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Ghosts walk again at Linwood Cemetery in Glenwood Springs

Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” For the next two weekends, the living dead will take over Glenwood Springs.

And Cindy Hines can’t wait.

The executive director of the Frontier Historical Museum is also the driving force behind the Frontier Historical Society’s Ghost Walk. In fact, this is her creation, and it has now burgeoned into something much larger than she ever expected. Running Friday though Sunday, Oct. 17-19 and 24-26, the hugely popular event is now in its ninth year and is by far the society’s biggest annual fundraiser. And why not? It gives people a chance to see and talk to those who are long since dead. This year, Hines estimates there will be 16 actors portraying well-known, as well as obscure, local figures for some 650 people. The characters will tell the stories of their lives and give a taste of the era in which they lived.



But make no mistake ” this is no dry history lesson.

“You’re actually trying to make it interesting and create a character with emotions and feelings for your audience,” Hines explained.



Apparently, it works. Every year, the nights sell out, and this year is no exception. So far, both Saturdays are full, while some room may still be available in the Friday and Sunday night shows, especially the later ones. Hines described these performances as rare, special experiences, unlike anything most people have seen before. Local folks, as well as out-of-towners, converge at the bottom of the hill below the Linwood (Pioneer) Cemetery and then are guided up the dark, winding half mile of path. Once at their destination, the group is greeted by actors playing Mr. and Mrs. Schwarz, Glenwood’s old undertakers. After them, the audience “meets” a few of the people who helped make Glenwood what it is today.

In years past, local actors have portrayed everyone from shopkeepers to children to gunslingers. As is tradition, Hines expects that this time around, Doc Holliday (as portrayed by R.W. Boyle) will be the biggest draw. Her personal favorite, however, is Elmira Kire, the local prostitute who died of alcoholism around 1900. Like so many others, Kire was buried in an unmarked grave in Potters Field, a portion of the cemetery used for the poor and unidentified. To Hines, Kire’s story is an important one and, luckily, she’s going to be the one to tell it. A 30-year veteran of community theater, Hines is acting in the Ghost Walk for the first time.

“She’s got a lot of important things to say,” she said, of her character.

Kire’s speech is very heartfelt, Hines went on. It shows the audience a level of humanity they might not ponder otherwise. In addition to the fun of the Ghost Walk, that sense of compassion is just as important to Hines. These figures may come from all walks of life, but they all did create Glenwood in a way. They’re so different, but they’re equally important ” not to mention interesting.

“No matter who you were in life, and no matter the choices you made,” she said, “you’re still a person. You still have a value.”

So maybe this isn’t just about history. There’s a sense of community Hines is aiming for.

Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111

ssieg@postindependent.com

Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado


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