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Ghost Walk coming to Smithfield

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SMITHFIELD — Five characters from Johnston County’s past will be brought back to life Oct. 24 during Johnston County Heritage Center’s 15th annual Ghost Walk in Smithfield’s historic riverside cemetery.

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau and Downtown Smithfield Development Corp. are sponsoring the event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Church and Second streets beside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

According to Johnston County Heritage Center Executive Director Todd Johnson, this year’s lineup includes Sarah Stallings, a founder of Clayton, who will be portrayed by state Rep. Donna White of Clayton; Polly Alford, a 19th century Smithfield restaurateur as portrayed by Sequilla Arita of Seven Springs; Robert F. Smith, a pioneer Benson businessman who was also a pioneer bicyclist, as portrayed by Matt Dean of Archer Lodge; Ensign Edwin S. Pou, a World War I flying ace as portrayed by Bennett Chapman of Cary; and Lt. Hardy Donnell Narron, a World War II bomber pilot as portrayed by Dylan Atwood of Mount Olive.

Visitors will be given guided tours through the cemetery where they will meet each ghost character.

“The idea behind the ghost walk is to educate visitors and guests by using friendly ghosts giving narratives to portray spirits from Johnston County’s past,” said Johnson. “This event is kid-friendly and not scary. It is fun and educational and not like a Halloween haunted house trying to scare people.”

Johnson added that no electric or battery-operated lights are used during the narratives. Instead, lanterns or torches will illuminate the scenes to make things seem more authentic.

“This is a fun, educational event for all ages that a lot of people look forward to,” said event chairman Matt Dean. “It is a great way for families to learn about interesting people who are part of the Johnston County story.”

The tour concludes with refreshments at the historic Hastings House, where Confederate generals were headquartered at the end of the Civil War.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and is payable at the door. No advance tickets will be sold. Children under 6 are admitted free of charge.

For more information, call the heritage center at 919-934-2836 or visit or