Ghost Walk highlights Trumbull County’s spookiest history
The Warren Ghost Walk – a tradition since the mid-1980s – is a walking tour featuring performances by local actors playing real people from Trumbull County’s past. Sometimes funny, often spooky, and occasionally tragic, the stories taken from old newspapers and local legends are entertaining for all ages.
Growing up, I rarely missed the annual event held Friday and Saturday night on the middle two weekends in October. While I may have memorized some of the stories, the ever-changing performance always offered up a surprise or two.
Of course, there are favorite stories that return again and again – most notably, that of Aunt Lizzie, who almost annually beseeches the walking tours to help her find her lost nephew, Bish Perkins.
Bish, one of four children of the wealthy Henry Bishop Perkins, had gone to a wedding out of town and hadn’t returned as expected. He hadn’t been himself ever since they found the body of young Martha Brown on the property. And yes, there were rumors, but as far as Aunt Lizzie was concerned, none were true.
Aunt Lizzie, often portrayed by Ghost Walk Director Barb Root, explains this from the steps of the family’s historic mansion, which is now Warren City Hall, and is rumored too really be haunted.
I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s fair to say that the story of Bish and the Perkins Family has become a well-known local legend, in no small part because of the Ghost Walk. Aunt Lizzie is even the namesake of a seasonal beer at downtown brewery Modern Methods.
The walk in recent years has often taken on themes – from roaring ’20s to a million ways to die in the 19th century – though sometimes it comes as a smattering of unrelated local tales.
Historic sites featured along the walk typically include the Kinsman House, Hariett Taylor Upton House, John Stark Edwards House, and Pioneer Cemetery, among others.
The Ghost Walk is perfect for lovers of history, local theatre, or ghost stories. And, it changes every year – even director Root has said she plays Aunt Lizzie a little differently each time – so it’s worth coming back again and again.