Showing posts with label McKinney Performing Arts Center. Show all posts
Showing posts with label McKinney Performing Arts Center. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Research on Guthrie, Oklahoma

It's Weird Wednesday again, and guess what? I find I need to take a trip north. Someone told me that Guthrie, Oklahoma had a ghost tour. My antenna went up.

Research takes a lot of an author's time. Even if we mostly avoid writing historical novels, like me, we can't avoid research. Even writing fiction requires research. What if someone reads your novel that knows all about that profession, or hobby, or setting? If it's inaccurate, that reader would close the book.

I wrote a YA ghost story, Victoria and the Ghost, that highlighted a real Texas ghost town, Clara. Soon, the sequel to that story, A Ghost for Shelley, will release. This book will tell about the ghost legend at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, which used to be the courthouse. It's in McKinney, Texas just north of Dallas. I began Weird Wednesday in anticipation of the new book.

So, I'm offering real ghost legends here on Wednesdays.

I researched Guthrie online and learned the following things:

1. Guthrie offers ghost tours throughout most of the year (weather permitting) every Friday and Saturday evenings.
    (Check)
2. Guthrie is 22 miles north of Oklahoma City just off I-35.
    (Check)
3. Guthrie came to be in one day.
     (Check - weird, yes, must investigate this)
4. Guests on the tour visit 6 -8 historic places.
     (Check)

Find Guthrie on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guthrie-Oklahoma/112280128788125

Yep, I figure Guthrie, Oklahoma is about 3 hours from me, so when the weather warms up (please, Lord, soon) I intend to go on a research trip. Who knows? A new ghost story might be on my horizon.

How about you? Anyone ever been to Guthrie?
Have you ever taken a ghost tour anywhere?


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Lady in White at the Old Collin County Courthouse

     In downtown McKinney stands a tribute to North Texas history. When a new Collin County Courthouse was built, the old one became the home of the McKinney Performing Arts Center, and now provides live entertainment. Last year, the wonderful ladies that oversee MPAC provided me with a tour of the building.

     The old courthouse, by order of the judicial system, belongs to the people of Collin County. Since it can never be closed off to its owners, the east door remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its called the People's Entrance. An iron gate separates the foyer from the rest of the building when MPAC offices or theatre are closed, but the foyer with a water fountain, restrooms, literature, and media board are never closed to the public.

     Ghost legends abound in many downtown McKinney buildings. Self-guided tours will take place during the McKinney Ghost Walk on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 25 in 2014. During that time, the tale will be told of the sightings of the lady in white at the old courthouse. The courthouse was the site of the last public hanging. That, in itself, raises the eye of paranormal enthusiasts.

     During my private tour, I learned the story propagated by local people of the lady in white. Frequent sightings keep the story alive. In 1890, a young divorcee, last name Winslow, was found hung in the courthouse. It was never proven whether she was murdered or if she hung herself. She lived as an outsider with the pain of isolation because of her divorce. She was known to play the organ.

     At night, organ music has been heard coming from the second floor. The theatre is located there and houses a mighty Wurlitzer - Vintage theatre pipe organ. Different ones have spotted a woman leaving the organ as they entered the theatre, but when they follow her down the hall, she disappears.

     Others claim a view of the lady in white overlooking the eagle on the east side. Back in 1890 when Ms. Winslow died, the courthouse had a clear view of her home site to the east near the cotton mill. Now the bank with an eagle statue on top hides where she used to live.

     The second book in my YA ghost series will be released soon by 4RV Publishing. The title is A Ghost for Shelley. Shelley, the mean, all-country girl in the first book, Victoria and the Ghost, moves to Dallas. She and her dad clean the old Collin County Courthouse. Ridden with bitterness and guilt, Shelley adds fear to her list of emotions when she is visited by the "lady in white."

     That's my story. Read all about Shelley soon.