Belton Train Depot – “Most Haunted Place in the Upstate” hosts medium and ghost hunters

Deemed the “most haunted place in the upstate” by Paranormalist Jason Profit of Greenville,

SC, the Historic Belton Train Depot will be the site of more investigations on Friday, Oct. 23.

The public is invited to attend.

At 7 PM, Reece Christian, world renowned psychic medium, will be available to conduct

personal readings of those who have purchased advanced tickets for $20. These personal

readings will last approximately 10 minutes each and are limited to 10 people. The audience is

free to observe.

A published Pulitzer Prize-nominated author, Christian has worked as a psychic detective,

spiritual advisor, and public figure.

“We’re very excited that she will be appearing in Belton,” said the Belton Area Museum

Association Executive Director Kathy Benson. “Reece is a real expert in her field. She has been

a special guest on the Tonight Show and NBC’s the Today Show. She has also worked on

episodes of television shows including the TruTV’s Haunting Evidence, A&E’s Paranormal State,

and SyFy’s Ghost Hunters.”

Christian is a member of several paranormal research societies, as well as the Cold Case

Investigative Research Institute (CCIRI). CCIRI is a volunteer organization of law enforcement

personnel who focuses on high profile cold cases such as those involving Chandra Levy, Amber

Hagerman, and Natalie Holloway, to name a few.

She has several extraordinary abilities that help her channel the spirit world. Using

clairaudience (spirits communicate audibly to her), clairvoyance (spirits reveal themselves to

her in images), clairsentience (revelation of knowledge), medical intuition (information of

medical conditions) and psychometry (objects or photographs reveal messages), Christian is

able to read people’s past, present, and future. A lucky few will be able to have an audience

with her that evening for a nominal $20 fee. The public is invited to observe these readings and

hear about her experiences.

After a short break, at 9:30 the Carolina Society for Paranormal Research and Investigation

crew will present new findings from their two most recent lock in visits to the depot. The

audience is invited to attend this information session free of charge.

CSPRI is a non-profit organization that uses scientific principles to perform every investigation.

They strive to further the field of paranormal investigation and research through using scientific

protocols, but they also hold to Christian ideals and beliefs. Founded in 2012, the group’s

researchers have over half a century of paranormal research and investigation experience.

Dennis Carroll, CSPRI’s chief demonologist, has appeared on the show “Ghost Asylum” and the

“Your Carolina Show.” He has also written many books that are found in the Anderson County

Library as well as at local bookstores. An ordained minister, Carroll feels he performs

paranormal services for people as a godly ministry.

At 10:30, those with advanced purchased tickets ($25 each) will be allowed to stay at the depot

for a lock in. During this two-hour session, ticket holders will be familiarized with ghost hunting

equipment, will conduct research in various areas of the building, and will, hopefully,

experience a paranormal event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Kathy Benson, BAMA Executive

Director at 864-338-7400 during museum hours, Wednesday and Thursday (9 – 2); Friday (9 –

4); and Saturday (9 – 1).

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Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival


Pickens County invites you to this special day of milling, stories, tall tales and lots of memories at the Hagood Mill Historic Site on Saturday, October 17th from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. There is a $5 parking fee but admission to the Hagood Mill Site as well as the Hagood Creek Petroglyph Site is FREE.

As part of Hagood Mill’s “Music in the Mountains” series, the celebration of tradition will continue on this day as we host the “Fourteenth Annual Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival.” The hills around the old mill will echo with the whispers, howls ‘n hollers of some of the Southeast’s best storytellers sharing bits about all sorts of folks, funnies, cultures and places.

Featured storyteller, Kim Weitkamp, is a humorist, keynote speaker, presenter, consultant, singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and spoken word artist.  A lot of titles…but one main thing ties them all together — story.  Kim speaks and performs to tens of thousands of people a year.  She is a storyteller at the top of her craft and whether the story is tucked into a speech, performed from stage or used as a tool for training, one thing is for sure.  At the root of all she does Kim is first and foremost a storyteller.  She holds an armload of awards including the prestigious Leadership in Communication Award from Toastmasters Int’l, the Blue Ridge Excellence in the Arts Award and several Storytelling World Awards. She has written, produced and recorded 9 audio collections, 7 of them award winning.  Her latest project is a folk operetta that has gotten high praise within the music industry and storytelling community.  She can be heard on Sirius XM radio and NPR.

Returning to host this year’s event is Hagood Mill’s storyteller-in-residence, author, musician and 2013 State Heritage Award recipient, Johnny Fowler.  From the rolling hills of the Upcountry of South Carolina and with family ties to the western North Carolina Mountains, John’s storytelling is a blast of old-time energy of yesteryear introducing traditional yarns and folktales from the Carolina region. Those Appalachian family ties run deep in John, which in turn creates his friendly and energetic personality. He also is an old-time mountain banjo and harmonica master, and plays several other traditional instruments, occasionally blending them into his programs. John’s stories and old-time songs geared for audiences young and old, are stepping stones of history and southern culture. John will be performing at the Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival. Most recently John authored the biography of George Mullins, an African American folk hero and street performer from Upcountry South Carolina known as “Trotting Sally”. The reviews have been outstanding!  John is also a researcher, collector, preservationist and writer as well as the host of an old time radio show on NC public radio station WNCW 88.7 FM.

David Joe Miller is the former staff storyteller for the National Storytelling Association in Jonesborough, TN.  In 1994 he created the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild.  He tours the United States and internationally.  Previous audiences include Disney, Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Philips Medical, World Bank, Shell Oil and former Vice President Al Gore and family.  He has worked in dozens of school districts all across the country and has tour extensively in the North Carolina schools, helping young writers become better narrative writers using the power of storytelling.  He is dynamic on stage for audiences of all ages.  Schools/Libraries/Festivals and Corporate venues.

