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Unearthing Haunted Gap

As the evening gloom overtakes the historic town of Cumberland Gap, day folk know it’s time to leave the streets to the night creatures – those vaporous souls who are forever doomed to roam in search of their lost past.

Nearly every historic town has its own set of friendly or otherwise ghouls and goblins. Ghost stories abound in nearly every old town and the Gap is no different. Residents and visitors alike have tales to tell about strange occurrences, unexplained incidents. These tales have been told to Arachna Von Raven, who for the last three years has made it her mission to unearth these stories and tell them to those brave souls willing to participate in her ghost tours.

Ms. Von Raven, known during the daylight hours as Pamela Eddy, spoke of one occurrence caught on surveillance footage at a downtown bar.

“The guy that owned this bar had a picture of the ghost. His wife, who was at home, could see on the camera that he was at the bar, working. She asked him, ‘why aren’t you waiting on the person behind you?’ and he said, ‘there’s nobody there.’

“I saw the picture and it looked to me like he was wearing a military uniform, like a marine dress uniform. I did not know, at the time, that the bar was inside what had been an American Legion building,” said Eddy.

She says her research has led her to nearly every structure in town, from which at least one good ghost story has been discovered. These stories are added to those told during the Ghost Tour.

Eddy explained her interest in the subject.

“The stories of the history of this town don’t get told enough. There are somewhere between 48-50 million Americans, today, who have an ancestor who walked these paths that go through the historic Cumberland Gap. This does not even count the thousands of warriors that followed the Warriors’ Path through here.

“We literally walk those same paths – we cross places in which huge things happened. There were Indian attacks. There were Civil War soldiers that were shot. That’s the novel history that gets left out and nobody has really been able to present that in a way that the visitor really understands.”

Eddy says the stories touch people. They are the stories of perseverance, of tragedy, of dreams, hopes and beliefs – they are the American story contained within one little town.

“I love history. I think it makes us look at ourselves in a different light. When I started sharing the stories of the ghosts, I started to wonder what they have to tell. What it is they might want to say,” said Eddy.

While those who dabble in the paranormal will likely enjoy these tours, Eddy says her tours are more of a “gentle journey into past history.”

The tour, which is about a half-mile long, begins at the Artists’ Cooperative and moves in a wide arc, taking in virtually all the historic district.

These Friday and Saturday evening tours continue to be an instant hit with people far and wide, averaging 80 -100 participants each night. The tours begin at 8 p.m. with additional ones added each half-hour, by appointment.

Those interested in taking one of the Olde Towne Cumberland Gap Ghost Tours will need to book their place soon. The tours will conclude for the season at the end of October and will not be available again until May 2022.

However, you may book Arachna Von Raven for special occasions like birthday parties and holiday events.

For more information, call 812-324-4678 or email: cgghosttours@gmail.com. The website is: cgghosttours.com. Or, find them on Facebook.