BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) - A ghost tour company is asking the city for permission to include cemeteries on its tours of haunted Brunswick locales, but some officials and residents are objecting to the plans.
The owners of Last Ride Ghost Tours in Brunswick say the cemetery visits would showcase history in a respectful way. Opponents say the cemeteries should be places of deference and reflection, not venues for commercial enterprise.
No permitting process exists for such activity in the city’s three cemeteries, The Brunswick News reported (https://bit.ly/1NPaEPr).
Last Ride Ghost Tours is known for the distinctive decorative hearse in which they conduct tours of downtown Brunswick, the Brunswick newspaper reported. But company official April Hahn said the cemetery tours would be conducted by her other company, the less-conspicuous Old Town Historic Tours.
In addition to the stories behind the people buried there, the art and architecture found inside these cemeteries should be shared with the public, Hahn said.
April and Bernard Hahn addressed the city commission at its Dec. 2 meeting about their plans, saying the tours would be educational for the customers and respectful of the dead.
“I’m a historian, and I just love telling people stories about the past and telling them about the rich history here,” April Hahn said. “This will be about the history. We don’t fabricate our stories.”
“My answer is no,” Brunswick City Commissioner Johnny Cason said at the meeting. “That’s a place of reverence. As you say, it’s our history, and it’s to be regarded with the highest esteem.”
Hahn said she hopes to convince Cason that the tours would be educational and would be conducted with utmost consideration.
“It’s not the just the history, which I love so much,” Hahn said. “It’s almost like a museum - the monuments, the statues, the headstones, all are very beautiful.”
Private-enterprise tours are allowed in history-rich nearby cities such as Savannah; St. Augustine, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and New Orleans, Brunswick City Manager Jim Drumm said.
Drumm said he has made a preliminary review of Savannah’s codes and will probably be studying those cities’ cemetery rules further in the future.
Information from: The Brunswick News, https://www.thebrunswicknews.com
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