By Dave Crawley

HARMONY (KDKA) — Do apparitions hide in the shadows of Harmony and Zelienople? That’s the story told in brief journeys known as “Nightmare Tours,” Friday and Saturday night.

The old Harmonist Cemetery is one of many stops on the “Nightmare Tour.”

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“Zelienople and Harmony are rife with stories of paranormal activity,” says tour guide Ron Carter, who also goes by the name “Ron Zombie.” He introduces us to “haunts” like the Butler County Tourism building.

“It was for many, many years a funeral home,” Carter said.

He says these confines burst with pent-up anger and emotion.

“A piece of decorative wood molding in the room actually launched itself from one end of the room to the other,” he said, “and it left a gash in the wall.”

Friday and Saturday bus tours begin at the refurbished Strand Theater, where the Amazing Kreskin holds a seance Sunday night.

“We have a ‘Ghost of the Strand’ creative writing contest every year,” Carter said. “And so the ‘ghost’ actually changes from year to year, based on the winner’s story. So the ghost at one point was somebody who got burned alive by buttered popcorn.”

And then there’s that railroad crossing.

“There’s a story of a woman and her two children whose ghosts walk up and down these railroad tracks,” our guide explains.

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He says the story shocked a visitor, who said he’d seen that trio earlier in the day.

“And he didn’t even realize it. He hadn’t heard that story before. He’d had his first paranormal experience!”

A short broomstick ride from the crossing stands the Harmony Inn.

“It’s been visited by psychics, the media, ghost-hunting expeditions,” Ron Zombie says.

He says it’s known for strange happenings.

“Possibly the most unsettling was there was a group of people here, and they heard steps coming down the staircase, and there’s nobody there.”

And that’s not all.

“It’s reported a young girl saw her deceased grandfather looking in on her.”

Tours leave hourly, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for more information, go to the Nightmare Tour’s website.

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