Emporia Main Street hosted a variety of historical tours through the older businesses which covered their robust history in town as well as some of the more ghostly experiences they’ve had last Friday and Saturday night.
Proceeds from the tarot card reading went to help with the establishment of an LGBTQ+ youth safe house.
“This was really the next logical step,” said Clara Corn, assistant director for Plumb Place and tarot card reader. “We asked Mainstreet if we could read cards this year to raise funds for the Bloom House project and they said yes.”
According to Corn she thought Jennifer would be an excellent addition to the project and a great partner to read cards with.
“I love Halloween and I love what Mainstreet does every year, they are a really cool organization,” said Jennifer Oglaby, tarot card reader. “The shelter would alleviate risks that are different than what other populations that are already served face. It would be all specific and an incredibly important piece in their support system.”
According to Ogalby, they will often do tarot readings.
“I really like to see their reactions,” Corn said. “I grew up with taro. I don’t know why I stuck with it, but I kept doing it and it's something I’ve always enjoyed doing. Its ok to have doubts.”
One of the larger stops on the self-guided tour was the upstairs above High Gear at 520 Commercial St., formerly the first funeral parlor in Emporia, led by Yvonne Pool and Mainstreet director Casey Woods.
“I’m not super into Halloween but I really like getting into the historical aspect of the tours,” said Yvonne Pool, Main Street Coalition member. “Emporia is as large as you can get and not be an anonymous person. It’s small enough for people to rally together and support one another and I really like that support network.”
The High Gear tour, led by Casey Woods, covered the extensive history of what used to be a funeral parlor. With large windows and doors to allow the spirits of the recently deceased to escape, large rooms where Emporia High School students used to practice wrestling above where the cadavers were displayed and even a room that looked like a small barber shop, the attic was full of history.
“There were a series of funeral homes that opened up (in the 1870’s),'' Woods said. “It became popular with the preservation of bodies after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln which was the first time a lot of the public had ever seen an embalmed body…Hark Castle Canyon started up in the 1870’s.”
According to Woods, the tours have been an excellent way to expose the community to businesses.