12th Annual Haunted Museum Ghost Story Festival takes place at State Museum on Oct. 20

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The State Museum’s annual ghost story festival is back for its 12th year and promises to be more entertaining than ever. Haunted Museum is free and takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20, from noon to 4 p.m.

The event features a “ghost trail” through the museum with prizes, crafts, and refreshments. At stops along the ghost trail there will be chilling ghost stories from Tennessee’s past, including those of the Bell Witch, the Cherokee spirit Spearfinger, John Murrell’s thumb, and many other scary tales.

And new this year is — “The Bell Witch Bucket” — an object from the museum’s vast collection and which is normally not on public view. The bucket will be on display alongside the storyteller who will explain its frightening origins.

Area Girl Scouts will also participate in the Haunted Museum, telling spooky campfire stories. Their participation is in conjunction with the exhibit, On My Honor: 100 Years of Girl Scouting.

A popular stop along the trail is on the mezzanine which houses the museum’s 3,500-year-old mummy, along with the mummified cat which might have accompanied the mummy into the after-life.

The trail ends at the Haunted Storyteller’s Stage where professional storytellers will spin tales about Tennessee.

Children who complete each stop of the ghost trail will receive prizes. Those attending the Haunted Museum event are invited to wear costumes and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Located at Fifth Avenue and Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is free to the public. On Saturdays, parking is free at state employee parking lots to the west of the State Capitol. More information can be found on the museum’s website at www.tnmuseum.org.