Downtown Bartlesville Ghost Walk, Aug. 23 and 24, gives visitors tour of city's history, ghost tales

BARTLESVILLE -- For Bartlesville residents, finding the creepy, the spooky and the just plain weird is easy – just travel to the city's corridor for the annual Downtown Bartlesville Ghost Walk, Aug. 23 and 24.

The tour begins at the Hilton Garden Inn and takes visitors on a tour of the historic downtown Bartlesville and the spooky stories that lie within.

"Part of our approach is to honor our history," said Mark Haskell, chairman of Downtown Bartlesville. "We've got a rich history; we've got some beautiful architecture downtown. But also then to make it fit within the needs of our modern society and our modern corporate environment."

Ghost stories come straight from Bartlesville's history and surrounding areas.

"This year we actually had the Bartlesville Museum do the research on the stories. So we have real stories that quite often are stranger than the things we could make up, and then we find local actors to tell those stories."

Joe Sears, a Bartlesville native, has returned to his hometown to be the artistic director for this year's ghost walk. He, along with a handful of other volunteers, have been practicing for weeks.

Along the walk are seven stops and seven ghosts – each telling a story of Bartlesville's and Oklahoma's history.

"One of the saddest ones and yet one of the most creative is the construction worker who fell off the Phillips building when it was being built," Sears said. "It's a wonderful story, it's one of my favorites and it is being performed by an actual construction worker.

"It's a part of our culture it's rich in stories and it may be wild but they're real."

While the stories are about ghost, organizers say the walk is filled with "sophisticated" stories.

"It's more of an educational, historical Halloween ghost stories," Haskell said. These are not gory stories. We don't focus on the gore, we focus on the history."

The Downtown Bartlesville Ghost Walk begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Hilton Garden Inn. The last tour starts at 9 p.m. Admission is 10 p.m.

For more information, visit downtownbartlesvilleinc.org.

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