Grave concerns

What began as a localized haunting in Carson City has spread throughout the Carson Valley.

But organizers hope to attract more than ghosts. Tourists are the true target of this, the 13th haunting.

"Haunted Weekend," scheduled Oct. 20-22, includes a series of four "spirited" events, including the Carson City Ghost Walk, Gardnerville Ghost Walk, Genoa Cemetery Tour and Genoa Ghost Walk.

The Carson City Ghost Walk attracts more than 1,000 each year and always sells out, says Candace Duncan, executive director of the Carson City Visitors and Convention Bureau.

But the one-day event did not prompt visitors to stay the night. That, she says, would take a full weekend event.

So this year, a cooperative group event was rolled out by the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Douglas County Historical Society and Carson Valley Visitors Authority.

The four-event package sells for $30. Individual tickets for the Carson City Ghost Walk are $15, while admission is $5 each for the Haunted Gardnerville Ghost Walk, Historical Genoa Cemetery Tour and Haunted Genoa Tour. Tickets available at 800-727-7677or on-line at or

But rooms and restaurants are where tourists drop the dollars. And that takes out-of-towners.

So radio spots will run in Sacramento, and press releases dropped. And, an e-mail will ghost out to past tourists who signed up online to receive updates.

The effort is funded, in part, with a $3,000 grant from the Nevada Commission on Tourism. But volunteers make it go. The ghost walk alone requires 50 locals tour guides, docents and ticket takers to herd the ghost hunters through the houses. Reno's Bruka Theatre sends down a dozen "dead" actors and Virginia City rolls out its stagecoach and gunfighters to re-enact a famous funeral or infamous shooting.

"Because of sheer size of logistics, we can only do the Ghost Walk for one day," says Duncan. "We wanted to do more so people would spend the night. This year we reached out to Carson Valley to make it a whole weekend. This is the first year we've done this all together, so don't know how many tourists it will attract."

The visitors bureau will track tourist turnout via lodging coupons, ticket sales and surveys, says Duncan. Visitors can download room discount tickets off the Internet at


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