Meet old souls at Christ Church cemetery
SHREWSBURY – A meeting between youngsters in their Halloween costumes and old souls in the Christ Church Graveyard is the third planned Cemetery visit at the historic church this month and promises to be a unique way especially for children to enjoy the Halloween season and learn local history.
Saturday, Oct. 27, between 4 and 6 p.m., youngsters of all ages are invited to the Christ Church Graveyard, Sycamore Avenue and Route 35, for a Ghostly Graveyard Scavenger Hunt. Costumed volunteers representing specific persons buried in the graveyard will be near their gravestones ready to share stories of historic Shrewsbury and the people who made it so, and hand out prizes to those brave enough to partake.
Among the souls prepared to meet guests are E.C. Hazard, the 19th and early 20th century businessman who introduced the marketing of ‘fancy’ imported and locally made goods, and is known as the head of the “Ketchup Family of Shrewsbury,” E. Louise Jost, the 20th century church member who spearheaded the preservation of history of the Church and was a force in the formation of the present day Historical Society, and William Leeds, said to be one of Captain Kidd’s pirates who settled along the Bayshore and financed a missionary to preach to the people.
There will also be face painting and Halloween decorating as well as live entertainment following the scavenger hunt in the graveyard. Termed a Holy Halloween Batman, the afternoon event is free and open to all.
Church historian Robert Kelly said the Scavenger Hunt with actors is a first this year, and one of three events celebrating October in the graveyard. Ryan Radice, who is a tour guide at Ellis Island, and a member of the parish, created a self-guided tour through the cemetery highlighting some well-known persons from a variety of eras who are buried in the historic site. Earlier in the month, Ryan conducted a tour of the gravesites, including the three gravestones inside the church, one of which is a relative of Aaron Burr, providing further information about each of the stops and giving each participant a copy of the self-guided tour.
Friends and church members also gathered in mid-October for a gravestone cleaning workshop and gravestone rubbing activity. Attendees, who could participate in one or both events, cleaned lichen-covered gravestones under the guidance of graveyard conservator Lorraine Schnabel. Local artist Kim Roberts-Honecker led the gravestone rubbings, giving instructions on the best ways to create startling and memorable etchings.
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