Now in its 32nd year, Ghostwalk is a family-friendly fall event that combines spirits from New Bern's past, talented local volunteer actors, historic sites, and a fun-filled, creative environment.
Each year features a new theme and new scripts. This year's spirited theme Famous Firsts features light-hearted stories of historical happenings that began right here in New Bern. Two Fairfield Harbour residents are ghosts this year in Ghostwalk.
A very significant and mostly unknown historical tidbit in New Bern is the story of Gilbert Waters. Waters invented a horseless carriage in 1899. His father and Gilbert had a successful carriage business - The G. H. Waters and Son Buggy and Carriage Factory in New Bern. It was located where the Fireman Museum is now. Gilbert used a carriage from his shop and put a one-cylinder, 5-horsepower engine right under the driver’s seat and a chain drive to the rear axle. Our clever inventor used the trusty tiller to turn the machine and named it the Buggymobile. But alas, Gilbert's father did not support his Buggymobile and Gilbert could not get backing from local bankers. The bankers thought the horseless carriage was a fad that would die out! Meanwhile, Henry Ford's Model A rolled off the assembly line in 1903 and the automobile industry was born.
Gilbert made a second carriage in 1903 and drove it around New Bern daily for 40 years. Eventually, his carriage shop was converted into a tire company - selling tires for Ford's cars. Just think we could have been Motor City. But Gilbert was not bitter, he valued family, community, and friends over fame and fortune. Guess who in the Harbour is playing Gilbert? Benny Thompson!
Another lighthearted skit this year in Ghostwalk is "The First Radio." What would it be like to hear a radio for the first time? Would you believe all the things the announcer said? Would you prefer music or the weather and news? And who controls the radio? Mom, Dad, the kids, or Grandmama? Join Ghostwalk this year and see Gayle Albertini play a role in "The First Radio."
Come out and support the New Bern Historical Society and enjoy one of New Bern's most exciting special events - Ghostwalk. Ghostwalk runs Thursday, October 20, Friday, October 21, and Saturday, October 22, 6 - 9:30 pm. For more information and to buy tickets visit https://newbernhistorical.org/ghostwalk/