Road Trippin' : Historic and haunted


“You could beef that up if you wanted to, by just adding some brown fabric,” Diane Wallace tells Tim Balfour in the middle of her garage. It’s been transformed into what they’re calling costume central for the Haunted Trolley Tours through historic Jacksonville.

The tours were started 4 years ago as a fundraiser for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

“I wanted to contribute something and I have this skill and I've participated in fundraisers so I know how to do something on a shoe-string budget,” Wallace says.

Wallace used to work at the costume shop for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and she loves Halloween.

“They told me the character vignettes, like we need a lady in red, we needed a Mrs. Beekman, a civil war guy and a sea captain and a ghost girl on a swing,” Wallace says.

She’s really getting into it this year, even taking on a character role for the tours.

“I'm playing a prostitute, who was sold for $200 to an opium den in Jacksonville and she got addicted to opium and I guess she got too expensive for the owner and he violently killed her,” Wallace says.

That story, along with many others on the tour are true. The organizers say they wanted to incorporate Jacksonville’s history. They say it’s an event most families should enjoy.

“People ask if they can bring kids, I always say that's your judgement. We don't do a lot of really scary stuff, we tend to go toward humor, so instead of historical we tend to go toward the hysterical,” Tim Balfour, Executive Director of the chamber says.

They both call it good, scary fun and hope all the work and creative tricks they’re putting in now will mean a ghost tour for all to remember.

“There was a man who enlisted in the civil war and when he came back, his wife died so he sits on the porch, waiting for her. This was made with just a London Fog coat, couple of extra button holes, a juice can belt buckle and a couple of shiny bits,” Wallace says.

For more information on times and tickets, just go to Jacksonville Chamber’s website.

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