing was librarian for 26 years.
- This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Will Shoemaker, who died while renovating the bell tower at the Hartland United Methodist Church, 10300 Maple Road. The stained glass window that is on the north side of the church was dedicated to his memory. Darcie Westbrook, the church secretary, said that over the years strange incidents have been mentioned by some of the parishioners. In one case, several people having a discussion in the parlor of the church seen an unexplained "form" flitting by. Another time, three children playing around the church staircase looked up to see a figure clothed in white standing at the top. Westbrook notes that these phenomena have decreased in the last couple of years after the latest renovations. In the past, anytime an item was moved or misplaced in the church, parishioners jokingly blamed "Willie."
Marlow said the library reflects the heritage of the community by telling tales such as these.
"Our job is to collect your stories and share them with the community," Marlow said. "I think we all want to stay in touch with what happened before so we can be in touch with what happens tomorrow."