The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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October 14, 2012

No longer spooked by the séance?

GREENVILLE — Local church leaders no longer plan to protest a ghost tour and séance scheduled in Greenville later this month.

Last week Minister Randy Daw of Johnson Street Church of Christ had submitted a letter to the editor to the Herald-Banner — co-signed by 52 other individuals, including a dozen ministers — objecting to the Oct.. 27 event planned by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce/Convention Visitors and Tourism Bureau.

The inaugural Greenville Halloween Weekend Ghost Tour includes a chartered visit through East Mount Cemetery followed by a séance in an attempt to communicate with the victims of the notorious “King murders.”

But shortly after dropping the letter off, Daw asked that it be withdrawn. Later, Daw told the Herald-Banner that the letter was no longer needed.

“It’s been completely resolved,” Daw said.

The chamber’s tourism and marketing director, Milton Babb, also said the issue has been settled.

“I think everybody now is satisfied,” Babb said.

The Chamber had heavily promoted the event, although it is no longer being advertised.

“It’s sold out,” Babb said. “We pulled it off our website because it has been sold out for some time.”

The Chamber had said the event revolves around the 1897 death and alleged sex scandal of Greenville’s first millionaire, Tom King, who made a fortune in ranching, opened his own bank and built the King Opera House. King, along with a woman believed to be his mistress, a bank associate and another single woman all went for a midnight swim at one of King’s properties on June 16, 1897. Only the bank associate came out alive.

Trance medium Dwanna Paul is scheduled to conduct the tour, including visits to East Mount Cemetery and a Victorian home connected to the drowning. The evening is to conclude with a séance at the Blue Armadillo Winery, which was once the site of King’s  bank.

Daw said he also provided the chamber with the letter he had planned to run in the newspaper and spoke with representatives at their office, coming away satisfied the matter was no longer worthy of a protest.

“There were a couple of misunderstandings,” Daw said. “They were very responsive.”

Babb said the event is designed to be all in fun.

“It is a ghost tour just like cities all over the United States do,” Babb said. “It’s proven to be very popular.”

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