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Hauntings Brings West Hartford’s ‘Spooky’ History to Life

Spooky lantern-lit tours bring West Hartford's history to life in a unique way each October. Submitted photo

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s annual lantern-lit cemetary tours are planned for late October.

Spooky lantern-lit tours bring West Hartford's history to life in a unique way each October. Submitted photo

Spooky lantern-lit tours bring West Hartford’s history to life in a unique way each October. Submitted photo

Submitted

This October, West Hartford Hauntings, the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society’s spooky, theatrical cemetery tours, will celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary.

The lantern-lit tours will take place on Friday-Sunday, Oct. 23-25, and Saturday, Oct. 30 (rain date Sunday, Nov.1). Tours will leave every 15 minutes from 6-8:45 p.m. (Sunday 5-7:45 p.m.). Guests will be escorted through the stones by a “dearly-departed guide,” who will tell his/her own tale on the journey.

This year’s stories include those of 11-year-old Pearl Ogden, who accidently hit Benjamin Bishop while driving a horse-drawn wagon. Hauntings Director Sarah St. Germain said of the tale, “Bishop was a big man in town in the late 19th century. He was a member of the CT House of Representatives and the Town Assessor. The Courant printed that Mr. Bishop was ‘knocked down, the wheels going over him and bruising him severely.’ You have to feel bad for this 11-year-old who was probably running errands for her family and hits this important man!”

Other stories include those of the Eusens, who were killed in a train accident in 1864, and Mr. and Mrs. Flanigan who were also killed by trains in separate incidents. “Train accidents happened more often and could be much worse than they are today. Some of the newspaper descriptions are grisly,” said St. Germain.

The event takes place at the North Cemetery at 80 North Main St. in West Hartford.  Tickets are on sale now. Ticket prices are $9 for children 17 and under and $13 for adults.

Due to some frightening content, it is suggested that participants be age 10 or over.

Tickets are available at www.noahwebsterhouse.org or by calling (860) 521-5362 x21. An American Sign Language interpreter will be available for certain tours. Call or email [email protected] for information.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is located in the restored birthplace and childhood home of Noah Webster. Webster was a national figure known not only for the first American dictionary and the Blue-Backed Speller, but also for being a federalist, an abolitionist and a cofounder of Amherst College. The historic house and exhibit spaces are open daily 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. For information on the museum’s extensive school and public programs, please visit us atwww.noahwebsterhouse.org or call (860) 521-5362.

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