Maybe it’s because of the time she saw mysterious glowing dots, or maybe it’s when she felt something press into her sternum. Or maybe, it’s when she saw mysterious scratches on a patron’s arm or quite possibly, when she heard phantom voices singing.

“Do I think Downtown Lawrenceville and the Lawrenceville Historic Cemetery are haunted? Yes,” Cynthia Rintye who has been leading organized tours organized by the Aurora Theatre for 15 years, said. “I’ve seen just too many things happen that I can’t explain.”

Rintye urges those wanting to find out for themselves if the county seat’s economic center is truly haunted to take one of 90-minute tours offered by the Aurora Theatre every night in October. The tours, in which patrons walk about a mile, don’t feature any special effects or zombies and monsters that are prevalent in man-made haunted houses.

But that doesn’t mean the tours aren’t frightening. Stories about the area’s haunted past told by guides dressed in costumes straight out of Hollywood. They’ll detail about the night when downtown Main Street was taken over by the walking dead, ghosts who may – or may not – still dwell in the Old Jail and of course, what lies in the cemetery.

“I fell in love with the stories about the history of Downtown Lawrenceville,” Rintye, who has been the tour’s director since 2008 but will lead her last tour this month, said. “I’ve seen things I can’t explain and those who go on the tours will experience the same thing.”

Rintye said the guides add to the experience since they tell the stories through their own perspective as they use the city’s rich history as a means to bring its paranormal past to life. Rintye dresses as Madam Macabre, the type of older woman who’d be wandering the streets in 1910, while Tim Whitson plays 1820s sharpshooter Eli “Eagle Eye” Loveless, while Alisha Boley plays 1880s spoiled ingénue Sylvia Spendmore and Lorena Morales is 1830s war bride La Loca Lopez Perez “Smith,” who is still looking for her husband.

Nicole Bonvis plays Penny Prospect, who went out searching for gold in the 1830 and ended up in Lawrenceville when her horse made a wrong turn, while Najah Ali’s Josephine “The Jaguar” Pomme de la Mort is a 1940s cabaret dancer from Paris who relocated to Lawrenceville. Evan Phillips’ Bobby Bubbly is a 1920s vaudeville performer who wants to sing, dance and make people happy.

“Every tour is different because the storyteller is different,” Rintye said, adding patrons should call the Aurora Box Office to see which guides are leading tours on specific days before purchasing tickets.

The Ghost Tour is a 90-minute stroll through downtown Lawrenceville and is meant for all ages, but the Cemetery Tour, which also lasts 90 minutes, is scarier and patrons must be at least 13 years old. The tour is much more rigorous than the Ghost Tour, in which patrons must be at least 13 years old, bring their own flashlight, wear closed-toe shoes to traverse the uneven terrain and sign a waiver.

The Ghost Tour starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday –Thursday and at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday throughout October. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children on Sunday-Thursday, with the price increasing $3 on Fridays and Saturdays. The Cemetery Tour, which is held on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and tickets are $25.

All tours begin and end at the Aurora Theatre, which is located at 128 East Pike Street, and all tours will begin promptly at their respective start times. Reservations are also recommended, and can be made by calling 678-226-6222.

The Aurora Theatre also encourages those taking a tour to bring cameras and recording devices.

“You’ll never know what you’ll see or hear,” Rintye said. “But when you visit the Old Jail and start hearing things, it will really make you think if it really is haunted.”

Spirits with spirits

For those who are interested in a some spirits to go with your spirits, the Aurora Theature offers Brews and Boos, where patrons are treated to stories, entertainment and drinks at Exhibit A(le), Universal Joint and McCray’s Tavern on the Square.

They will be treated to two beer tastings at Exhibit A(le) and served a Blue Point Toasted Lager at Universal Joint. At McCray’s Tavern, they’ll get the exclusive “The Howlin’ Curtis.” All patrons must be 21 years old and tickets are $40 and tours, which begin at Aurora Theatre, are held at 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, 19 and 29, with the tours on Oct. 22 and 29 starting at 8:30 p.m.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please log in, or sign up for a new, free account to read or post comments.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.