Ghost Tour Story


Volunteer Tour Guide and Davenport resident, Jen Broders (far left), leads a group on the “Darker Side of Davenport Walking Tours” sponsored by the German American Heritage Center & Museum in Davenport, Iowa on October 12, 2019.

Imani Muhammad

‘Darker Side of Davenport 3rd Annual Walking Tours’ hosted by German American Heritage Center and Museum, is happening throughout October. Where participants take historical walk through German-American heritage in Downtown Davenport through a sequence of horror tales.  
Corey Pearson, The Museum Coordinator, stated “the reason the German Heritage Center host this event is for exposure of German-American history and appreciation, noting that the ghost tour is not only a walk through history but a walk among spooky tales”. 
This is true, as the tours walk through haunted stories of The German Heritage Museum itself, The Blackhawk Hotel, Ambrose Hall, and Davenport City Hall. Accidental deaths of St.Elizabeth’s Hospital for The Mentally Ill,Bucktown, serial killer tales, and more. Leaving the audience often in a shock and their natural response being “wow..I can’t believe this really happened here”. Says tour guide, and German Heritage Museum volunteer, Andrea. When asking the other organizers of the project their favorite stories,  Samantha Turner Lundeen, assistant director, and story editor , states “ The cliffhanger at the end.” Andrea stating the story that stuck with her the most is St.Mary Hospital as she can remember her grandmother had told her about the pungent smell coming from the building because of the burning bodies.Pearson stating “ A fearful Halloween Frolic, number 10 on the brochure”. When asking Lundeen the process of putting the writing together states “most of the work was recycled from the original writer and founder of the idea, however,  new stories are researched through Davenport Archives”. Noting that there are tons of books that dive into these stories more in depth.” As the museum markets ‘The Ghost of The Quad Cities’ and ‘Murders of Bucktown’ and more. 
Although disappointed at the heavy traffic and lack of hearing of additional stories the tour guide gave. Such as noting the flood that happened not to long ago where Leclaire Park is located, how Skidrow and Alcartraz Louie used to be labeled as Madame Night, and still is. In addition, to the Davenport travel warnings taken place 10 years ago, and shipwreck that happened, where a father who donated money to Davenport after the tragic loss of his daughter, or the 300 stops and pauses from the tour guide scorning the script and correcting things, were fascinating add ons to the stories already listed. Toward the end of the tour and asked to young ladies Isabel and Adria their take on the tour. Isbel stated “as someone who grew up in the Quad Cities the tour was definitely eye opening because I’ve never heard such stores as these before”.  Adria stating “welp I thought this would be a cute college town like the one in my hometown of Michigan hearing the gruesome stories was definitely a shocker”. \
Discussing at the end of the night, how every town/city has its ups and downs, haste, and crimes, and Andrea noted that the “crime between Davenport and Chicago are mostly shared.” ‘ Darker Side of Davenport Walking Tours’ is definitely a walk through German-American history and horrific instances, what a perfect way to jump start to 2019’s Halloween and Davenport oral tales.