October is the time for eerie ambience and spooky tales, and Douglas County Libraries archivist Shaun Boyd is looking forward to the opportunity to telling ghost stories to give county residents a few goosebumps and a lesson or two about local …
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October is the time for eerie ambience and spooky tales, and Douglas County Libraries archivist Shaun Boyd is looking forward to the opportunity to telling ghost stories to give county residents a few goosebumps and a lesson or two about local history.
“It’s like a spoonful of sugar,” she said. “It’s the fun hook to get people connected to their community through folklore.”
Boyd’s been immersing herself in the county’s old newspapers, records and maps for eight years. She combined her research and interviews with community members and occupants of historic buildings to put together five presentations about haunted locations throughout the county this October.
She hopes the events are as interactive as the discussion that inspired the idea.
“I want people to bring their own stories,” she said.
Each event includes six tales of supernatural happenings in county buildings like the Old Stone Church in Castle Rock, the McIntyre Cabin near Parker and the Highlands Ranch Mansion. Creepy occurrences range from homicidal families in the 1860s to ghastly occurrences in the past few years.
“I’ve been collecting these stories since I started working here,” she said. “I do love a good ghost story.”
People often come into the Philip S. Miller library in Castle Rock to learn about the history of their homes and neighborhoods. Boyd said weaving together common tales of long-dead residents checking up on their successors was a natural, or supernatural, way to extend that curiosity to residents’ shared history.
As for herself, Boyd is skeptical about the existence of ghosts, even though her grandmother’s house was said to be haunted by the spirit of a sailor killed in World War II. Her siblings said they saw apparitions, and the late man’s family even contacted Boyd’s grandmother to say they had reached him via Ouija board.
Then there was the time she, as a toddler, was napping in her grandmother’s bedroom.
“She came in to check on me… apparently I was standing straight up in my crib, pointing at the closet saying ‘Man! Man!’” Boyd said. “Apparently I was playing peek-a-boo with the ghost.”
Since the house was in Iowa, it’s unlikely to be part of Boyd’s discussions. Nevertheless, she hopes the stories she’s collected will give locals the chance to have fun and learn about the past they share with each other, and their predecessors.
The presentations may not be for the faint of heart, but Boyd said they are probably appropriate for most age groups. Probably.
“There is still the story of the little girl with the ax in her head,” she said.
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