Local author David Dominé has a muse that is quite old and haunted. It just so happens to be historic neighborhood Old Louisville, where he resides and hangs out with its residents — both alive and dead — who populate the area.
Dominé has written several books on the notable ghosts many of the Victorian houses host, and he also leads ghost tours throughout the year in Old Louisville.
This weekend, his Halloween-themed Victorian Ghost Walk will take place and include more than a dozen characters he writes about.
Every half hour from 6-8 p.m., from Oct. 19-22, a lantern-wielding guide will lead tours throughout the neighborhood as costumed interpreters tell their sad tales of why they’re still around bothering humans. You’ll also see the interiors of several residences that are supposedly haunted.
The tours start at Smokey Bean’s Coffee Shop, at 1212 S. Fourth St., and are $25 a person.
While tour will feature several ghost stories from the area, including the tale of the Stick Witch, Dominé’s favorite is the story of womanizer Alfred Victor DuPont, who supposedly was shot and killed by a mistress in the 1890s at the Galt House. He now haunts Central Park, the site of the old DuPont family estate.
“Ron Harris, who has been involved in the Victorian Ghost Walk since the very first years, is the actor who portrays this character,” he says. “He is one of the most popular on the tour.”
Dominé isn’t sure why Old Louisville is so haunted, but he guesses it has something to do with 1,400 old houses and Victorian mansions that are crammed into a 40-square block area.
“It’s not surprising people would start calling you ‘America’s Most Haunted Neighborhood,’ ” he says. “These places have been around 120-130 years, so they’ve seen their fair share of murders, suicides, sickness, sadness, unrequited love, lost fortunes and intrigue — all things that make for fertile grounds when it comes to hauntings.”
Dominé is currently working on a murder mystery book set in, you guessed it, Old Louisville. And he’s got another idea of a true-crime book in the style of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Before the first Victorian Ghost Walk gets underway, we asked Dominé some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
To live in a cheap hotel for a year before I die. Don’t ask me why, but it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. Probably because I’d be alone and get to do lots of writing. It comes right before walking the Santiago Trail in Spain.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
I never had a poster on my wall. My room was pretty spartan.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Hmmm. That’s a hard one. Nothing comes to me offhand, but it would be someone controversial, I’m sure.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Pepperoni, sausage, black olives, extra cheese. Bacon and artichokes, too.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
38 — I had a very good year when I was that age.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Julia Child, always an idol of mine. I met her once briefly when I studied in Santa Barbara, but I never got to talk to her in depth. Seeing her on “The French Chef” when I was a child got me excited and curious about cooking. She was the one who let me know there was a bigger, kinder, more beautiful world out there.