Kentucky Horse Park offering new historic Halloween tour - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Horse Park offering new historic Halloween tour

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Horse Park is getting visitors in the Halloween spirit this October. The international museum is a leading horse tourist attraction and competition facility. It's also home to a darker past.

The park is made up of 1,200 acres of majestic grounds that visitors from all over the world flock to to see history up close.

"A lot of people come to the tour to see the horses and the attractions which are great and wonderful, but if you're coming to this tour, you're going to see a whole side of the park that no one else has seen yet," said Chase Medved, Museum Assistant of the International Museum of the Horse.

Before it was a park, it was a working horse farm.

"It's always been for raising horses, the thoroughbred industry really started here with the Beaufords and the Dukes," said Ashlee Chilton, Education Coordinator of the International Museum of the Horse.

That's why the home is one of the first stops of the museum's new tour. 

"The appeal to me is because it's on the very back part of the park. No one ever comes back here. It's a really cool, antebellum-style house," Chilton said.

The cemetery crawl features five never-told stories, including one site where countless illegal duels began and ended in the 19th century.

"You start back to back, and then you go ten paces and you turn around, and you have less than three seconds to aim," Chilton said. "I don't think you can actually have a creepy tour without talking about some bloodshed."

The next historic stop was discovered more recently. "In the year 2008, when they were clearing out this land for the Rolex Stadium, one of the workers discovered an arm bone," Medved said. 

Construction halted. The University of Kentucky found 34 grave shafts and 34 bodies, some likely enslaved African Americans. Researchers discovered life on the farm and how they died, including two murders. 

"There was one person that was stabbed in the back of the skull and another person suffered a fatal ax wound in the back," Medved said.

UK still has the bodies, which will return to the park.

"I want to show people places they haven't seen on the park, so we're on the other side of the Rolex Stadium, this is someplace that most people don't get to see," Chilton said.

The last stop is graves of settlers in the early 1800s.

"I expected this tour to maybe have about five people on a tour. I didn't have expect it to have it sold out - it sold out in four days," Chilton said.

The interactive path has some other surprises along the way, combining the human side of history and Halloween for creepy evenings.

"I find that historical side of it fascinating and that's something I want to share with visitors when they come here," Chilton said. 

Reservations are required for the Cemetery Crawl tours. Since selling out, organizers have added more tours during the last week of October. Reservations can be made by calling (859) 259-4213. Tours are recommended for ages 12 and up. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students (up to age 17). For more information, click here

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