Special haunted Olde Towne tour begins Oct. 18

This month, ghosts of St. Helens’ past will be reborn.

Columbia County theater troupe, the ShoeString Community Players, are set to present their one-of-a-kind halloween production, “St. Helens Haunted Tours,” which will give daring residents and visitors a chance to learn a bit about the city’s sometimes scary history.

The spooky, yet still family friendly, theatrical tour uses a good dose of imagination to present — mostly — true stories from St. Helens’ history with some entertaining embellishments.

The 30-minute play begins at the gazebo in Columbia View Park before taking the audience to the courthouse. Then, as they move throughout Olde Towne St. Helens, the cast will tell, and reenact, creepy tales from the early years of the county, between 1820 and 1930.

While the show, held in conjunction with the city’s annual Halloweentown festivities, is similar to a haunted house tour, it is also meant to show the “spirit and resilience of the pioneers that settled in Columbia County,” according to director Brian Vaerewyck.

But it’s not a dry historical telling. One character — admittedly fictional — carries a doll of herself and “toys with the audiences’ nerves,” Vaerewyck wrote in a press release.

There will be six shows a night on the weekends of Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27. Tours will begin every half hour between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Advance tickets for $5 can be purchased at Bertucci’s, the St. Helens Book Shop and

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