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Folklore Fridays return to museum for two weeks

This October the Wood County Historical Center and Museum will be getting people in the mood for the Halloween season.

Folklore Fridays will be hosted by the museum and take place on October 18 and 25.

Ninety-minute tours will take guests through the museum as well as areas including a cemetery and a log cabin featuring a 19th century wake. Actors at the cabin will talk about infant mortality and life as a pioneer.

The museum itself used to be an infirmary for the mentally ill, a topic which will be touched on during the tours, said museum Director Dana Nemeth.

The event started as a way for local stories to be told, said Kelli Kling, marketing and events coordinator.

“We get a lot of stories that float through the museum so it’s a good opportunity to share those stories,” Kling said.

Volunteer Coordinator Tim Gaddie said that while the stories are part of the county history, they aren’t all necessarily proven. He still believes, though, that the stories are “a legitimate part of the county history.”

“Personally, I like that it’s a different aspect of history,” Gaddie said. “Having a chance to play with the oral history and how it changes is interesting to me.”

While some stories will be based in actual history, some may be further removed from reality. Gaddie said some stories will deal with ghosts and the paranormal.

Even if guests don’t necessarily believe paranormal stories, they usually still enjoy them, Gaddie said.

Gaddie said Folklore Fridays is a good way to draw people into the museum who wouldn’t normally visit.

“It’s rewarding when someone comes for the folklore program and end up coming back,” he said.

Nemeth said she likes sharing different aspects of history with the people of Bowling Green.

“I think there’s an interest in the community about the stories behind the infirmary,” Nemeth said. “It gives us a chance to talk about things in our collections and on our grounds that aren’t part of the regular tour.”

Tours will be at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. on each Friday. The entrance fee is $10 and $8 for students.

To attend the event, guests must call and reserve a spot. Kling said this is done to know how many people are coming ahead of time.

Kling said the museum likes to keep groups small to give everyone a good experience. There will be about 20 people per group, with about nine groups per day.

“We like to keep the tours intimate,” Kling said.

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