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West Hartford Hauntings: Real History, Scary Setting

Image from previous West Hartford Hauntings. Courtesy of Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society (we-ha.com file photo)

Haunted cemetery tours from the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society return this October to Old North Cemetery.


This October, “West Hartford Hauntings,” the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Societys spooky, theatrical cemetery tour, returns for its 17th year. Join us for lantern-lit tours of one of West Hartfords oldest cemeteries, Old North. Along the way you will meet dearly departed residents of the town who have returned to enlighten you about the past.

With a cast of over 20 actors, West Hartford Hauntings is a perfect blend of history and outdoor theater. Each year, storylines are created based upon research conducted on the lives – and deaths – of past residents. This year, guests will meet Revolutionary War veteran Ithuriel Flowers, who considers the hypocrisy of enslaved men fighting for a “free” America. Prut was one such West Division man who fought with the Continental Army even though he was enslaved by John Whitman, Jr. The Whitman family was one of multiple prominent local families who prospered from the exploitation of people they enslaved.

Guests will also meet Ann Cole, a woman who plays a pivotal role in Connecticut’s 17th-century witch hunting epoch, which occurred more than 30 years before the one in Salem, Massachusetts, and Emeline Simmons, a young factory worker who runs into trouble when she begins boarding with a West Hartford family in the 1800s. On the tour and among the graves, visitors will have occasion to ponder the oft-used epithet in cemeteries of the era:  “Remember, as you are now so once was I; As I am now, so you shall be; Prepare for Death and follow me.”

West Hartford Hauntings will take place on Fridays, Oct. 22 and 29 and Saturdays, Oct. 23 and 30, at the Old North Cemetery, 80 North Main Street, West Hartford, Connecticut. Tours leave every 15 minutes from 6-8:45 p.m. and run for 45 minutes. Join us for the preview night on Thursday, Oct. 21 with discounted tickets. The 6 p.m. tours on October 22 and 23 will be ASL interpreted.

To learn more about a conservation project at Old North Cemetery which is getting underway this October, click here.

This event will sell out. Get your tickets today for this entertaining and spooky lesson about the history of the region at noahwebster.yapsody.com. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Discounted tickets are available for museum members and groups of 10 or more. Due to some frightening content, West Hartford Hauntings is recommended for ages 10 and up

West Hartford Hauntings takes place regardless of rain, snow, or shine. Please dress for the weather. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. This outdoor event provides a safe option for the Halloween season and will follow current guidelines regarding masking. Arrive early to the show to purchase refreshments and a limited offering of gift shop and West Hartford Hauntings-related merchandise.

The museum would like to thank Reid & Reige, P.C. for sponsoring West Hartford Hauntings.

The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is a cultural destination where citizens can learn to understand and appreciate the past. The museum preserves the birthplace of Noah Webster, the founding father, educator, author and lexicographer who taught generations of Americans what it means to be American. This National Historic Landmark is also a repository for West Hartfords history, the community that molded Noah Websters future, and is still thriving over 250 years later. The historic house and exhibit spaces are open to the public Monday through Saturday from 1-4 p.m. For information on the museums extensive school and public programs, please visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org or call 860-521-5362.

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