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Volunteers Sought To Help Conduct Festival Ghost Walk

INDEPENDENCE -- The undead denizens of downtown Independence need your help.

INDEPENDENCE -- The undead denizens of downtown Independence need your help.

Organizers of the Ghost Walk, a key attraction during the Hop & Heritage Festival in September, are seeking folks with a love of history and the supernatural to act as "ghost hosts."

"We're looking for people unafraid to speak in front of crowds and maybe those who are a little bit of a thespian by nature," said Marilyn Morton, a Hop & Heritage coordinator.

For the uninitiated, the Ghost Walk is a guided tour that debuted at the Hop Fest in 2002. It involves a stroll around downtown Independence sites that are either historically important or allegedly haunted -- or both.

Morton planned the first walk nine years ago. For that inaugural edition, she served as its first and only host.

"I would have been delighted if there were 40 people then," she said. "There were 310."

And it's continued to grow in popularity. Last year, the walk drew 1,000 visitors. Morton said the event has garnered ink in Travel Salem and Travel Oregon publications.

Hence, the need for more volunteers.

Morton has approximately 30 hosts and is looking for another 10 to 15. The job will involve taking groups of 30 to 35 people around 19 or so stops around Independence, including the Heritage Museum, the Masonic Lodge on Main Street and the Pink House Cafe.

The host will give a short lecture from a script about each stop.

Age ranges can vary -- past hosts have ranged from 14 to 78. Volunteer hosts will receive training and scripts weeks before the Ghost Walk on Sept. 23.

Those interested in participating are asked to contact Marilyn Morton before Sept. 6 in order to schedule training. You can reach Morton at 503-838-4268 or via e-mail at marilyn@minetfiber.com.

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