February 3, 2006
Old Man Winter not the only thing that can send a chill down your spine on a winter's eve
Who is the lady that appears to employees on the balcony at the Capitol during evening programs? Does Mrs. Shields, the former owner of the 18th-century tavern, still frequent Shields Tavern in a green silk gown? How does a checkerboard secured on a wall in the Prentis Store suddenly fly across the room?
Bruce Luongo, manager and trainer of Tavern Administration, said these questions and many more will be asked during Tavern Ghost Talks, a program that examines true encounters of the unexplained experienced by both employees and guests. Based on the successful Ghost Walk tours offered through Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, Ghost Talks take place in front of a cozy fire at Shields Tavern 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children.
Luongo began developing the tours based on information from guests and Foundation employees. “Some of our own employees have seen and heard things that they could not easily explain,” he said. “The more I researched it, the more stories I heard.”
The popular ghost Ghost Walk tours kicked off in October 2004 and Ghost Talk tours began in January. “The Ghost Talk is a collection of stories that allow for personalization,” Luongo said. “Each tour guide keeps the essence of the stories but tells them in their own way.”
Not all of the stories are scary. The tour guide relates the story of a noisy school group clamoring up the stairs at Shields Tavern when suddenly the pictures on the wall slid down one by one. “Those students were quiet the rest of the day,” the tour guide related.