Exploring a different, darker side of Downtown is the idea behind "River City Haunts," a new Friday night ghost tour developed by the company that operates the "Downtown Top to Bottom" walking tour.
Jacksonville Walking Tours owner Gary Sass, one of the guides on the ghost tour, said the stories related on the after-dark excursion are "historically based, but with a twist."
Ghosts are along the 12-block tour route. Victims of scarlet fever, a theater apparition and the ghost of Mrs. Isaiah Hart, wife of Jacksonville's founder, appear from out of the shadows to help relate Downtown's ghostly history.
Sass said some of the tales told are based on the archives of the Jacksonville Historical Society and information about long-gone buildings that have been replaced by new structures was provided by city historic planners. Jacksonville attorney and historian Edward M. Booth Jr. also was a source for some of the material.
"The truth is stranger than fiction," said Sass.
"River City Haunts" departs at 8 p.m. each Friday from the Landing.
The new tour is the third weekly Downtown walking tour, joining the 10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday "Top to Bottom" tours. For more information and reservations, call (904) 827-1845 or visit adlibtours.com.