haunted walking tour leads local couple to its dream home

The Historic Haunts Walking Tour, an event now in its fifth year, provides family-friendly Halloween treks through the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Local residents sporting top hats and toting lanterns lead audiences along historic West Clinton and Franklin Boulevards. They stop at porches to watch costumed actors bring to life tales of murder, love and mayhem from the neighborhood’s storied past.

Yet last year, the event did more than just entertain. It also led Cleveland couple Tim Brown and Andy O’Conke straight to the doorstep of their dream home.

“I looked up and saw a two-story house with a pillared porch,” recalls Brown of the West Clinton colonial that he purchased earlier this year. “I thought: ‘Three minutes from work, a small yard for the dog… This is the home for me!'”

Brown and O’Conke moved into their new home in mid-August — just in time for this year’s Historic Haunts. The couple’s broad, welcoming porch has now been incorporated into the walking tour, and they’re looking forward to the event.

In addition to the home’s many green features, which were added during a top-to-bottom renovation by the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN), Brown and O’Conke were drawn to Detroit Shoreway by its welcoming, hyper-social residents.

“This is unbelievable neighborhood,” says O’Conke. “As soon as we’d moved in, we met more neighbors than we had ever known at any other place we lived.”

The home was renovated as part of the Opportunity Homes program, a targeted effort by the nonprofit Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI) and CHN to bring renovated, energy-efficient homes to six Cleveland neighborhoods.

(The tours take place October 7 and 8.)

Fresh Water Cleveland, 9/29/11

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