The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 17, 2013

Historic ghost tour features Victorian-era seance

By Kevin McClintock
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin's Dream Theatre Company and its cadre of talented thespians love dabbling with the spooky and the supernatural.

Between the Halloween-time performances around downtown to the rather unique Historic Joplin guided ghost tours over the past two years, Becki Gooch has done a brilliant job merging the paranormal with the performing arts.

Now the spring season of the historic ghost tours has a new stop: Caldone's After Dark Speakeasy at 218 S. Main.

"Early in the year we were contacted by a representative from Caldone's restaurant who suggested a partnership with them for our spring tour in order to share their history and ghost stories with tour participants," Gooch said. "Since Caldone's is located in a prime location for the history of early Joplin, we decided we would love to finish up our Joplin tours for 2013 with them."

Guests are invited each Saturday throughout the month of May to an Italian dinner catered by Caldone's Restaurant followed by the historic ghost tour. The evening winds up with a spooky, interactive seance show performed by the Dream Theater Company inside Caldone's After Dark Speakeasy.

The 1920s-style speakeasy can be entered through a "hidden" entrance next to the popular restaurant that resembles a bright red Long phone booth. Upstairs, overlooking Main Street, the speakeasy takes guests back to the Prohibition era, with bookshelves lining the walls and the floor graced by 1920s-era furniture and a Persian rug.

"The Victorian seance show is a short performance inspired by the local history of neo-Victorian entertainment that lasted well into the 1920s," Gooch said. "Typically hosted by a medium, guests would gather and try various ways of communicating with the dead."

An all-ages show takes place at 7 p.m. and a 21-and-older show takes place at 9 p.m., when the Speakeasy cash bar opens.

Tickets are $30 -- reservations can be made at Caldone's Restaurant or by calling 417-626-8111.