Annual Heritage Center Ghost Walk Thursday Night

Miss Blanche Mitchiner, a ghost who will be portrayed by Mayor Cheryl Oliver of Selma, grew up in the Wyoming Hotel, which was owned and operated by her parents. The Wyoming was near the railroad station in Selma and opened in the 1890s. It was the hotel of choice for traveling politicians and other dignitaries in the early 20th century.

Five characters from Johnston County’s past will be brought back to life Thursday night during the Johnston County Heritage Center’s 13th annual Ghost Walk in Smithfield’s historic Riverside Cemetery.  It will begin at 6:30 pm at the corner of Church and Second streets beside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Downtown Smithfield.

The line-up includes several fascinating Johnston County personalities:  Hubert Banks, a Clayton native who was a member of the famous Harlem Hellfighters in World War I; Mrs. B. B. Adams of Four Oaks, a World War I Red Cross worker; an 18th century Neuse River boatman and turpentine producer; Miss Blanche Mitchener, Selma’s pioneering telephone operator; and Dr. Calvin Jones, a Smithfield physician who pioneered the use of the small pox vaccine in North Carolina.

“This is a fun educational event for all ages that a lot of people look forward to,” says event chairman Matt Dean. “It’s a great way for families to learn about interesting people who are part of the Johnston County story.”

Visitors will be given guided tours through the cemetery where they will meet each ghost character. The tour concludes with refreshments at the historic Hastings House, where Confederate generals were headquartered at the end of the Civil War.

The Wyoming Hotel aka The Wyoming House in Selma.

Admission charge is $3 for adults and $2 for students, payable at the event. No advance tickets will be sold.

For further information, call the Johnston County Heritage Center at 919-934-2836, or visit the Center’s website at, or Facebook page,