The Ozarks tradition of turning apples into cider will be demonstrated at Haunting in the Hills the weekend at Alley Spring.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways will bring the Ozark past to life during the annual “Haunting in the Hills” event this weekend at Alley Spring. 

On Friday evening, spirits of the past will be brought to life through storytelling and skits from 6-9:30.  Illuminated pathways will guide your way through Ozark legends, folktales, mysteries, superstitions and natural wonders with spellbinding age-old storytelling. All storytelling sessions will run concurrently and will repeat every 30 minutes so that visitors can attend sessions in any order. 

Several talented, well-known storytellers will be featured at the event, including Diane Moran of Richwoods, Champ Herren of Marshfield and Larry Brown from Fulton (who will share the legend of the Missouri skunk monster). Eric Mansfield of the Ozark Heritage Project takes on the role of Sheriff Deatherage during the famous Baker hanging, while mournful melodies and traditional tunes will fill Alley Mill, as played by local musician Doug Harris.

Visitors are encouraged to bring flashlights and folding lawn chairs. 

On Saturday, local skilled crafts people will demonstrate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Experience Ozark pioneer folkways and traditions such as basket making, weaving, spinning, wood carving, blacksmithing, chair caning and the making of household supplies of soap, candles, rope, brooms, apple butter, head cheese and hominy and apple cider. Learn about Ozark natural and cultural history from local organizations.

Youngsters can become Ozark pioneers by trying their hands at dipping candles, making rope or shelling corn from the cob. Kids can go inside the one-room Storys Creek School and experience a school day from 100 years ago, and play with toys and games that would have been enjoyed on the playground long ago. 

Traditional bluegrass music and dancing will be demonstrated throughout the day. Enjoy the musical talents of Jim Orchard and the Boys, Buzzard Run and square dancing demonstrations by the Country Ho’Downers. Organizers said dancing shoes are a good idea, and bring a blanket or lawn chair for the entertainment. Food vendors will be on site Friday and Saturday with cash sales only.

Alley Mill is six miles west of Eminence on Highway 106. For more information, call 573-226-3945 or visit the park’s Facebook page or website at

Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.

Broom making

Eminence resident Terry Wyatt demonstrates broom making at a Haunting in the Hills event.

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