Lona Bartlett learned, growing up on a farm in the Catskill Mountains, life is all about the story.  She combines traditional storytelling, puppetry, music and her degrees in education to weave stories that entertain and teach. Her puppet creations and scripts now span four continents.  Lona’s varied background and talent give way to a long list of presentations.  She brings excitement to American History as well as traditional stories and family stories.  Her Scottish and Irish heritage brings out Celtic tales and her life on the farm with parents being born in the early 1900’s gives her special insight on years past.

An exciting addition to this year’s program will be “New Voices” featuring Kathy Gordon, Jess Willis, Martha Cinader Mims, and Faye Fulton with unique tales never before heard on our historic grounds.

Come and enjoy!

There will be lots to see on October 17th as Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations.  There will be blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, metal-smithing, leather-working, bee keeping, and more! You can ask questions of the artists and make a purchase of their Traditional Arts to take home.

The Centerpiece of the Hagood Mill historic site is the water-powered 1845 gristmill. It is one of the finest examples of nineteenth century technology in the Upcountry and operates just as it has for the last century-and-a-half…the mill will be running throughout the day. In the old mill, fresh stone-ground corn meal, grits and wheat flour will be available.  In addition rye flour, Basmati rice flour, oat flour, oatmeal, popping corn meal, and grits, organic yellow corn meal and grits, and buckwheat flour are produced and may be available.  Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill related items are also available.

There promises to be lots to do and lots of fun! So, head on out, grab a plate of great food on site from the Gatehouse Restaurant and enjoy a special day at the Hagood Mill.

The Hagood Mill historic site is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm all year long. The Mill operates, rain or shine, for a special festival the third Saturday of every month.

The Hagood Mill is located just 3 miles north of Pickens off Highway 178 or 5 ½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11off Highway 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road.

“Music in the Mountains 2015” is sponsored by a private benefactor. For additional information, please contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or check out our website at Pickens County is an equal opportunity employer.

GCLS – WWII and Upcountry SC

Date: Mon, Oct 19 7p-8p

Location: Mauldin Branch

Dr. Courtney Tollison, author of World War II and Upcountry South Carolina, discusses the Upstate’s role in the second World War. Book signing to follow. Registration required. Email or call 277-7397 to register.

TRHS – Hometown Teams at Slater Hall

Exhibit will run through – October 25 at the Slater Hall Community Center @ 5 Whitney Street, Slater, SC  29683

Hours:  Tuesday 10:00-4:00Thursday 12:00-8:00Saturday 10:00-4:00 & Sunday 1:00-5:00

Events in conjunction with exhibit:

Oct 10 
OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT at Slater Hall featuring “McFarland USA” 7:00 pm  (sponsored in part by Palmetto Bank)

Oct 24 
VINTAGE BASEBALL GAME – Shoeless Joe Jackson Park  10:00 am

UHM – Hires New Director of Development

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Tom McGrath has been hired as the new Director of Development of the Upcountry

History Museum-Furman University, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and will begin duties on October 12.

As director of development, McGrath will be responsible for designing, executing and overseeing a

comprehensive fundraising program to develop donors for the museum, as well as communicate the Museum’s

mission and success to established donors, all with a strong emphasis on supporting the Museum’s education,

exhibit and program initiatives and general operations.

“Tom’s combined non-profit and political fundraising experience, his Upstate and statewide contacts, as

well as his proven success in securing major contributions make him an ideal addition to the Museum’s team,”

said Executive Director Dana L. Thorpe. “His energy, expertise and impressive communication skills will

contribute to the Museum’s continued growth, development and to the preservation of our community’s history.”

A native of Upstate South Carolina, McGrath is a graduate of James F. Byrnes High School and

Newberry College where he received a degree in political science. He also has earned 30 hours in public

administration at the University of South Carolina’s Graduate School.

For the past three years, he was a campaign fundraiser and simultaneously managed fundraising for

multiple bond referendums, local, state and federal campaigns ranging from $50-$775,000. In addition, he was

responsible for organizing fundraising events, as well as identifying and recruiting new donors to ensure growth.

Prior to that, he served as a district and senior district director for the Boy Scouts of America Indian Waters

Council where he managed a service area of more than 4,000 youth members and 1,500 adult volunteers at 150

“”I am excited to be coming ‘home’ to Upstate South Carolina,” said McGrath. “I look forward to

working with everyone at Upcountry History Museum – Furman University in reaching new heights and

celebrating a part of South Carolina that is dear to my heart.”

October CUSCH Meeting

ImportantDateOur next CUSCH meeting which will be held in two weeks at Slater Hall. This will be one of the last chances to view the Smithsonian sports exhibit if you have not already done so. The date is October 21 and the meeting time is 10:00 am. We hope to see you then!

Directions: The address at Slater Hall is 5 Whitney Street Slater, SC. It is located off Highway 276 about 8 miles above Travelers Rest. Slater Road turns right off Highway 276 and you follow the signs past the elementary school, past the mill, up the hill to Slater Hall. Parking and entry to the Hall is in the rear. (Note: there’s a good restaurant nearby and several good restaurants in Travelers Rest.)


UHM – Felting Classes

Saturday, October 17
11:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 24

3D Sheep (see above)

2:00 p.m.
2 hour class – $30
Register for workshops TODAY!
Saturday, December 12
Holiday Stocking 
10:00 a.m.
2 hour class – $35
3D Santa (see above)
1:00 p.m.
3 hour class – $35
Register for both December workshops and save! $60 for both workshops and lunch!


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