Milford Museum’s Ghost Walk will highlight spooky local history

Jan Broulik, left, and Joe Phillips stand in front of their Causey Mansion in Milford. The mansion will be the starting point for the Milford Museum’s Ghost Walks on Oct. 24. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

MILFORD — Fun costumes, boozy drinks and historically informed spooky stories will be the themes of the Milford Museum’s Ghost Walk, set for the night of Oct. 24.

“We’re going to be starting at the Causey Mansion, and we will be walking down Walnut Street and around the block,” said Claudia Leister, the museum’s executive director.

The walk will end at either the Marshall House or the Towers, two registered historical landmarks on the other side of the Mispillion River.

Ms. Leister and Dave Kenton, the vice president of the museum’s board, will each lead two groups of 25 revelers. Two tours will commence at 5, and the next two will begin at 7:30.

“People tend to like to have an opportunity to dress up, so we would encourage them to come in any costume,” Ms. Leister said.

She and Mr. Kenton will be stopping at several locations to discuss “research we’ve done … on deaths, on murders, on suicides, that we know have happened in the downtown Milford area.”

One spot where the tour will stop is along the Mispillion Riverwalk, where the farmers market is held. That’s the former location of the Windsor Hotel, which was the site of a grisly family murder.

“There was a son who asked his father to borrow the carriage and horses to go to Slaughter Beach for the weekend and party,” Ms. Leister said. “He came in very drunk, and his dad said, ‘No, you can’t take it,’ so he went in and got the shotgun off the wall and killed his father.”

The tour will also feature purportedly haunted locales, like the Causey Mansion.

“I’m not sure how many ghosts we have in our house,” said Jan Broulik, who runs a bed-and-breakfast out of the building with his husband, Joe Phillips. “They’re all nice ghosts. We only have nice ghosts here.”

Mr. Broulik explained that the spirits “must like us, because nothing ever happens. I was told by the previous owners that ghosts only come out when they don’t like you.”

The building has been home to some important figures in Delaware’s history.

“The main part of the house was built in 1763,” Mr. Broulik said. “It was Greek Revival-ized in 1855 by Peter Foster Causey, who was actually the governor of Delaware. He was the second governor to live in this house.”

The other governor who lived there was Daniel Rogers, who led the state briefly after Gunning Bedford Sr. died in office in 1797.

“There’s a bedroom upstairs that Peter Foster Causey’s ghost is in,” Mr. Broulik said. “It’s probably the room he died in.”

The tour will begin at the Causey Mansion with some time to socialize, featuring beverages donated by easySpeak Spirits, a local restaurant and distillery. Another adult beverage will be provided at the end of the tour.

“I’ll probably make it spooky, put some kind of fruit in there that looks like eyeballs, make it red,” Marissa King, who owns easySpeak with her husband, Zack, said of the drinks that will be served. “We can do basically anything with vodka or rum.”

She and her husband decided to donate liquor and bar services for the event to support the Milford community.

“Milford welcomes us with open arms, so any events that they’re doing, we try to donate as much as we can,” Ms. King said.

Events like this are always a success in her eyes.

“They bring people to the town and make people aware of what’s going on down there, how it’s growing,” Ms. King said. “A lot of the events are more to bring attention to what Milford has to offer, which I think is amazing.”

Ms. King added that her husband is a history fanatic himself, which makes the couple even more eager to support the museum.

Ms. Leister said the ghost tour fits in with the museum’s purpose.

“The museum is about sharing Milford’s history, and our mission is to save the past for the future, so we want people to gain an appreciation of the town that they live in,” she said.

She said the Ghost Walk is a new way the museum is trying to fulfill that mission.

“We do regular walking tours, but we’ve never done a ghost tour, so we’ll be interested to see how it all works out,” Ms. Leister said.

“We’ve talked about this for many years and figured that this might be small enough and controllable enough that we could try it as an experiment this year,” she said. “If we have a lot of interest, we could always expand next year and do more groups.”

The tour is available to anyone 21 or older. Tickets are $20, but there are only 100 slots available. Early registration is encouraged.

Visit bit.ly/2SpJQ4R to buy tickets.

Reach staff writer Noah Zucker at nzucker@newszap.com